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 A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency 
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Post A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
There's been a lot of chirping about how championship teams are built through the draft and how the Dolphins spending big in free agency is something they will regret. And I've seen some on here say that Superbowl teams are built through the draft, but there is one example of a team that acquired it's QB through the draft and then proceeding to build the team up through free agency.

The first Patriots Superbowl Team:

Quote:
RG Joe Andruzzi: He was picked up on waivers from Green Bay in 2000. He signed with the Patrtiots. He started every game at right guard in 2001.

LG Mike Compton: He left the Lions and signed with the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent in 2001. He started all 16 games and in the playoffs. So, yes, the Patriots starting offensive line had a couple of free agent starting guards.

Linebacker Bryan Cox: Yes, that Bryan Cox. After leaving the Dolphins and the Bears, Cox spent three years with the Jets. Then the Patriots picked him up in 2001 and he started seven games and played in 11. He had three fumble recovers and two forced fumbles and he scored a TD. The guy was in decline but he always had been a playmaker.

Running back Antowain Smith: He was originally drafted by the Bills. He was added as an unrestricted free agent and led the team by rushing for 1,157 yards. He'd been considered something of an enigma in Buffalo. He was a locker room leader in New England.

Linebacker Mike Vrabel: The Pittburgh Steelers drafted him but let him go to New England as an unrestricted free agent. So much for that theory that the Steelers don't let good players go in free agency. Vrabel started 12 games and had three sacks with two interceptions in 2001. He got better later and had three Super Bowl rings with New England before he went to Kansas City in 2010.

Linebacker Roman Phifer: Originally the 31st overall pick in St. Louis in 1991, Phifer went to the Jets as a UFA and signed a three-year deal through the 2001 season. He was, however, cut after the 2000 season and the Patriots signed him to a one-year minimum salary deal. Phifer started all 16 games. He was re-signed after the season for three more years. He was a Pro Bowl alternate two of those three years.

Cornerback Terrell Buckley: The former Packer and former Dolphins joined the Broncos for one season in 2000 and then went to New England when he was cut. He played with the Patriots in 2001 and 2002. He was the team's nickel cornerback and had an interception in the AFC title game against Pittsburgh that helped New England go to the Super Bowl.

Tight end Jermaine Wiggins: Another Jets castoff, Wiggins signed as a free agent in 2000 and lasted through the 2002 season. He also had a big game in the Tuck Rule game.
Cornerback Otis Smith: He played for the Patriots in 1996 but left to join the Jets for three years. Then he returned as an unrestricted free agent in 2000. He started 15 of 16 regular season games and throughout the playoffs.

Linebacker Larry Izzo: He was an undrafted free agent who made the Dolphins in 1996 and stayed through 2000. The Patriots signed him in 2001 as an unrestricted free agent. There he became the special teams captain and won three Super Bowl rings. He recovered two fumbles in the Tuck Rule game. Two.

Wide receiver David Patten: The Cleveland Browns cut him after 2000. The Patriots picked him up in 2001 and he started 14 games. He was the club's leading receiver in the Tuck Rule game.


http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins ... t-rig.html

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Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:14 am
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
Good points and at the end of the day Miami just needs to put all these pieces from free agency and this April's draft and translate that to winning on the field this season. I know I felt optimistic in the past, but this year I truly feel better with Tannehill and excited to see how his second year plays out now that he was thrown to the wolves and the game has got to have slowed down for him a bit more.

BTW, your Thrawn picture with the laser beam eyes crack me up and this one is probably better suited than the 2008 anti-christ version!!!


Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:47 am
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
As many have already stated, winning in March doesn't equate to winning in January...

...but losing in March sure doesn't win many games.

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Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:50 am
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
And that cheating thing!


Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:57 am
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
Miami is doing both. Its driving me nuts reading national writers talking about reckless spending and desparation on Ireland's part. Most of the contracts signed can be trashed after two seasons.

Tannehill, Miller, Hartline, Bess (if he stays), Martin, Pouncey, Soliai, Odrick, Wake (CFL guy, almost like being drafted), Misi, Jones and Clemons...all guys who are considered key contributors and were drafted (or some variation of being drafted).

Miami also has 11 draft picks next month. They've wisely used free agency to get players that otherwise might have needed a development phase.

If Tannehill is the real deal this team will be good. Ireland will deserve a lot of credit for the supporting pieces he has assembled.


Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:20 am
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
Can? Yes. You can also win with a mediocre QB.

But that's not how the very large majority of championship teams do it.

I don't mind spending in Free Agency, but it has to compliment the draft. It's a tough line to tip toe. That said, I don't think we've crossed that line....yet.


Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:20 am
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
There is always room for good football players on your team...Free agents has it's share of busts but you have to look for the hungry team leader type..

Aka James Harrison

The Patriots dumped a very good Lawyer Milloy for Rodney Harrison because he was so much better at being a team leader...Izzo great team guy..AS was about everyone on that list...

This is why the Dolphins should be looking at James Harrison...We still have the June cuts so saving some cap would be wise


Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:33 am
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
Kev1321 wrote:
And that cheating thing!


bing!


Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:49 pm
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
Phins Rock wrote:
But that's not how the very large majority of championship teams do it.


The large majority draft and develop a franchise QB. The Dolphins are walking that path. We'll see if they get there.

Once you have that franchise QB, whether you bring other players through free agency or the draft, as long as you bring in good players, your team will contend or at least be competitive every year.

Ryan Tannehill is the most important pick the Dolphins have made with Ireland as GM.

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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
Rich wrote:
Phins Rock wrote:
But that's not how the very large majority of championship teams do it.


The large majority draft and develop a franchise QB. The Dolphins are walking that path. We'll see if they get there.

Once you have that franchise QB, whether you bring other players through free agency or the draft, as long as you bring in good players, your team will contend or at least be competitive every year.

Ryan Tannehill is the most important pick the Dolphins have made with Ireland as GM.


That reminds me...The Saints went and got a franchise qb through free agency.


Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:01 pm
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
Kev1321 wrote:
Rich wrote:
Phins Rock wrote:
But that's not how the very large majority of championship teams do it.


The large majority draft and develop a franchise QB. The Dolphins are walking that path. We'll see if they get there.

Once you have that franchise QB, whether you bring other players through free agency or the draft, as long as you bring in good players, your team will contend or at least be competitive every year.

Ryan Tannehill is the most important pick the Dolphins have made with Ireland as GM.


That reminds me...The Saints went and got a franchise qb through free agency.


Yeah but Brees is one in a billion.

He's 6'0 tall in high heels, never had the strongest arm, and probably even less so after shredding it up, not overly athletic etc.

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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
I'm not arguing for or against, just pointing out what I've seen.

The "standard logic" is that you build a team through the draft. That doesn't mean you don't sign free agents or make trades. Every single team does. when pushed you usually hear the FAs are OK but shouldn't be the core of the team. Again, that isn't really the case in reality. There are plenty of examples of key players coming from FA (Welker) or trades (Farve, Brees, Jerome Bettis, Marshall Faulk).

Just like building a team via the draft doesn't guarantee you wins, neither does signing big contract FAs. I don't see anything wrong with the Dolphins moves. They gained youth and playoff experience at the same time. They filled holes they intentionally created by trading away players they didn't want.

Now they just have to put it together on the field


Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:53 pm
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
Rich wrote:
Phins Rock wrote:
But that's not how the very large majority of championship teams do it.


The large majority draft and develop a franchise QB. The Dolphins are walking that path. We'll see if they get there.

Once you have that franchise QB, whether you bring other players through free agency or the draft, as long as you bring in good players, your team will contend or at least be competitive every year.

Ryan Tannehill is the most important pick the Dolphins have made with Ireland as GM.


In order to maintain longterm success though, it has to be about the draft. You can't be players in Free Agency every other year.

Like I said though, I don't think we're building this team through Free Agency. Haven't crossed that line yet.


Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:41 pm
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
Not sure if any of those guys were considered big time FA back in '01. Don't recall them being. That is what most generally refer to as building via FA. Signing the best on the market.


Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:47 pm
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
Rich wrote:
Yeah but Brees is one in a billion.

He's 6'0 tall in high heels, never had the strongest arm, and probably even less so after shredding it up, not overly athletic etc.


And also owns a record that stodd for 27 years and a Super Bowl ring.

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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
Phins Rock wrote:
Like I said though, I don't think we're building this team through Free Agency. Haven't crossed that line yet.


Correct. The title of thread and the topic itself is very misleading. Miami has not built this team through free agency. Most of the key pieces were drafted. And with the way the free agent contracts were structured it would be easy for Miami to replace those guys with cheaper, developed drafted guys in a few years.

As Rich pointed out, Tannehill is the key to all of this. If he fails Miami starts from scratch...again.


Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:56 am
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
jammer wrote:
The title of thread and the topic itself is very misleading. Miami has not built this team through free agency.


The title of the thread is not misleading because it is not about the Miami Dolphins. It's about an example of a team, the 2001 New England Patriots, who had a core mostly made up of free agents and won a championship.

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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
Rich wrote:
jammer wrote:
The title of thread and the topic itself is very misleading. Miami has not built this team through free agency.


The title of the thread is not misleading because it is not about the Miami Dolphins. It's about an example of a team, the 2001 New England Patriots, who had a core mostly made up of free agents and won a championship.


I don't know about that Rich.

Defensively the core pieces of that team were McGinnest, Bruschi, Milloy, Roman Phifer, Vrabel, Tebucky Jones, Ty Law, Richard Seymour. Vrabel and Phifer were Free Agent pick ups, the rest were drafted.

On offense the core was Brady, Kevin Faulk, Antowain Smith, Troy Brown, David Patton, Terry Glenn. Patton and Smith were Free Agents.

Most of that team's core players were drafted and developed. They supplemented it with free agency, I think similar to how Miami is doing. But I wouldn't say they were built through Free Agency. Their true franchise players were drafted, (Brady, Seymour, McGinnest, Ty Law, Terry Glenn, Milloy, Bruschi).


Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:23 am
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
Phins Rock wrote:
I don't know about that Rich.

Defensively the core pieces of that team were McGinnest, Bruschi, Milloy, Roman Phifer, Vrabel, Tebucky Jones, Ty Law, Richard Seymour. Vrabel and Phifer were Free Agent pick ups, the rest were drafted.

On offense the core was Brady, Kevin Faulk, Antowain Smith, Troy Brown, David Patton, Terry Glenn. Patton and Smith were Free Agents.

Most of that team's core players were drafted and developed. They supplemented it with free agency, I think similar to how Miami is doing. But I wouldn't say they were built through Free Agency. Their true franchise players were drafted, (Brady, Seymour, McGinnest, Ty Law, Terry Glenn, Milloy, Bruschi).


First of all, Terry Glenn played all of 4 games for the Patriots in 2001, so lets cross him off the list.

Second of all, out of 11 starters on offense, 5 were acquired via free agency. 6 of their defensive starters were acquired through free agency.

They went heavily into free agency to put that team together, more so than the typical Superbowl champ.

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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
Rich wrote:
jammer wrote:
The title of thread and the topic itself is very misleading. Miami has not built this team through free agency.


The title of the thread is not misleading because it is not about the Miami Dolphins. It's about an example of a team, the 2001 New England Patriots, who had a core mostly made up of free agents and won a championship.


It is misleading because the implication is that you start by buying core pieces and compliment them with draft picks. Salguero is suggesting the Pats built that team via free agency which is incorrect. They addressed holes and leadership voids to compliment what was already built through free agency.

I get the point of the article but I think its incorrect.


Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:10 am
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
jammer wrote:
It is misleading because the implication is that you start by buying core pieces and compliment them with draft picks.


Where does the article or the title state that?

That is your interpretation.

Again, nothing misleading about it. That 2001 team got a lot of good play by a lot of no-names and cast offs that were acquired in free agency.

As I pointed out, the majority of the starters were free agents.

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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
Rich wrote:
jammer wrote:
It is misleading because the implication is that you start by buying core pieces and compliment them with draft picks.


Where does the article or the title state that?

That is your interpretation.

Again, nothing misleading about it. That 2001 team got a lot of good play by a lot of no-names and cast offs that were acquired in free agency.

As I pointed out, the majority of the starters were free agents.


The title of the thread is A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency. That is not what the article talks about. Having half of your starters (not majority)be free agents and getting good play from them is not building a champion through free agency. As PR pointed out, they had a good core for the team built and developed already.

And of course its my interpretation. When I see the thread title I think of the suggestion that the Daniel Snyder forumla will work. If you see it as building upon what you already have then fine, we agree to disagree.

After reading the article again I see that Salguero is simply combating the stupid national narrative that Ireland and Ross are wildly spending to do something that doesn't work. Instead he points out they are using a formula, already done by the Pats to hopefully achieve both short and long term success by having free agency fix what they couldn't draft.


Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:32 am
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
jammer wrote:
The title of the thread is A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency. That is not what the article talks about. Having half of your starters (not majority)be free agents and getting good play from them is not building a champion through free agency. As PR pointed out, they had a good core for the team built and developed already.


PR referenced players that were drafted that very season as well such as Richard Seymour, who had a quiet year that year. He wasn't an established core player yet. Tom Brady was still in his diapers. He wasn't a core player yet.

By the way, the article only mentions free agents that were acquired in the 2001 offseason. The point is, they acquired a lot of players from the 2001 season and went on a Superbowl run with them. What were they doing before that?

Antowain Smith, a free agent, led the team in rushing and touchdowns.

David Patten, a free agent, was second in receptions, yards and touchdowns.

Bobby Hamilton, a free agent, led the team in sacks.

Anthony Pleasant, a free agent, was second in sacks.

Roman Phifer, a free agent, was second in tackles and forced fumbles.

Otis Smith, a free agent, led the team in interceptions and passes defensed.

Terrell Buckley, a free agent, was 2nd in interceptions.

They stocked up on talent in free agency and wound up going 11-5 and winning a Superbowl after going 5-11 the year before.

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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
I just find that team as a bad example

A) They were using sideline video
B)They took video of the Rams pre game walk through
C) The tuck rule was more bullsnit
D)Goodall covered the entire scheme up with destruction of all the evidence.
E) They had microphones in the defense.

THEY CHEATED


I'm sure there is a better example.

The Jets went to back to back championships with alot of free agent starters or the Bucs a few years back


Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:20 pm
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
I don't disagree at all that free agency played a major role in their success and I think we need to take that into consideration when comparing it with the current Dolphins team. I just think a better description would be free agency is an important factor in assembling a championship team.

I applaud what Miami is currently (like the Pats) doing because they aren't spending recklessly. They swapped out LB contracts, added immediate WR help that could have taken years if waiting on a pick(s) to develop, and kept a few key pieces.

And just like the emergence of Brady in 01 (or his game managing ability), all of this offseason activity will only work if Tannehill is the real deal.


Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:25 pm
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
Kev1321 wrote:
I just find that team as a bad example

A) They were using sideline video
B)They took video of the Rams pre game walk through
C) The tuck rule was more bullsnit
D)Goodall covered the entire scheme up with destruction of all the evidence.
E) They had microphones in the defense.

THEY CHEATED


I'm sure there is a better example.

The Jets went to back to back championships with alot of free agent starters or the Bucs a few years back


Agree. That team was not that talented and never should have beat the teams they did. Especially the greatest show on turf.


Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:51 pm
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Post Re: A Champion Can Be Built Through Free Agency
And with all that cheating, still barely won by 3 points. No way they win without it.

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