MIAMI – Loyalty is just a mirage in sports.
We all grew up loving sports and therefore idolized a sports figure that perhaps we were fortunate to have started and ended his career with the same team. Or maybe not, however, the reality is that as time passes, it seems increasingly unlikely that this “utopia” will happen.
Many times I draw a parallel with “Corporate America”, where, sadly, as in much of society, there are fewer and fewer values and hairs are pulled out for a title that, obviously, implies a higher salary.
Luckily, I chose another line of business, where the titles do not say anything and although I understand that it is a competitive industry, that many times it is false, I always tell my wife that the same person that they see on the air is the one that my family sees at my place.
In my opinion, the values are non-negotiable, because in the long run, that is your essence, what endures and the example for your daughters.
In sports, maintaining that coherence between fiction and reality is almost impossible. In fact, there is a saying that is common knowledge among billionaires: “Don’t be loyal to me and don’t expect me to be either,” which takes us back to the sports world, specifically the Cleveland Browns.
Baker Mayfield is currently injured in his left shoulder and either way, Cleveland managed to win with Case Keenum behind center. They also didn’t have their two main running backs, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, or one of their starting offensive tackles in Jack Conklin. Nonetheless, the front line dominated from start to finish and Ernest Johnson rushed for 146 yards averaging 6.6 yards per rush.
As I’ve said a thousand times, that offensive line and that running game are Cleveland’s calling card, leading us back to Mayfield. There is no question that he is more talented than Keenum, but the question remains: Should Cleveland pay him maximum money?
The a priori answer is that it would not be advisable if they intend to aspire to a championship.
I remember wondering the same thing about Dak Prescott and in his case, he claimed that the Dallas Cowboys should pay him. In my book, Prescott is a more complete quarterback who can attack vertically if you need him, whereas in Mayfield’s case, so far he has not proven to be able to guide his team to explosive plays when they try to come from behind.
In other words, the Browns should pay maximum money only if you think your quarterback is one of the best in the league and yet the numbers show us that it is difficult to win after your quarterback occupies a high percentage of your salary cap.
In the past 15 years, only three quarterbacks on the Super Bowl-winning team have been in the top five paid at the position. Figures obtained by Ryan McCumber indicate that the last 15 Super Bowl winning quarterbacks averaged 8 percent of the league’s salary cap. To put this figure in context, the five highest-paid quarterbacks account for on average 15 percent of the salary cap.
The salary cap makes it difficult to have a full and talented roster and pay everyone when your quarterback has already cashed in on his lucrative contract extension. That is, the window of success is when your quarterback is on his rookie contract or if later in his career he accepts deferred money and less silver, as Tom Brady did throughout his career.
Agents, however, do not allow their clients to accept less money and I understand them.
Like I said before, there are exceptions, but the evidence shows that it’s strikingly harder to win when your quarterback is on a big contract.
The Los Angeles Rams think Matthew Stafford is that differential, and so when Sean McVay ran into the quarterback while on vacation, he went out of his way to convince him to go to Hollywood. Then the loyalty with Jared Goff ended, Stafford arrived and time will tell if they can reach the maximum goal.
The Godfather would say, “It’s not personal, it’s business,” a quote that brings us back to the Browns, who have had 31 different quarterbacks since 1999. Standards have been so low, Mayfield was a breeze of fresh air, but with Kevin Stefansi at the helm and a talented roster, those expectations have changed and don’t get me wrong, I like Mayfield, but I don’t think paying him $ 40 million a season is a winning formula.
There is less and less time for the Browns to make a crucial decision for the future of their franchise. In case you were wondering, the five quarterbacks with the greatest impact on their respective teams’ salary cap in 2021 are Kirk Cousins, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Jimmy Garoppolo and Ben Roethlisberger.
It will be interesting to see what happens, but history shows us that loyalty and success in sport don’t always go hand in hand.
To address the seriousness of the matter, I share with you THE BEST DECEPTION PLAYS BETWEEN 2010 AND 2020.
* Home teams are second
As I always say, it is never good to play every game. In other words, there are some that are best missed. Therefore, I decided to add this section, to publicize my six favorite teams with a bet line. Opinions are welcome, since the idea is to add an attribute that is beneficial to readers. The order of the teams is not accidental and the predictions do not affect the total statistics.
1-SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
2-LOS ANGELES RAMS
4th NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
SUICIDE POOL ‘ELIMINATING CHALLENGE’
There are many of us who are in this type of competition. In this case, the bet line does not matter. Just do not repeat any equipment throughout each week. Of course, these forecasts will not affect the overall statistics either. In parentheses, the teams chosen so far.
FIXED WITH BET LINE
At the request of many, we add the landline with a line from Week 11 of 2013.
1-SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
I have always said that I am not a fan of teasers, since they come from the word tempt and are called “sucker bets”, but, at the request of several of the readers, we added this section. Here, as there are three teams, the line is modified by 6 points, but you must hit all three to collect. Below, I name the three teams with the altered lines in parentheses.
1-NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (+11 and a half)
2-GREEN BAY PACKERS (+12 and a half)
3-KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-4 and a half)
OVER / UNDER
At the request of several of the readers, we include an entry and exit match for each week.
1-ALTAS DE DOLPHINS-BILLS (48 and a half)
2-LOWS OF STEELERS-BROWNS (44 and a half)
Total statistics (With + Without + Teaser + Additions and Discharges): 147-88
With Bet Line: 66-41 (7-6)
Without Bet Line: 71-36 (6-7)
Surprise of the Week (no line): 4-3 (0-1)
Fixed of the Week (no line): 7-0 (1-0)
Fixed of the Week (with line): 5-2 (0-1)
Power 6 (with line): 25-17 (2-4)
Teaser 3: 3-4 (0-1)
Ups and downs: 7-7 (1-1)
Suicide Pool (no line): 7-0 (SF, CLE, DEN, BUF, NWE, LAR, ARI)
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