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Both franchises have said they want to keep as much cohesion as they can, something Polian finds wise.

“If your own players are quality and can help you win, then it is better off to pay them, I have always believed,” Polian says. “It’s better than what you can find in the market, and you know them better than you know a player from another team. It’s a player you know and believe in and who has no adjustment coming into your system. It is pretty seamless.”

Tailenders tend to not have those kind of players, though. They also often have tons of money available, exactly the case with Oakland, Cleveland and Jacksonville, all 4-12 in 2013. The Raiders have about $65 million on hand, the Jaguars have more than $59 million, and the Browns around $56 million.

Such deep pockets guarantee absolutely nothing, of course.

“Whether you have a little money or a lot, the dangers are the same, it’s just a question of degree,” Polian says. “You don’t know the player as well as the player coming out in the draft, and certainly not as well as your player.

“Football is not a seamless transition. Systems change, people have a difficult time adjusting to begin with, and then if they have a system change or technique change it is even worse. It may take him a year to get adjusted, and that is a year you lost and paid big money for.

“That said, there are some holes you have to fill on your club.”

Let the bidding binges begin.


AP NFL website: