Cnnsi.com recently established a feature where Bucky Brooks and Mike Lombardi assembled two teams where they could select any player in the NFL. The lone caveat was that they had to stay under the salary cap and couldn't duplicate players.
I found this to be a really cool idea and immediately started brainstorming a team of my own. The salary cap for this upcoming season is estimated at near $115 million. The result: a team that not even a rigged Madden draft could duplicate.
My head coach would be Tony Dungy because with all the potential egos and personalities coming in, the even-keeled Dungy would be the perfect equilibrium. Hot-shot Jason Garrett will man the offense as Frank Spaziani implements his hard rushing schemes into my defense.
* Denotes Starter
|Tom Brady*||Quarterback||Patriots||$ 14,626,720.00|
|Trent Edwards||Quarterback||Bills||$ 734,470.00|
|Matt Ryan||Quarterback||Falcons||$ 2,000,000.00|
|Adrian Peterson*||Running Back||Vikings||$ 2,431,360.00|
|Joseph Addai||Running Back||Colts||$ 1,561,750.00|
|Ahmad Bradshaw||Running Back||Giants||$ 383,501.00|
|Michael Robinson||Running Back||49ers||$ 808,812.00|
|Tony Richardson*||Fullback||Jets||$ 491,720.00|
|Randy Moss*||Wide Receiver||Patriots||$ 6,006,720.00|
|Marques Colston*||Wide Receiver||Saints||$ 458,960.00|
|Wes Welker||Wide Receiver||Patriots||$ 3,731,720.00|
|Brandon Marshall||Wide Receiver||Broncos||$ 556,480.00|
|Steve Smith||Wide Receiver||Giants||$ 649,320.00|
|Devin Hester||Wide Receiver||Bears||$ 795,000.00|
|Jason Witten*||Tight End||Cowboys||$ 4,105,000.00|
|Heath Miller||Tight End||Steelers||$ 1,726,720.00|
|Kevin Boss||Tight End||Giants||$ 417,660.00|
|Flozell Adams*||Offensive Line||Cowboys||$ 3,097,943.00|
|Jason Peters*||Offensive Line||Bills||$ 4,450,000.00|
|Logan Mankins*||Offensive Line||Patriots||$ 1,406,720.00|
|Ryan Lilja*||Offensive Line||Colts||$ 1,625,000.00|
|Dan Koppen*||Offensive Line||Patriots||$ 3,006,720.00|
|Jamaal Brown||Offensive Line||Saints||$ 2,148,260.00|
|Matt Light||Offensive Line||Patriots||$ 5,208,387.00|
|Nick Mangold||Offensive Line||Jets||$ 1,450,500.00|
|Chris Snee||Offensive Line||Giants||$ 2,779,166.00|
|Keydrick Vincent||Offensive Line||Panthers||$ 955,000.00|
|Osi Umenyiora*||Defensive End||Giants||$ 4,987,500.00|
|Patrick Kerney*||Defensive End||Seahawks||$ 3,249,999.00|
|Justin Tuck||Defensive End||Giants||$ 2,454,250.00|
|Elvis Dumervil||Defensive End||Chiefs||$ 551,230.00|
|Haloti Ngata*||Defensive Tackle||Ravens||$ 1,984,990.00|
|Vince Wilfork*||Defensive Tackle||Patriots||$ 2,040,054.00|
|Tommie Harris||Defensive Tackle||Bears||$ 1,645,470.00|
|Patrick Willis*||Middle Linebacker||49ers||$ 4,081,000.00|
|Jon Beason||Middle Linebacker||Panthers||$ 1,718,740.00|
|Ernie Sims*||Outside Linebacker||Lions||$ 2,605,000.00|
|DeMarcus Ware*||Outside Linebacker||Cowboys||$ 2,157,000.00|
|James Harrison||Outside Linebacker||Steelers||$ 1,550,470.00|
|Demeco Ryans||Outside Linebacker||Texans||$ 1,276,250.00|
|Shawne Merriman||Outside Linebacker||Chargers||$ 2,643,620.00|
|Antonio Cromartie*||Cornerback||Chargers||$ 1,731,120.00|
|Terrence Newman*||Cornerback||Cowboys||$ 2,422,440.00|
|Cortland Finnegan||Cornerback||Titans||$ 466,013.00|
|Cedrick Griffin||Cornerback||Vikings||$ 776,360.00|
|Richard Marshall||Cornerback||Panthers||$ 756,240.00|
|Reggie Nelson*||Free Safety||Jaguars||$ 1,362,500.00|
|Antoine Bethea||Free Safety||Colts||$ 462,250.00|
|Sean Jones*||Strong Safety||Browns||$ 2,421,720.00|
|Atari Bigby||Strong Safety||Packers||$ 445,000.00|
|Nick Folk||Kicker||Cowboys||$ 397,000.00|
|Andy Lee||Punter||49ers||$ 997,666.00|
|Zak DeOssie||Long Snapper||Giants||$ 484,945.00|
Quarterback is the most important position in the NFL and I shelled out big bucks in order to have the best in Tom Brady lead my huddle. Trent Edwards will be a ready backup for a very reasonable price while Brady helps groom Matt Ryan into his potential replacement.
My team is no different than any other as I plan on using the running back by committee. I would spell superstar Adrian Peterson with Joseph Addai in order to keep both of them healthy. They are also both great pass-catchers that will live off check-downs from Brady.
Bradshaw provides depth as Michael Robinson is our special teams go-to-guy. Tony Richardson will lead the way at fullback as he's done for so many great running backs.
I couldn't break up the Brady to Moss connection especially when Moss comes at only about $6 million a year. I paired him along side Marques Colston whose salary was just as enticing as his size.
Wes Welker provided Brady with his ultimate slot option and rising star Brandan Marshall provides depth. Devin Hester is the game-breaking return man that every fantasy team needs.
Jason Witten knows how to control his body and create space. He would easily become Brady's favorite red zone target with his ability to catch in traffic. Heath Miller makes a very economical second tight end choice that could cause a handful of match-up problems. Kevin Boss is here merely just for depth.
The big hogs are anchored by one of the biggest of the hogs, Flozell Adams, at tackle. The fast developing Jason Peters provides the other bookend. Logan Mankins brings his tough demeanor to play guard along with Ryan Lilja who is powerful as well as cheap. Dan Koppen will represent Boston College at center and hopefully bring a full beard to the table as well.
Jamaal Brown and Matt Light will help keep Adams and Peters fresh on the line as Chris Snee, Mangold, and Vincent offer versatility as backups.
The Giants showed in the Super Bowl that a bevy of pass rushing defensive ends can help contain even the most potent of offenses. Osi Umenyiora and Patrick Kerney provide prototypical pass-rushing skills that will help dominate the line. Justin Tuck and Elvis Dumervil are two very cost-friendly rotation guys.
Haloti Ngata and Vince Wilfork are perfect run stuffers whose work at the buffet line will pay dividends in slowing down the run. If they can clog the middle it will allow the ends to run wild on the outside. Tommie Harris can also pressure the quarterback from the tackle position.
Patrick Willis is just a tackling machine and may develop into best linebacker since Joe Montanya. Ernie Sims may be able to write a check for 100 tackles over the next eight seasons and plays hard on every down. DeMarcus Ware is the edge rusher of the core who should be aloud to roam with the rest of the talent on defense.
Beason, Harrison, Ryans, and Merriman could all easily start but will be great additions for various situations. Merriman could help spell Ware and keep the two fresh while Harrison should come in on long yardage to help provide coverage.
Antonio Cromartie and Terrence Newman could change the game instantly with one single interception. Cortland Finnegan has great potential and a bargain basement salary. Cedrick Griffin and Richard Marshall are strictly situational players.
Reggie Nelson is a special talent who can cover a lot of ground on the field. Sean Jones can come up and make hits or ball-hawk from his safety position. Bethea and Atari Bigby offer great compliments at ridiculously low prices.
Kicker and Punter
Nick Folk has incredible power behind his kicks and comes for a kicker worthy salary. Andy Lee had a 40-yard net punting average last season but hopefully won't be used much with our offense.