What’s a Catch? The NFL 2018 Offseason Thread

I know, I know, it’s been less than a month since one of the superbest of Superb Owls, but there’s still plenty to talk about in NFL world, right?

Firstly, a lot of people seem to be getting pretty angry about an AFC Championship Game quarterback getting a new contract

Then there’s free agency, the draft, and franchise tag goodness to discuss and clog to until our lives can begin again in September. Plus the bizzarre arrests are usually worth a chuckle (excluding the more heinous crimes, obviously)

However, the thing that’s really caught my attention is the NFL rule change committee’s decision to consider changing defensive pass-interference to a 15-yard penalty.

Of course this is by no means guaranteed, but in my humble honest opinion it would be extremely stupid. Anyone got some evidence to change my mind?

Is this thing on?

I saw that about the PI 15 yarder. I think it’s stupid and is more geared toward helping defences and penalises offenses who want to try a long pass. If it goes through, as a defender, if you think you’re gonna get beat, you just push the guy to the ground and take the 15 yarder, rather than the huge gain that the offense would get previously.

I was a bit surprised by Bortles getting a contract extension. I thought they would have gone on the option for a year and see if they can repeat the success or if Bortles would weigh them down next season.

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I’m not really fussed by the PI change if it happens. It’s so often called wrong, which I think in part is due to refs being concerned about the impact the penalty has. If you think DBs would be primed to deliberately commit PI to save big catches, do you think they’re currently set up to commit deliberate PI in the end zone to avoid giving up touchdowns? I don’t think it really happens. If anything, I think this will help offences in the long run, especially if refs are more likely to throw the flag. Every third down you can throw a long pass, daring the DB to allow the pass for a big gain or commit PI and give up the first down.

Loads of odd-looking decisions going on at the moment.

Chiefs trading Marcus Peters to the rams seems very bizarre, he’s on a cheap first contract and they’re getting something like a 4th rounder this year, 2nd rounder next year. He must have really pissed some people off.

Redskins trading for Alex Smith is fine, except they already had Kirk Cousins and didn’t like him. Don’t get it.

Vikings have Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater and Case Keenum already in the building and familiar with the scheme/coaching, so apparently they’re going to ditch that lot and go after Cousins? I know they’ll be free agents and will want a lot of money, but not as much as Cousins. @colonel_getafe?

And yeah. Bortles. A good playoff performance can really get a mediocre QB a big deal and handicap a franchise for a few years, huh? cough, flacco, cough

Hiya, I’m not really sure how I feel about it. On the one hand Cousins is a very good statistical passer and in a DeFillipo offense (love that hire by the way) he should be great, especially with that surrounding talent. On the other hand, he’ll be very expensive and my love for Teddy Bridgewater is such that I want to see him given a chance. He won’t ask for much money in the short term, and I think there are some competent backups out there if they’re worried about his knee. Trevor Siemian is appealing as a guy with potential upside.

I would rather they signed Bridgewater to a medium term, team-friendly deal, signed Siemian and used the Cousins money to beef up the surrounding talent even more. I like the idea of keeping Kyle Fuller in the NFC North as an upgrade over Trae Waynes.

I haven’t even mentioned Bradford, celebrity knee doctor James Andrews recently gave him the all clear and he was unreal in his last healthy appearance. It’s altogether quite strange that a team that has historically struggled for starting QBs now has three on the roster and doesn’t want to keep any of them.

edit: I meant to say, I still don’t really buy into Cousins even though he looks great on paper. Don’t know why.

It’s really odd, isn’t it. You thought they would have kept either Bridgewater or Keenum who have kinda proved themselves in their scheme. Or is it that they think Bridgewater is more damaged than they’ve let on and that Keenum’s season was a fluke?

This won’t handicap them at all. It free up some cap space now so they can go all in for the next couple of years with the defence and some more offensive talent, while still not giving Bortles all that much more money. He’ll still be underpaid compared to true franchise QBs - if he’s above average, it’ll be a steal. If he goes back to being a total fucking liability, they’ll be spending more than they like, but by no means breaking the bank.

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Yes, I’m not an expert on contracts (because they’re usually quite boring) but to me this seems like a smart piece of business by the jags.

Not sure there would have been much point swinging for the fences with cousins now when you can have continuity with a QB who is actually performing reasonably well of late, and who only needs to be mediocre for the team to potentially be a conference contender.

I think if you watched Keenum closely this year there were still a couple of plays a game that were ‘what were you thinking’ moments. I think he could go on good runs like that again but it really was a perfect situation for him, and he’s shown in the past he can’t do it in a less good situation.

The Vikings know better than anybody how Teddy’s knee is, so it’s up to them to decide really. At this point I do trust Rick Spielman to make the right call, he’s been one of the better personnel guys in the league since I’ve been following them.

Going to try to keep up with it properly this season. Always had a weird ignorance of American sports, but started to see the attraction over recent months, partly after seeing some of the 30 for 30 documentaries, partly because the BBC’s coverage feels so accesible to the new fan, and partly because i knew which side of the Trump nonsense i wanted to be on.

Don’t understand most of it still despite reading a fair bit, but it’s fun to learn. It’s a bit fast for me, to be honest, but getting used to it. Thought the best team won it last season. Quite enjoyed Jacksonville in the play-offs, the Buffalo snow game, Todd Gurley.

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Have you picked a team yet?

Decided it’s best to stay neutral (beyond disliking the Pats, obviously). Probably enjoy watching Pittsburgh the most. No real link or anything, but find Brown and Big Ben good value and think the stadium and colours are quite cool.

Think you’ve still got some research to Do, sorry


Is he quite unpopular?

This is the bit I meant really with the handicap, it’s not so much the cost with QBs being just… really expensive whatever you do, rather that it shows they have committed to him almost regardless of how he plays. And for the record, I believe he sucks loud and long.

To be fair though, Flacco probably isn’t really a great comparison, his contract was a proper franchise-choker. Bortles’ is just a lot to pay a bad player (imo).

Agree, I don’t think he’s very good and there’s every chance he’s the reason they fail to win a Super Bowl when the rest of the team is capable. But they can still find a rookie they like, maybe even add someone like Keenum or something if needs be.

Vikings last season were a Championship calibre team without a Championship calibre QB. It’d be a total waste of the team they’ve assembled to go with one of the QB’s they have at the moment.

Keenum - Hasn’t got the talent, has his health.
Bradford - Got the talent, isn’t healthy.
Bridgewater - Does he have the talent? Is he healthy?

They’ve got the cap room, Cousins has the talent, he’s healthy… makes total sense because QB is probably the missing piece for that team.

If Cousins does go to the Vikes, does that make the NFC North the most QB heavy division in the league?

Rodgers, Stafford and Cousins… only rival might be the NFC South with Brees, Ryan and Newton.

Surprised i’ve never read about that. Who are the other definite twats i should keep an eye out for?

Without knowing about the off-the-pitch stuff, he just struck me as someone who was, win or lose, always involved. Remember the Steelers being involved in a few tight, high-scoring games last season, or at other times him having absolute mares. A bit like, say, the England rugby union team, Liverpool, or Amir Khan, the Steelers seem, well, as i say, good value one way or the other.