The Packers’ stock, the Rams experience, and NFL Thanksgiving memorabilia

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We’ve reached Thanksgiving week and, as always, the Business of Football has more than enough stories impacting the league on and off the field.

The point of view of the “stock” of the packers

The Packers staged a stock sale last week, selling 300,000 “shares” – for $ 300 each – which have no transferable value, pay no dividends, and allow the buyer nothing to say in decisions of the team. I have not experienced a sale of shares in my decade with the Packers, as there was one before and one after my time, and I am not an “owner”, although I bought shares for my sons, for $ 250 each, in the previous sell.

I already wrote in this space about the unique structure of the Packers. We, of course, did not have an owner. We had a board of directors that met quarterly and an executive committee that met monthly. And, of course, we had tens of thousands of “owner” shareholders. But as for the power of each of these groups, all I knew was that I had a great deal of autonomy in carrying out my work, autonomy that I appreciated but took seriously. The Board of Directors, Executive Committee and President have all shown great deference to football operations; their roles were much more on the administrative and commercial side. Sometimes I missed having an owner, especially in the league office relationship, but for the vast majority of the time I didn’t envy my colleagues on other teams who report to owners. My owners were quite nice.

Speaking of which, there is a strong difference of opinion on these sales between non-Packer fans and Packers fans. Non-fans wonder why someone would pay $ 300 for a piece of paper; they say it’s a trick the team is forcing on its duped fans. I’ve heard this often, but here’s the thing: these people just don’t do it to have what I have been through for a decade and continue to see every day on all my channels. Packers Nation is just different; Packers fans are a special breed.

There is no professional sports community in this country that surrounds itself with a team like the Packers fan community. When I moved to Green Bay and started looking for a house, I was amazed: most of the houses we looked at had some sort of Packers’ ‘worship room’, adorned with green carpeting – or flooring, wallpaper or paint – as well as the memorabilia team and, of course, their framed stock certificate. And for many Packers fans, this stock certificate is the most valuable thing they own.

As to whether fans are actually donating or gifting the Packers: Of course they are, and they know it. I find it interesting, however, that there isn’t the same mockery about states and municipalities “giving” or “donating” hundreds of millions of fan-backed taxpayer funds to help billionaire homeowners. the NFL in building stadiums. As a perspective, the $ 90 million the Packers raised in this process is eclipsed by the $ 800 million recently “given” by Nevada to the Raiders for stadium funding.

Are the Packers enjoying the NFL’s most loyal fan base and another spoiled by 30 years of franchise quarterback play? Of course they are, but every NFL team would if they could.

Let it come in: A small, frigid market town of 100,000 people in north-central Wisconsin has an NFL team, and one with sustained success. While their ability to compete financially is primarily due to the NFL’s equally-split media revenues and the leveling effect of the salary cap, selling shares also helps ensure that viability. The history of the Green Bay Packers is still one of the greatest in American sport.

odell-beckham-jr-rams

The great Rams experience

Last week, the Rams made the news (again) a year the news seems to find them. As they face off-the-court damaging litigation at their former St. Louis home that could result in judgment against them by the billions, they pursue what I call “the great experiment” on the ground.

Odell Beckham Jr. had his pick of teams – according to reports some of the interested teams were the Packers, Chiefs and Saints – but picked the Rams for a whopping $ 1.2 million plus incentives. A few thoughts on the player and the team: For me, Beckham is more of a name than a game, more of a celebrity than of an elite player, more of a star than of a receiver who makes the difference. The Browns, who gave up a first-round pick and starting security to acquire it a few years ago, chose to move on and couldn’t even find him a low-round pick until they made it. put on the run of the waiver, where it was not claimed. . Some have excused the teams here as not having the leeway to sign him. As I know so well, having managed a course for 10 years is nonsense: If a team really wants a player, they won’t use the cap or the money as an excuse. Teams that do this just aren’t really in the player.

As for the Rams, they’re “all in”, “win now” or whatever cliché you’d like to use. Personally, I subscribe to a more conservative team-building strategy, focused on the future and the present. If “all in” doesn’t work, “all out” won’t look pretty. The Rams scoffed at dead money – the cap representing players who are no longer on the roster – because they had two of the three highest dead money charges in NFL history, Brandin’s Cooks and Jared Goff. And, as we know, the Rams have no use for top draft picks, as they’ll be spending the next draft weekend longingly gazing at photos of Matthew Stafford and Von Miller.

After talking to a few team leaders, I know other teams, as well as league officials, are certainly watching. Rams have a lot of experience in managing membership and caps that we can all weigh the results of at the end of the year.

End too high

I first watched the Falcons last week on Thursday night football– I’m now co-streaming the games for Amazon on Twitch – and I’ve noted Kyle Pitts, the gifted Falcons tight end who was fourth pick and first non-quarterback selected in last year’s draft .

I said this about Saquon Barkley a few years ago when he was the Giants’ second pick, and I’ll say this about Pitts: he might be Rookie of the Year (Barkley was. ), but it still won’t be a good value pick.

The choice of Pitts will haunt the Falcons for years to come, and it will have nothing to do with how good Pitts is. Pitts may be a generational tight end, but will be a tight end. In my opinion, you don’t write a tight fourth end in the overall standings, no matter how talented; you don’t. And of course no one did, the previous highest pick used on this position being Mike Ditka … In 1961!

Matt Ryan has been a wonderful NFL quarterback, but his career is on the decline with a declining team, and there doesn’t appear to be a succession plan, when they could have drafted Justin Fields or Mac Jones. instead of Pitts. Fields or Jones might have been sitting a year or two behind Ryan, but they would have been set up for the future.

Like I always say (with my Green Bay past): The worst time to find a quarterback is when you need a quarterback.

Taysom’s Treasure

This summer, I inducted my inaugural class into the Football Business Hall of Fame. Since then, a few names have emerged for consideration, with one reappearing this week. Taysom Hill, the Saints’ quarterback / fullback / tight, has had mind-blowing contracts this year. Much of that has been and will be fake numbers to play games with the salary cap or to allow his agent to inflate the contract to the media. But even without the false parts of the case, Hill can still be a potential Hall of Fame member depending, of course, on how you feel about him as a player.

In March, Hill signed a deal worth, and it wasn’t a joke: $ 140 million for four years. In fact, it was a one-year contract worth $ 12 million; fake years were added for the prorated cap (they could have chosen the number $ 140 billion) and the deal was to be canceled at the end of this season. Now the Saints had to make another deal to avoid a huge load of dead money on the void (the unamortized bonus from the bogus years would accelerate). They gave Hill a somewhat creative contract – paying him considerably more if he plays the required number of quarterback snaps to be considered a quarterback (which isn’t going to happen). It’s a four-year contract with a total reported value of $ 95 million that, in reality, is likely to end up fetching him around $ 25-30 million.

If the highest numbers on those contracts – $ 140 million and $ 95 million – were real numbers, Hill would have a Sam Bradford-like bust in the Business of Football Hall of Fame. Even real numbers, however, can earn him entry into the next class.

Playing Thanksgiving: Soccer, Family, and Food

In my 10 years with the Packers, we seemed to play the Lions in Detroit at Thanksgiving an unusual number of times; I believe three that I remember. And, at least in this situation playing on a Thursday, we loved it.

Yes, preparation was limited that week, but the flight was 35 minutes long and we would have a full day of preparation on Wednesdays before we got on the plane. And here’s our Thanksgiving: Get up, go to Ford Field, play the game at 12:30 p.m. ET (usually a nice win over the Lions), then get back on the buses for the 35-minute flight home. We were all at our Thanksgiving dinners at 6 a.m. by then, with a free weekend and no obligations ahead of us.

Loved it when we played on Thanksgiving.

More NFL coverage:

• To remember from week 11: KC D takes over; Viking receivers dominate
• Jonathan Taylor entered the MVP conversation
• Magazine cover: a QB evolution and a coaching revolution
• Belichick’s 2021 almost as impressive as Brady’s in 20

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