Success And Failure…

With the Philadelphia Eagles having the best record in the NFL at this point of the season, there has been a lot of reporting/analysis on how they achieved that lofty status.  The Eagles’ GM, Howie Roseman has been the subject of several pieces recently as a key contributor to the team’s success due to his successful use of trades and draft choices to provide talent to the coaching staff.  Back on Draft Day this year, Roseman orchestrated a trade with the Titans to acquire WR, AJ Brown and that acquisition has paid plenty of dividends to this point in the 2022 season.  Consider Brown’s stats through the first 13 games:

  • Receptions = 65
  • Yards receiving = 1020 yards (15.7 yards per catch)
  • TD catches = 10
  • First down catches = 42

So, the focus on Roseman’s acumen in making that trade is well earned – – but here in Curmudgeon Central, there is a recognition that a great deal for Team A often accompanies a bad deal for Team B.  Moreover, there is a need here in Curmudgeon Central to maintain a certain measure of stature in the unofficial Congress of Curmudgeons.  Therefore, I tend to focus on things like:

  • What was the worst off-season move made by an NFL Front Office last year?

Since QB is the “most important” position on a team, my thinking turned to moves involving QBs and there was a clear-cut winner for worst move involving a QB:

  • The Broncos gave up 4 draft picks plus 3 NFL roster players to acquire Russell Wilson.

In 13 games this year, Wilson has not provided much offensive firepower; the Broncos have only scored 194 points in those games – – 14.9 points per game.  In fact, last season the Broncos averaged 19.7 points per game and the consensus was that level of output was unsatisfactory.

Two other QB-related moves came to my mind, however.  The Commanders spent far less draft capital and no players from their NFL roster to acquire Carson Wentz from the Colts.  That move by the Commanders has not have any more on-field success than the Broncos trade has, but the Commanders did not mortgage their future in the deal.  But there was another move that has not gotten much scrutiny that was – – simply stated – – a bad decision.

  • The Saints re-signed Jameis Winston.

Looking back, Winston suffered a major knee injury that limited him to 7 games in 2021.  And in 2020, he only saw the field in 4 games – – none as the starter.  Add in the fact that in 2019 he led the NFL in passing yards (5106 yards) and at the end of the year, the Bucs moved on from him.  So how did 2022 pan out for the Saints and Winston?

  • Saints record is 4-9; they are in last place in the NFC South.
      • [Aside: Every team in the NFC South is below .500 this morning and every team has a negative point differential for the season.  And the Saints are in last place in that division…]
  • Winston has started and played in 3 games so far.  In those games he threw 4 TDs and 5 INTs.
  • An injury forced him to the sidelines but now that he is physically fit to play, the team has chosen to go with Andy Dalton for the rest of 2022.  The QB that the Saints chose to re-sign in the last offseason is playing behind Andy Dalton.

The Saints’ Front Office has not figured out a way to replace the retired Drew Brees at QB since the end of the 2020 season.  In addition to Winston and Dalton, add Taysom Hill to the equation and ask how a team that finished 9-8 last year could decide to “stand pat” at QB with that trio?  That decision was not as bad as the ones made by the Broncos and the Commanders because it only cost the Saints Winston’s salary money; there were no draft picks or players lost.  But essentially, the Saints just kicked the can down the road in terms of finding a “centerpiece QB.”

Now, of course, the saving grace might be that a bad finish for 2022 would put the Saints in an excellent position to draft their “QB-of-the-future”; as of this morning the Saints would own the #5 pick in 2023.  But there is a rub…

  • On Draft Day in 2022, the Saints and Eagles were involved in a massive exchange of draft picks spanning the 2022, 2023 and 2024 drafts.
  • In that exchange, the Saints got to take Chis Olave, Trevor Penning and Jordan Jackson in the 2022 draft with picks from the Eagles.
  • In that exchange, the Eagles got possession of the Saint’s first round pick in 2023 – – so what is now the overall #5 pick in the 2023 draft belongs to the Eagles.

By the way, the person who made that trade for the Eagles is Howie Roseman.  It certainly seems as if Howie Roseman had a couple of smart moves back on Draft Day 2022…

Finally, since today was focused on successes and failures, let me close with this observation by Joseph Heller:

“Success and failure are both difficult to endure.  Along with success come drugs, divorce, fornication, bullying, travel, medication, depression, neurosis and suicide.  With failure comes failure.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



4 thoughts on “Success And Failure…”

  1. I am not sure where to place the Falcons QB move. The current guy ain’t doing it, but Matt Ryan is having his worst season as a pro.

    1. Doug:

      The Falcons claim that the change is made based on “performance” – – coach’s word not mine. Really? Desmond ridder may become the next candidate for GOAT, but his “performance record” as of this morning is Nil. This move is either desperation or giving up.

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