I never understood NFL free agency. It seems as though, it is a way for an athlete to make as much money as they possibly can over the length of their career. It is a way for teams to sign players whose contracts have expired and are free to play for whomever they choose. These athletes are catered to, flown everywhere just for the possibility of them signing with their team. But, sometimes, teams have to cut players that have helped them win over the years.
As a football fan, in most cases, I enjoy free agency because this is a great chance for my team to collect players to improve their roster and give them a better chance to win. Actually, being a football coach for a local rec league team in Norfolk, it makes me wonder why it is so hard for teams to develop a winning culture. Why teams do not pay to keep units together to see what they can do? Why do GM’s team teams apart for the sake of a salary cap? Why do teams like New England constantly reload, and teams fall apart.
There are two teams that came to mind, one is the New York Jets and the other is the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore has had a habit of building through the draft and then signing key free agents in order to make themselves successful, while teams like the New York Jets will just sign players to sign them. Sometimes, teams use free agency to even market players they do not want to lose, but are willing to part with for more draft picks and better chance to improve their chances of winning and bringing home the Lombardi Trophy to their team.
There are a couple to teams that comes to mind that amazes me. One is the Baltimore Ravens, winners of Superbowl XLVII and the other team is the New York Jets. Both teams reside in the AFC (American Football Conference), both teams play a similar style of football. As a matter of fact, these teams are connected in a more unique way. The coach of the NYJ was once the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens (Rex Ryan). Most sports fan, know about the Ravens, and their history is a very unique one.
The Baltimore Ravens are a professional American football team based in Baltimore, Maryland. The team is a member of the AFC North Division and current defending champions of the National Football League. The team originated in 1996 when then-owner of the Cleveland Browns, Art Modell, relocated the franchise to Baltimore. The franchise was renamed and legally treated as a new entity (or expansion team) upon moving to Baltimore. The team’s name was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Raven, as Poe who lived for a time in Baltimore, died and was buried there in 1849.
The Ravens have experienced great success in their brief history, making the playoffs nine times since 2000, with two Super Bowl victories (2000 and 2012), two AFC Championship titles (2000 and 2012), four AFC North division titles (2003, 2006, 2011 and 2012), and are currently the only team in the NFL to hold a perfect record in multiple Super Bowl appearances. Then you have the Jets. The Jets have a long and illustrious history, team began in 1959 with the founding of the Titans of New York, an original member of the American Football League (AFL). The team had little success in its early years.
After playing three seasons at the Polo Grounds, the team changed its name to the Jets, and moved into newly built Shea Stadium in 1964. In January 1965, the Jets signed University of Alabama quarterback Joe Namath to a then-record contract. The team showed gradual improvement in the late 1960s, posting its first winning record in 1967 and winning its only American Football League championship in 1968. By winning the title, New York earned the right to play in Super Bowl III against the champions of the National Football League (NFL), the Baltimore Colts.
The Jets defeated the Colts in the game; in the aftermath of the upset, the AFL was deemed a worthy partner to the NFL as the two leagues merged. Now that we know about our two teams, we must look at the way these teams are ran. It seems as though some teams have a better front office than others. Hence the question that has plagued people for years, when will management learn that football teams are not only about putting the best team together, but you also have to have the right people in the right places.
Right places means not only on the field, but also in your front office, and lastly in an ownership position. In some cases, teams will fire coaches because they are not winning. Some teams have fired the general manager (GM), but what about the other people in the front office. Can winning teams be built or are they made. What I would like to do is look at the both teams and see where the issues life. The first thing I wanted to look at was the needs for each team in the this upcoming season.