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Future salary cap situation

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by captainWIMM, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I see a sbnation piece from March 2013 indicating Jennings was asking for that $15 mil in the "2012 offseason". I take that to mean after the 2012 season. When I began to conjecture that Jennings would not be re-signed, somewhere around game 7 of the 2012 season, give or take, I recall no reports of Jennings' excessive demands. In fact, NO ONE in these pages offered even a hint of agreement, such as "you might have a point given what he's asking". So I'll leave any further searching to you.

    The oft-repeated conventional wisdom that Nelson was not a need pick because there was no "immediate need" is somewhat ironic since that situation is relatively similar to this draft, or even the Cobb draft.

    Here are the receiving stats for the 2007 season, the year before Nelson's draft, which I'll reference later:

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/stats/_/name/gb/year/2007

    Driver was going to be 33 going into the 2008 season. Given that nearly all NFL receivers need at least one year and usually two to become particularly productive, a pick in 2008 would be preparation for 2009 or 2010, when Driver would be hitting 34 or 35 years of age.

    To further illustrate the necessity of advance planning for the wide receiver position, as recently as the 2012 training camp McCarthy noted that he was adding to Nelson's route tree for the upcoming season...his 5th. year in the league. By 2013, Nelson had become a fully polished receiver, running anything anybody could want out of wideout or slot as Jennings had done previously. I wouldn't mention that PFF named Nelson their All Pro slot receiver for 2013 if that did not happen to sync up with my eye test...5 seasons to be worked in as multi-tool; 6 seasons to progress to full potential. One might even argue that Nelson's introduction to the full route tree in 2012 was an additional, if more subtle, indicator of advance planning for Jennings departure.

    At this stage I'd place Nelson's market value on a par with the 2013 version of Jennings...same age, similar accomplishments, similar speed, similar hands, similar route running bona fides, similar versatility. Nelson might draw a bit more interest because of some organizations' bias toward bigger wideouts.

    Further still, it's clear through 3 seasons that Cobb has more pieces to be added to his route tree and more polish to be added to his option reads.

    So, getting back to the aforementioned stat link, we had Driver, Jennings, Jones and "just guys" Martin and Robinson going into the 2008 draft. We were already an offense heavy in the 3 WR sets. Driver was aging. Jones had one year under his belt but wasn't showing sufficient flash (as Cobb had done as a rookie, for example) to suggest he'd be more than a good #3 (or a serviceable #2 in an rebuilding situation as is his current lot). I can't recall if he was dropping a lot of balls in 2007, but I do recall he was running a lot of short routes with 47 catches in 80 targets...not particularly auspicious.

    In my mind there are 4 positions on the football field that require multi-year advance planning:

    1. QB, for obvious reasons.
    2. WR, for the reasons touched on above, and to get on the same page as the QB. Half of Rodgers INTs over the years come from the receiver zigging when Rodgers is zagging. The vet QB / rookie WR disconnect is hardly unique.
    3. Cover corner, where small mistakes can be very costly. Even a guy like Shields, who displayed shockingly good speed and ball skills as a rookie, wasn't trusted to cover #1 receivers on a regular basis until 2013, his 4th. season, despite the fact Williams was a minor disaster in 2012.
    4. LT, where even high pick rookies usually spend a year apprenticship at RT. Again, this is a position where small mistakes can lead to big trouble.

    This is why, after the signings of Raji, Peppers and Guion, I elevated WR over D-Line as a draft priority.

    With Williams in a his contract year and House being one of those guys where too many mistakes per snap should give one pause, a cover corner should be on the radar.

    If we were to take a WR in the first 2 rounds for a Nelson-like pick, there will be hue and clamor that it was contrary to more "immediate needs" (safety seems to be the most popular choice, though I disagree, clearly, as indicated in previous posts.)

    Then, if Nelson were not resigned in free agency, the need will still not have become evident to the rank-and-file fans and reporters in retrospect, just as the timeliness of the Nelson pick in light of Driver's injury/decline is not now appreciated in retrospect, as though the Nelson pick was some happy accident and not a prudent hedging of bets at a critical skill position.

    It astounds me to this day how few people appreciate the critically needed advance planning that was executed with the Rodgers pick in light of the Favre shenanigans. I wonder if Belichick takes a QB in the first or second round, as he is evidently scouting, whether Patriot fans will consider it a "best available player" move when in fact it would be prudent and critical advance planning.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
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  2. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    By the way, Boykin is a restricted FA after 2014. That's an entirely different animal. Restricted FAs who get a draft-pick-compensation tender rarely get signed away.

    For example, after 2012 we had a second round tender on Shields and there were no takers. We ended up having his services for 2013 for $2 million. Expect the same for Boykin in 2015.

    I reckon Boykin's upside is as a Jones-like $3 mil year #3 receiver. If he blossoms into something more, that will be a matter for next off season's advance planning. How that might play out will depend on too many variables to consider in any detail at this time: who gets drafted this year, how that guy looks after a season, who gets signed in the interim, who might incur a serious injury.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  3. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Well, Boykin doesn't have to sign the tender and if the Packers let either Nelson or Cobb walk away he could gain some leverage in contract negotiations, edpecially if he has a nice season in 2014.
     
  4. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/pack...on-offer-em96ep8-198638301.html#ixzz2zGHoRjmJ

    In 2008 when Nelson was drafted the WRs on the roster were: Driver, who was in his 10th season and would retire 5 seasons later, Jennings, in his third season who would leave 5 seasons later and Jones, in his second season who would leave 6 seasons later. IMO that equals no immediate need. There were higher priorities than WR going into that draft.

    IMO QB was not a critical need in 2005. Favre had been playing the retirement game since 2002 and he showed no signs of slowing down and of course he had already proven to be historical durable. His QB rating increased in each of the previous three years, culminating with a 92.4 rating in 2004. During the Favre-made mess, the Packers were willing to welcome him back within a month of his "retirement". And without the Favre-made mess he would have started at QB in 2008. Lack of concern about his age at that point translates into lack of concern three years earlier. We will never know what was in Thompson’s mind on draft day, 2008. But evidence of a critical need at QB would have been repeated attempts to trade up for Rodgers as the highly rated QB continued to get passed by. There were no reports of any attempt to trade up.
     
  5. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    It should be noted that the draft pick cost is offset by the savings associated with guys they bump off the roster.

    Here's the rough math as I see it:

    1. Start with the cap hit for the top 51.

    2. Add $840,000 for rookie minimum guys filling spots 52 and 53.

    3. Add $1 mil for the 8 practice squad guys. The minimum pay is $6,000 per regular season week...8 players x 17 weeks would be $816,000. Maybe we pay a guy or two a little more.

    4. Add the $5.8 million for the draftees.

    Now the offsets come in:

    5. Reckon that some of those draftees will not make the 53 man roster by either being released or sent to practice squad. Their non-guaranteed contract portion of the $5.8 mil can be deducted from the total (which would be all or nearly all of what they signed for).

    6. The major adjustment is likely to come from the guys currently in the 51 who get cut and displaced by draft picks. For example, let's say we kept the top 6 draft picks accounting for about $5 mil in cap, but those draft picks bumped 6 guys off the roster who happen to be making on average the 3rd. year minimum of $645,000. You would credit back about $3.9 mil of cap space against the $5.8 mil.

    So, for ballpark purposes with so many variables to be determined, I'd say it's the current top 51 + about $2 mil for 52, 53 and practice squad + about $2 mil for the draftees net of cuts from the 51.

    It is often overlooked that IR and PUP guys count against the cap once the season starts. Cap $ must be kept in reserve to sign replacements. Last season the reserve number was about $5 mil. I see no reason to expect anything less at this point, though the intent appears to be at this stage a more healthy carryover for next year's FA signings.
     
  6. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    You are correct that restricted free agents are free to shop their services to anybody.

    However, any other team who signs them must compensate the previous team with the draft pick associated with the tender offer. Further, the old team has the right of first refusal to match the best offer the restricted FA receives from another team. Further yet, knowing the old team has right of first refusal puts any other team in a position akin to something between a guessing game and negotiating against themselves.

    If no new team makes an offer, which is typically the case because paying draft pick compensation is widely considered to be odious, the player is stuck signing the restricted FA offer if a long term deal can't be worked out with the old team. The old team is in the drivers seat.

    In the absence of an offer from another team, and in the absence of the old team's making an acceptable long term offer (if any), I believe the player's only option other than signing the tender would be sit out the season with no pay...and that never happens.

    Like I said, we could tender Boykin for 2nd. round compensation just like Shields and pay him something on the order of $2 mil for one year and it is hard to construct a reasonable scenario where there would be any takers wanting to steal him away.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  7. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Driver was effectively done after 2009. From that point forward he was paid to prevent another Favre-like PR mess with the happy-thought that he provided depth, though certainly not commensurate with his pay.

    I think I already made my point that "immediate need" is a false construct. What is most important, what is most needed, may not be what is most immediate. Once "need" is properly defined, the landscape can be more clearly assessed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  8. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    I menioned it in my first post, Wallace's deal only count something like $4m in dead money in the second to last year and $2m in the final year. That's a front loaded contract when you're talking about a deal that averages ~$12m per year.

    And why woud Boykin need to re-sign for the minimum? Unless he puts up something ridiculous like 1,400 yards I don't think teams are going to be lining up to throw #1 WR at the guy. If he's a legit #2 WR then I have no problem with the Packers paying him #2 WR money.
     
  9. Pack-12

    Pack-12 Cheesehead

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    From what I can find it looks like plenty of people here were on board with the idea that Jennings might be gone at the end of that season.

    http://www.packerforum.com/threads/...be-his-last-year-with-pack.38727/#post-460820
    http://www.packerforum.com/threads/trade-greg-jennings.39042/
    http://www.packerforum.com/threads/jennings-i-dont-want-a-franchise-tag.41767/
    http://www.packerforum.com/threads/official-greg-jennings-talk.41949/
     
  10. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I trust you noticed the first and earliest of those links is my post. It does appear, however, that some were perhaps resigned to it, if not in agreement, back then when I wrote in a kinder and gentler voice.
     
  11. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Thanks for pointing that out, I totally forgot about the fact that the rookies will push some guys counting towards the top 51 from the roster. Nevertheless the Packers won´t be able to roll over a lot of money from the 2014 season into 2015.
     
  12. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Oh, I forgot to mention that your link is from March 2013 after Jennings had already departed. A revelation at that time that Jennings may have been asking for $15 mil at some point may have been new information coming out after the fact.
     
  13. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Right...certainly not enough to sign Nelson, Cobb and Bulaga if all perform up to previous best performances. I reckon that's about $25 mil per year on the hoof.
     
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  14. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    I don´t expect Boykin to sign with another team as you´ve correctly pointed out that it would cost a team a pretty significant draft pick as long as we don´t put the low tender on him. It´s still possible that he could gain some leverage for contract negotiations with the Packers if they either let Nelson or Cobb walk.
     
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  15. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Wallace got paid $12 million last year and will get $15M this year, $10M in 2015 and $11.5M in 2016 and 2017. His cap hit was $3.25M last year and will account for $17M this season, $12M in 2015 and $13.7M in 2016 and 2017. No matter how you look at it, this deal isn´t frontlodead.

    If we want to keep both Nelson and Cobb Boykin better re-sign for a deal close to the minimum as we won´t have a lot of cap space to work with.
     
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  16. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I wouldn't argue with that. A lot would depend on injuries getting Boykin more targets and the opportunity to solidify his value. Also, there's the question of whether our upper round WR pick steals some of his targets. ;)
     
  17. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Here's one that goes back to August 2012, before the press speculations posted by ivo. Note the author:

    http://www.packerforum.com/threads/biggest-offseason-mistake.38330/#post-458355
     
  18. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Actually, Thx, it's a moot point. It was mid-season 2011, not mid-season 2012, on the old GBPG forum that I originally floated the idea that Jennings could be a cap casualty and where, at such an early date, I was roundly criticized. This link reminded me of that fact:

    http://www.packerforum.com/threads/biggest-offseason-mistake.38330/#post-458355

    Also, it was early 2012, not 2013, where HyponGrey and myself starting raising the specter of no deal for Raji unless he picked up his game. He didn't, and it appears we should have gone for a NT in that 2013 draft as was suggested then...maybe then we wouldn't be paying $4 mil this year with crossed fingers that Raji regains his will to play football and wondering whether we'll get any value out of Jones.

    http://www.packerforum.com/threads/jennings-contract-question.38797/#post-461382

    Sometimes the years run together a bit....
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  19. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    You just changed what we were talking about. Your preference for Cobb over Nelson was that Nelson would be older by the end of any five year deal he signed. I said that Wallace's deal didn't entail huge dead money cap hits over the last couple seasons of his deal, so a deal structured like Wallace's would allow the Packers to get out of any Nelson deal if his performance started to fall off. In the case of Nelson's deal I was talking about the prospect of him falling off and the Packers having a poor contract on the books. With Wallace's deal the Packers could get out if they needed to.

    As for keeping both Nelson and Cobb, future salary cap issues are the penalty you pay for trying to keep a large number of high contracts on the books. That's where tough decisions come into play. That's why I've said it wouldn't be far-fetched for the Packers to let Cobb or Nelson go (I would prefer Nelson to stay but maybe Cobb would come much cheaper). You've been saying that if the Packers want to keep everyone on the team then they'll face some salary cap problems. That's not really anything new. Of course the team can't keep every single high performing player on the team without encountering problems. The only teams that don't have those problems are the teams with nobody worth signing to decent contracts.
     
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  20. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    I didn´t post anything about wanting to keep Cobb over Nelson, that was HRE.

    I´m well aware of the fact that it´s impossible to re-sign everybody with the salary cap in place. not having a single WR with at least 10 career receptions under contract for 2015 with limited cap space qualifies as having some issues for me though.
     
  21. adambr2

    adambr2 Cheesehead

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    I'm not at all concerned about Boykin's leverage as a RFA if he gets a 2nd round tag. He won't get an offer sheet for that tag. Which will leave him with one hand to play, refusing to sign it and holding out for a long-term deal. He won't do that for several reasons:

    1) He obviously benefits from playing with an elite QB. This isn't a knock on Boykin, but it'll be considered if he decides to overplay his hand.

    2). The Packers can slash his 2M+ tag price significantly sometime in the summer if he hasn't signed it by then.

    3.) 2M is still a lot more than he's ever made in his career.

    Regardless of any stat line he puts up next year, holding out as an RFA would be a terrible career move for Boykin. Missing the entire 2015 season would be a disaster for him. He'll play under the 2nd round tag if he gets it and doesn't get a long-term deal, just as Shields did.
     
  22. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    All of your points are valid, in handsight it would have been cheaper to sign Shields to a long-term deal in 2013 though. Same thing could happen with Boykin.
     

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