2018 Salary Cap Analysis

swhitset

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The Vikings currently have more than $50 million of cap space available (assuming Over The Cap is correct that the cap will raise to $178 million). That will probably allow them to sign a quarterback to a lucrative deal. It will be a tough decision who to spend that money on though.
Well... heres to them making the wrong one...lol.
 
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HardRightEdge

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It looks like the salary cap is set at 177.2 million. Here's the updated math from the OP post with the minor Randall/Kizer adjustments included.

Current cap space: $20.5 million for the top 51.

Now for the necessary subtractions:

- Top 3 draft picks: About $2.7 million over and above the cost of $500,000 minimum salary guys they replace on the 51 list.

- Players 52 and 53 at the rookie minimm: About $1 million

- Practice squad: About $1.3 million

- Guys on PUP and IR get paid and count against the cap, so something has to be held in reserve for their replacements: $4 million would be prudent, but don't expect to sign but one or two minimum et FAs off the street in an emergency.

That gets the effective usable cap space to $11.5 million. High value free agent talk is a lot of champagne on a beer budget unless and until more cap space is cleared.
 
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It looks like the salary cap is set at 177.2 million. Here's the updated math from the OP post with the minor Randall/Kizer adjustments included.

Current cap space: $20.5 million for the top 51.

Now for the necessary subtractions:

- Top 3 draft picks: About $2.7 million over and above the cost of $500,000 minimum salary guys they replace on the 51 list.

- Players 52 and 53 at the rookie minimm: About $1 million

- Practice squad: About $1.3 million

- Guys on PUP and IR get paid and count against the cap, so something has to be held in reserve for their replacements: $4 million would be prudent, but don't expect to sign but one or two minimum et FAs off the street in an emergency.

That gets the effective usable cap space to $11.5 million. High value free agent talk is a lot of champagne on a beer budget unless and until more cap space is cleared.
Agreed. I don’t want to be cruel but we either need to restructure 2-3 contracts to increase that net overall number to around 18-20M,or cut 1 sizeable player contract in the +-10M range. (Cobb etc.)
That should give us more ample room to sign a couple of decent veterans depending on who’s available.
8-10M$ at CB (I’d prefer two at 5M range)
5-7M& at TE or WR
4-5M$ other depth or holes
Etc.
 
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Coach C.

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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.
 

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Just viewed on ESPN that Richard Sherman signed 3 year deal 39 mil dollars with the 49ers.. still hope we sign a starting FA CB!
 

Mondio

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Just viewed on ESPN that Richard Sherman signed 3 year deal 39 mil dollars with the 49ers.. still hope we sign a starting FA CB!
if We would have signed him to that deal I can say I'd be on top of the "WTF was that Gute?" train. Without details it doesn't mean a ton, but if there is a lot of guaranteed money in that 39 million, I don't think it's a very smart signing for them at all.
 
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I don't believe Gutekunst is going to sign any name free agents at all.

I believe once teams release vets they've replaced in the draft he might back and fill in phase II of free agency. At that point he'll know where his remaining holes are after his own draft.

I believe he'll stick with the draft and develop model laid out by Thompson. Frankly, he doesn't have a whole lot of choice unless he cuts some of the high paid vets.

Here's the key to his success: can he draft better than Thompson? That's not a particularly high bar give the last several years.
 
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I’m anxious to see if he can renegotiate deals first, we should know very soon.
The draft is not until April 26. I don't expect much to happen on that front until then.
 
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Poppa San

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If he is going to jump on some free agents it should be soon.
I don't think he jumps until near the end of this month. He doesn't have a surplus of ammo and he learned his style from TT. Value FAs are what I expect and that is usually week 2 and after.
 

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Salary cap calculations:
Does it matter if Cobb / Bulaga / Jordy etc are cut today or traded?
What about cut/traded after the new league year starts on Wed?
I know about the cut and designated post June 1st.

For this discussion, assume we find a pigeon fool team that will take them "for past considerations."* The question isn't, do we get more space. The question is if their departure is better off handled one way or the other.

*IIRC that designation is no longer usable IRL but is used here to stop sidetracks as to equal value stuff or better than nothing.
 
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HardRightEdge

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Salary cap calculations:
Does it matter if Cobb / Bulaga / Jordy etc are cut today or traded?
What about cut/traded after the new league year starts on Wed?
I know about the cut and designated post June 1st.

For this discussion, assume we find a pigeon fool team that will take them "for past considerations."* The question isn't, do we get more space. The question is if their departure is better off handled one way or the other.

*IIRC that designation is no longer usable IRL but is used here to stop sidetracks as to equal value stuff or better than nothing.
According to this site https://overthecap.com/salary-cap/green-bay-packers/ Cobb, Nelson, Matthews and Bulaga all have game day active roster bonuses but not start-of-the-league-year roster bonuses. The June 1st. provision does not apply as a result.

Click on a guy's name in that link and then read the "Contract Notes" section.

These guys each have workout bonuses in the $250,00 - $500,000 range which presumably come due sometime during OTAs. I'd suppose they'd be due at the time of volutary OTAs as an inducement to have the guys show up providing they do show up.

So I don't see timing/savings issues in a cut or trade prior to the workout bonuses coming due.

The amounts at issue are nominal. Workout bonues or not, I'd expect the release/trade/extend/stand pat decisions to be made before OTAs start. Ideally you would want your first teamers and competive situations penciled in by that time and not waste reps on first teamers with whom you're still looking to part ways. The Rodgers renegotiation might throw a monkey wrench in that default plan. If it were me I'd like to see him throw in OTAs before making the committment. There seems to be an assumption that a plate and bunch of screws in the throwing shoulder is a non-issue. I would not make that assumption.
 

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I don't believe Gutekunst is going to sign any name free agents at all.

I believe once teams release vets they've replaced in the draft he might back and fill in phase II of free agency. At that point he'll know where his remaining holes are after his own draft.

I believe he'll stick with the draft and develop model laid out by Thompson. Frankly, he doesn't have a whole lot of choice unless he cuts some of the high paid vets.

Here's the key to his success: can he draft better than Thompson? That's not a particularly high bar give the last several years.
i'm getting that same vibe. too many teams with huge cap space will gobble up all the best players. read an article the other day that said they're sitting at $20m+- (with roll-overs etc). it wouldn't surprise me if they move up in the draft though considering all the picks they have. make a splash that way.
 

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i'm getting that same vibe. too many teams with huge cap space will gobble up all the best players. read an article the other day that said they're sitting at $20m+- (with roll-overs etc). it wouldn't surprise me if they move up in the draft though considering all the picks they have. make a splash that way.
There are 9 teams that are probably going to be the major buyers in the 1st week of FA. Will be interesting to see some of these contract numbers.
 
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i'm getting that same vibe. too many teams with huge cap space will gobble up all the best players. read an article the other day that said they're sitting at $20m+- (with roll-overs etc). it wouldn't surprise me if they move up in the draft though considering all the picks they have. make a splash that way.
As noted in post #277 above, the effective usable cap space as things stand now is about $11.5 million.
 
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Time to make the donuts again. The math challenged or those with limited attentions spans might not want to bother reading further.

With updates for Graham and Wilkerson now included at the ususal suspect cites, the Packers Top 51 current cap space might be:

$19.5 mil https://overthecap.com/salary-cap/green-bay-packers/ or perhaps

$17.0 mil http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/cap/

Where the specific differences lies are not immediately apparent to me and I'm not taking the time to figure it out.

Now for the necessary subtraction estimates:

- players 52 and 53 at the rookie minimum: about $1 mil
- PS: about $1 mil
* draftees: about $3.0 mil
** PUP/IR replacement reserve to which I'd allocate at least $4 mil
Total Subtractions: $9 mil

* The draftee salary pool for this year is estimated at the bottom of this link: http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/green-bay-packers/cap/ The cap hit for the top 8 picks will be about $7.3 mil. If the 8 cheapest guys based on the current roster were cut to make room, the draftees replace $4.3 mil in cap for a net cap cost of $3.0 mil.

** Without a reserve, if a starter goes to PUP/IR and the need exists to sign a J. Evans or Brooks-type replacement, then a player of equal cap cost would have to be cut. That would be bad planning especially on a team with so many depth issues and a "win now" approach.

So, with the $9 mil haircut off the top for the above subtractions, the current cap space effectively available for FAs is currently about $8 mil - $10.5 mil depending on which of the above cites one chooses to use.

Had the Packers signed Fuller to a deal identical to the Bears' structure, the 2018 cap hit would have been $6.5 mil but with the cap hit exploding starting in year 2:

https://overthecap.com/player/kyle-fuller/2953/

Had that deal been done, that would have left $1.5 mil - $4 mil to do something minor in FA with the true cost coming down the road.

However, looking to 2019, the above sites agree that the current cap cost for players under contract is about $130 mil for 30 players. Another $12 mil added to the cap next year would put the cap at $189 mil, or $59 mil in cap space currently.

A lot, right?

Not so fast. Had Fuller been added with that Bears-like contract (or another similar player under similar back loaded cap terms is acquired at some point in this off-season), the 2019 cap space drops to about $45 mil for 31 players.

Under those conditions, going into 2019, if you apply the same subtractions as noted above, the cap space drops to $36 mil but for only 38 players. Adding another 15 players at the rookie minimum drops the usable free cap space to about about $24 mil even if nobody ever carries that many rookies on the 53 man roster. Expect less than that $24 mil under this scenario.

Here's the rub. We have an evident "win now" approach in play. Do you think you can win a championship with the current roster + a Fuller-like alternative + a minor FA signing + the rookie class? I don't, but certainly many disagree. However, if you don't win that championship, it's rinse and repeat in 2019 except for one "minor" point:

None of the FAs in the following list are on that 2019 roster or included in the $24 million (or less) cap space noted below:

http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/2019/all/green-bay-packers/

So, the question to the "win now" advocates is if you think you can win with those upcoming FAs, and you don't win, where are you when they are gone or require chunks of cap to keep them around. Just to start, I don't see how these guys can get past Philly. That's just the high bar with lower bars also presenting significant challenges.

If we're to be honest with ourselves, this group as currently constituted is not as youthful, impactful or deep as the 2014 or 2015 group, and those teams were not without holes and depth issues.

I you don't win now, you're at a dead end unless you get 2 kick *** draft classes in the interim. The odds of that are slim.

This is why I have no problem with the Nelson release or the Burnett non-signing. It's why I have a big problem with the Graham and Wilkerson signings. Without those signings I'd endorse a Fuller-lke signing with less cap backloading as part of a multi-year plan. Renegtiating Matthews or Cobb into 2 year deals at half the annual cost (LOL, good luck with that) prolongs the issue. I would have preferred seeing them released and signing another quality second contract guy in prep for a 2019 run, Landry for instance. And you still need pretty good drafts, but you've at least added young players to the core, not expensive reclamation projects.

You can disagree about whether the Packers can win now; I don't think there's much room for argument about where this team stands if they don't.

We await the next roster and contract moves.
 
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That's a striking info storm...
I said before, Mathews, Nelson/Cobb each save 10+mil. When we signed Wilkerson, we released Nelson. I suspect if we were successfully able to steal fuller, another of those three would have been released...
 
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This is a major reason why we just flipped her from 4th gear back to 1st gear.
I look at it like this. Graham is basically 10M yearly and Mo is roughly 5M. Jordys contract covered Graham and Morgan’s contract savings covered Mo. So far we havn’t really done much in reality yet except reallocate talent in different areas.
We still have enough to resign some of our own and still sign a couple more Veterans (Ahmad Brooks types) without totally breaking the bank. But this is where it’s wise to practice patience and let the market depreciate some. Time IS our friend and creates the leavening in the value of our NFL dollars with FA both domestic and outside GB.
We also have draft Capital and that’s a form of Bargaining power we forget about. Many teams trade through draft picks and that can metamorphasize into Veteran help. This is a league where teams are always looking for a faster, younger, cheaper version of their current players (think of the 6M Dollar Man intro!) the draft offers the ability to achieve that.
Pick #138 or #133 likely won’t produce an immediate starter for us anyway but would give us lots of leverage in getting one answer to the question marks we’re left with at CB, WR etc.

Let’s cash in a few bonds early before we’re pushing up daisies.
 
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That's a striking info storm...
I said before, Mathews, Nelson/Cobb each save 10+mil. When we signed Wilkerson, we released Nelson. I suspect if we were successfully able to steal fuller, another of those three would have been released...
I have little doubt that's the case. The Fuller signing would have been the only one of the 3 signings to date I would have endorsed. Perhaps there will be an upcoming move I can endorse, a cap-back-loaded Rodgers re-write not being one of them.
 
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Now for the necessary subtraction estimates:

** PUP/IR replacement reserve to which I'd allocate at least $4 mil
ä

** Without a reserve, if a starter goes to PUP/IR and the need exists to sign a J. Evans or Brooks-type replacement, then a player of equal cap cost would have to be cut. That would be bad planning especially on a team with so many depth issues and a "win now" approach.

While I shared that opinion over the past few years I was wondering today if it's actually true that injured reserve replacements eat up that much if any cap space at all.

It's interested to note that the Packers only lost less than $1.5 million in cap space over the course of last season. I took that number from an article mentioning that the Packers had a bit under $11 million of cap space entering the 2017 season and according to official numbers by the league were able to roll over $3.9 million into this season. You have to realize that the extensions for Adams and Linsley added $5.6 million to last year's cap.
 

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Since the B3@rz did not officially sign Fuller until yesterday, was his offer tying up the Packers cap space until then?
 
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While I shared that opinion over the past few years I was wondering today if it's actually true that injured reserve replacements eat up that much if any cap space at all.

It's interested to note that the Packers only lost less than $1.5 million in cap space over the course of last season. I took that number from an article mentioning that the Packers had a bit under $11 million of cap space entering the 2017 season and according to official numbers by the league were able to roll over $3.9 million into this season. You have to realize that the extensions for Adams and Linsley added $5.6 million to last year's cap.
In the above analysis, I've indicated that setting aside that $4 mil reserve goes along with current effective cap space of $8 - $10.5 mil depending on which cite you look at. If you want to make it $2 mil / $10 - $12.5 mil this moment there's a big problem: it's a long way from now to the end of the season.. That $2 mil would have to carry you through from this date forward to the Superbowl kickoff ;).

Guys end up on PUP and IR before the season even starts. You have to account for that at this time. If you set that reserve at $2 mil now it could go puff if somebody blows an ACL just running around in OTAs in signing a cheap vet replacement. Consider a Brooks-type signing a week before opening day for injury replacemnt instead of merely depth as was the case in that instance. Replacing Nelson with Jones was a $900,000 tapping of the reserve two weeks before opening day.

It was Thompson's habit to only promote injury replacements from the PS once the season starts. If that approach continues, $2 million on opening day would cover 4 full season equivalents or 8 half season equivalents promoted from the PS. That might be adequate then, but now now.

We can simply lump the two figures together: $12 - $14.5 in usable cap space for FA signings and PUP /IR replacements. I prefer to keep them separate with the $4 mil reserve as a reminder that sh*t happens before opening day. As opening day approaches the reserve amount could be reduced, which may account for why the Packers signed Brooks for depth a week before opening day as they got to opening day nearly unscathed, with only Biegle on PUP and Talley on IR.

Some wags in these pages want to say its a one-year-at-a-time outlook by necessity. It is not. It is only if you want it to be. And if you're going to go out and blow $10 mil now in FA, it's more a "this moment" outlook.
 
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In the above analysis, I've indicated that setting aside that $4 mil reserve goes along with current effective cap space of $8 - $10.5 mil depending on which cite you look at. If you want to make it $2 mil / $10 - $12.5 mil this moment there's a big problem: it's a long way from now to the end of the season.. That $2 mil would have to carry you through from this date forward to the Superbowl kickoff ;).

Guys end up on PUP and IR before the season even starts. You have to account for that at this time. If you set that reserve at $2 mil now it could go puff if somebody blows an ACL just running around in OTAs in signing a cheap vet replacement. Consider a Brooks-type signing a week before opening day for injury replacemnt instead of merely depth as was the case in that instance. Replacing Nelson with Jones was a $900,000 tapping of the reserve two weeks before opening day.

It was Thompson's habit to only promote injury replacements from the PS once the season starts. If that approach continues, $2 million on opening day would cover 4 full season equivalents or 8 half season equivalents promoted from the PS. That might be adequate then, but now now.

We can simply lump the two figures together: $12 - $14.5 in usable cap space for FA signings and PUP /IR replacements. I prefer to keep them separate with the $4 mil reserve as a reminder that sh*t happens before opening day. As opening day approaches the reserve amount could be reduced, which may account for why the Packers signed Brooks for depth a week before opening day as they got to opening day nearly unscathed, with only Biegle on PUP and Talley on IR.

Some wags in these pages want to say its a one-year-at-a-time outlook by necessity. It is not. It is only if you want it to be. And if you're going to go out and blow $10 mil now in FA, it's more a "this moment" outlook.

While you bring up some valid points I don't believe the number is as high as you expect it to be.

There's another thing to consider in that a lot of high priced players on the roster have per-game active bonuses included in their contracts which they don't earn once being placed on injured reserve. Therefore the cost for a replacement is offset by not having to pay those bonuses.
 

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