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2018 Salary Cap Analysis

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by HardRightEdge, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Now that the Adams and Linsley contracts are reported, it's an opportune time to review salary cap status before visions of free agent sugar plums get too far out of hand. :whistling: If you lack the patience for the complete walk-through below, read the bolded passages or skip to the "Bottom Line" at the end.

    Let's start with the projected salary cap for 2018, estimated by the NFL's Labor Management Council in the $174 - $178 million range:

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/spor...-salary-cap-2018-figure-projection/946805001/

    overthecap.com is using the $178 million high end, up from $167 million in 2017, as noted just above the table in the following page:

    https://overthecap.com/salary-cap-space

    Here's the Packer's current status:

    https://overthecap.com/salary-cap/green-bay-packers

    Assuming the $178 million 2018 cap, the Packers currently have approximately $26.0 million in cap space. The top line numbers presented in that link imply approximately $9.6 million in cap carryover from 2017.

    Note that the difference between the total liability and the top 51 liability is the dead cap, almost all of which is associated with Bennett's release. Pending any clawback of the Bennett money, which remains in doubt, I'll assume that dead cap stands.

    Note the Packers have currently 44 players under contract for next season.

    Now for the necessary subtractions from that $26.0 million cap space before free agent signings can be contemplated:

    1) The Draft

    The Packers pick 14th., 46th. and 76th. according to Walter Football's mock draft board.

    Here are the first year cap hits for those spots in the 2017 draft:

    #14, Derek Barnett, PHI: $2.3 mil
    #46, Quincy Wilson, IND: $1.0 mil
    #76, Alex Anzalone, NOR: $0.6 mil

    Assuming the next pick is a 3rd. round comp pick for Hyde around #100, give or take, the cap difference between that pick (or the ones below) vs. the rookie minimum is negligible, under $100,000, and I'll come back to that in a bit.

    The amounts for the above 3 picks totaled $3.9 million. With the assumed 2018 cap going up 6.8%, I'll assume the rookie salary scale is going up the same amount. That brings the cap hit for the first 3 picks to $4.2 million. Note there is very little flexibility in the amounts or the structure of rookie contracts under the rookie salary scale.

    So, we're now up to 47 players and $21.8 million in cap space.

    2) Last 6 Roster Spots

    In the baseline analysis, it doesn't matter much whether these spots are filled by the remaining draftees or UDFAs since the cost per spot is negligible.

    Reckon about $500, 000 per spot, for an additional $3 million cap hit.

    We're now at 53 players and $18.8 million in cap space remaining.

    3) Practice Squad

    PS pay counts against the cap. The PS minimum for 2018 is $7,600 per week.

    17 weeks x 10 players x $7,600 = $1.3 million cap hit.

    We've now populated the complete 63 man baseline roster with $17.5 million in cap space remaining.

    4) IR, PUP, Injury Settlements

    All of these players count against the cap, so some amount has to be held in reserve. If one replaces them with minimum salary rookies off the PS, that's an additional approximate $500,000 in cap hit per full year equivalent. 8 full year equivalents would require about $4 million in reserve.

    Now we've filled the roster and provisioned an injury reserve bringing the cap space down to $13.5 million.

    5) Packer Free Agents

    The baseline roster and baseline $13.5 million in cap space does not include the starting SS (Burnett), a starting perimeter corner (House), a starting RG (Evans), and a serviceable #3 OLB (Brooks). Brooks' back issues indicate he'll not be back. Evans' age and late season injury may indicate the same.

    6) Rodgers Extension

    Given the cap constraints, the fact that Rodgers is coming off injury, he's signed through 2019, and he'll be putting $21 million cash money in his pocket in 2018, I believe he'll be asked (or rather told) that he needs to take one for the team for one more year. If that's a wrong assumption, the picture changes considerably and upends a number of assumptions that any of us might make about available cap space.

    BOTTOM LINE:

    When considering medium-to-high ticket free agents, the constraints within a baseline cap of $13.5 million must be considered along with three of last seasons starters becoming free agents. For example:

    1) An OLB? There are two highly compensated OLBs on the roster as it is. Allocation to the position is full and then some. It would be unreasonable to blow a chunk of the $13.5 mil on yet a third. Matthews $11.4 million cap savings would need to be captured first where "captured" is a polite way of saying "cut". This is not an advocacy for that move. It is simply a statement of facts.

    2) A CB? There's not much currently allocated to the position with all of these players still on rookie deals. A free agent signing is going to have to come out of the $13.5 million cap space or by cutting a current high ticket player to capture some cap space.

    3) A WR? First of all, there are 3 highly paid WRs on the roster now with an over-allocation to the position as it is. Signing a free agent of some merit and cost would necessitate the release of Nelson ($10.25 million cap savings) or Cobb ($9.5 million cap savings).

    4) A RG or RT? Clearly the right side of the line is up in the air. But if you want to add a player of some cost you'll have to assume Bulaga is done with a $5.2 million cap savings.

    A Word About Renegotiations

    Renegotiating an underperforming high ticket player (e.g., Matthews, Nelson, Cobb) is often presented in these pages as a stroke-of-the-pen panacea to cap issues.

    Yet it's not often observed how infrequently this actually happens. There are some reasons why:

    1) The player balks, says "pay me what I'm owed", because he (or his agent) has calculated he's still worth what the team gains in cap savings after dead cap, though this probably does not apply to the current Packer prime cases. The agents may disagree with my opinion of their value.

    2) If the proposed pay cut is for a meaningful amount, and the player agrees because he does not think he can get a better deal elsewhere, you may have an unhappy player. Since you've already concluded the player is in decline (or his potential did not pan out), you've now perhaps piled some bitterness on top of an unfavorable situation. It is best to part ways if there is not a very clear meeting of the minds in advance.

    3) If you extend an older player like Matthews (age 31) or Nelson (age 32) who is showing decline in order to buy cap space in the current year, there is a good chance you are throwing good money after bad.

    In Conclusion

    This is not a favorable cap picture.

    If one is going to advocate for a high ticket FA acquisition, or even the resigning of Burnett and/or House, one needs to put a price tag on it, identify where the cap is coming from, acknowledge which other doors close as a result, and figure out how other positions of weakness will be shored up.

    What is needed more than anything is second, third and fourth year jumps to get value-above-contract out of the last three drafts of get some quality starters out of the upcoming draft.

    Good-value-for-contract out of veterans and value-above-contract for players on rookie deals is a primary key to winning. The Packers are not in a good position currently under this formulation.

    One possibility is that Capers did not apply the talent given to best use and did not instill a winning culture. I believe this is true to one degree or another. We'll see.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
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  2. GreenBaySlacker

    GreenBaySlacker Cheesehead

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    13.5 mil only? Yikes...
    OK so what do we got after Mathews and Cobb are let go?

    34mil?.

    OK. Let's talk about this 34 mil more...
     
  3. Packer Fan in SD

    Packer Fan in SD Cheesehead

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    Nice post. Thanks for all the work you put into this.
     
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  4. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    It's worth taking a moment to consider the implications of the Adams and Linsley extensions executed in 2017. overthecap.com indicates the contracts were signed on 12/30/17, a date that might be quite telling.

    Adams signing bonus was for $18 million. That bonus is prorated over 5 years, 2017 - 2021, for cap purposes, with a $3.6 million cap hit per year.

    Since the $3.6 million allocated to 2017 would have been rolled over anyway had this not been an extension, the effective signing bonus cap hit for 2018 is $7.2 million when compared to a 4 year deal starting in 2018 under the same terms.

    However, had this $18 million signing bonus been included in a 4 year deal starting in 2018, the $18 million would have been prorated over 4 years at $4.5 million per year.

    Consequently, the actual $7.2 million signing bonus proration for 2017+2018 vs. a $4.5 million proration for a 4 year 2018-2021 contract under the same terms results in a $2.7 million loss in 2018 cap space.

    In short, by inking this extension in 2017, $2.7 million in cap hit was accelerated from the out years back into 2018.

    Somebody else can do the same math on Linsley's deal.

    Why would the Packers do such a thing in a year when cap space is tight? Are the Packers planning to avoid free agency, stay the course, and assume the guys on rookie contacts will progress along with the upcoming draft class providing a sufficient performance upgrade?

    That would be an odd assumption given the disposition of the guy who actually drafted these players. A new GM is likely to be given the authority to make significant roster changes otherwise why kick Thompson upstairs or sideways, as the case may be.

    The more I think about it, the more plausible it becomes to me that this is The Green Bay Packers, Inc. capturing federal income tax savings by getting these deals signed in 2017 as I've mentioned before.

    The corporate tax rate for 2017 is 35%. It will be dropping to 21% under the recently signed federal tax cut bill. If the Packers effective tax rate matches these rates, then accelerating Adams' $18 million expense into 2017 as a deduction from earnings represents a tax savings of $6.3 million. If that same $18 million was used as a deduction in 2018 at the 21% tax rate, the value of the deduction is only $3.8 millon. Under this scenario, The Green Bay Packers, Inc. save $2.5 million in cash money over the next 2 years at the expense of pushing $2.7 mil in cap space out to subsequent years.

    From a bean counter perspective this is a no brainer since that's $2.5 million in real dollars whereas the cap dollars merely deferred, not lost. But this scenario does not indicate any urgency to stockpile cap for 2018 free agent forays.

    Somebody else can do the tax math for the Linsley contract.

    Since the explanation that Demovsky presented is a statement of a fact, not an explanation for extending these these guys post haste back into a season already over in light of cap carryover, I would love one of our erstwhile beat reporters to pose the question in these terms to Murphy. I'm not holding my breath.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
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  5. GreenBaySlacker

    GreenBaySlacker Cheesehead

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    I think two veterans will be cut adding a solid 20 mil in cap space to what we have now .

    Mathews 11.4
    Jordy 10.4
    Cobb 9.5
    Or roughly there about...

    You don't have to be a smart mofo like hardrightedge to figure out you can buy 6 good free agents for the price of 3 under producing stars at the end of their contracts...

    Rebuild the defense for the new DC. Get #12 a good TE, and draft a top tier wr.
     
  6. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    You're off to a flying start.

    Under those assumption you now have to replace a starting edge rusher (Matthews), a starting perimeter corner (House), the starting strong safety (Burnett), the starting slot receiver (Cobb) the starting RG (Evans) and the #3 OLB (Brooks, who was actually pretty productive on a per snap basis).

    Whether one thinks these guys were/are currently overpaid, replacing them with comparably performing free agents would still not be cheap.

    And even if you could find a whole parcel of mid-priced free agents, which is doubtful, it's not like that's enough. Rodgers absence exposed a roster performing at a pretty mediocre level on balance.

    There are the other areas of concern besides those free agent losses, such as finding a true shut down corner to free up Clinton-Dix from double team duty to be applied elsewhere. TE is in a pretty sorry state. Kendricks was unimpressive, does not run good routes, and his hands turned to stone in the cold weather. The right side of the O-Line poses several questions.

    You need 3 decent CBs in this nickel defense league. Are the 2017 versions of Randall and King, along with some guy on par with House, enough? I think we can agree not. Without a shutdown corner taking on #1 receivers thereby freeing up the safety double team, progress will be limited unless King makes a huge jump. TE is lacking. I didn't even mention R. Rodgers being a FA since he should be easily replacable. Kendricks was underwhelming to start with and his hands turned to stone in cold weather.
     
  7. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    $5 mil is hardly a figure I'd associate with a "good" free agent at the key (and expensive) positions of OLB, WR or CB. You're likely to end up with a lot of adequate vets, little impact, and little playmaking.

    You might be able to get a good center, guard, safety or ILB at that price, but those are hardly the key issues nor do they replace the guys you just cut.
     
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  8. GreenBaySlacker

    GreenBaySlacker Cheesehead

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    I'm looking at Mathews production as a starter, in a defense seeming designed to allow the olbs to get sacks... nope, don't even care to look them up. After the last few years, he will probably hold out, and end up back in green/gold for about 5 mil. :). If not. One of our depth olbs will be plugged in, rookie and free agent added. And most likely we will get the same production for half the price.

    Me personally, I'd only let one of the wrs go. But if we were to clean house, and neither willing to renegotiate. I'd put Montgomery in Cobb's spot. And draft a high wr pick. Then use some of the depth at wr to weather the storm...

    I believe we need to keep Burnett. In my estimation, cutting Cobb should equal keeping burnett....

    I do expect king to play as our #1 cb. Randall as our #2. Jones in the mix. Both safety's still back there with Brice allowing one to mix it up... I'd also like to see another big strong fast rookie cb added to the mix to compete with Rollins as next man up. But it is agreed that we need king to step up and add another good cb one way or another. Maybe house for the right price again.

    The one thing that stops me from cutting these guys is the three high comp picks we would get by letting them play out their contracts and leave....

    31.5 mil cap space can rebuild a defense though...
     
  9. GreenBaySlacker

    GreenBaySlacker Cheesehead

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    Definitely won't bring in any top tier free agents. But a 5 mil prove it deal on a team where the veteran will get a chance to start, and contend for a Superbowl..... that is the perfect recipe to sign that second tier.
    Splurge on a tight end, or draft one high. I think all three tes from 2017 are gone or free agents...
     
  10. Pokerbrat2000

    Pokerbrat2000 Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

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    Good thoughts, but I would argue if you let both Cobb and Jordy go, we not only would have zero depth at WR I don't think we would even have 3 solid starters. Cutting the 2, would leave you with, Adams, Monty, Allison , Davis and Janis. I don't see Janis even being offered a contract. Davis hasn't proved anything at WR and Allison is up and down. So that leaves you with Adams and Monty. Would we really want to rely on Monty making the switch back to WR AND staying healthy?

    I definitely think the Packers have some decisions to make at WR and it should include a relatively high pick (1 or 2) on hopefully an eventual starter.
     
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  11. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Actually, I have observed this not to be the case. Clearly, Capers approach was to have the OLBs maintain pocket contain. There was very little stunting and virtually no freelance inside moves. Snap after snap it was the same outside loop, or with Perry in a bull rush with contain.

    Further, given the blitzers have not been very effective, second effort opportunities when the QB moves off his mark are not what an edge rusher would get when other guys are not excelling.

    That's not to say Matthews has not been showing decline. There were quite a few opportunities where he got to the QB just a bit late, got a hand on him, but ended up barely missing. The fall off is there, but not as dramatic as some want to claim. I think the issue is more an endless string of minor injuries that, if they have not taken their toll, at least limited his games and snaps the last couple of years. And he's still about the same run defender as always: adequate when the play run at him, very effective from the backside.

    I think what we saw this past season was not that far off a $10 million edge rusher. The question is can he stay healthy, or will yet another shade of quickness get lost with age, and there lies the rub.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
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  12. OldSchool101

    OldSchool101 Peerless Beer, Lacrosse WI

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    Our best bet after reading that to make sure this draft sticks because those guys don't impact our Cap like the Vets. The greater the number of draft players who can not only start but contribute similar to our current roster or above needs to be maximized to have a friendly balance sheet.

    That said, I think reasonably we can get at minimum 2 of our immediate positional needs out of this draft with reasonable certainty. My basis for this is our pick #14 should be a starter day 1. If we wait until pick #47 things get shaky, but I've noticed in many drafts there are really solid 1st round designated players that still slide into the early 2nd round, but there's a threshold in every draft of top talent (typically late round 1 and early round 2) and then the performance drops off dramatically. We can see that by how many 2nd rounder etc.. are still playing 5 years later, how many 3rd round players are still playing 5 years later and so on (as the rounds change the % drops dramatically) There should reasonably be another player in rounds 3-5 that rises to the occasion as a starter capable (like or RB squad did last year).

    For the reason of this enlightening commentary, my contention has been that we need to do just the opposite of what TT did last year. In order to get the maximum probability of the benefit of starter level players when we have double digit numbers of draft selections is to trade up (I'm not suggesting anything radical such as trading into the top 10 or robbing future top draft picks which would be extremely costly) but trading up into the late 1st or early second round with a couple of picks should be on the table.

    There's a good possibility that one of our FA Veterans walk this season in contract negotiations regardless of what we think "we" can control. That's a cyclical process that isn't all that bad, because it forces us to look harder into the future rather than allowing our personal emotions to restrain us from making a move out of fear. This is a chess game and we have to anticipate losing every FA and what our response will be before it happens. The better the contingency plan, the more aggressive negotiating a team friendly contract should become.

    We are in a constant rebuilding mode and not everything will be accomplished in 2018 that needs to be done, particularly within our limited Cap budget. We do however IMO, have a really good opportunity in 2018 to better multiple positions groups extensively, even with the tough decisions at WR that will have to be addressed this year.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  13. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I thought the Packers should have gone high for a WR last year in anticipation of where we are now. It typically takes even the high pick WRs a year or two to learn the ropes. That's probably no more true than in Green Bay where the QB has very specific expectations of his receivers and does not suffer mistakes kindly.

    I think going high now for a WR is a necessity more than an option given he may not be all that productive his first year. At that point, of course, the peeps would be howling over a busted pick. ;)

    The same applies to OLBs. Guys picked high at the position are valued for edge rush ability. Most end up in pass rush rotation the first year as they learn the ropes.

    So, yes, put me down for a WR in rounds 1 or 2 depending the position depth this year, and that's even if Nelson and Cobb are retained. We sure won't be in an improved scenario at the position next year at this time without some addition now. We'll see who declares, what the all star games show, what the Combine shows, though I kinda doubt I'll get into all that as deep as in past years.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
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  14. GreenBaySlacker

    GreenBaySlacker Cheesehead

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    I may be getting too comfortable with the odds of a high wr draft pick automatically becoming a plug in player. Ted Thompson's track record is great. #12 is great. All that... but Yea. I expect a 1St or second round wr to start outside opposite Adams. This group needs one of those do all , monster wrs who runs sub 4.4 at 6'4" 225 pounds.

    Solid change of strategy would be to add size and speed like we are doing at cb. And bring in a guy who can get deep for #12. Dare I say Josh Gordon? Lol

    Jordy isn't done. I could easily see him restructure or get cut and resigned a couple weeks later. But him making #1 wr money, and not getting open even with #12 throwing the ball. It doesn't add up. And with this rebuild, those are the hard decisions that have to be made for the greater good of future rosters and caps.

    I also want to see Janis on a special teams contract. Don't even list him as a wr anymore, other than #7 insurance policy.

    Davis went from rookie no show. To earned kick return duties and a few respectable snaps... but I seen a guy who looked bigger than the fragile rookie who went straight to ir. He looked quick and fast... and if he continues to progress, I think we have a good wr...

    Another guy who was put on the shelf because he only played football one year is the monster 6'6" Clark....... give this guy the ball...

    Yancy too. He was playing well before he got his clocked cleaned and Clark stole the show...

    Point is. We do have options. It won't be the all star line up we are used to seeing. But it does justify spending big on a top te and getting the run game more involved with our new rbs.
     
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  15. OldSchool101

    OldSchool101 Peerless Beer, Lacrosse WI

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    and add to that getting our RB's more involved in the short passing game, where we have been successful in the past years and all but abandoned the idea
     
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  16. GreenBaySlacker

    GreenBaySlacker Cheesehead

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    I think all three in question have star potential. But for what ever reasons, the plan isn't working... it's been a long time since Mathews or Cobb have been impact players though. Last year I questioned them and the dead cap saved them. This year, after ANOTHER mediocre year, the dead cap won't save them. Imo.
    Jordy just got on the list, and should be the last to go. Injuries weren't his fault. His professionalism and leadership the last 10 years should save him. But his lack of production in crunch time this year showed a picture of a wr not 100%. Hopefully he comes back next year and Jordy/Adams resume their 1000+yd, double digit TD norm... but as hardrightedge said. We should draft a wr high, and if Jordy returns to form, then that's all the better...
     
  17. Pokerbrat2000

    Pokerbrat2000 Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

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    I think many of us are in agreement.......its time to retool the WR and TE positions. This can be done via Free Agency and the draft. I agree with HRE, you don't just draft a WR and expect him to come in and play well his rookie year. So depending on what the Packers decide to do with Jordy and Cobb, the need for at least 1 if not 2 WR's, could be urgent or at least on the very near horizon.

    Obviously, TT and the Packers have been keeping an eye on the position and hoping that mid to late round picks on guys like Allison, Davis, Dupre or Yancey would pan out and fill the positions, but I wouldn't count on any of them at this point.
     
  18. Lawdog

    Lawdog Cheesehead

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    First nice post and thank you for the information. This is not much cap space for a team that needs to add talent and resign the best QB in the league. The past several drafts have been used to add talent to the defensive side of the ball. I have to trust the new DC can bring out the talent of these past draft picks. I make all attempts to resign Morgan Burnett and House. I keep Jordy and Clay because they still have value on the field and in the locker room. I like Cobb but I feel you can get same production fromMontgomery. Draft heavy on the offensive side of the ball to reload talent for Mr. Rodgers. Great post.
     
  19. GreenBaySlacker

    GreenBaySlacker Cheesehead

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    Let's look at production this last year.
    Granted, #12 missed half the year, but none of the guys in question stepped up when Adams got ko'd and the season was on the line...

    2017 stats.

    Cobb ,66 for 653 yds and 4 tds.
    Nelson, 53 for 482 yds and 6 tds.
    That is unacceptable
     
  20. Pokerbrat2000

    Pokerbrat2000 Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

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    Personally, I think both Nelson and Cobb will be fine in 2018. Too much has been made about Jordy being washed up, when in reality, he was having another good year, until AR went down. Cobb, yeah he is overpaid, but again, with AR behind center, he is a valuable target.

    If I had my way, both Jordy and Cobb would be resigned for reasonable 3 year contracts. Packers use their #1 on pass rush and #2 on a WR. They keep Allison, the rookie and whoever else impresses enough on special teams for that #6 spot.
     
  21. NelsonsLongCatch

    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    There is a good amount of fat to trim on this roster if the Packers want to pickup some cap space.
     
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  22. GreenBaySlacker

    GreenBaySlacker Cheesehead

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    What is the equation to figure what round comp pick a team gets for losing a established starting veteran? Even if the veteran hasn't produced in a couple years?

    Because allowing all three veterans to play out their contracts wouldn't be such a bad plan if we get three third round comp picks. Let McCarthy play with his players, and let the new head coach have a healthy salary cap, and a handful of day two picks. If McCarthy fails to impress.

    But I feel with a new defensive coordinator and scheme, we need some flexibility with the roster. They say 13 mil to use after rookies, ir, high end estimate of salary cap being raised, etc.... all in all, that's about what we usually carry over...

    So fact is. If we want to do anything in free agency, including retaining any of our own free agents. We need to mortgage the future, or cut some expensive guys.
     
  23. GreenBaySlacker

    GreenBaySlacker Cheesehead

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    Bulaga Coming off an acl could be a cap saver too.
     
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  24. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    The NFL does not disclose how they make the determination, though they provide hints: the size of the free agent contract, playing time and performance (such as offseason awards).

    History shows the main factor is the size of the free agent contract.

    There's a cap on how many compensatory picks will be awarded. It used to be 32; I don't know if that has changed. If they don't find 32 worthies for rounds 3-6, they slap the remainder on at the end of the 7th. round.

    Another important consideration is whether the value of free agents lost exceeds the value of free agents signed. Interestingly enough, the Packers cut Bennett just before the week 10 deadline that would have qualified him as a Packer FA signing for compensatory purposes. It would not have been a bad idea to cut him anyway even if the injury nonsense had not arisen because he sure wasn't contributing much while dropping a lot of balls. Decent blocker, though. Had he stuck, he probably would have wiped out whatever pick we get for Hyde or Lang given the size of his contract.

    I said earlier that Hyde is worth a 3rd. round comp, but that may have been a moment of weakness. The dollars might not be there. Same for Lang. Recall Williams and House got nice contracts, and ended up being 4th. round comps. Hayward made the Pro Bowl and only netted a 5th. rounder because of the modest 3 year/$15 mil contract. It still seems funny calling that modest, but it is for a cornerback.

    Hyde/Lang: maybe a couple of 4th. rounders, maybe a 3rd. and a 4th.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  25. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    That's never a good bet.

    Given how many receivers go high in the draft, how many break out as rookies? Not many.

    There's a whole new level of learning that has to take place, the playbook being maybe the least of it. They have to learn to read NFL defenses to adjust routes. They have learn how their QB does just that and get on the same page. And when Rodgers looks at you, you better know what he means.

    They have to adjust to a higher level of CB competition, and that involves studying (and playing against) players to learn tendencies and tells. A good WR is a good CB scout.

    And they have to transition from these spread option timing pass offenses to the versatility required in the NFL game. Run the route, catch the ball...that's over when they get to the NFL.

    And you can practice all day and all night, study your brains out, pour over tape. But in the end, the "graduate level degree" is earned on the field in money games. Mistakes get made on the field, they are taken back to the practice field and film room, adjustments are made, they go back to the field, more mistakes are made, repeat and rinse. And while all that is going on, Rodgers is glowering at you on the jumbotron.

    In year 1 you would expect some productivity, some contribution, and indication of progress throughout the season. By year 2, you just might have something.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018

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