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The Spectre of 2017 FA's

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by 4zone, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. 4zone

    4zone Cheesehead

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    I don't want to pull conversations away from 2016/17 but it's obvious our FA's in 2017 are having an effect on the Pack's actions even now. With a little down the road peaking, I'd like some thoughts on how folks weave the two into one quilt. This year's draft, FA and next year's in-house FA targets.

    I look at the big 4 FA's for next year. Lacy, Bahk, Lang and Sitton. We can't look at this year without accounting for them in the equation. So lets through out a few numbers first off (I'm not an expert at cap numbers by any stretch of the imagination)

    2016/17 Average Salary Numbers
    Lacy - $848K
    Bahk - $653K
    Lang - 5.2M
    Sitton - 6.75M

    Age
    Lacy - 25 (prime)
    Bahk - 24 (prime)
    Lang - 28 (last contract)
    Sitton - 29 (last contract)

    Estimated Cap Increase
    With this year's cap at 155.17 mil and the estimate that the cap seems to increase at about a 7% clip per year. I expect an increase of about 11M.

    I understand the cap hits this year for each is probably different from their average salary numbers but these numbers will suffice to get this rolling. Feel free to add 2o16/17 actual cap hits to the discussion.

    Lacy and Bahk contracts will definitely make huge leaps next year. I don't think Lang and Sitton will however due to their ages. They may increase but not at the same scale as the other two.

    I think it's easy to project Bahk in the 8M+ range being a LT. He will definitely be offered at least 8M somewhere. Lacy will depend heavily on this coming year's performance. If he makes the leap we all want, he could go somewhere from 5-8M per. These increases alone could eat up the entire cap increase for next year.

    With this in mind, I think it's clear this team is in for some real core player changes in 2017 and with that in mind, how does that effect our approach to FA this year, and our upcoming draft? Light it up folks.
     
  2. 4zone

    4zone Cheesehead

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    My first read is that this year's carry over in cap space will be critical to TT's strategy. In regards to external FA's, I expect a wait and see approach. I expect most external moves to occur after the draft and in the depth category players. If Cook or Dansby last that long, perhaps they will get a lower offer but I don't expect much.

    Draft - I expect a couple targets on the OL and DL each. One early and one late. Prime targets will be guys who can handle the LT position and move inside to OG or a real road grater OG. I also look for an immediate impact pick at DT. LB and TE are positions of need this year but if we go for them at the expense of ignoring the future positions of need we do so at our own peril. I expect at least one TE drafted and two LBs as well, just not as high as people might like. This makes this a potentially disappointing draft for those who are looking for those 'last few pieces to the puzzle' but I believe will be one of our stronger drafts in years to go along with last year's solid draft. It may not give us the immediate leap forward, but should provide us a strong base for years to come.

    I think we make our step forward this year by the return of Jordy and Ty-Mont and the 2nd year leap by Ryan, Rollins and Randall, the better condition of Lacy and better production from current TE's (even if not substatially better) from the addition of a dedicated TE coach. I am also hoping a full year of MM play calling with hopefully a more aggressive style all combined will take us to that next level.

    Overall, I'm like'n it!
     
  3. CashInFist

    CashInFist Cheesehead

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    If we still need a OL and TE in 2017, I think Branden Albert and Jordan Cameron will both be UFA next year from Miami. Albert is a glass cannon though, and Cameron is one head hit away from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - BEST MOVIE EVER :tup:" but he is a great player that the Dolphins do not know how to utilize properly because their QB is one of the worst in the NFL.

    Also, Ryan Tannehill is the biggest mistake in Miami Dolphins franchise history.

    Think about this, Miami spent the #8 overall draft pick on a WR converted to QB with only 19 college starts (not that great, btw), and then proceeds to sign him to a $100M contract when he never even had a winning season. Not only that, but the couple of times the Dolphins needed just ONE win in 2 games against awful opponents, Tannehill stunk up the joint beyond belief.

    How would you all react if something like that went down in Green Bay? Pitchforks? Flaming ones? LOL
     
  4. Mondio

    Mondio Cheesehead

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    I don't see RB as an 8 million a year position for us, but could easily see 5-6. I'm taking a big wait and see with Bahk. I thought he was overrated as a rookie and last year was worse. I've always felt he was not strong enough, but thought it could change with work, and then last year happened. But then after the season they said his ankle was bad enough it needed surgery, so I could see how that would affect footwork and strength. So my mind is still open. If he has a solid year I think the bidding starts at 5-6 per and could easily go higher. But I have a lot of question marks on him.

    I think only 1 of the guards will be retained, and as much as I like Sitton, I think he'll be the odd man out. He's a warrior, and he's always there, but he's breaking down and last year it definitely affected his game. I don't see that improving.
     
  5. tynimiller

    tynimiller Cheesehead

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    Only one of Sitton or Lang get signed....possibly neither honestly could be the best franchise forecasting forward. Time will tell.
     
  6. 4zone

    4zone Cheesehead

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    I'm not saying we are going to pay him that much, but rather what offer range he might get from other teams. If he comes in with significantly better condition and has a corresponding great season which he should have just because Jordy is back, then his payday goes way up. I think this is partly why Starks' contract can be dropped after one year if needed to sign Lacy if he shows real top shelf production next year.
     
  7. Mondio

    Mondio Cheesehead

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    I do think Lacy is going to have a monster year.
     
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  8. 4zone

    4zone Cheesehead

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    I think JC Tretter is the guy TT has his eyes on. He can play the entire OL. He won't overpay either Lang or Sitton but who knows, they both have already had large contracts so perhaps, the SB might be their motivation and not the mega deal. Will be interesting to see.
     
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  9. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Tretter looked more than serviceable at center, could probably be decent at guard, but I would not want to bank on him at RT, and I think LT is out of the question. He's like Sitton and Lang before him...a college LT who just doesn't have the special sauce required to handle the better rushers at the edge and in space. Move them inside in close quarters where that special sauce is not required and their strengths come to the fore.
     
  10. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    There's a lot more at issue than those 4 guys.

    http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/2017/green-bay-packers/
     
  11. easyk83

    easyk83 Cheesehead

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    He could probably use a good offseason in the weight room before becoming a full time guard, he's a little lanky for the position.
     
  12. Mondio

    Mondio Cheesehead

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  13. tynimiller

    tynimiller Cheesehead

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  14. PackerDNA

    PackerDNA Cheesehead

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    IMO, every move made is done with an eye on the cap 3-5 years down the road. I agree that 2017 weighs more heavily in the considerations than would be normally the case.
     
  15. 4zone

    4zone Cheesehead

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    Agreed, but these 4 are the start and arguably the greatest contributors of the lot without which we go down hill at that position. All positions of importance. These would be considered your core guys. Whether they are elite or not is not really the question, the question is who would you replace them with if you lost them and still retain or improve the level of play at that position? Not easy questions to answer even for those who get paid to figure out such stuff.
     
  16. 4zone

    4zone Cheesehead

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    I'm not saying he's a starter at all the positions, but he can fill in at all when needed, unlike Barclay. And he is definitely as close to a starting center as you can get for a backup.
     
  17. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I think he has added some beef already. His filling in for Linsley was pretty seamless; he did a pretty good job against the DT muscle he faced.

    The other thing not to be overlooked in the context of this thread...Tretter will be an unrestricted FA in 2017 along with the other O-Linemen! If he's going to be pegged as a starter in place of a departing guard, he'll have to be paid. No eye-gouging amount, but something of some significance.
     
  18. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    With regard to the players outside of the 4 noted in the OP, from a cap perspective, it's a bit of "damned if you do and damned if you don't".

    For example, on the one hand we would like to see Perry or Jones emerge as heir to the Peppers position, two guys who will also be FAs in 2017. If that happens, whatever cap savings one might gain with Peppers retirement goes right back into the heir's contract.

    If neither player asserts his claim, with Pepper at or near the end of the line at that point, then the cupboard is bare and it comes down to the 2017 draft at a position where the selection process has not been very productive. The alternative is going back into the FA market with some money just to stay where we are, but then the cap savings from Peppers that could be applied to another player gets absorbed.

    Since the last CBA was implemented, the idea that you have to have good drafts to stay competitive was elevated by a significant margin. The guys you draft are way cheap for the first 4 years, so you need enough of those guys to be productive to take the strain off the cap.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  19. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    That's certainly true in the contract details of a particular player once targeted for retention. For example, while Crosby looks overpaid now, under the 5 year deal it won't be too long before several guys leapfrog him in the current salary inflation trend and his pay gets back in line, if not a bargain. And of course, management objective would be to limit risk at the back end of the contract, i.e., keeping guarantees or dead cap to a minimum as insurance against player decline.

    However, I doubt that the bigger picture viewpoints, such as the cost/value of one player relative to another in a different position group in allocating cap resources, or the evaluation of cap allocation to a particular position group in figuring who stays and who goes, gets much attention past the following two seasons.

    There are just too many unknowns to spend much time deliberating the "what ifs" that far in the future. Guys get hurt, guys go into decline, guys retire.

    It's why they talk about process. If you have one that works and stick to it, then you take faith that the individual decisions based on a philosophy of team building and value identification will add up in the aggregate down the road, around the corner where you cannot see today.

    Thompson believes that process has been working...others may disagree.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
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  20. 4zone

    4zone Cheesehead

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    I'm not saying he's a starter at all the positions, but he can fill in at all when needed, unlike Barclay. And he is definitely as close to a starting center as you can get for a backup.
     
  21. PackerDNA

    PackerDNA Cheesehead

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    This. The #1 contract in the league will be #21 two years down the road. In five years, it'll be backup money.
     
  22. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    I think it's close to impossible to predict an average salary as well as a cap hit for players a full season removed before becoming free agents. One thing's for certain though the Packers won't have a lot of cap space entering next offseason and therefore won't be able to re-sign all of their core free agents.

    IMO extending Bakhtiari is the most important task for Thompson to do. I wouldn't feel comfortable with handing out a lucrative long-term deal to Lacy even if he returns in shape for the 2016 season as I don't have any trust in him staying motivated once getting a huge amount of money.

    I don't expect both Sitton and Lang returning. Taking a look at Lane Taylor's deal I assume the team hopes he will turn into a decent starter by the start of the 2017 season.

    As a side note, while it's correct Starks could be released after this year the Packers would have taken a total cap hit of $3 million for his contributions in 2016, way too much for a backup RB.
     
  23. 4zone

    4zone Cheesehead

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    I think a lot of my posts try to dig into that process to maybe encourage others to dive below the surface in their evaluations of TT's moves or seeming lack thereof. I know there's a lot of hypotheticals in there but I hope also a lot of fact as well. I think TT is a thinking man's GM and when we slow down and take a look at things carefully, I think we probably agree with him a whole lot more than we disagree. We may not get what we think we should or could have, we end up with pretty good at the end of the day.

    No one get's it right every time but getting it right more than the other guys is the goal. Hind sight is 20/20, it's the fore sight that's a lot tougher.
     
  24. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    The Packers could have gone with a rookie kicker, most likely without any decline in performance (there are a ton of facts supporting that claim) and saved $13 million in cap space over the next four years.

    Even if some other kickers will surpass Crosby's average salary over the length of the contract there's absolutely no way this deal will end up being a bargain.
     
  25. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I don't think the inflation trajectory is quite that pronounced, but that's certainly the general idea. In this instance, there are several good kickers still under their cheap rookie deals who will be bouncing up the list and likely passing Crosby in fairly short order, with more to come as the best current vets come up for second, third or fourth contracts given the longevity of place kickers.

    The backup money at year 5 is a real stretch given the simple fact of the rookie salary schedule. There will always be starters under their rookie deals getting paid relative peanuts. Average starter vets will always be "overpaid", if you want to look at that way, relative to guys who have panned out in their first 4 years.
     

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