NFL free agency and draft spending sprees are often more about ego or desperation than value.
Ultimately, franchise success depends upon maneuvering your team through the dollar signs, weaving past pre-draft hype and temptingly attractive free agents. Finding out which are David Akers, which are Albert Haynesworth and figuring out how to snag the right ones will determine your team’s fate for years to come.
Have you noticed that some NFL owners will use every penny they have under the cap, every penny left over from last year’s cap and borrow every penny they can against next year’s cap to sign whatever free agent they have their heart set upon?
They (yes, you, Daniel Snyder) throw money at their team and hope that it magically turns into the Steelers.
Some owners (yes, you, Mike Brown) seem content to let their teams languish in mediocrity as they go about their 1-percenter lives.
Then there are the loose cannons like Jerry Jones and the late Al Davis, whose very unpredictability in the spending department can be depended upon to entertain us in the absence of actual football.
Jones even threw money at Bill Parcells for a couple of years in order to make a splash and build a stadium. You have to admit—it worked.
Davis used to simply outbid everyone else for his favorite player de jour. Usually it was a speedster, but sometimes it was a disaster on the level of someone whose name must never again be uttered in the Black Hole. (His initials are J.R.)
Then there is the apparently irresistible lure of finding that one missing piece—“if only we had a big WR,” “if only we had a left tackle"—then we’d win it all, for sure we would.
Even otherwise sane NFL bosses can, when fueled by owner-competitive juices, be coaxed by the likes of Drew Rosenhaus into opening their deep pockets for the most outrageously wrapped duds in football history. I’m telling you; it’s a sickness.