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Thursday Explanations: Sticker Shock

After a couple days to think, it’s time to revisit things said in the heat of the moment.

National Average Gas Price Rises Above $3 A Gallon Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Doing a live show presents me with an infinite number of things to clean up. This week is no exception. Since pretty much everything I say is subjective, and since nobody important really cares about my opinion, there is little need to rehash every little thing. I thought two specifics were worthy of bringing back up and either clarifying...or standing by it!

As always, please join us each Tuesday night as we move into our fifth year of these crazy things called podcasts. It’s a free subscription, and I have always considered it an extension of much of the conversation that takes place on these pages. We go live around 8:30 PM EST on Thank God It’s Tuesday, the official WFT podcast of Hogs Haven. Here’s the link to this week’s show:

As I had the privilege and honor of doing the play-by-play for the NIBC Invitational last week (I sat courtside and got to watch nine of the top ten teams in the nation battle it out), we had no show last week. You may have seen some of the games on ESPN, and if you did, you heard names and saw games that will be at the pro level within the next 1-2 years. Live sports are awesome...

Aside from recapping the feel-good finish (I think an apt description) of a season that started so horribly, the main topic of the week was the obvious: quarterback. As I have been doing for over ten years on this site, I proudly provide you with ample opportunity to skewer my thoughts and opinions. Here are the two that should attract the most attention, as they most likely are splitting us down the middle in many cases. Take aim and have at it!

  1. Yes, I said I would sign Ryan Fitzpatrick. I know...but the Redbreast was so good that night! Seriously, I thought the time for us to sign Fitzmagic was a few years ago, most notably after Kirk up and left. I don’t think he will be the cheapest option, though I don’t expect him to be expensive in 2021 quarterback dollars either. If I could correct myself, I think I would argue for a cheap one-year contract on Fitzpatrick that would allow him to work with Kyle Allen and Taylor Heinicke for a season. I favor using our draft picks and salary cap space to build up the rest of the roster for one more season, even despite the FACT that it would leave us weak at arguably the most important position. Maybe I’ve just been watching too much HGTV, but giving our roster one more year of the Joanna Gaines treatment is too enticing for me to pass up. (Okay...I’ve definitely been watching too much HGTV). I am so bought-into this fixer upper and the work that Ron Rivera is doing that I feel like we could be competitive for year two of his regime with stronger parts around slightly improved quarterback play. It doesn’t seem so crazy to me to think that we could add three or even four starters out of the draft (we have those kinds of holes), and bring in a couple young, elite free agents. It’s a dicey proposition—one could argue it is more of a gamble than the gamble it would take to use all those resources on a single quarterback. So, while the idea of Fitzmagic to me is not scary, I am by no means suggesting any kind of long-term commitment to the bearded wonder. [I suppose that the above and the below are predicated on Alex Smith not returning, so keep that in mind. I am staying somewhat agnostic on that for the purpose of this debate, though I think a great result for both the Smith family and the WFT would be his retirement. That said, if he wants to play another year, that just means the miracle continues!]
  2. Yes, I did say I was taking the phone off the hook when it comes to entertaining ludicrous trade offers. That was stupid. I don’t typically close off to at least listening and I don’t think we should do that here. As for trading three first-round picks for Deshaun Watson...nope. And I LOVE Deshaun Watson. I just don’t think we are in a position right now to give up that much talent—at those rookie contract levels—for one player when we have other holes to fill. Interestingly, the price tag in terms of salary cap is not even close to being a deterrent here. We have the space, and a player like Watson being under contract for five years is hard to come by. It all comes back to the other 52 players we need to suit up. Is Watson so good that he makes all our other deficiencies vanish? Is Matthew Stafford so good (at whatever price he comes at) that he erases our weakness at linebacker or lack of depth at wide receiver and tight end? While I cannot let myself slide for being unwilling to entertain offers, I continue to be against trading it all away for Watson.

Trust me, there is no right and wrong in this debate—in this side of the debate I should say. That is, our side. It is Riverboat Ron who will be making the call, and oh boy...he could be really right or really wrong either way. As I said at the end of the show, I am not digging in on my opinion such that I will be angry if it goes the other way. Quite the opposite: my faith is firmly placed in Rivera’s decision-making. If he decides that our defense needs/deserves a Watson right now, well, then count me in.

Maybe that sounds wishy-washy to some of you, but remember, we have had men whose job it was to decide that lacked our faith. Even when they made good moves, I hated the moves, because I didn’t believe they would pan out—especially if I was against them ahead of time. Now, I am so freaking scared of giving away so much for one player, and taking on the risk of that kind of move...but if Ron goes that way, I’m going with him.

The conversation picks up there and continues each Tuesday night. Thanks for being part of it, and thanks in advance for subscribing!