Team: Dynasore Losers – David Slater
2014 Record: 8-5, 8th pick, defeated in the first round of the playoffs
Draft – Nelson Agholor (WR), Jameis Winston (QB), Sammie Coates (WR), Owamagbe Odighizuwa (DE)
Free Agency – none
Trade – none
Free Agency – Jonathan Stewart (RB), Joe Flacco (QB), DeAndre Levy (LB), Lewis Kendrick (S)
Trade – Sheldon Richardson (DE)
With $12 tied up in punters and kickers, the Losers have nearly three times as much money tied up in the real footballers than any other team, with three players on $3 or more, more than any other foot-based player in the league is receiving.
In 2014, the Losers clocked in 7th in punting points, more than 32 points behind Dyna Hard, the league leaders, and nearly 8 points off the league average. This obviously didn’t go down well in the corridors of Losers Central and so ace negotiators were dispatched with orders to sign Marquette King and Bryan Anger, the Hard punters in 2014, whatever the cost.That cost, as it turned out, was $6, 1% of the total cap and more than any other team is paying for their punters and kickers combined.
Anger has ranked 2nd, 1st and second in his last three years in the league, while King was 7th and then 1st in his two years so far. Loser’s GM David Slater will certainly be hoping that this level of performance continues, though both the Jaguars and the Raiders look to be improving on their performance over the last few years with better QB options and greater depth at receiver and, to a lesser extent, running back. If those offenses can get moving the points available from the punters will tail off and this move will prove to be a year too later.
Things look remarkably similar at kicker where the Losers have seen fit to offer a world record contract to Stephen Gostkowksi at $4 for 3 years with a $1 guarantee. Gostkowksi certainly represents good value for money, having finished 1st, 2nd and 1st over the past three years.
The Losers finished in 6th in terms of kicking points fielded in 2014, another 332 points off the lead where this time it was the Brees who fielded the league leading player the Losers targeted for poaching.
Justin Tucker was given only a $2 contract to back up Gostkowski and with his slowly decreasing perofrmance over the past 3 years you can see why. Tucker has fallen from 3rd to 6th to 9th amongst kickers in total points scored, and you know that the Losers won’t want to be relying on him too often.
Of course, when talking about kickers, one also has to consider what difference the rule changes will make this year. The PAT will now be taken from the 15 yard line where success drops by around 5% compared to the 2 yard line of old. That will mean fewer points available for kickers, with negatives being scored for misses. But in addition it may lead to more 2 point conversion attempts, reducing the scoring opportunities for kickers. As such, the 60 gain the Losers will have targeted may well not be available. All in all, this may have been a move made a year too later.*
There are undoubtedly some stars on this roster but a lack of depth on the offensive side of the ball may hinder the team. The defence certainly has strength but the random nature of defensive scoring means it can’t be counted on to win enough games. If the team gets the rub of the green, they could see a second consecutive run to the playoffs, otherwise it’ll be a case of looking towards the rookies developing to offer enough depth in future seasons. At the end of the day, the difference could lie in whether we see the Peter of 2013 and early 2014 or the Peter that finished 2014.
7-6 and in the mix to win the Division, but perhaps not strong enough to edge a team from Tim for a wild card. Being in the weaker Division means they could rack up enough wins there to mean results against Tim won’t matter and a playoff berth is secured, but I fear the lack of depth will result in a couple of losses due to bye weeks and a shock will come along at some point. At the end of the day they could be the number 2 seed in the playoffs by winning the Division or end up with the 4th pick in the 2016 draft.
*Fun Fact: If this move had been made last year, and if all those 64 extra points had been scored in week 14, the Losers still wouldn’t have won their playoff semi-final against the Firebirds.