There’s a largely unspoken secret among those who own successful NFL teams. They like it when owners who don’t really know what they’re doing join the club.
That’s likely not the case in Denver. Although former Wal-Mart CEO Rob Walton doesn’t yet know how to properly pronounce the name of the sport’s Commissioner, Walton and his family have shown that they know how to build a successful business.
Raiders owner Mark Davis doesn’t believe it will matter.
“They don’t play in the games,” Davis said, via Mike Klis of 9News.com. “And I thought the Bowlens were a strong ownership group. I thought they did a really good job. They were tough. The AFC West is tough.”
Even though the don’t play in the games, they can affect the games. Bad owners can dysfunction up the entire operation. They meddle (while desperately trying to create the impression that they aren’t), they hire the wrong people, they fire the right people, they become obsessed with the wrong players, they have no one around them who can tell them that they’re about to screw everything up.
Apart from owners making bad decisions about the persons to whom the franchise will be entrusted, some owners have cash-flow issues. Some, like the new Broncos ownership, don’t.
That becomes a factor in the competition for free agents. If one team is offering $100 and can pay it all now and another team is offering $100 with $20 now, $20 in six months, $20 in a year, and the other $40 even later, which offer would you take? That disparity can force the team that can’t pay it all now offer more total dollars, creating greater cap consequences.
And the’s the easiest way for teams to stand out from competitors. Cash now, not later. Also, the ability to fully guarantee a contract (and to put millions in escrow) becomes a bonus, too.
Thus, while owners don’t play in the games, they pay the people who do. The more willing and able they are to pay cash now and not later, the better equipped they’ll be to attract better players. Which is bad news for the rest of the AFC West.