Anyone else notice this team has been built mostly through free agency? Either vets or UDFAs.
We've had a bad reputation for building through FA in the past. But we built through FA this time and have a good team. The difference is we used FA effectively and we got our playmakers at the most important (and expensive) positions in the draft:
Starters on offense:
Griffin - draft pick 2012 (22)
Morris - draft pick 2012 (24)
Young - UDFA in 2009 (25)
Garcon - FA in 2012 (26)
Moss - trade in 2005 (33)
Morgan - FA in 2012 (27)
Paulsen - UDFA in 2010 (25)
Trent - draft pick in 2010 (24)
Kory - FA in 2010 (27)
Monty - FA in 2008 (29)
Chester - FA in 2011 (29)
Polumbus - FA in 2011 (27)
Bowen - FA in 2011 (28)
Cofield - FA in 2011 (28)
Jenkins - draft pick in 2011 (24)
Orakpo - draft pick in 2009 (26)
Kerrigan - draft pick in 2011 (24)
London - FA in 2007 (37)
Riley - draft pick in 2010 (24)
Hall - FA in 2008 (29)
Wilson - FA in 2011 (27)
Williams - FA in 2012 (31)
Doughty - draft pick in 2006 (30)
So only 8 of our current starters/main guys were draft picks. Meanwhile 14 of them were acquired through free agency and one through a trade.
A couple of implications can be drawn from that:
- We got good faster by using FA, but our window is going to be smaller with this group of guys because they're older. Most of the team is currently in their prime years of 27-30.
- We've had unusual flexibility to be successful in FA because we had no big contracts worth keeping. Deangelo is the only big deal that's been a holdover from the Zorn era. Moss and London have always had surprisingly cheap contracts and Cooley got cut. Most of everything else from before has come from reasonable rookie deals.
But we've got big contract extensions coming up which will limit our ability to build through FA in the future. Trent, Orakpo, and Kerrigan are all going to require expensive deals and RGIII will probably set the record for largest contract once his rookie deal is up.
- There are only three draft picks starting right now on offense. That's a demonstration of how much longer it takes to teach offensive players our system IMO. Mike Holmgren once said something to the effect of "draft your defenders and sign your offensive players" for this very reason.
If we're looking for early impact from draft picks, more likely to come on the defensive side of the ball.
- We've been able to contend in 2012 despite having a pretty disastrous 2010 offseason largely because our 2011 free agency class and 2012 draft class have been unbelievably successful. They are the core of the roster.