Fielding a competitive team in the NFL is incredibly hard, no matter how many good teams there are in the NFL, and front offices should not push their luck. Colin Cowherd made a great point on The Herd recently.
He said that trying to become happier than happy is simply the wrong way to go about things, and if I’m not mistaken this was within a discussion about the Raiders’ essentially moving on from Derek Carr before the 2022 season even finished.
You see, finding a quarterback in the NFL is perhaps the hardest thing to do in sports, but more generally, fielding a competitive team with as much parity as the league currently has is also incredibly difficult.
NFL teams should keep Cowherd’s points in mind. Trying to become happier than happy when it comes to roster building is not the way to go. This could lead to teams trying to pursue unrealistic upgrades to a certain position, or, perhaps not even being able to replicate what they currently had.
Example: Lamar Jackson.
The contract talks between him and the Baltimore Ravens seem to be going nowhere. The Ravens apparently don’t want to fork over what Jackson wants, likely in terms of guaranteed money. However, the Ravens could ask themselves a simple question to fix this situation and extend one of the most electrifying players in NFL history.
Does Lamar Jackson make us, as a front office and team, happy?
Let’s not over think this, of course he does. He’s 45-16 as a starter with multiple 1,000 rushing yard seasons and an MVP trophy. If the Ravens and Jackson cannot come to an agreement, he’d likely be traded at some point, but what are the odds that the Ravens would be able to find someone even in the same stratosphere as Jackson?
Same goes for Derek Carr. He’s been consistently solid for the Raiders for almost a decade and would make a handful of other teams better. From an outsider’s perspective, he should make a team happy given he’s a solid quarterback.
Are the Raiders so sure that, by moving on from Carr, they’ll be able to find someone not only at his level, but better?
NFL teams should be careful and stick to the idea of not trying to become happier than happy. It’s extremely hard to field a competitive team in this league, in my opinion.