Earlier in the season I made a post asking if people would be interested in starting a competition here at Buffalo Rumblings where the fans put together offseason plans as if they were Buffalo's owner/GM. Since there was some interest indicated in the poll and I've seen a few mock drafts coming out, I think now's as good a time as ever to begin this contest! (Plus, with only one week left in the season, if we wait any longer, coaches may be fired and players may be hired. We need to keep a certain level of uncertainty!)
Between now and Sunday, 12/30/2012 at midnight, put together a plan for the Buffalo Bills to do in the 2013 offseason. You can include free agent re-signings and signings, a mock draft, and even coaching changes if you'd like. Here are specific rules:
Title the post with any title you like, but include the letters BROP in brackets like so: [BROP] - this allows us to easily identify which are the serious contest entries.
At the end of your fanpost, Attach A Poll asking people to grade your proposal, using the following grading scale: A, B, C, D, F. The results of the fanpost poll will be used to determine the finalists for the contest.
You must fit your team's salaries within the 2013 Salary Cap floor and ceiling. As described in the FOU: Salary Cap article, Buffalo's salary cap can be anywhere between $120.6 million (floor of $107.1 million) and $129.85 million (floor of $115.3 million).
You can re-sign any of Buffalo's pending free agents, and choose to tender any Restricted Free Agents that you don't wish to give full contracts to. You are allowed to franchise tag up to one player. Again, if you would like more information about specific free agency rules, the FOU: Free Agency article can help explain things.
You can sign any number of unrestricted free agents from other teams. When signing any free agents, try to find a contract
Submit a mock draft with your offseason proposal. For the sake of commonality, these are the picks I am granting Buffalo for the draft. I am keeping the draft order identical to where it is before week 17's games. Thanks to tiebreakers, Buffalo's spot shifts around a bit:
First round: #6 overall (1600 points)
Second round: #41 overall (490 points)
Third round: #72 overall (230 points)
Fourth round: #103 overall (88 points)
Fifth round: #134 overall (39 points)
Sixth round: #169 overall (23.8 points)
Seventh round: #234 overall (Compensatory pick, untradeable)
Trades are, of course, allowed and maybe even encouraged. You can trade any player under contract in 2013 and any pick from the first six rounds of the draft, for any player on another team who is under contract in 2013 or any non-compensatory pick from the other team. To see the current NFL draft order, check out Mocking the Draft. Remember that, in future rounds, teams that have the same record rotate through picks. Meaning that, since the Chiefs and Jaguars are both 2-13, the Chiefs pick first due to Strength of Schedule, but the Jaguars pick first in the second round due to rotating picks. Then the Chiefs rotate to first again for the third round. Et cetera.
Here is a link to a list of all free agents in 2013. Some are ERFA's (off limits to Buffalo). Some are RFA's (off limits unless Buffalo gives up a draft pick for them). Most are UFA's (up for grabs):
This is a list of Buffalo's unrestricted free agents this year, according to Rotoworld:
This is a table of Buffalo's restricted free agents this year and the round they were drafted in:
|Player Name||Round drafted in|
|Chad Rinehart||3rd round|
If you need help knowing what is a good contract to sign a player to, think about another player you consider to be similar to that one, and sign your guy to an equal contract. For example, if you think Jairus Byrd is the best Free Safety available right now, look for one of the top free safety contracts that was signed recently (like Eric Weddle) and sign Byrd to a contract with similar parameters. The sites Rotoworld and Spotrac can help you with that info (searching Player Name Contract in Google also helps).
Here is a link to the Trade Value Chart for evaluating pick-for-pick trades. Remember that this was developed by coach Jimmy Johnson and is actually used in the NFL, so this is a great guideline for trading. Also keep in mind the concept of future discount when planning out trades - A pick in a later draft is usually discounted by about one round - a first round pick in 2014 is only as valuable as a second round pick in 2013.
Looking for draft-eligible players? Here are a few sites that can help you find potential draftees:
NFLDraftScout - CBS's site, which does a great job of aggregating information about the draft-eligible players.
Mocking the Draft - SB Nation's draft HQ. They are tracking which juniors have declared for the draft, and I trust the evaluations of Dan Kadar more than most other online draftniks out there. Plus the community is very intelligent.
BuffaloBillsDraft - Another draft site which focuses on the Bills specifically. I don't agree with all of their prospect evaluations, but they do a great job of amassing scouting reports.
YouTube - Look for the channels JMPasq, JPDraftJedi, and JmpasqDraftjedi. Run by the same guy, these channels collect game film of NFL prospects. JM's videos are uncut, not highlight reels, so they show both the good and the bad plays, allowing you to get a good sense of a player's ability.
I don't have any references for coaching staffs out there, but keep in mind you probably won't be able to hire away any coaches who are already head coaches of other NFL teams. Anyone else is pretty much fair game. If you want to fire Buddy Nix and install a new GM as well, go ahead, but keep that same thought process in mind. Either promote from within or take someone lower down from another Front Office.
Evaluating the winners
The main way to determine the best BROP will be through the polls attached to each fanpost. The plans will be voted on by the community, and the best aggregate grades in the time after the contest ends will be declared finalists. Then one more fanpost will be made by myself, with a poll to have the Rumblers vote on the best BROP out of the THREE finalists. The BROP receiving the most votes is the winner, and gets absolutely nothing except kudos for being a popular GM.
Create a fanpost with [BROP] in the title and a poll with answers of A, B, C, D, and F attached to be eligible.
Include mock drafts, trades, re-signings, free agent signings, and even coaching changes and front office changes if you'd like. Feel free to explain your thought process behind what you're doing, and if there is a central theme to your plan (make the playoffs in 2013, build a Super Bowl Dynasty franchise) then talk us through it.
Be realistic, sign your players to realistic contracts, but have some fun. Ron, this is your chance to throw in about 15 trades for 30 picks! Obviously it's way too early to know what the offseason will go like, but this is a good way to let off steam and "play GM" for a bit after another disappointing season. Let's do this!