This week's gull poll asks the question -- Who is the NFL's offensive MVP? This isn't an easy question to answer because the idea of 'value' is a bit vague and broad. For this discussion, frame it however you like, and maybe we'll have some fun back and forth. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers come to mind - Matt Ryan perhaps? Does it have to be a quarterback? Calvin Johnson just broke the receiving yards record for a WR and Adrian Peterson is having an insane year, on the cusp of breaking the single-season rushing yards record. But, would you trade him or Megatron for Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? Most people would, in a heartbeat, because the quarterback position is just so important. So valuable.
Along differing lines, we had an interesting discussion on Twitter the other day that broached this subject, too, with respect to just the rookie quarterbacks. In terms of pure value, doesn't Russell Wilson, as a commodity, represent much more value than either Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III this season and in the future, just based on his cost to his team? Let me explain:
Wilson was chosen in the 3rd round after the Seahawks had already used their 1st round pick for Bruce Irvin and their 2nd round pick for Bobby Wagner. Wilson's haul, when you look at what his team was able to do at the quarterback position, essentially included a pass rush specialist that has racked up 8 sacks, and a middle linebacker that is putting up DROY numbers and has started every game this year for the Seahawks. They got Wilson and all his abilities to run and lead the team, plus were able to use first round pick and a second round pick for other needs (and both picks are producing at high levels, relatively).
On the other hand, the Redskins gave up two future first round picks and two second round picks for the chance to move up to select Robert Griffin. So, when put together in this light as a total package, would you trade Russell Wilson, your 1st round pick this year, two future 1st rounders, your 2nd round pick this year, and two future 2nd rounders for RG3, for your franchise? I'd say, definitively, no. And that's not to say that Wilson is better than RG3 or will have a better career. That's just looking at what Wilson brings to his team, relative to Griffin, and comparing the costs associated with acquiring them. Wilson plus Irvin plus Wagner plus two future 1st round picks plus two future 2nd round picks = Robert Griffin III? I'm not sure even some homer Redskins fans would take that trade.
I'm not saying that's how voting should go and it certainly won't, but it's kind of a fun way to think about things when it comes to real-life 'value' to a franchise. It's fun to think about what an absolute steal Wilson was for the Seahawks, naturally assuming he continues to play at a high level.
When you're talking about the rookie quarterbacks, of course you have to mention the guy that might have the better career than Wilson or RG3, Andrew Luck. Some would vote Luck as the more valuable of the tthree, and the turnaround he's engineered for the Colts has been amazing. But, when you realize that the Colts gave up several years of Peyton Manning's services to instead build toward the future with Luck, it makes you wonder about the opportunity cost associated. Would the Colts be in a better position with Manning, than they are now with Luck? I don't know. In general, I'd say that Manning is a better quarterback than Luck, and would give them a better chance to win a Super Bowl this year. That's just in general, and the relative difference between the two quarterbacks is a discussion all in itself.
Now, I'm not trying to argue any of these points in particular and I realize this isn't how any of the voting works, but instead just am bringing them up because they're topical and interesting angles, maybe.
Talk amongst yourselves, then head over to Gillette's facebook page to take part in the discussion as well.
2013 NFL MVP: SB Nation selects Peyton Manning - SBNation.com
SB Nation's NFL bloggers voted on year-end awards and Manning, the Broncos quarterback, tops the list for MVP.