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Archive for April, 2010

Draft Tools: Search by Franchise

5th April 2010

As we lead up to the NFL Draft on April 22, I'd like to take time to point out some PFR draft features you may or may not have seen yet. The first feature is the ability to see the all-time picks by every franchise -- for instance:

Cleveland/LA/St. Louis Rams All-Time Draft Listing

The last time the Rams had the #1 pick, they took Orlando Pace, which turned out to be a really great decision. Then again, the last time they took a QB 1st overall, they nabbed ex-Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker -- who would go on to wash out after 18 games and be better known for his CFL career than anything he did in the NFL. (St. Louis fans can only hope that Sam Bradford pans out more like the former and less like the latter.)

You can run a search like that for every current and defunct franchise in the draft era:

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Posted in Site Features | 3 Comments »

Do star safeties have shorter careers than players at other defensive positions?

5th April 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I looked at Peter King's comment on Eric Berry to examine whether safeties were risks at the top of the draft. In that post, I determined that safeties were not risky in the sense that they didn't pan out. In fact, compared to other positions, a higher percentage of safeties panned out in that they made at least one pro bowl and were at least good starters (career AV > 49).

However, King did raise a point about safeties being less likely to stay healthy, citing recent injuries to star safeties Troy Polamalu, Bob Sanders, and Ed Reed. Today, I try to take a stab at looking at that issue. The best way we have of doing that is to look at games played data, though games played is also susceptible to talent and ability as well as health. In an attempt to deal with that fact (though I am sure I fail in limited specific cases), I decided to look at players who already proved to be good players at a young age (age 25 and under) and see how many games they played from ages 26 to 29, how frequently they retired before age 30, and how old they were during the last season they were able to play 10 or more games for an NFL team. The hope here is that if a player has played well through age 25, he should continue to play in games through age 29, unless he missed those games due to injury, or was benched or forced to retire due to injury-related decline.
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Posted in Approximate Value, History, NFL Draft | 5 Comments »

The 1987 strike and what could have been, Part II

2nd April 2010

Part I

Yesterday, I posted SRS ratings for the teams during weeks 3, 4 and 5 of the 1987 season -- the replacement teams. The more interesting question, I think, is how did those real teams perform in the other 12 games? The table below shows team SRS ratings for all 28 NFL teams in 1987 during games 1, 2 and 6 through 15:

San Francisco 49ers 12.8 -0.4 12.4 10 2 0
New Orleans Saints 8.9 0.4 9.2 10 2 0
Cleveland Browns 8.5 -0.1 8.4 8 4 0
Denver Broncos 7.7 -1.0 6.7 8 3 1
Seattle Seahawks 2.9 0.1 2.9 7 5 0
Buffalo Bills 0.7 2.1 2.8 6 6 0
Washington Redskins 4.6 -1.8 2.8 8 4 0
New England Patriots 1.3 1.3 2.6 6 6 0
Philadelphia Eagles 0.7 1.3 1.9 7 5 0
Chicago Bears 2.6 -0.7 1.9 9 3 0
Los Angeles Raiders 1.3 0.6 1.9 4 8 0
New York Giants 1.4 0.4 1.8 6 6 0
Indianapolis Colts 2.0 -0.5 1.6 7 5 0
Miami Dolphins -0.4 0.8 0.4 7 5 0
New York Jets -1.0 1.1 0.1 5 7 0
Minnesota Vikings 2.7 -2.6 0.1 8 4 0
Los Angeles Rams -1.5 0.6 -0.9 5 7 0
Pittsburgh Steelers -2.8 1.8 -1.1 6 6 0
Houston Oilers -1.6 0.2 -1.3 7 5 0
St. Louis Cardinals 0.2 -2.8 -2.6 6 6 0
Green Bay Packers -4.6 1.5 -3.0 3 8 1
Dallas Cowboys -2.4 -1.5 -3.9 5 7 0
Cincinnati Bengals -4.8 0.6 -4.1 3 9 0
Kansas City Chiefs -3.8 -0.9 -4.7 4 8 0
San Diego Chargers -6.6 1.3 -5.3 5 7 0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -6.8 -0.5 -7.2 2 10 0
Detroit Lions -6.8 -1.8 -8.6 3 9 0
Atlanta Falcons -15.3 0.4 -14.9 2 10 0

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Posted in History, Insane ideas | 20 Comments »

The 1987 strike and what could have been, Part I

1st April 2010

Per Patrick W's request, I'm going to spend the next couple of days looking at how the 1987 player's strike impacted the NFL. There have been thousands of pages written on the 1987 strike, so any analysis here would be woefully inadequate. But to provide at least some color on the event, let's start at the beginning.

Part I: Labor History

In 1956, the NFL Players Associated was formed. It's original goal was to create a minimum salary for all players and to gain some benefits that would be considered standard today. Threatened by a lawsuit, the NFL owners mostly gave into the players' demand, but refused to enter into a collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA. In 1968, a brief lockout and subsequent strike occurred. It ended when, with Art Modell serving as NFL President and Chairman of the Owners Labor Committee, the players and owners negotiated the sport's first CBA, guaranteeing veteran players a minimum salary of $10,000. When the AFL and NFL merged, so did the league's respective Player Associations.

And, in the summer of 1970, the newly merged NFL saw its first strike. A new CBA was created, the minimum salary was raised to $13,000 and a more favorably pension plan was approved. By 1974, the NFLPA had become a stronger organization, and was ready to tackle the NFL on more serious issues. The PA wanted to eliminate the option clause and the Rozelle rule, which created a serious barrier to free agency; the PA also demanded that the NFL eliminate the draft, abolish and the waiver system, and begin including guaranteed contracts. The owners didn't budge, and the players went on strike for 42 days. The owners stayed tough, so the players called off the strike and instead chose to take the NFL to court.
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Posted in History, Insane ideas | 10 Comments »