Friday, March 5, 2010
This Desk is Not Adam Archuleta!
To appreciate how absurd Free Agency Week 2010 began for my Washington Redskins, all you need to know is this: my owner issued a press release saying he doesn't own any alligator shoes.
As Dave Barry would write: "I am not making this up."
When the NY Post's Page 6 gossip column reported that Dan Snyder had ordered two alligator leather-bound desks at a price of $600,000 from a chi-chi boutique in Manhattan, it spread like wildfire through the sports blogosphere.
Heh, heh. Typical Snyder. Overpays for everything.
Only, it wasn't true. The Redskins sprung into action to debunk the story.
“Dan does not have an office at FedExField," said Dave Donovan, COO of the Redskins. "Second, he has no need for new desks at any of his offices. We are demanding a retraction from The New York Post.”
Then Snyder added the part about his lack of alligator shoes.
The boutique apologized, and fired the employee who leaked the false rumor.
Whew. Glad we got all that squared away!
That makes it like the whole Adam Archuleta fiasco never happened.
Ha ha, yeah, sure. Alligator desks! Like we'd ever do that. Har! Who needs an alligator skin desk? And for $600 grand? Please. We like slow white safeties who really wanted to go to Chicago to play in another scheme, and we like to make them the HIGHEST PAID SAFETY IN NFL HISTORY!
In the big scheme of things, I suppose this story doesn't matter. But then again, the Redskins (or Snyder, or his legal pit bull Donovan) thought it was important enough to crank out a press release and demand a retraction.
A press release!
This is why being a Skins fan under Snyder is so exasperating. He has been such a sucker for overpaying, that now rogue furniture store managers are even using his name to gin up hype.
What that employee should have done, is hint to Snyder that Jerry Jones was interested in those desks for $700,000, and then just sit back and watch the magic happen.
So off we go, into the great un-capped NFL of 2010.
By the time the HTML is dry on this posting, I can pretty much bet that Julius Peppers will be a Redskin. When the Redskins hone in on a free agent, the first reports are RARELY wrong.
And while I was hoping that Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan would bring a more sober, long-term-build approach to the Skins, I am coming to realize that pretty much no coach Snyder hires will be willing to say no to purchasing players.
Especially in an un-capped year.
To which there IS a coherent argument for actually spending like a banshee this spring. I'm not saying I endorse it, but the argument goes something like this.
Yes, you will overpay for players this spring. Yes, there aren't nearly as many unrestricted free agents, so you won't be able to land very many impact guys. Yes, newly minted free agent acquisitions often go soft now that they've been paid.
Yes, yes, yes, I get it.
But look at it the other way. Players are just players. If you can get a better player than the one you have now, without using a draft pick, then so what? Right now, it's just money. And Snyder has plenty of that, alligator desks or no.
Could the post-lockout NFL re-introduce a salary cap that causes havoc for your spending spree this spring? Sure. Could. But nobody knows. And I think the chances are better that even with a new system and cap, any teams that get a little "out of whack" on spending this year, will have provisions that allow for an orderly re-alignment under the cap going forward.
I doubt the Skins would be forced to play with a 29 man roster.
So in that sense, there is an argument to go hog wild, at last. No more salary cap! Free at last, free at last!
Isn't this what we have been waiting for as Skins fans? Snyder, his fueled up Redskins One on the runway, and a cargo hold full of money? Without any more NFL bean counters tisk tisking our purchases?
Sadly, the NFL is much more complicated than that, I believe. And even if you could purchase the SINGLE BEST player at every position, I am not sure your chances of winning the Super Bowl would be better than just 50-50 in a given year.
The best orchestra in the world doesn't have 100 lead violinists. There has to be somebody oompa-loompa-ing away on a tuba too.
As such, hungry young role players, and guys who want to MAKE their name, will remain the league's lifeblood of success. Those guys, unlike alligator desks, you simply can't purchase.