I think we can all agree that ESPN's John Clayton is the best writer covering the NFL today. He's the ONLY reason I even bother to read ESPN's site. If there was a Jedi-like hierarchy for NFL writers, John Clayton would clearly be Yoda, while guys like Sean Salisbury would be Jar-Jar.
Clayton recently penned a fun article at ESPN where he built the best NFL team he could, keeping it under the $102 million salary cap. So, armed with his knowledge of player contracts, Clayton made his team. The article is humorous just to see who he picked, but what's very cool about it is the very solid reasoning he uses to build the team. For example, he built his defense around a simple philosophy used by many NFL teams:
The Cover 2 in a 4-3 allows for a younger flow of players. Younger usually means cheaper, but Cover 2 defensive coaches are accustomed to grooming young linebackers with speed. The Seahawks, for example, went to the Super Bowl with two rookie linebackers. Dungy has gone to the playoffs year after year realizing he probably will lose a young linebacker after his fourth season in the league.
It seems EVERYBODY copies Tony's scheme now.
On Clayton's team, he selects 5 Colts players (the most from any team): Freeney, Sanders, Vinatieri, Saturday, and Manning. Yes, Clayton picks Manning over Brady. Why? The answer may shock you:
Little facts like this tend to get in the way of opinions from "experts" like Peter King, who's next intelligent thought will be his first. King claimed a few years ago that New England got a better deal with Brady than Indy did with Manning. The only thing King knows how to do, other than stay stupid crap and get paid for it, is to stack 4 full plates of food on his arm as he exits the free buffet line.
In the Jedi hierarchy of NFL writers, Peter King is Jabba the Hutt.
Read Clayon's article for some fun and enjoyable insight into player salaries and NFL salary capology.