NFL Myth: Teams Tank Games for Better Draft Picks
After the Raiders shutout the KC Chiefs and put on an absolute clinic about how to properly kick field goals on Sunday, I went over to Raiderfans.net to see how the Raider Nation was reacting. It was, after all, our first win in 7 weeks. And hey, even if it was a win over a terrible (and I mean tuuuuurrrrible) team, I’ll take what I can get at this point. A win is a win.
So what did I find? Fans bitching and complaining about the win! And why is that, you may ask? A.) It hurt our draft position and B.) Some sort of weird logic seemed to over take the board that the Chiefs team was “Tanking and just trying to secure the number one pick.”
Why oh why would any NFL team (which is comprised of 53 individual players on the active roster) tank just to get a better draft pick? Does it make sense for the team’s GM to want the team to lose in order to secure a higher pick? Sure, but that is assuming the GM will still be around after such a terrible year. Does it make sense for any of the 53 players to tank? Absolutely not.
Take the Raiders for example. Half of the guys on their team this year were not on the team last year. That means there are around 27 players who played for the Raiders last year and are now on another team or out of the league altogether.
So, if the Raiders were in contention for the number one pick last year and the team tanked towards the end of the season in order to get the number one pick, only half of the players would reap the benefits of said tanking. The other half would be out on the street, looking for work and having to explain to their future employers why they gave up on the season the year before.
In the NBA, I can understand a bad team tanking because the players have much better contracts and know that they will probably be back on the same team the next season.
In the NFL, players have terrible contracts and no incentive what so ever to mail in a performance and put out a bad roll of “TAPE” for the 30 other GM’s of the league and Jerry Jones.
So everyone claiming that a team like the Chiefs or the Jags are tanking and their players don’t care about winning or losing, there are probably around 55 guys who will be unemployed next offseason who would like a minute of your time.