The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were big players in free agency last offseason. They filled in holes left behind by the previous regimes although some were created once head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht took over. To do so, they followed a process. A process they indirectly admit failed them.
One of the big signings during the 2014 free agency was quarterback Josh McCown. Unless you have been living under a rock, you now know he is no longer a member of the Buccaneers since Wednesday evening. Many questioned the move then and now many are upset they endured an entire season of bad football which was led the now former captain.
The signing of McCown was more than just the connection with Smith. In fact, analytics played a big part in their decisions last year. They used a model -- a model created by current team Manager of Analytics Tyler Oberly -- for evaluating talent.
Last October, that very model was questioned right here on BucsBlitz.com. In case you missed it then, click here to read what this said model is all about. If not, here is a brief example of the model on what contributions get factored in.
Positive ContributionsTouchdown Percentage, Completion Percentage, Quarterback Rating, Passing yards per attempt, Game Winning Drives
Negative ContributionsInterception Percentage, Sack Percentage
The above contributions were used to factor into the signing of McCown. The model also uses previous year’s statistics along with the player’s salary and creates a formula which then gives the play a grade. As a result, McCown was the sixth best quarterback in the league. That was not even remotely close to being true in 2014.
Many execs have spoken out against this model because it doesn’t factor in the most important thing about a player -- his game tape. It does not tell you how the player threw for those touchdowns, how he did not throw that many interceptions, why he was not often sacked, etc.
However, on Wednesday, Tampa Bay admitted by releasing McCown that relying on a statistical system was a failed attempt at bringing in players. And there are rumblings that the 35-year-old quarterback is just the start of more moves to come.
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