NFL: Bill Parcells in Going for the Win

Jeff Little@@JeffLittle32Senior Writer IApril 15, 2008

Miami Dolphins Executive Vice President Bill Parcells is taking the bull by the horns in his desire to turn the Dolphins around.

He has turned around the Giants, Patriots, Jets, and the Cowboys franchises from a coaching standpoint and is now doing the same thing in a front office decision maker role.

This is the same man that has given us several great quotes, but here are parts of a few that are very telling with the 2008 NFL draft 11 days away and the Dolphins on the clock with the first overall pick.

“When you’re asked to cook the meal, you want to be involved in buying the groceries.”

“Drafting is an inexact science”.

“This is one of the most competitive businesses there is …It’s my life. It’s my blood. It’s how I’m measured.”

The Miami Dolphins have been on the clock long before the 2007 season ended. The team has several holes to fill and currently has the No. 1 overall pick this year and three more selections in the next two rounds.

Several people are under the impression that the Dolphins will take a conservative approach, which is very possible. The team has needs at LT, DT, MLB, TE, WR, and QB to name a few.

The Dolphins and several of the other teams with the top three picks have made attempts to trade down only to find out that there aren’t any teams that want to move up to the top spot.

This is a draft where no player stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Darren McFadden, who is regarded by many as the top prospect in the draft, doesn’t fill an immediate need as long as Miami’s medical staff believes that Ronnie Brown will return to his pre-injury form.

No one wants to shell out the type of money that JaMarcus Russell signed for as last year’s top pick.

The reason for this is clearly from an economic standpoint.

The system is a little out of whack when a rookie with potential who hasn’t played a snap can earn more than a guy who has played in the league for a few years and proven himself.

That is another story for another day, but it is the current system.

The Dolphins have decided to keep the pick instead of trade out and have locked in on former Michigan left tackle Jake Long. The team has recently started negotiations exclusively with Long.

It was later reported on that a deadline was set on the proposed deal. Is this a strange occurrence? Is Long not excited or even want to be a Dolphin?  I agree with the aforementioned site that it is classic Bill Parcells.

In the event Long doesn’t take the proposed deal from the Dolphins, the team will present the same deal to Ohio State DE/OLB Vernon Gholston and it would behoove him to take it.

Several people, myself included, felt that Chris Long would be the top pick due to his familiarity with the 3-4 defense which Parcells has coveted and playing all three defensive line positions at the University of Virginia for former Parcells assistant Al Groh.

But when the Dolphins started contract negotiating, the first two names were Jake Long and Gholston.

This could change and Chris Long could come back into the picture. It is a dollars and cents deal for Jake Long.

I believe the deal includes $25 million in guaranteed money. He has to answer some tough questions with his agent and will hopefully be provided solid advice.

If he signs the deal to become the No.1 overall pick, it will be for less money than what JaMarcus Russell signed for in Oakland.

If he chooses not to sign, he is sure to receive less money than whoever the eventual top pick is and whatever that amount is it will now become Jake Long’s ceiling if he is the No. 2 overall pick.

The point is that someone will.

Parcells is building a team and will not be side-tracked by agent-speak during negotiations or strong armed by an agent trying to sell him with the you have to have this guy speech.

Only Parcells has the personality to pull this off and if successful will be the Dolphins' and the league’s first win of the 2008 season.

This will set a precedent in league circles in curbing the amount of money rookies earn without establishing a definitive rookie salary cap. The deal would stop the astronomical growth in guaranteed money for the No.1 overall pick, which from 2003 to 2007 has risen from $15 million to $32 million.

Moving in the opposite direction is something that agents aren’t wired to deal with.

The agent for the top pick will be vilified, talked about and straight out dissed in agent circles for cutting down the amount of money earned and for caving in. But I think it has to happen for the good of the league and will this year due to Parcells going for the win and making it happen.

If successful, it could shake up the top of the draft board and potentially the entire draft.

This time of the year between the pro days and draft you have to take everything you hear with a grain of salt and not put a lot of credence into it. You could literally throw a penalty flag on the entire league and charge everyone with misinformation.

You hear so many poker-faced bluffs and straight out lies that it’s almost impossible to believe anything a head coach, GM, VP, or team owner says due to the false advertising that goes on at this time of the year.

I am in the camp that believes that Parcells' goal is to pay this year’s top pick far less money than what last year’s top pick earned and he will be successful.

He will achieve that goal along with having the player signed prior to all of us hearing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell say “With the first pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select…”


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