Why Zoltan Mesko Is No Longer a New England Patriot: Economics 101

August 31, 2013   ·     ·   Jump to comments

Every season, hundreds of dreams are dashed on cut day when NFL teams trim their rosters from 75 to 53.
This year, the New England Patriots surprised many when they released veteran punter Zoltan Mesko in favor of rookie punter Ryan Allen, an undrafted free agent out of Louisiana Tech, according to Field Yates of ESPN Boston.
From the standpoint of on-the-field performance, it's not at all clear that Allen, whose gross average was only about one yard more than Mesko's, actually outplayed Mesko. This is especially true given that one of the major duties of most NFL punters is to hold on field goals and extra points, which Allen did not do in college.
On the other hand, from an economics standpoint, this decision is much easier to understand, even if you don't agree with it.
First, there's the issue of rational actors. Economic theory often assumes that people make rational decisions: For example, if a person has a choice between buying a...

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