Friday, March 16, 2012

The Follies Of Big Free Agent Acquisitions

As has been expected for quite some time now the Ti-Cats have released Stevie Baggs. It’s hardly a surprising move since Baggs’ production came nowhere close to justifying his ridiculously large contract. To put things in perspective, his five sacks put him on the same level as the pass rushing force that was Barrin Simpson last season. Ironically neither played in the conference semi-finals (though for drastically different reasons).  Word is Baggs was making $150K per season. I want to know who Baggs’ agent is because I would hire him on the spot. He is clearly a miracle worker since Baggs has never been worth anything close to that price. So it’s pretty much a no brainer: Big Salary + Limited Production = Cut. I’m really just surprised they waited this long to pull the trigger.

It got me thinking about the whole idea of the big free agent signing. Baggs now joins a growing list of former Riders who bolted during free agency for crazy money only to wind up unemployed a short time later. Omarr Morgan did it and missed out on a well deserved Grey Cup ring. Mo Lloyd did it and is now back here working for close to league minimum. Ever our own forays into big money FA acquisitions have failed (cough Dominique Dorsey cough).

Even looking at other teams, very few of the big money FA acquisitions tend to work out. The player rarely gets kept around for the full contract they signed and the team that signs them rarely if ever succeeds. The teams that seem to succeed are the ones that avoid big FA signings such as BC, Montreal and the Riders under Tillman.

Such of the more memorable signings whose massive hype were equaled only by the massive failure that ensued.

-       Edmonton made a habit of throwing huge money at defenders each offseason (Omarr Morgan, Stanford Samuels, Mo Lloyd). Not surprisingly it did not fix their defense and did not get them into the playoffs.
-       Edmonton also made a big deal out of the FA signing of Jesse Lumsden and the press conference lasted longer than Lumsden’s playing time.
-       Toronto has made their fair share of big money signings. They lured Ricky Foley away from BC, they made Rob Murphy the highest paid OL in the league and look how far that got them. They should maybe have invested some of that money in a QB or wide receiver.
-       Hamilton is by far the worst offender when it comes to blowing their wad in free agency. The list is almost embarrassing: the aforementioned Stevie Baggs, Avon Cobourne, Sandro DeAngelis, Kenton Keith and Casey Printers... all $500,000 of him.

The sad thing about Hamilton is that rather than learn from their mistakes they are continuing on as crazy as ever throwing big money at Andy Fantuz and Martell Mallett. I guess time will tell whether it will work this time around.

Of course the Riders would never throw huge money at an FA acquisition would they? :)


Ronbo the Riderfan said...

The only free agent I can think of off hand, who continued to excel with his new team(s) was Doug Flutie.

Perhaps you can think of a few more.

Rider Prophet said...

Yeah Flutie but he's kinda the exception to every rule.

In terms of other people the few I can think of are:
- Ben Archibald (jumping from Cal to BC)
- Anton McKenzie did alright for himself in BC but it took a couple years for that to work out.
- I guess Burris jumping from Sask to Calgary would have to be considered a success.

That's all I can really think of off the top of my head.

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