What I really want to do today is go into more depth about Raheem Brock’s time with the Colts, but like so many topics these days, I’m saving it for the book. The book, by the way, is almost finished. I only have the chapter on 2009 left to go (and a TON of editing). So, the Raheem Brock ‘Classic Colt’ passage will have to remain under wraps for now. I realize the posts have been a little more infrequent than during the season, but please know that I write about the Colts almost every day, you’ll all just have to wait a few months for the results, however!
So you’ll all have to settle for some links today:
Oehser talks about free agency. For me, I don’t think anyone can judge Gary Brackett’s deal without seeing the way it breaks down. It’s likely a 4 year $25 million or a 3 year $19 million deal. Usually in these kinds of contracts the final year or two comes at a huge salary that the club will never pay. It’s best to think of this as about a $6 million dollar deal. Only $12 million of it is guaranteed, remember that.
1.Doing what they do. There was some debate Friday in the blogosphere and on some local airwaves about the $33 million, five-year deal to which the Colts signed MLB Gary Brackett. The deal, which included a $12 million signing bonus was indeed high – higher than just about anyone would have expected for Brackett several months ago. And as Irsay indicated would be the case a week before, it did put Brackett among the NFL’s highest-paid middle linebackers. Was it a high price to pay? Sure. Was it higher than Brackett might have gotten on the open market? Likely not, not with Brackett suddenly in the past several months being increasingly viewed leaguewide as a savvy veteran leader whose value to a defense can’t be measured by his physical measurables. In that light, it seems likely that the Colts couldn’t have re-signed Brackett for less than what they paid. At that point, the question became, “Did the Colts want him back?” Once they determined they did, the re-signing was inevitable, and not only did him returning to the Colts fit their free-agency “M.O.” the high price they were willing to pay did, too. The Colts don’t play in free agency with other team’s players, but they are anything but thrifty when it comes to re-signing their own. They adhere to the philosophy that it is better to overpay for your own players with which you are familiar than to rake risks with that same amount of money for players with which you are unfamiliar and perhaps inherit other team’s problems. So, if the Colts did overpay to keep Brackett, they did so in the same way they have built and retained the team for more than a decade. In one sense, the move was a departure, because it’s well-documented that the team has allowed linebackers to leave in free agency, but in another sense – once they determined Brackett as a core player, it wasn’t a departure at all.
JC sends us this one about the Bird era in Indy. My problem with the NBA is that there is no way out of middle class hell without bottoming out. The Pacers traded a bunch of good but crazy players for a bunch of boring crappy players as continued fallout from the brawl. Finally this year, they are going to wind up with a top 5 pick (and plenty of cap space soon), so there is a way out of the mess.
Bird, president of basketball operations since 2003, is trying to make the Pacers matter again. While Johnson sits courtside at Staples Center watching his team attempt a championship repeat, Bird is above the Pacers bench at half-empty Conseco Fieldhouse wondering when his club will catch a break.
“It all happened that night in Detroit, and we’ve been fighting it ever since,’’ said Bird. “As far as losing, nobody likes to lose, especially me. I’ve been fortunate enough to be on great teams my whole career, even in college, even in high school.
“It’s been tough, but it’s part of the process. We had to get rid of some of the players and rebuild. We knew it was going to be tough, and it is.’’
The Pacers haven’t advanced to the postseason since 2006. The Brawl led them to trade Ron Artest, while Stephen Jackson, who served a 30-game suspension for his part, got into more trouble, and the Indiana fans grew tired of seeing Pacers on police blotters instead of All-Star teams. Bird has cleaned up the team’s image, but wins haven’t been part of the change.
Kravitz says O’Brein must go. It’s funny how Carlisle is having another good year in Dallas isn’t it?
Offensively, though, they’ve had their greatest decline. This used to be a fun team to watch: competitive, fluid. This year, a still life, 18th in the league in scoring.
I was absolutely floored when I read O’Brien’s recent quote in which he suggested the reason the offense was stagnant was because he didn’t have Jeff Foster distributing the ball out of the high post.
What? Your offense was built around a guy who never should have been given an extension and has been falling apart the past three years? Excuse me?
And while it’s ultimately a good thing that they’re assured of a top-five draft choice, the question is, do you really want O’Brien coaching that new player?