Managing Chaos

I saw an interesting column over in Shutdown Corner about the upcoming post lockout chaos.  And it got me to thinking (always a vaguely sinister turn of events).  Additionally, BNSB just put up a very inventive look at the classic Chinese work The Art of War.  Chaos and war just go together like black leather and white rope.  But I digress.

Success in war, in life actually, largely goes to those who best manage and cope with chaos.  Think about it.  Whether it is handling a house full of screaming kids, responding as a firefighter to a burning building, or trying to get a construction project completed through bad weather and wild economic fluctuations, those who have the most effective strategy in dealing with chaos and can best respond will most likely prevail.

We are worried as a community about the problems with getting our own FAs signed and trying to find a way to pay for some other bodies, and rightly so.  But there is an old maxim in business management, and as much as I hate most business management theories, there is undoubtedly truth in this as well:  Don't treat things as problems.  Treat them as opportunities.

If you read the Shutdown Corner piece, you saw this:

With all this action happening so fast, can you imagine the chaos at 280 Park Avenue when the NFL has to review more than 1,000 contracts and renegotiations?

Can you imagine how difficult it will be to get a hold of a big-time agent to complete a deal with his client when he has 30 or 40 other clients looking for a deal?

Can you imagine what it will be like for a team's contract negotiator having to finish 40 contracts to get 90 players to camp?

That sounds to me like no team in the NFL is going to be immune to the wild scramble when things restart.  There are a lot of problems for all teams to address, all at once.  If a team has a daring and creative manager who is able to move rapidly and juggle different player issues, it may be able to come out of this whole pile of steaming cow poop smelling like that proverbial rose.

It may not be a bad time to be a team owned by Jerry Jones.

There are certainly some risks out there, but this is a time to focus on the possible gains instead.  I think it is well understood that Jerry just loves wheeling and dealing, and he is about to get the biggest single opportunity to wheel and deal that the NFL has ever seen.  He has about a two week window to free up some cap space, sign his key free agents currently on the roster, sign the draft choices (even though a rookie pay scale may help with this) and get the additional bodies signed to help the team and fill out the TC roster.

I think Jerry is about to have more fun than he has had since he hoisted his last bling. And I don't feel too bad about this situation.  I do about the one in Jersey, but not this one. I don't doubt that JJ can make mistakes.  I just think that most of the other owners and general managers out there are likely to make more and bigger mistakes.  This kind of wild deal making is just what he does. I expect he has a pretty good idea what he wants to do, and since he is at the heart of the CBA negotiations, he probably has as good an idea as anyone what the limitations and constraints are likely to be coming out of the lockout.

Another point that jumped out at me was the thought that the players and agents are under their own pressure.  Consider our own situation with Doug Free.  Yes, he is possibly one of the prime OL prospects out there, but he can't wait too long, because there is only so much money to handle all the free agents on the market.  I don't know much about how he thinks, but one thing he ought to consider is that waiting to see what he is worth on the market does have its risks.  All those other teams out there have to get their rosters filled out, and he might have to contend with only getting offers from sucky teams.  Or the money just not being there. Or whatever.  He has to decide just how risk averse he is.

Maybe he will want to listen carefully to what Jerry lays out, and get himself situated with a certain thing.

It will also be interesting to see what this might do to the whole idea of holding out.  There has been a lot of time lost, and I suspect a lot of players might be very hesitant to stay out of camp, particularly the rookies who have to be thinking about making the roster.

It is all, of course, pure speculation at this point, but all the indications are that our long, painful wait may be almost over.  One thing is certain, we all better grab some Dramamine, because this is going to be one wild ride. And this ride will likely reward the daring and resourceful.  Here's hoping Jerry and company can manage that.

All we can hope for is that, like with certain other things, a little pain and torment during a long, lingering buildup can lead to a lot of fun and pleasure at the end.

UPDATE:  If OCC's article about the "Jerry Jones Rule" is true, I may experience a near sexual level of excitement about the signing period.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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