Well, we knew that already. But a lot of people apparently didn't.
We've seen Elway criticized for having signed Aqib Talib, for having given him $57M total (ZOMG) and $26M in guarantees (ZOMG!!), for not having gotten Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for cheaper, and for not having gotten Darrelle Revis instead of either one.
The haughtiest garbage out there involved Bill Belichick somehow having outsmarted Elway.
Naturally, there are a few problems with these criticisms.
First, they require an assumption that whatever Denver ended up doing was their plan all along.
Second, they are gut reactions (lower case) that rely upon purely superficial information, including the bullshit notion of guaranteed money.
Third, there's always a lot more to each story, and that's not even talking about numbers.
Conveniently, Mike Florio penned a column today that addresses all of this in one neat little package.
Here are Florio's key points:
- DRC turned down an offer of $54M over six years from Denver.
- Denver made Revis the same offer that Talib ended up taking. Obviously, he declined, because he knew he was worth $12m/year, as we've written here.
- Hey, guess what?! Talib didn't get $26M in guarantees!
And some thoughts on each:
- Probably, DRC should be firing his agent right about now, for having grossly misread the market. Or, he should fire his agent for having let Dominique turn down the offer over his protestations. Either way, someone wasn't fulfilling their fiduciary duty.
- Does anyone really think Elway believes Talib to be better than Revis? Would he be even remotely good at his job if that were the case? No, and no. Obviously, he can never admit this publicly, but as always, actions speak louder than words.
- Here's what we wrote on Tuesday night, minutes after news of the Talib deal broke: "We'll be interested to see how much of that $26M is fully guaranteed (our guess is around half)." Yeah, I just quoted myself. Sorry, couldn't resist.
Indeed, Talib actually got only $11.5M in full guarantees, in the form of his 2014 salary. That's 44% of what has been widely reported, over and over.
His 2015 ($5.5M) and 2016 ($8.5M) salaries are guaranteed for injury only, meaning the Broncos will be able to cut Talib without significant cap penalty after each of the next five seasons.
In essence, Denver signed Talib to a one-year deal worth $11.5M, and has five one-year team options beyond that.
Oh, and it turns out that Revis didn't really sign a one-year, $12M deal either. There's a team option worth $20M in 2015, meaning that Revis will again either get to be a free agent, or pull down a ridiculous salary.
New England's only modicum of control over Revis beyond this year will involve paying him more than either Peyton Manning or Tom Brady will make that season.
Again, as usual, Revis gets his way. He'll likely again be a free agent, free to pick his next team and again be the league's highest paid corner.
Sure, it's too bad the Broncos don't have Revis.
But it's not for a lack of trying, and no, they didn't have to overpay Aqib Talib as a result.
The Broncos are still an NFL overdog, and nobody dictates to John Elway.
In case you forgot.