Urban Meyer excelled as a college football coach in large part because he excelled as a recruiter. He’s not pleased that those skills of persuasion aren’t transferable to the NFL.
On Friday, Meyer complained about a frenetic free-agency process that hinges solely on throwing money at players once the so-called legal tapering period begins at noon ET on a Monday.
“Yeah, that was awful,” Meyer said, via Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. “I don’t agree with it but no one asked my opinion.”
Not, they didn’t. Meyer sought employment in the NFL, where that’s just the way it is. And so he accepted that, along with anything/everything else about the NFL that he may or may not agree with. While he has the right to complain publicly and/or privately about anything he doesn’t like about the league, few will listen to him, at least for now.
“I guess in the old days you could bring them in and meet them, have dinner with them, you find out the football intellect, find out their character,” Meyer added regarding the way things used to be, before the 52-hour period for talking only to player agents.
Actually, in the old days, the same thing happened: The best deals were done quickly, based on money. Rarely, a star player (like Reggie White and Peyton Manning) could slam the brakes on the process without the process moving on without him. In most cases, any player who agrees to visit a team before either side makes a decision sees all of his other viable options evaporate.
The process forces both sides to move quickly, and it compels player and team to recite vows before even meeting. It has led to disasters that were largely unavoidable, like when the Texans signed quarterback Brock Osweiler sight unseen.
“I don’t believe it should be that way,” Meyer said. “Not when you’re making organizational decisions. I’m not sure how that rule came about but to me that’s not good business.”
That rule that Meyer thinks isn’t good for business didn’t keep Meyer from doing business that way. The Jaguars were very active when it came to signing new players.
And, of course, Meyer has now set up the excuse he’ll use publicly and/or privately in the event that those players fail. He can say that he wouldn’t have signed those players if he had a chance bring them in and meet them, have dinner with them, find out their football intellect, find out their character.