The League

Emil Steiner
Editor and Blogger

Emil Steiner

The author of NFL Crime Watch and Founding Editor of The League.

Tank Away


Though players and coaches will talk about winners never quitting, the long and short of it is this: Until the NFL reforms its draft system, the best strategy for a team going nowhere this season is to put itself in position to get somewhere in the next one. How do you do that? By snatching up the best talent available.

There is no difference between 3-13 and 4-12 in terms of the playoffs; either way, you're done. But for the 1997 Indianapolis Colts losing that extra game meant all the difference. With the first pick in the 1998 draft they were able to acquire Peyton Manning. The 4-12 Chargers, who picked second, drafted Ryan Leaf, and well, remember how that worked out?

While it's true that drafting high is no guarantee of success, it is the best shot teams get at top college football players. That's why the NFL, in an attempt to maintain its Holy Grail of parity, awards the worst teams with the best picks. A team that's not making the playoffs would be well advised to bench its top players to avoid injury and tank away.

By Emil Steiner  |  October 23, 2008; 10:59 AM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Draft's a Crap Shoot | Next: Empty Tank

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