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How Do General Managers Balance The Free Agency Frenzy?

Posted Mar 10, 2014

Intro: The 2014 free agency period will officially get underway tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. EST. How does a general manager deal with the delicate balance of attacking free agency?



INDIANAPOLIS – While the Colts have already made some significant moves this offseason, the 2014 free agency period officially gets underway at 4:00 p.m. EST tomorrow afternoon.

Free agency is a delicate process and one general managers are critiqued on from every angle.

Over the last three days, agents of unrestricted free agents have been in constant contact with teams.

Those conversations will begin to turn into concrete moves when the ink starts drying tomorrow evening.

The 2014 league year opens up Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. EST.

Former Colts general manager Bill Polian has 25 years of experience at calling the shots in free agency and the now ESPN analyst recently shared his thoughts on the upcoming week.

Polian is a firm believer in building through the draft and sprinkling in free agents when needed.

"These are essentially B players whose agents are looking for A money,” Polian said on a conference call last week.

“You recognize that as a general manager and there’s some situations you are just forced to deal with it so you just bite the bullet and do it.”

 

What general managers will endure over the next few weeks is a stretch Polian calls the “most difficult thing” he had to do as a GM.

With teams around the league beginning to sign their current free agents, the market appears to once again be very high this offseason.

The money situation aside, Polian believes there are numerous factors which benefit keeping your own players.

“I’ve always believed because they are probably as good, or better than you can find in the market,” Polian said. “Number two, you know them better than you know a player from another team. You are paying at a premium but you are putting it to a player you know, a player you believe in, and has no adjustment coming into your system. There’s no technique adjustment, there’s no city adjustment, there’s not culture adjustment. It’s pretty seamless.

“When you’ve drafted well, it necessarily follows that if you can keep those players, the better off you are. That’s the right way to go rather then try and go get somebody else players.”

Come 4:00 p.m. EST tomorrow the fireworks will begin and some of the rumors we’ve heard for weeks will come to fruition.

How will Ryan Grigson attack his third free agency as Colts general manager?


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