There’s an interesting graphic over at NFL.com detailing how both starting squads for the Giants and the Patriots came to be. Click on this link to see it with some fancy graphics... Go ahead I’ll be here waiting for you once you’re done..
Okay, now that you’ve checked it out let’s discuss the make-up of the Giants, shall we?
With $30.445 million of the Giants’ salary cap devoted to the offense side of the ball and $29.799 million of it going towards the defense the team is pretty balanced when it comes to spending and that shows when you watch them play. You can’t say that the offense is better than the defense or vice versa because they have both come on strong during their most recent win streak.
When you factor in the $3.486 million spent on special teams the Giants’ starting roster as of right now is worth a total of $63.730 million. Compare that to the Patriots’ starting roster which is worth $62.302 million and you’ll see that the Giants actually spent more money on their starters this season than the Patriots. You probably wouldn’t have guessed that due to Tom Brady’s presence and his $17.427 million salary cap hit for 2011 but the Patriots actually save a lot of money by signing and starting undrafted free agents. This PFT article goes a little into detail about that but the most important stat that comes from it, which you need to know is that the Patriots roster currently consists of 18 undrafted free agents and 8 of them are starters!
Throughout the course of the year the Patriots have been using a lot of players they picked up from “off the streets”, so they say, to line up on the defensive side of the ball and also bringing in offensive players to play defense. It was something that wasn’t effective in the early parts of the season but the unit has come along nicely as of late. But, still, you wonder what that defense would be like if the Patriots spread the money around more evenly like the Giants. With $39.693 million of Patriots’ cap spent on the offense and $18.627 million paid out to defense we come to see that that’s a difference of $21.066 million. Bill Belichick probably wouldn’t want it any other way though. However, the Giants have proven with their team that having a strong defense can go a long way when paired up with a strong offense and that is strongly evidenced by how the team only spent $646 thousand more on their offensive players than defensive players.
Of course the figures shown on NFL.com are for the current starting line-ups for each team only though and don’t take into account players on the bench or on IR. If we were to use the numbers provided to us from SportsCity.com we would see that the total salary cap numbers for the 2011 New York Giants roster would be $105.499 million and for the 2011 New England Patriots it would be $89.220 million. Therefore, the Giant’s cap number is $16.279 million more than the Patriots overall.
If you were to have been asked before seeing this data which team spent the most money who would you have chose and why? If given a team to run would you spend your money like the Giants did and spread it out evenly over the offense and defense or would you do it the Patriot way and load up on offense? Or would you go in a separate direction than the Giants and Patriots and spend most of your money on defense and skimp out on offense? Let us know in the comments which method you would prefer and why.