What We Learned This Week in the NFL Offseason:
- Seattle makes Pete Carroll one of the 3 highest paid coaches in the NFL
- Chis Johnson cut by Tennessee, then trashed for his “work ethic”
- Joe Flacco excited for offseason additions to Ravens
- Offseason workouts begin for teams with new head coaches
- Steelers were bargain shopping in free agency
When a team wins a Super Bowl is almost assured that there will be a big payday for someone during that immediate offseason. In Seattle’s case it’s their head coach. The Seahawks extended Pete Carroll’s contract through the 2016 season and threw another $35 million on the pile to make things sweeter. Carroll is now one of the three highest paid coaches in the league after leading the Seahawks to the franchise’s first Super Bowl win in history. In his first season coaching the team, Carroll led them to an NFC West title in spite of their 7-9 record, back when we all referred to their division as the NFC Worst. Now, the NFC West is the top division in the NFC, quite possibly in the league based on the collective records of 2013. Carroll himself has a head coaching record of 71-57 going back to his disastrous days coaching the Jets and New England Patriots.
In a not-so-surprising move for these days, the Tennessee Titans cut their formerly top paid running back, Chis Johnson, last week after trade options dwindled and they weren’t prepared to keep paying his high salary going forward. Now there are reports that Titans officials made the move because they didn’t like his work ethic. It seems to me that it’s getting a little childish and ridiculous for teams to be going out of their ways to trash their former players after releasing them. For a team who spent the better part of a month trying to trade Johnson, I’m sure they never spoke a negative work about his work ethic then, but now as their options resulted in cutting Johnson now he’s got a bad work ethic.
Joe Flacco is experiencing the longest offseason of his NFL career after him and head coach John Harbaugh failed to make the playoffs for the first time since they both came to Baltimore. Flacco is apparently excited about the offseason additions the Ravens have made to include Steve Smith and Owen Daniels as well as the re-signing of Eugene Monroe and Dennis Pitta. Flacco must be hoping that with new additions to the offense he might not throw quite so many interceptions again. Time will tell.
The offseason workouts begin today for NFL teams with a new head coach in 2014. Washington, Detroit, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Houston and Tennessee will all open their workouts on Monday. The teams with new head coaches get a 2 week jump on the workouts. You can find the remaining schedules for the rest of the teams here.
The Steelers have signed 7 new free agents so far this offseason and they’ve done that with very little room under the salary cap. By utilizing a rule new to the CBA, which allows teams to sign veteran players to minimum contracts and get deals basically under the cap, the Steelers were able to sign Darrius Heyward-Bey, Arthur Moats, and Brice McCain to veteran minimum contracts with minimum signing bonuses. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Steelers signed their 7 outside free agents with only $8.04 million in guaranteed money. The Steelers are most likely not done in free agency either. They’ll get an increase under the cap after June 1st when LaMarr Woodley’s contract is officially released so I wouldn’t be surprised to see more moves before and after that point. Of course how it all translates to the field is yet to be determined but the Steelers have been successful, at least on paper, with changing their roster while being under the restraints of a tight salary cap.