Flack Friday: Free Agency Story Time and More Shoutouts

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NFL free agency seemingly overpowered any headline that attempted to desperately attract any attention this week. In what has easily been one of the best NFL offseasons, it has also been the most revealing. The NFL’s new year has brought excitement, disappointment and revelation.

Several superstar athletes such as Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., Le’Veon Bell and Mark Ingram have found new homes for the upcoming season. But more interesting than the players that have been swapped have been the underlying stories that free agency has so generously provided.

Free agency is just like an auction if you’ve ever been to one. There is an artificial sense of urgency created by those in attendance and the auctioneers’ voice. The same rings true in the NFL. Much like an auction, overspending happens every single time. The desperation to make a splash is overwhelming. The signing of a player doesn’t necessarily correlate to success, just like the item purchased doesn’t exactly correlate to wealth.

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Here are the teams who made “big” signings: New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns. On the flip side, here are just a couple significant teams that haven’t made many signings at all: Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.

I’m no rocket scientist, but there seems to be a pattern. The teams that inked big signings aren’t exactly the most stable organizations in the league. Successful teams haven’t really participated in free agency. I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that just like an auction, the wise understand value and avoid buyers remorse. Brown is aging, Bell hasn’t played in a year and Beckham Jr. is going to want a very expensive contract. I’m just saying that there’s a reason why the Patriots and Chiefs are successful.

So before you go bid on your next vintage car, don’t be the one who ends up overpaying. Understand value and avoid remorse.

Free Agency Part II

As obvious as it is, the NFL is a quarterback/coach league. This theory has once again been proven through this week’s free agency.

Pittsburgh allowed two of the most talented football players in the NFL to walk. The Steelers chose to go with 37-year-old quarterback Ben Roethlisberger over Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. Likewise, the Giants also ditched Odell Beckham Jr. and kept the ancient Eli Manning.

These aren’t the only skilled names that were let go, however, I believe that they represent the greater good of what NFL teams are getting at: skill players are replaceable.

This ties into why I believe that skill players are overvalued as I talked about perviously in this column. Skill players understand this and that’s why they go for these huge contracts. I don’t blame them, but I fail to understand the teams that don’t grasp the fact that these players are easily replaceable. Tom Brady and the Patriots have won super bowls with no-name skill players. There are only two positions you pay big money for: the quarterback and the guy who can get to the quarterback.

Sweetwater County Shoutouts

I know I did shoutouts in last week’s column, but this week brought more worthy candidates for shoutouts.

  • Chase Stoeger – The GRHS basketball player was named to the 2019 All-State boys basketball honors.
  • Madelyn Heiser – Representing the Lady Wolves, Heiser was named a 2019 All-State girls basketball player.
  • Brenli Jenkins – Jenkins was the only RSHS basketball player to receive All-State recognition. She was named to 1st Team All-State.
  • Cole Verner – Wyoming Cowboys wrestling will send Verner to the 2019 NCAA Wrestling Tournament after he qualified for the competition. Verner is a Green River native who also wrestled for WWCC.

Congratulations to all of our local athletes and their accomplishments! Winning isn’t everything, but it is worth mentioning.


Brayden is a sports and community reporter for SweetwaterNOW. His column, Flack Friday, will be posted every Friday. You can submit comments, questions or ideas regarding the column to brayden@sweetwaternow.com.