Over the last few weeks, primarily since drummer came on board as a front page writer, we've danced around, over, and through the topic of 49ers ownership. It's a hot-button issue that ignites a variety of passion on both sides. While there are not a lot of answers to many of our questions, it is still a useful exercise in getting thoughts out on the table.
I mention this because A couple days ago, one of the writers over at SBNation.com put together an article looking at this topic in a broader sense. Andrew Sharp asked the question "What's more valuable: Owner's Money, or a Money Player?" Does a franchise get built thanks to an owner with deep pockets, or does it have to have the player to build around?
This is a difficult question to answer in a general sense because each sport is different in its financial structure. Accordingly, Sharp broke down each sport, considering arguments on both sides, and issuing a verdict one way or the other. Among the results, baseball and basketball went with the owner, while hockey and football went with the player/high pick. For football it certainly makes some sense given the salary cap in place and the developmental level of many first round picks.
However, there were some interesting arguments on the player end. The easiest argument is that the NFL Draft is nowhere near an exact science. Sharp made the other argument that a deep pocket owner is often more inclined to be less patient, which can be a big problem. Whether that's always true is another question entirely, but it's certainly something to consider. And the argument I found interesting was this:
Wouldn't you rather have an owner that's willing to spend money every offseason, pays for a staff of salary cap experts, and shells out millions for the best coaching staff around? Owners can't buy the players, but they can buy the best people to pick the players, and in the NFL, that's the biggest variable left.
There's always the money for free agency, but just as important is getting the right guys in your front office and coaching staff, which often can require a certain amount of money.
So, what do you think? Obviously people could easily say they want both. But considering all the arguments, what is more important for a football team?