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Old 05-15-2019, 09:06 AM   #351
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
So, as usual, a mixed bag of updates. I got tied up in Charleston and missed a stage or two, and unfortunately let a quality free agent DB walk. Not the worth thing, but for a team that has been suffering from a combination of benign neglect and moderated incompetence... we don't have a big margin of error.

Going to trot out RB Wells for another season as our RB1, but I'm not ponying up the big bucks to extend him. We'll see where this gets us, I expect to open the offense up more this year as I feel our depth at WR warrants it, and our RB production has been so uninspiring, why not? Our best years were as a pass-first team, so we'll try to get back in that mode, despite lacking the talent of former offerings.

The D7 looks really good (I slept through the early draft and the AI took a star LB for me - no affinity but he looks very good). The secondary ought to be fine, and overall the defense is probably above average talent-wise.

I feel like we might be able to sneak back "into the picture" this year. Not 12 wins, but maybe 9? I really just want out of the friendzone drafting at pick 15... please just either be terrible and pick at 1.2 or be in the playoff chase.

Last edited by QuikSand : 05-15-2019 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:06 PM   #352
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuikSand View Post
I feel like we might be able to sneak back "into the picture" this year. Not 12 wins, but maybe 9? I really just want out of the friendzone drafting at pick 15... please just either be terrible and pick at 1.2 or be in the playoff chase.

Ugh. Friendzoned again. 8-7-1, 7th seed, crappy draft pick.

GML: Baltimore Ravens 2093

QB Gelenaw throws picks, but is otherwise acceptable and is very effective when running with it. I distributed the ball among my receivers too much - should ave forced more to WR1, who is just better than the rest. Mistake there.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:48 AM   #353
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Interesting and unfortunate twist - my WR1 retired after 9 seasons. Perhaps not having him in the "first play" formation and therefore not "starting" played a role there (I think it does) but he was not in deep decline and that leaves us thin at a key position.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:41 AM   #354
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
So, we're wrapping free agency. I'm actually now struggling with the cap a bit - after making room for a monster contract for DE Baxter at $42m/yr (8% of the cap), and I think I will end up letting DE Durham walk into free agency. We've got Baxter (stud), Pugh (5th year, pass rusher), McKenzie (3rd year, decent all around), and a semi-promising rookie.

In the draft, I dealt out of my 1st round pick and grabbed a 3rd and a future 1st from a winning team. My first 4 picks all on defense - GREAT THINKING FOR A TEAM THAT CAN'T PASS. My biggest FA move is for a solid WR who will likely slot in as our WR1, though he's really not that great.

No reason to expect a breakout this season. Treading water around .500 ish, and fiddling around with a super-mobile QB. That's enough to keep me semi-interested, I guess.

Last edited by QuikSand : 05-22-2019 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:58 AM   #355
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
It got better.

GML: Baltimore Ravens 2094

So, we jump back to elite status, I guess. Hmmm... Gelenaw remained pretty pedestrian as a passer (6.6 ypa, meh) but the running game inched up to passable, and the defense was excellent.

Not sure these fundamentals support 13 wins, but we'll take it. Nice to see us back into the fold after a few seasons in the desert. I fucking hate drafting 14th.
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:45 AM   #356
Chas in Cinti
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Your QB had 900+ yards rushing... you were awful close to 2 1,000 yarders and one a QB... that'd been peculiar to see...

Nice to see you back rolling, regardless as to the smoke and mirrors involved...
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Old 05-31-2019, 10:09 AM   #357
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Thanks, Chas. It is a fun team.

Postseason: Oh so close

It's only my third bowl appearance with this "snakebitten" team, despite remaining among the top tier for overall wins, etc. Didn't even stay close in the title game, but getting there far exceeded my season expectations.

Work to do next season - no retirements, likely a new OC, and some guys we want to re-sign, but I'm glad to be back in "win now" mode.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:55 AM   #358
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Early offseason underway. In the first free agency stage, we managed to re-sign DE Mo Durham, on a $27m/yr deal (just under 5% of the cap). (Note: he wanted over $40m/yr to extend) That will carry through his productive years, I presume, he'll be a 12th year guy after that expires. So, we are locked up in the outside pass rush for the foreseeable future, with Baxter (93/93 stud) signed for 4 more years and Push (65/65 but 91 PRTech) for 2 more with an affordable 3rd. I may end up walking away from Ike McKenzie (63/63) after this year, his 4th.

At DT, last year's 3rd rounder Heath (48/53, 65/74 RunD) is the only guys signed, but McKenzie could play there if I want that. I may end up with a top-tier DT in the draft as well (I'm two picks away from selecting as I type this, and a do-everything DT is my top-rated player in my queue).

The interesting guy for free agency will be WR Cornelius Everett (55/55) who wanted crazy money to re-up, so we let him walk. I think he is a defective player - zero endurance, and his under 6 y/t may be connected to that. However... he's got 4 years of cohesion with my team, a good affinity with my WR leader, and the options out there won't be promising. So, do I end up paying... $30m a year to re-sign him? I'm not sure.


I missed out on a pretty good CB Malcolm Luna. He would have been a rotation-starter for us, and a great chemistry asset. Alas, he signed with division rivals in Cleveland. Our DB rotation is solid, not excellent. Matters more if we are a winning team with lots of leads, in my view.


Note: the DT got taken, presumably as an AI-driven auto-pick, as I was finishing this post. Will go back to the perennial debate between Grade A- guys at various positions versus Grade B guys at game-changing positions.

Last edited by QuikSand : 06-04-2019 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:55 AM   #359
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
So, with our two draft picks at 16 and 31, we end up landing two guys:

Pasteboard - Uploaded Image

Pasteboard - Uploaded Image

So... hopefully DT Dunn can be a complementary piece to the outside rush we have going. I'm fairly optimistic. The CB... dunno. I think his combines are all okay, but that apparent void in punishing hitter is worrisome, I suppose. On this team, my hope would be he moves to SS and becomes a 100-tackle 80-PDPct guy, but he may have endurance worries.

In early free agency, no real news. We lost DT Perry (and another FA target) to other deals, but I expect to make room for Dunn, so that's not a crisis. I let RT Alfonso walk as well - he was a pending chemistry problem for us, so I only wanted him on a one year deal anyway. Might as well just tear off the bandage.

Looking ahead - we're midway through early free agency, I have offers in on ten players or so. TE Ristic is asking for big money, nobody else seems interested - he's a cohesion/chem plus for us, so I'll pay up. Have to make the call this stage whether WR Everett is worth paying up for - he's asking for more than $20m/yr. That career ypt under 6 suggests he's just no good.

Last edited by QuikSand : 06-04-2019 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:55 AM   #360
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Well, Ben's robots rate my draft #3 overall in the league. Definitely a record high for me. Even with an extra 1.16, I'm still delighted to see this surprise twist.

To my eye, DT Dunn looks like a solid two-way starter but not a superstar. CB DeMatteo looks good, about what we had hoped for, probably a low-endurance rotation starter (PH not a void, that's good). CB Frierson looks good enough to play, also. Nothing from my later picks looks great to me - TE Grebene probably a rotation caliber guy but not someone who ever gets 50 targets.

So... good, I guess. But not a home run.
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:02 PM   #361
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Big twist is at WR, where we managed to re-sign humdrum WR Everett to preserve his cohesion and chemistry, and we'll just suffer along with his pedestrian stats. Fun starts when our FA pickup from last year Edward Gaines holds out asking for a rise from $15m to $25m/yr. My scout sees him as only a 48/48 guy... his stats are also pretty pedestrian, too with only 6.26 ypt last season. So, no chem, no cohesion, and even bigger bucks. But at this point, do I go and monkey with a team that -FINALLY- clicked on offense for the first time in years?

That's tough. I have the cap space to give for now... but this might shut the door on a true impact player, even a WR, in a subsequent offseason.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:41 AM   #362
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Oops. Another brainfart. In the least forgiving league for them, and as always at an important stage. I'm guessing last night I opened the GML files, but failed to import the latest league file - so in-game it looked to me like I didn't have to do cut-downs. D'oh!

Anyway - it's not awful. My stiff chem leaders at D& and DB were both cut - but I have a backup plan on my roster for the D7, and after one LB cut he takes over as the leader, and all is well there.

At DB, no such luck. So, I will have to decide between two sub-par options - but I'll lean toward cutting down to 52/45 and putting in an offer on my old leader, in hopes that he will sign, stay active but not play much, and anchor our chemistry setup there.

And at WR, I failed to re-sign Edward Gaines, so I have to make a similar call with him. Sign and leave his depth chart slots open, hoping the AI will just slot him in? That's pricey but likely wisest.

Ugh. The care and feeding to tend to these chem-first teams is too much, really.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:02 AM   #363
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Well, my week 1 shenanigans seems to have worked pretty well. We re-signed chemistry anchor CB Blackwell, re-upped with WR Edward Gaines, and by leaving slots open in the depth chart managed to get him 113 targets and over 900 yards. So, I managed to dig out of my self-inflicted penalty.

GML: Baltimore Ravens 2095

We are the 12-4 #1 seed this year, so I guess we're back as a serious contender. That's good. And it backs up some of my "go for it now" moves this offseason.

Inexplicably, RB Terry Wells goes off for BY FAR his best season. 250-1,457 on 5.8 ypc, and another 463 receiving yards. So, we get some degree of dividend for our time and trouble invested in this guy, I guess.

Defensively, our pass rush was again pretty good (21.3%, good for 7th), but we were pretty pedestrian overall. Once again, this doesn't really look/feel like an elite team under the hood... our passing yards per attempt are lower than our opponents', frex. To me, that's a stat that usually tells the real story- being able to impose your will via the air game is the single most important thing in this game. This team is, basically mediocre at that, but for two straight years has been very good at winning. Hmmmm.

So:
rushing QB whose ratio improved
ground game comes to life unexpectedly
defense plays well but not great
- - - - -
12 wins and home field advantage

Ok, then.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:34 AM   #364
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Another thirty-wonderful postseason!

http://gml.fof-belco.com/html/box2095250002.html

Hey, if you told me that I could have my team in the championship game, down only one point at the start of the 4th quarter...I would have taken the deal. Rotten draft spot, okay. Would love to get a second title, but that's less important to me than having a team that fits among the top tier of contenders each year.
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:23 AM   #365
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
So, here’s an assessment of our total roster going into the 2096 season. We come off back to back conference titles, albeit with no trophy to show for it. But that seems to place us in “go for it” mode, pretty obviously (despite my misgivings that this team really isn’t all that good). Regardless, this is typically a pretty fun exercise.

Code:
Player # Pos Start Exp Current Estimate Future Estimate Cntrct Gelenaw, Shane 114 QB 8 68 68 1 yr. Reynolds, Shane 111 QB 5 13 25 ---

Gelenaw has developed nicely into a run-first but throw-well-enough guy. Not what I typically build around, but it’s been fun. Last season he scaled back on the running as we handed off to Wells more for some reason. It’s tough to me to track my gameplan as I am forced to submit files from two computers, and that makes things tricky to track unless I save every single thing in a Dropbox location with names (and I’m frequently too lazy to do that). So, in short, I intended to use the same gameplan the last two seasons, but I’m not certain that I did so.

Reynolds is a high-affinity backup with no talent who should re-sign for nothing. If not, we’ll likely just plug in with somebody similar. Have to take advantage of the no-injury setup here… so don’t invest any resources into unused backups.

Code:
Player # Pos Start Exp Current Estimate Future Estimate Cntrct Wells, Terry 231 RB 7 78 78 1 yr. Soward, Tyler 237 RB 3 31 32 --- Sullivan, Theodore 334 FB 8 53 53 2 yrs.

Mysteriously great season for Wells last season. So, we’re… basically all set here? Soward is a long-term chem guy (96 ldr/100 pers), Sullivan is a solid blocker. If a good RB2 candidate comes along, fine, but Soward only got 26 carries last year, so that’s hardly a priority, as long as we can afford Wells.

Code:
Player # Pos Start Exp Current Estimate Future Estimate Cntrct Ristic, Asher 448 TE 9 53 53 2 yrs. Lindsay, Cory 488 TE 7 48 48 2 yrs. Barnes, Burt 442 TE 8 44 44 1 yr. Grebene, Brody 481 TE 2 33 61 3 yrs.

Solid, but unspectacular. I wanted to “start” Grebene last season, but my last-minute roster shuffling caused him to get Rexed to inactive. He’s a chem problem long term (96 ldr/65 pers – and yes, that is still enough of a mismatch to make him a bad long term fit… I rarely am willing get by with a position leader with personality that low). So, he may end up being a cut if we find a better fit longer term – he’s only rotation-caliber at best anyhow.

TE would be a good spot to stumble into a long term asset here, with my top three guys all being paid handsomely and on the back half of their careers.

Code:
Player # Pos Start Exp Current Estimate Future Estimate Cntrct Eschbach, Ray 502 FL 5 47 47 4 yrs. Gaines, Edward 585 FL 7 46 46 3 yrs. Miller, Brett 512 FL 8 34 34 --- Griffin, Vince 529 FL 7 34 34 1 yr. Everett, Cornelius 517 SE 6 56 56 2 yrs. Joseph, Amos 582 SE 4 45 45 ---

Weird situation here. Nobody is actually great – Everett is our highest-rated guy, but with a zero endurance, he seems to under-deliver. I just re-upped with Eschbach and Gaines, so they are sort o locked in, despite being pretty mediocre. I used Joseph (89 GD not much else) in the slot last year, to pretty good effect (8.5 ypt) but he’s looking for $11m/yr to re-sign. I might do just as well with Everett getting those targets.

If we could find some way to add a WR1/WR2 caliber guy to this group, I would be very happy. If not, we will likely just continue to spread it around among this B-minus lot. Grinding out a 7 ypa air game, with a good TD/Int ratio, to complement a good ground game seems like a “good enough,” if not overwhelming, recipe for success.

As always, I will fall for some phony-bars rookie in round 3 or 4, who ends up being basically useless. It’s something of a tradition for me.

Code:
Player # Pos Start Exp Current Estimate Future Estimate Cntrct Hucke, Ty 652 C 7 53 53 2 yrs. Gillespie, Elliot 661 C 3 19 49 1 yr. Meek, DeAndre 775 RG 5 46 46 --- Henderson, Demetrius 769 RG 2 36 45 3 yrs. Ballard, Evan 777 RG 4 33 46 1 yr. Tatum, Alfredo 873 LT 10 69 69 2 yrs. Darche, Quentin 872 RT 4 48 48 1 yr. Bates, Joe 863 RT 10 6 6 1 yr.

The line, I guess, is in good shape for right now. The twist is that Bates, our leader, is pissed off about playing time (despite that 6/6 skill rating) and won’t re-sign. So, I should plan for this to be his last season as our chem anchor.

Skill-wise, I’d be fine letting this group play together a while – Tatum is good, Hucke is a big run blocker, and the rest are all fine. G Meek needs a new deal, he’s not great but cohesion makes him valuable to me, so I’d guess I’ll like him more than anyone else.

Code:
Player # Pos Start Exp Current Estimate Future Estimate Cntrct Wilhite, Trevor 904 P 2 39 49 3 yrs. Goodwin, Jimmie 1003K 10 53 53 2 yrs.

Whatever. Drafted both slots last year, but my veteran K was better than the rookie turned out to be. So it goes.

Code:
Player # Pos Start Exp Current Estimate Future Estimate Cntrct Baxter, A.J. 1198LDE 6 93 93 3 yrs. McKenzie, Ike 1196LDE 5 62 62 2 yrs. Durham, Mo 1149RDE 10 65 65 2 yrs. Pugh, Isaiah 1159RDE 7 65 65 1 yr. Dunn, Bucky 1295NT 2 61 69 3 yrs. Heath, Conner 1292NT 3 55 55 2 yrs.

Our pride and joy right here. Baxter was a BPA draftee who was too good to overlook at pick 14 a few years ago, bumped up from his 70-something projection, and is now a top-tie guy. I don’t know… 47 tackles and 11 sacks doesn’t seem like it’s really worth the $42m in cap room he occupies, but he’s so good and has such high endurance, than we don’t have to go deep at the D& position just because of him. Everyone else is solid – Durham is declining but we’re in fine shape here. LB Shields will try to gain weight and move to DE for this year – he’s the longish term chemistry anchor for this group now (73/96) and has a 96 in PRTech, so he’s usable as a situational pass rusher.

Honestly, given the talent of this bunch, I’m a bit disappointed that we aren’t an overpowering pass rush by the numbers, but I’m hopeful we’ll see things bump up this season and beyond.

Code:
Player # Pos Start Exp Current Estimate Future Estimate Cntrct Zastudil, Byron 1357SILB 10 54 54 1 yr. Kerr, Heath 1354WILB 2 45 45 3 yrs. Myre, Darien 1355MLB 7 41 41 2 yrs. Lofton, Jonathan 1405SLB 4 76 76 1 yr. Wicks, Melvin 1451SLB 6 51 51 2 yrs. Shields, Don 1458SLB 6 47 47 2 yrs. Voetberg, Bucky 1415WLB 3 30 30 2 yrs.

We run a 3-4, and with Shields all but moved to DE, this is actually a fairly thin position. Lofton is a stud, but a non-affinity guy (from a missed draft pick, my bad) and everyone is capable here. LB is a place where talent tends to fall, so I don’t rule out looking here when pick 1.31 comes around.

Code:
Player # Pos Start Exp Current Estimate Future Estimate Cntrct Hudson, Dillon 1530LCB 7 66 66 1 yr. Frierson, Byron 1528RCB 2 60 62 3 yrs. Hardin, Irv 1525RCB 3 56 62 2 yrs. Mueller, Shaquille 1532RCB 4 50 50 1 yr. DiMatteo, Doug 1543RCB 2 47 61 3 yrs. Littlejohn, Brian 1647SS 5 54 54 2 yrs. Nichols, Cody 1639SS 3 48 48 2 yrs. Barker, Owen 1636FS 12 46 46 1 yr. Walker, DeAndre 1627FS 4 43 43 2 yrs. Foss, Chris 1645FS 8 41 41 2 yrs. Finnegan, Jamal 1646FS 10 33 33 1 yr. Pearson, Randall 666 LS 2 20 20 ---

So, this group is deep but not excellent. Hudson is a CB1 (from the 3rd round, yay me) and the rotation behind him are all good enough to play in any situation (Mueller doesn’t play zone well, but I can work around that). Littlejohn is good enough and a KR stud (over 30 yd avg last two years) so he just got extended. Barker is a fading semi-star, we could use a long term asset at S as well.


Players Under Contract: 44
Inactive: 0
On Active Roster: 44

Salary Cap: $579,500,000
Cap Room: $97,450,000
Maximum for New Player: $77,020,000
Cap Room Lost (to old contracts): $1,800,000


So… close to 20% of the cap available, and we’re effectively at 51 players already. Add in the RFAs/bums that I expect to sign (WR Joseph, RB Soward, QB Reynolds) and we’re already at our limit.

So, mentally, in free agency I’m looking for:
-impact player anywhere, naturally
-quality depth in places where we need it (OL, WR, LB, S)
-high chem guys who could make the roster once half my draft go poof

Last edited by QuikSand : 06-15-2019 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:59 AM   #366
Chas in Cinti
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Cincinnati, OH
I like the situation of the roster... the challenging parts (LB, WR, OL) are at least the areas you can generally work through and have historically been pretty decent at managing... I think you've got 3 more years with this group before drastic changes will be needed...
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:43 PM   #367
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Pick at 1.31 is a DB, after just missing out on the WR I wanted:
400 Bad Request

My scout likes him a click or two more than the league scout, FWIW.

We missed out on the yuge money free agents in stage 1:2, likely won't get a ton done there I fear.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:10 AM   #368
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
There's just not going to be a lot of big news this offseason. I've been thwarted in my half-hearted efforts to sign big players here or there. It's going to be mostly status quo for the season ahead, unless something big breaks in late free agency, or somesuch. (Sometimes an AI team just decides to spin off quality guys to clear cap space, or fails to re-sign good young players...that sort of thing)

The draft is moving slowly. Our picks:

WR in round 2: 400 Bad Request
DB in round 3: 400 Bad Request

I don't have enough faith in my rookie WR to take any chances, so I am putting in an offer to retain 45/45 RFA WR Amos Joseph, our good-enough-to-play slot guy coming off a 92-59-787-3 season.

The DB could, if his ratings hold up, be a long term asset for us at FS and as a punt returner, an area of some need. I passed on some arguably better cover guys to get him for his return skill.
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:50 AM   #369
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuikSand View Post
Would love to get a second title, but that's less important to me than having a team that fits among the top tier of contenders each year.

* * * Elite mentality alert * * *
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Old 06-22-2019, 12:23 PM   #370
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Heading into late free agency, here's the BenBot assessment of our "roster needs." In general, this is a GREAT tool to have handy, especially if you're trying to manage multiple rosters (and even more so if two are based on the same NFL franchise).

My caveat is: I'm more willing to live with good-fit 38/38 guys than Ben is. Part of that is my chem reliance, but part is that his line between usable/useless is higher than mine, since he can draft a 45/45 guy in the 6th round, and I certainly cannot count on doing so.

Here's the page: GML: Baltimore Ravens 2095

My immediate takeaways:
-I'm short on mentors in places where I have real young talent
-We don't have much in the "excess talent" column, no shock
-I am counting on a few, but not a ton, of guys Ben says stink

I have put up a trade block, in hopes of dealing away LB Lofton, who wants a king's ransom to re-sign.

Our WR situation is messy - we are deep with WR2/WR3 caliber guys for a good team, but really lack a WR1 guy. Gaines, Eschbach, and Everett are all getting paid, while 4th year guy Sierra was a high-sal-no-risk signing who looks good enough to compete for targets. I would much rather have one 75/75 guy than this mess, but so it goes.

Without LB Lofton, I don't know if our entire defense loses a click and becomes merely average, and whether that even matters in this game.

Chem-wise, we will be moving RB Soward over to play at WR and anchor the chem for that group, and will find someone to plug in for the paltry RB2 duties behind our workhorse. Soward will be the long term WR leader, and Sullivan can step in to lead the RB group with his 91 personality (and Wells's low leadership). With grumpy T Joe Bates suddenly super-happy about playing time again (after a dumb-ass release and re-sign because reasons) we are basically all set with chemistry on the offensive side for the next few seasons. Once T Bates retires, I should have a couple of decent but not great OL options.
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:47 PM   #371
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Dealt away LB Lofton (76/76, holding out and I really cannot afford him) and a young TE who was a long term chem problem (high leadership, low personality, a toxic combo for me, and one that you cannot see coming even with a pre-draft interview)... getting a 2+2+4 bundle. Not great value, Lofton is an elite caliber player, but not awful.

Into training camp I'm seeking to use the same gameplan, will try to diversify the passing targets a bit more, and we'll see how it ends up.
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:57 AM   #372
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
File submitted for this season.

Made a few mistakes this offseason, I'll attribute partially to being very busy with booze-soaked work events. Anyway, after dealing my top LB I realized we are perilously thin there... I don't think great LBs win the league, but we might test the converse of that. I messed up my DB chemistry, and didn't leave myself a ready to go solution this last stage, so we only have a couple affinities out there this season. We're deep and young, it should sort itself out, I just needed to act seriously sooner than I did. Our WR corps remains a scattering of WR2/WR3 caliber guys, our TE group is aging, and my RB is again in a walk year asking for yuge money.

Would not shock me if we suffer a slide to some degree... maybe instead of being a 12-win team, we become a 9 or 10 win team? That's probably what we deserve.
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Old 06-27-2019, 07:55 AM   #373
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
So, the good news: 12-4 again
Bad news: that's only the #3 seed this season, so we're going the hard route

GML: Baltimore Ravens 2096

Basically the team stayed the course. Gelenaw has slotted in as a fairly efficient but low-risk passer, and he still is a major plus with his legs (approaching 1,000 yards again). RB Wells was once again really good, and the spread-it-around passing game worked more closely to expectations this season (I deliberately moved my WRs into different roles more).

The defense was back to "really good" led by the pass rush effort. DE Baxter finally delivered a superstar season with 17 sacks, but we got 46 total, not bad. CB Dillon Hudson anchored the secondary, and put up first team all-pro stats with an 85 PD% rating, that's really good for a full time guy with only 4 picks.

Nice season. Not loving our postseason prospects, but it wouldn't be a huge shock if we got back to the big game.
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:45 AM   #374
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Curious twist: the LB I traded away totally bi the dust in preseason on his new team: http://gml.fof-belco.com/playercard.php?playerid=72225

Random volatility hit I presume, nothing I saw coming, but I do feel some trifle of guilt getting pretty good value for him just before he sandcastled from a stud to a rotation guy.
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Old 06-29-2019, 09:38 AM   #375
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
We win our home playoff game, but lose on the road in the divisionals to eventual champion Denver (sawblade). Solid season - but the huge difference between seed #2 and seed #3 is the conceptual weak link in playoff football. Don't like it? Win more games! We'll try!

No retirements this offseason, and we come in fairly well stocked. Have roster needs in a few places (RB1, LB depth, OL depth) but in general, we ought to field a double-digit winner again this year.

Last edited by QuikSand : 06-29-2019 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 06-29-2019, 11:02 AM   #376
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Quick roster assessment:

QB - Gelenaw got paid, he's a $70m cap hit, and has settled in as a top-15 passer, 7 ypc rusher, and a top-tier OPOY candidate overall

RB - Wells is a free agent, 8th year, but coming off two big seasons. My guess is I will have to outgun AVAILABLE to keep him - humans don't love fossils at RB. I have the cap space to do it, I think, just need to decide whether I want to, or just draft a RB1. Big offseason pivot point here.

FB/TE - FB Sullivan is decent, a cohesion plus, and a chem leader. TE is okay, but all our guys are veterans (8,9,10th) so that's an obvious spot to target for improvement. Definitely open to taking the 2nd TE off the board in the late 1st round, if there's a good fit for us chem-wise. Otherwise, we continue to limp along with our good-enough vets.

WR - Everett grades as 56/56 but has zero endurance, so we rotate all our 40-something guys to make the air corps go. It's fine, not ideal. If we see a stud or semi-stud on the market, we could make a play, but I doubt I have the ammo to outbid lunatic humans. Most likely, we just go into this season with more or less the same bunch we have now - okay, not special.

OL - Starters return, and all are ok: Tatum 11 - Meek 6 - Hucke 8 - Henderson 3 - Darche 5. Chem is excellent for now, but Henderson is a looming problem with his 66/18 ratio, so he's a candidate for us to replace and deal/cut. Not an urgent need, but if our BPA at 1.26 is a guy who would start this season at G, that would be fine for me.

P/K - Whatevs. We're fine.

DL - Still our pride and joy, but so expensive. Baxter finally gave us his A game, he's the build-around guy at 86/86 and is paid like it. McKenzie playes at DT last year to keep him happy and re-signable, but now DT Dunn is angry. This is likely the last year for DE Durham, but we're solid behind him, including chem anchor Don Shields who is actually good enough to play as a situational pass rusher. Bets unit on the team.

LB - Weakness here. Zastudil is in his 11th season, great cohesion/chem guy but it will be hard to beat an offer from AVAILABLE there. We have rotation-caliber guys and no stars here, really. Counting on run stopper Kerr (44, 3rd), solid guy Wicks (51, 7th) and redshirt RunD/PRTech guy McCormick (36/47, 2nd) as the core of the unit for the short term. Obvious area to move in on a free agent, and/or target with first two rounds. I'm really not sold that LB is a difference-making position, but I have instincts of a collector... and that means I just want to have a nice collection of red bars everywhere. A top-15 LB I could just slot at SLB would make me feel better about this roster, even if he only translates to 0.3 wins.

DB - Super deep, and pretty good. Hudson is a star CB1 (67, 8th) plus we have a lovely young core to build around in CB Frierson (61, 3rd), Hardin (60, 4th), Gribble (40/59, 2nd), S Collins (41, 6th). Biggest issue here is chemistry, we either need to trade/cut S Littlejohn or overcome his bad chem ratio (93/33) to get this group back into alignment. Sadly, that's easier said than done. Dealing Littlejohn is an obvious angle to play here, he should fetch some value I'd think.

So... if I had my druthers, and within reason, I think a model draft for us would look something like this:

1.26 high-end LB
2.26 good fit TE
2.31 project WR
3.26 project RB
4.26 depth at OL
4.31 depth at LB
...

Having extra picks in rounds 2 and 4 will give me notions, though. So, if we could deal up to someone earlier in round one to target a WR or monster LB/TE, I'd definitely be open to that.

Star rookie WR
Veteran LB via free agency/trade
wait for later to fix TE

...that's a perfectly fine plan, as well.
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Old 06-30-2019, 08:53 AM   #377
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
So, yay, we have $115m in cap space to spend! Sounds like a shopping spree. Let's break that down a bit first, though.

Game says we need $27 for our draft picks, I'll round that down to $25m, as their number is frequently too high.

$95...

Now, I will want to re-sign WR Soward, who is my chem leader for the group. He's awful, naturally, after the RB-to-WR switch, but the game sees that he has starts under his belt, so he'll cost us $5m, easily.

$90...

Honestly, no other restricted guys are on the table. So, on to must-do extensions for walk-year guys:

11th yr LT Tatum will cost $20
4th year CB Hardin will cost $5
4th year DT Heath will cost $4
7th year WR Everett will cost $10
6th year S Littlejohn will cost $2
10th year TE Ristic will cost $10
8th year C Hucke will cost $10
7th year LB Wicks will cost $8

...so if we extend all these current guys at this expected prices, we are sitting on $21m of usable cap space. Realistically, that list was built by a sort of ratings... so I am unlikely to actually cut that deal with the bottom three, and I'll just let them walk into free agency. So, let's put our resulting number more like:

$50 million

Now, the matter of RB Wells. He looks like he will command at least $40m for three years. 8th year guy, he's due to drop massively in ratings, right? But the last two years have been fabulously productive, and he's a chem plus cohesion asset for us now. I have no candidate on the roster to step in, so losing him would force our hand with an early draft pick or another big money free agent. Seems like signing him makes sense... ugh.

In other words... we're broke.

Last edited by QuikSand : 06-30-2019 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:15 AM   #378
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Silver lining here is... the free agent class seems terrible for our needs. As in, nothing at all tempting at any of my target positions (WR, TE, LB, OL). I see a slate of guys who might be worthy of my time-honored low-risk deals (stuff like 3/$15m with only 30K in bonus) but I don't see a single guy out there where I'm saying "okay, I need to get a $25m/year offer in to that guy."

So, this ought to be an offseason of maintenance, rather than gaining ground, it seems. I'll watch the trade wires, but that's not much in this league.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:41 AM   #379
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Well, the suspense (after a week off) subsides. RB Wells gets a PHAT LOOT deal from the always-aggressive Arizona Cardinals (h/t SteveOliver) and he gone. I tried to deal up for a RB in round one - no dice. So, that becomes a roster priority, even though I still find myself unsure what I'm doing there. Endurance? Hole Rec? Breakaway? Elusiveness good or bad? All f it is a mystery to me. Some guys seem to be reliably good, some guys not, I'm largely at a loss as to why.

I did TRY to keep Wells with a bonus-heavy $25m/yr... but the Cards went in heavy for an 8th year guy: 3yrs, $175.0M (Bonus: $160.0M. Salary: $5.0M, $5.0M, $5.0M.)

Okay, then. Moving on.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:42 AM   #380
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Okay, we come up with a solid Plan B at RB signing 5th year veteran Alexis Prior. I got lucky there - nobody met his asking price when he had preferred to sign, so i came in a bit low but bonus-heavy, and got him to agree for under $20m/yr. He comes off a season of 1447 yards on 5.27 ypc, so he should be able to fill the need there.

In late round one, I grab a LB to fill an urgent need. My pinhead scouts thought he was a mirage, but I didn't have a great option - the guy I coveted deeply went two picks ahead of my selection, naturally. Round two included two picks I don't love, a FB/TE and a pass-rusher, both likely reaches but I was out of pocket all day and unable to attend to my ranking list, or try to swing a trade.

Had a potential big trade in the works (my whole draft for an earlier 1st to grab a great-fit RB/WR but it fell through on timing). In retrospect, I really wish that had worked out - this team really, really needs a 70/70 receiver more than a 65/65 LB and a pile of fluff.
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