What is the most dysfunctional NFL Franchise now?

It looks like the Houston Texans have moved to the top of the list. In the past we talked about the Washington Football Team formerly known as the Deadskins and the Detroit Lions. JimToo knows the latter well, but even Matthew Stafford never asked for a trade in his prime like DeShaun Watson has.

This is the first time I can remember a star quarterback in his prime demanding a trade one year after signing a big-time extension. I can’t say that I blame him for wanting out of that clown show. Although, as this article discusses well, DeShaun Watson is not totally blameless:

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Stafford has asked for a trade and they’ve basically wasted his career. Washington still has Snyder, so still a shit show.

They made the playoffs, but I’m not ready to take Cleveland off the dysfunctional list.

Stafford is 33. Watson is 26. Stafford gave his best years to the Lions. Watson wants out of Houston with his best years ahead of him and one year after signing a big contract with the organization. The Lions have been a clown show, but even they didn’t have something like that happen to them.

Of course, during the Matt Millen era the Lions had the title of worst-run organization hands-down.

Houston probably is at the top of he list.
They literally had everything they needed to succeed.
Watson is a young, talented QB, their defense was stellar and they had money to put talent around Watson.

I fully expect Stafford to be traded and I cannot blame him at all. He’s an excellent QB and wants to be on a contending team, but the Lions have been rebuilding since 1957. The Lions never gave him a quality O-line and he had the crap beaten out of him over the years. He had few quality running backs and was the focus of most plays. Yet, he didn’t complain.

I’ve seen reports that 9-10 teams have contacted the Lions about Stafford and that he is worth at least one 1st round pick plus likely more. I hope that whatever happens works out for all. Having followed the Lions since watching them on snowy b&w TV because home games were not televised and seeing play in the snow before a half empty Tiger Stadium, however, I will not be surprised at all if they find a way to screw it all up.

I think the bench mark for screwing up a trade involving a quarterback is what the Colts got for John Elway in 1983.

I was just reading a story on that. Apparently, Unitas wanted the Colts to draft Marino instead. Elway was better, but at least they’d have had a good QB with Marino.

I never heard that. I remember that Marino’s stock went down after his senior year at Pitt and that he was not rated as highly as Elway.

I do remember reading some other things. I recall one article talking about how Elway was about to talk with the Colts shortly after the draft, meaning that perhaps he was pragmatic and knew that he didn’t have quite as much leverage as he thought. Then again, that statement applied to any competent organization, which the Colts were not at that time. They way that Robert Irsay handled that whole thing showed that and pretty much validated Elway’s desire not to play for them.

PricePerformer and I used to disagree on this on the old CHB. He was living in Baltimore at the time and did not think much of Elway’s decision. I remember him saying he did not like Elway’s ethics. I said that the Colts had a moron as an owner and a tyrant (Frank Kush) as a coach and had been a clown show for several years and that any sane person would have done anything to avoid playing for them.

Of course one difference here is that Elway was just a draft pick. Watson signed a contract with the Texans last year, which he did on his own free will. Still, the Texans have botched everything since, and if I were Watson I would want out of there too.

Counter this with how the Chargers handled the Eli Manning draft/trade.
You could argue that the Giants got the better end of the deal because Eli won two Super Bowls, but I would say that Rivers was a better overall QB than Manning.

For the record, in exchange for Elway, the Colts received:

  1. Offensive lineman Chris Hinton, whom the Broncos had selected in the same 1983 draft
  2. Back-up quarterback Mark Hermann
  3. Denver’s first-round pick in the 1984 draft, which became offensive lineman Ron Solt

Of course had Elway actually signed with the Colts the Baltimore fans may have had to watch him lead the Indianapolis Colts to the Super Bowl. As it was, they got to watch that franchise flounder in Indianapolis for most of its early years there after bailing out of Baltimore in the middle of the night.

This begs the question, would have Elway been Elway in Baltimore?
Many people in KC bemoan that Albert Pujols played High School baseball right down the road. But at the time the Royals minor league system was such a train wreck that he almost surely wouldn’t have developed like he did in the Cardinals system.

When I say that he might have led the Indianapolis Colts to the Super Bowl, I am being mostly sarcastic. I am also pointing out that even in the best case for the franchise had transpired it would have happened in Indianapolis. My point: the ire of the Baltimore fans should have been directed at Irsay, not Elway.

With Robert Irsay as owner that franchise was a total mess, and I doubt Elway could have made it any better. It wasn’t until Robert Irsay passed on and his son took over that things got better.

Edit: For more on how that franchise could not get anything right then, go back to the 1981 season. The Colts opened with a win over the Patriots and then lost fourteen straight. They seemed to be on-track for the number one pick, except that the Patriots were also having a lousy season and entered the final week with a record of 2-13. The Colts and Patriots played again in that final week and the Colts won, giving both teams a record of 2-14. Since the Colts had beaten the Patriots twice, the Patriots finished lower in the standings and got the number one pick. (At the end of the day it did not matter that much. The Patriots took lineman Kenneth Sims and the Colts took linebacker Johnnie Cooks, neither of which made any type of historical impact.)

Then, the Colts followed-up that season doing even worse. This time they went winless at 0-8-1 in the strike-shortened 1982 season, with a tie with Green Bay keeping them from a perfect 0-9 season. This time they got the number one pick overall, which they used on Elway. The rest is history.

It’s hard to know, but the Broncos teams Elway played for weren’t loaded with talent. He didn’t have a pro-bowl wideout for at least a decade (remember any of the Three Amigos?) and his OL was crappy. The defense literally had the “bend but don’t break” philosophy. Plus, even with all his talent, Dan Reeves was very conservative with the offense. Still, he took them to three SBs, where they lost. With more talent (Davis and a great OL), he went to two more, which he won.

If he really believed this when he took the Texans head coaching job, he is an idiot.

So what do you think of the trade they made with the Rams? I think the Lions did pretty well for themselves.

The lions put themselves in a great position, now let’s see if they can capitalize.

I just read about it. 2-#1 and a #3 is good, unless, of course, the Rams win everything and the #1s are more like 2s. I don’t know anything about Goff, and his stats indicate a couple of pretty good years and a couple of mediocre years. If he can be an effective starter, it might be the best deal the Lions have done in some time. Many thought they would draft a QB, now I don’t know.

I’m a little confused, maybe someone who follows closer can enlighten me.

Stafford is good, but isn’t Goff good too? And younger? Heck, even younger, Goff has more playoff experience. How does Stafford justify so much compensation?

A lot of people think Goff is good because of the system he is in and his surrounding cast.
Stanford is good in spite of a the system and surrounding cast

Yeah and I see Goff had 13 interceptions this year. Still seems like a lot.