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It Doesn't Add Up

Nov 18, 2004, 2:42 AM EST

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In Paul Woody’s article in Wednesday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch, he had this rather peculiar entry

At the end of the 2001 season, the Redskins were closing in on an 8-8 record, had millions in salary-cap space for 2002 and the name they had on their drawing board at quarterback, according to an NFL source, was an unknown then, but is fairly familiar now: Jake Delhomme.

Had Delhomme been signed, the plan was to team him with running back Stephen Davis for a ball-control offense, then use the salary-cap space to rebuild the defensive line.

It’s not a bad plan. It’s essentially the same one Carolina used to win the NFC title last season.

Normally, Woody does his homework very well, but this scenario doesn’t add up. Carolina signed Delhomme after the 2002 season, the then-Saints quarterback’s fourth season in the league, the first for which he was eligible for unrestricted free agency.

The scenario that Woody paints is after the 2001 season. If Delhomme was available then–if he did have a contract that expired after that season–he would have been available as a restricted free agent. He hadn’t taken a single NFL snap at that point, and he was undrafted coming out of college, so it’s highly unlikely that Marty would have wanted to sign him as a restricted free agent and hang the team’s future on him.

If they’d planned on waiting until after ’02 to go for Jake, the “poison pill” in Davis’ contract–an unacceptably high cap number–would take effect by then, eating up any cap money that might have been spent on a D-lineman.

As I said, I like what Woody writes, but he should probably check his “NFL source” a little better here.

  1. ryan - Nov 19, 2004 at 3:00 PM

    In your article titled “it doesnt add up” you said that Delhomme never had an NFL snap prior to the 2001 season but I can recall Delhomme playing in a Christmas Eve game against Dallas in 1999. He did well in that game and he started the next game and finished the season with a little over 500 yards in 2 starts. I can remember saying to myself that it could be the rise of a new starter in New Orleans, I guess it just didn’t work out for him there. NFL.com posts his 1999 stats.

    -Skinfan1

  2. Rich Tandler - Nov 20, 2004 at 2:11 AM

    Thanks, I misread some data from the Panthers’ Website. I’ll post a correctio when I update the blog next.

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