Decision Mapping NFL Free Agency

Decision Mapping NFL Free Agency - student project

Hey, thanks for participating in Think Like a Trader: Strategies to Make Better Decisions. Make sure to watch all lessons before approaching this project case. It's a candid take on how we make decisions using a trader's mindset. The focus is on process vs. results as a method to build a scalable decision portfolio. We think in terms of reward-to-risk, which means that each decision accounts for compounding wins over short-term losses. 

With that said, we are entering NFL Free Agency! It's a critical decision time when US football teams shuffle players for contract. A free agent is a player who is eligible to solicit offers and sign with any club or franchise. The reward of gaining quality picks towards the Super Bowl must offset the risk of losing good players. This can make or break team dynamics and set a significant value precedent for other players in the free agent market.

Let's examine the Minnesota Vikings Issue: 

The team had three quarterbacks last season who could have been starters. Now they are all free agents with the possibility of no return next year. The focus is on Kirk Cousins, a soon-to-be former quarterback of the Washington Redskins. Cousins is highly paid with a decent track record. This is due to his constant turn on the free market. The main issue is his inability to secure (or justify) a long-term contract and his indecisiveness on the field, which came at a high cost in previous plays. 

The Vikings made the NFC Championship game after quarterback Bradford went down with an injury and Keenum stepped up with surprise success. Here is my overview of reward-to-risk:


Decision Mapping NFL Free Agency - image 1 - student project


ESPN has a good rundown of best/worst scenarios. The willingness of NFL teams to gamble on a single high priced player concerns me. The MN Vikings should preserve time to free up support for Keenum given his ability to surprise with a good team. This scenario will provide an option to re-sign players and/or make competitive offers to other free agents in offensive and defensive lines. The absolute worst case is if Cousins is injured. 

This is an important case for decision makers of all kinds. Cousins established a new precedent of a "good" quarterback that is extremely overpriced with the inability to secure long-term deals. In turn, teams are left vulnerable to panic picks and wasted seasons. 


Always secure options and actively develop what is working. It will require a greater focus on process, which is far greater than any gamble. 


Damanick Dantes, CMT

Macro Trader at Dantes Outlook