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Old 02-23-2013, 01:46 PM   #91
Cutting the lead blocker

 
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Originally Posted by Saint Droopy View Post
Cmon Dan... I love your posts but yes they are loyal to a fault. He traded Reggie bush because Bush wanted to leave for a better role (and he would have left without compensation after his contract was up). He cut Dave Thomas to trim cap... but I'd be willing to bet Thomas will be back at a lower cap #. Gary Gibbs should have been fired waay before he did get fired because our defense sucked then too (did he get fired or did his contract run out?). I think you'd agree that we needed a new DC. Charles Grant was on his way to Tampa before Payton persuaded Loomis to resign him... Grant had NO business getting the contract he signed, but that's another example of Payton and his loyalty.

And your statement about Will Smith being hands down our best DE is absolutely correct, but compared to what? Smith has been hands down our best DE since Darren Howard left. That doesn't mean the guy hasn't underperformed for years now. Smith has been average at best since '09, and I understand we can't simply cut him because of his cap #, but we need more talent at DE regardless of scheme. I know these are great "locker room guys" but at what price do they stay if their performance on the field doesn't command the contract?
Here is my point. If I don't say "Will Smith sucks" and "Jonathon Vilma is old/done", then I am apologist. If the team chooses to restructure with them rather than "cut their ***," then Payton is loyal to a fault. I do not see the downside of having GOOD PLAYERS and GOOD GUYS on the team. But to fans, that's just not a "strong enough message." The logic seems to be "the defense sucked last year, so let's take our most high-profile guys, and put their heads on a spike to show everyone that we don't put up with that crap."

There is NO, absolutely NO REASON whatsoever to get upset about Vilma and Smith restructuring. THAT IS THE BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOME. We are getting under the cap, and we are retaining two veteran players who have been invaluable members to this team and can still contribute on the field. Just because someone is still on the team doesn't mean they're going to be a STARTER, it doesn't mean that they are keeping a better player from making the team... all it means is that they are on the team.

The overpaid/salary cap argument is completely MOOT because these guys are restructuring.

My point has NEVER EVER been that Will Smith is the same player now that he was in 09. But the idea that because he had a down season or his play has declined as a whole from the pro bowl level that it was during is prime... that that means he should be bagging groceries... that's ludicrous. Or that this is Payton hanging onto his favorite guys because he is just too emotionally attached? Come one, yes, he likes these guys. But if there isn't room on the roster for them... meaning if we got 4 DEs better than Will Smith or 8 LBs better than Vilma... I'm sure they'll be gone.

But that won't happen. Why??? BECAUSE THEY ARE STILL GOOD ENOUGH TO BE ON THE TEAM! That is what I am saying. That is all I am saying, particularly with Smith.

With Vilma... "He can't play in 34... he's said it publicly..." HE PLAYED IN A 3-4 FOR 3 YEARS UNDER GREG WILLIAMS AND MADE THE PRO BOWL 2 OF THOSE YEARS! Why nobody remembers that is beyond me! We act like the Jets were the only team to ever use Vilma in a 34. GW utilized a 34 front as much, if not MORE (when you count all of his 3-man front subpackages) than he used a 4-3. The argument CANNOT be backed up.

What I am saying is that the emotion... the negative emotion... over these guys restructuring, as if they represent some bygone HORRIBLE era that we all want to cut ties with and forget (like a Super Bowl???) is crazy to me. And I don't understand it. And we can back and forth all day, but there is zero logic to being upset that these guys AGREED to restructure their contracts for the good of the team.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:38 PM   #92
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The "Payton is too loyal" meme is wearing thin. You know what Coach Payton loves more than anything? Winning. He will make whatever move he feels he has to in order to win. If that means cutting a player he likes or has drafted, so be it. If he doesn't get rid of that player you think needs to be disposed of post haste that doesn't mean he's too loyal, it means he thinks that player belongs on the team.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:46 PM   #93
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The "Payton is too loyal" meme is wearing thin. You know what Coach Payton loves more than anything? Winning. He will make whatever move he feels he has to in order to win. If that means cutting a player he likes or has drafted, so be it. If he doesn't get rid of that player you think needs to be disposed of post haste that doesn't mean he's too loyal, it means he thinks that player belongs on the team.
Exactly.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:02 PM   #94
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Also, LSSpam made a great point. I don't know what number we're getting Smith's cap figure down to, but regardless of whether he's a starter or veteran depth, there is a good chance we can get it down to a number that will be less than the cap penalty we'll incur by cutting him. And so we cut him, now you have to replace him, whatever his role was. So whatever money you pay to bring in another guy--someone who probably cannot contribute as much as Smith who, washed up or not, can still play the position and give you some good run downs (at the very least)--it is now far less economical.

The problem seems to be more that Will Smith was rewarded with such a big contract in the first place. This is a very typical issue that fans don't always understand. "So and so got this much money and he didn't live up to it." Really only a half-truth. For instance, Jimmy Graham is probably one of the lowest paid starters on our team, and he is also one of our best players. The eventually contract that he signs will not ONLY be for future production, but for past production.

Now this can get us into an entirely different conversation. My point is that if you're ****** at Smith for not living up to his contract, well... it's only half true. He earned the contract in the first place. Yes, he probably doesn't deserve what he's being paid now--definitely doesn't. But that's why you restructure. And he's not throwing a fit. He's not making a scene. He's doing it. And literally EVERYBODY WINS.

You cut Will Smith, John Vilma... you not only incur a substantial amount of dead money counting against your cap ($3 million or whatever for a ghost), you now have to go out and replace them. We don't all agree on their value to the team, but I think paying $2 million for what Smith can do vs. $5 million ($3 million in dead money and another 2 for a player similar to Smith)... the right decision is pretty obvious.

He's not hurting the team. He's not. "He hurt us on the field last year." Really? Then why was he kept on the field? "Because the coaches are stupid." OK, fine, I can't argue with you anymore.

None of the players really helped us last year. But it's prudent to remember that whenever you blow something up, you have to rebuild it. Otherwise you're left with just a big, useless crater.

I'm glad we're refraining from blowing up this defense.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:23 PM   #95
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I am dumbfounded that there is a discussion that places a negative connotation on being loyal.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:34 PM   #96
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Quote:
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I am dumbfounded that there is a discussion that places a negative connotation on being loyal.
Loyalty is a very good attribute to have.

Problem is if you become too loyal to a single player in a team sport it can become a fault. Simply by being loyal to a player that has played well for you in the past and always been a great guy to the point of keeping him on a roster over a better player or starting him over a better player it isn't fair to the team as a whole. In other words, by being too loyal to one player then by default it is being unloyal to the other players, coaches and fans by not giving your team the best chance to win.

I'm not saying that Payton is overly loyal to players. I don't think Smith ever sees the final roster and if he does he'll likely rarely play. It isn't Payton's fault for starting Smith over Junior last season, he couldn't do anything about it. Now if it happens again this season this discussion takes a drastic change IMO.

I can say this about Payton with certainty. I can't name a single veteran Saint that we've parted ways with even 1 year too soon.
Joe Horn, Jamal Brown, Deuce, Stinch, Stallworth, Grant, Fred Thomas, Michael Lewis, Jay Bellamy, Mike Mckenzie and others. None have left here and really done much of anything but quite a few on this list performed poorly the last season here.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:40 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by bclemms View Post
Loyalty is a very good attribute to have.

Problem is if you become too loyal to a single player in a team sport it can become a fault. Simply by being loyal to a player that has played well for you in the past and always been a great guy to the point of keeping him on a roster over a better player or starting him over a better player it isn't fair to the team as a whole. In other words, by being too loyal to one player then by default it is being unloyal to the other players, coaches and fans by not giving your team the best chance to win.

I'm not saying that Payton is overly loyal to players. I don't think Smith ever sees the final roster and if he does he'll likely rarely play. It isn't Payton's fault for starting Smith over Junior last season, he couldn't do anything about it. Now if it happens again this season this discussion takes a drastic change IMO.

I can say this about Payton with certainty. I can't name a single veteran Saint that we've parted ways with even 1 year too soon.
Joe Horn, Jamal Brown, Deuce, Stinch, Stallworth, Grant, Fred Thomas, Michael Lewis, Jay Bellamy, Mike Mckenzie and others. None have left here and really done much of anything but quite a few on this list performed poorly the last season here.
Specific to your point about Smith starting over JG:

1) JG was injured for a lot of the season.

2) I don't think JG picks up scheme very quickly. I know we want to see dynamic players out there who create plays and wreak havoc, but to a coach, that guy WITHOUT the reliability/trust factor--that's a situational player.

I'm not saying I would or wouldn't have started JG over Will Smith... but I think as a coach, Spagnuolo (and GW... and I think most DCs) trusted Smith more on a play-in, play-out basis.

I have a lot of problems with what Spagnuolo tried to do with this defense last season. But I do recognize that he is a coach--a good coach to get where he is, coaching at the level he's at. I have a great appreciation for that and don't think that he was just cavalierly choosing to start a lesser player.

I aslo disagree that Smith won't be on the final roster. He'll make the team, probably be a "starter", and there will be a lot of belly aching on here. But I think he's going to be much better suited for a 3-4. He's still a strong player, if not as athletic as he once was. He understands the technique for the position, gap control, and the fundamentals of playing sound football.

I'd love for Akiem Hicks to be that guy. But will he be a trustworthy player down-in, down-out--moreso than Smith? I don't think he's there yet.

Again, as a coach, that = a situational player.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:41 PM   #98
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I am dumbfounded that there is a discussion that places a negative connotation on being loyal.
Both Vilma and Smith were model Saints players but railroaded by Goodell last year and ....we all were dumbfounded by the abuse they took from that clown.

Now Payton can keep these players because they are willing to renegotiate. He can reduce his cap, keep good players and stick it to Goodell all at the same time.

Do you guys really hate Payton, Vilma and Smith enough to act just like Goodell did without knowing the facts inside the clubhouse?
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:11 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemms View Post
Loyalty is a very good attribute to have.

Problem is if you become too loyal to a single player in a team sport it can become a fault. Simply by being loyal to a player that has played well for you in the past and always been a great guy to the point of keeping him on a roster over a better player or starting him over a better player it isn't fair to the team as a whole. In other words, by being too loyal to one player then by default it is being unloyal to the other players, coaches and fans by not giving your team the best chance to win.

I'm not saying that Payton is overly loyal to players. I don't think Smith ever sees the final roster and if he does he'll likely rarely play. It isn't Payton's fault for starting Smith over Junior last season, he couldn't do anything about it. Now if it happens again this season this discussion takes a drastic change IMO.

I can say this about Payton with certainty. I can't name a single veteran Saint that we've parted ways with even 1 year too soon.
Joe Horn, Jamal Brown, Deuce, Stinch, Stallworth, Grant, Fred Thomas, Michael Lewis, Jay Bellamy, Mike Mckenzie and others. None have left here and really done much of anything but quite a few on this list performed poorly the last season here.
Stallworth was traded the year Payton got here.
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:51 PM   #100
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i dont doubt his skillset but i question how it's going to fit into this new alignment.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:47 PM   #101
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The Saints fielded an awful defense last season. However, for a lame-duck season without a head coach there has been an extraordinary level of vindictive rage directed at players in a personal way. Much of the rage these players receive is the result of immature fans with anger issues who try to live vicariously through the team to make up for the problems they have in their personal lives. This is sadly a common phenomenon.

The majority of sports fans are everyday people with a healthy and passionate interest, but football teams often attract individuals with low self esteem who want to latch on to a "winner" in order to feel better about themselves.

When the "winner" these people have chosen isn't successful, they become irrationally angry and lash out in a personal way.

In short, if you feel that the Saints need to cut a player to "punish" them for not reaching your expectations this says little about the Saints but an awful lot about your emotional and mental health and maturity
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:40 AM   #102
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Will Smith needs to be cut or restructured to where it won't hurt us this year or next. JV needs to restructure. I think he has a year or two left.
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:44 AM   #103
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Will Smith needs to be cut or restructured to where it won't hurt us this year or next. JV needs to restructure. I think he has a year or two left.
Vilma is on his last year. And, um, yeah. The thread is about Smith restructuring.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:37 AM   #104
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He's not hurting the team. He's not. "He hurt us on the field last year." Really? Then why was he kept on the field? "Because the coaches are stupid." OK, fine, I can't argue with you anymore. .
I agreed with everything you said up to this point.
Will Smith really did hurt us on the field last year. IIRC teams ran at him 87% of the time.
I don't think Spags is stupid...just stubborn.
The whole year I wanted Smith's snap count to go down and to see more of Junior and Martez. I know we will see it this year with the 3-4 installment...but come on Spags.
Wasted opportunity that I can't forgive.

Hopefully he restructures for $2.5 million and does a better job with the limited snaps.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:58 AM   #105
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I've thought about this, and I wonder if this is either to make a trade more palatable for other teams, or if they are going to take his remaining money, extend the contract, and push the money to the end of the contract. It would not be guaranteed money, but perhaps Smith and his agent realize that A) free agency won't be nearly as lucrative as in years past, B) his performance has declined in recent years and coupled with his age (31) he knows it would be better to stick with a contender rather than go to a team with a lot of cap space but a bad team the way Fujita did in 2010 when he left for Cleveland, or C) Smith realizes that if he wants to stay with the Saints until retirement, he will have to take a deal that is more beneficial to the Saints than it is to him.

If he signs a contract that pushes his base salary to later years, it might look something like this:

He currently has a contract that pays him a 9 million base salary for 2013. His remaining bonus money totals just over 5.5 million. Next season, 2014, is a club option year at 10.4 million. The 9 million current base salary becomes part of the extended contract. His contract could be extended, with the following numbers:

The club option for next year disappears as part of the extension.

2013: 1 million in base salary, with one million added to the current bonus to make the bonus money equal 6.5 over the course of the new contract (three years, pro-rated out to 2.17 million per year). Cap for 2013: 3.17 million, a savings of 11.3 million this year on the cap.

2014: 1.2 million base salary plus pro-rated bonus for a cap figure of 4.37 million.

2015: 6.8 million plus the 3.17 bonus for cap of 9.97 million. Of course, he would be relesed in the offseason to free up 6.8 million in cap. (The 3.17 million would count as dead money.)

Those are numbers the Saints could deal with. He would know he would never get the 6.8 million in the final year of his contract, but that's the business side of the NFL. This is simplified, but it let's us see that something like this could be done. All of the money is part of the new contract, which would pretty well guarantee he would be in New Orleans for this season and next because the cap ramifications of cutting him before next season would be prohibitive (The Saints would save the 1.2 million in base salary but be on the hook for the two years of pro-rated bonus for a total of 6.34 million. Of course, if a chunk of that bonus money were roster bonuses, that could trim that figure as well. That's why the cap is so complicated. It all depends on where the money is as to how it affects the cap and future dead money.

I, for one, would rather see the Saints not re-sign him, but if the extension saves the Saints more than releasing him, I can see why they would want him around. He would make at least a good backup OLB or DE.

Also, understand that I am no cap expert and some of what I have here may be in error because I may have something happening that cannot be done legally as part of a contract in the NFL, but the idea is the same, regardless. Extend and backload. That would save the Saints cap space and make releasing him more attractive in a later year.
__________________
My thoughts for this season:

1) I have a very good feeling about this year the way I did in '09.
2) Roger Goodell is still an idiot.
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