Before you “huh?” you better check Vernon and Branch’s stats again. Why the hell would you overpay “potential” and not your future hall of famers? Yes market value is inflated, which is why you keep the best players in the league on your roster so you don’t have to desperately overpay mediocre or unknown variables to fill holes! Check the best rosters in the league. The 6 to 8 top players take about $85 million or half the teams salary.
2016 $13.00 million Sacks 8.5 Tackles 46 Assists 18 FF 1
2017 $16.00 million Sacks 6.5 Tackles 23 Assists 14 FF 2
2016 $2.75 million Sacks 5.5 Tackles 27 Assists 22 FF 2
2017 $5.00 million Sacks 4.5 Tackles 12 Assists 11 FF 0
If my math is correct, that's 15 sacks vs 10 sacks...a difference of 2.5 sacks/year average. Branch might have been less productive, but not by much, especially considering snap count. Branch was in a situational pass rush rotation (53% of defensive snaps), whereas Vernon is a starter (only 63% of defensive snaps) with a difference of over $22 million (Vernon has been 4x more expensive than Branch in these past two years) for that minimal difference in production. Talk about overpaying players, Vernon is a prime example. There is an out for both franchises in 2019, which I'd expect both NY and Miami will be taking, considering Vernon has not lived up to his contract and Miami having addressed the position with younger talent. In no way am I a big fan of Branch, but I think that right move was made in regards to signing him and letting Vernon walk. Just using the example that was originally posted.
2016 $1.67 million Rec 42 Yards 726 Avg 17.3 TD 9 Long 74
2017 $3.75 million Rec 58 Yards 847 Avg 14.6 TD 6 Long 61
2016 $3.33 million Rec 65 Yards 945 Avg 14.5 TD 9 Long 60
2017 $6.33 million Rec 53 Yards 795 Avg 15.0 TD 4 Long 75
Based off the other comparison made...but again, similar production, but half the cost. Stills was the better investment for the long haul, hence his extension last year. Not to mention, he is younger by 3 years.
But back to point of topic (Wilson), this is the time of year that all players get overpaid. I don't love the contract (pending specifics), but I like the signing. It just happens to be, or what seems to be going rate for WR's, especially considering the market. The silver lining here is that its a 3 year deal, and not a 5 year deal some of the others available guys are wanting or demanding. Seeing the contracts other "big name" free agents are getting this offseason, Landry should be licking his chops and using these signings as a floor to his contract. If Sammy Watkins is getting avg of $16 million/year, Landry will definitely be using that as a bargaining tactic when negotiating his new contract with Cleveland. Hall of Famer or not, I dont think/want the Phins paying close to $20 million/year on one slot receiver. I hate to see him go to another team, to lose the passion and drive he brought to the team, but there's other players
that can fill his role...may not be the athlete he was, may not mean as much to the team as he did, my not play with the passion he brought, but will be way more affordable.
The best rosters may have the top 6 to 8 players consuming half the cap, but those teams also know when trade or cut a talented player or let them test free agency when their contract demands are too high.