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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:51 pm    Post subject: Mythbusting - Player Contract Edition Reply with quote

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It's not as if money isn't coming off of the books - Jacoby Jones is all but gone, Kevin Walter should be asked to renegotiate or face being cut, Derrick Ward is probably gone, Shiloh Keo all but made Dominique Barber expendable, Antoine Caldwell should be cut, Daryl Sharpton is an unfortunate cut due to his injury, DeMeco Ryans should be asked to redo his deal, Matt Schaub should be asked to redo his deal (missed extensive time three out of the last five years) Kareem Jackson should be asked to redo his deal, Garrett Graham should be cut, Matt Leinart should be cut...there is money hidden all up and down this roster, and our FO should look to use that money. Now, this money should also be used to resign C Chris Myers (who very well could be asking for Nick Manigold-like money this offseason) and RB Arian Foster (who should be in line for Peterson/CJ1K money) but...if we're strategic with the books, we should be able to get a deal done that pays Mario and still leaves some scratch on the cap to go after some much needed parts.


Decided to start a thread on this to address the various contract fallacies that show up every offseason. This certainly doesn't mean I am the final authority on contract matters, but I do have some insights into this side of the business that many don't. Sorry to start with yours ET, but the concept of players taking performance based salary cuts comes up every year and this simply is not allowed in the NFL's system where only portions of contract are guaranteed (unlike baseball and basketball).

There is no such thing as a pure paycut as you suggest guys like Kareem, Demeco, Schaub and others should take. When you hear about players adjusting their contracts it is always just about the various moving parts within contracts for cap relief, generally pushing money further into a contract in exchange for a higher guarantee in those years or adjusting the guarantee to pay it sooner when you have cap space (like we did with AJ). The CBA does not permit a player to take a reduction in contracted salary without being exposed to free agency the same way a player like Foster can't just demand more money because he has clearly outperformed his contract. The analogy isn't perfect but in baseball, a pure no-trade clause has a significant "theoretical" value attached and is only even on the table for the top players along with "player option" years. In football, the closest equivalent is guaranteed salary as teams won't take the cap hit in cutting/trading a player with a large guarantee so it makes sense for veterans to convert salaried years to guarantees.

The only way to accomplish what you suggest with players like this is to cut them and hope to resign them at a reduced salary. You still get hit with all of the cap ramifications of accelerating the proration of signing bonuses and the player is walking away with that guarantee or that term is meaningless. Rookie contracts are about as boilerplate as they come, so there is almost no opportunity to restructure one of these unless that player would clear waivers (which Kareem wouldn't).

AJ Hawk is the closest example of what comes to mind when trying to accomplish what you suggest with players like DeMeco or Walter. He was scheduled to make $10 million in straight salary in 2011 which would have put them way over the cap. They cut him and then essentially gave him $8 million right back in a signing bonus which allowed them to prorate it over the 5 years while cutting his cap # in half for 2011 and making his deal mostly salary going forward. He was technically a "free agent" for one day but you certainly know this was orchestrated by Thompson. The "sell" to AJ Hawk is that you can either be a cap casualty now and try to get someone to pay an ILB $10 million which will never happen, or we can essentially buy you out of the final year of your contract and resign you to a more reasonable 5 year / $33.75 deal. Of course, the part that Hawk's ego probably doesn't anticipate is that since he is now mostly salary, he becomes easier to cut with each passing year as the $8 million bonus really isn't much to absorb and you are only on the hook for the current salary. You look at a year like 2013 and his cap number would be $7.55 million while they would only take a $3.2 million cap hit to release him (the amount remaining in his signing bonus and roster/workout bonus).
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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So getting back to the players you mention, Walter is about the only one who would be a candidate to cut and try to resign at a reduced salary. I suspect he would clear waivers so nobody would pick up the remaining years on his deal and we would resign him at a lesser deal. I wouldn't be so certain however, that a team like Washington or Denver wouldn't snatch him up.

DeMeco may not still be worth the $48 million we signed him to, but he would be a steal on the open market with us on the hook for the $22 million guarantee and them only having to pay him around $6 million for the next several years. Paul Posluszny got 6 years / $42 million ($15 million) from the Jags last season so you don't think a team would grab Demeco for a max of $26 million for the next 4 years with the flexibility of cutting him with zero cap hit? This is why you don't hand out big guarantees to players you aren't darn sure you are going to keep for the lions share of the deal.

Also remember that trading a player has the same cap ramifications as cutting him aside from the current year salary which moves to the new team. By my math, trading/cutting DeMeco means a $14.8 million hit, not to mention serving as a cautionary tale to players that are vastly underpaid, that even if the Texans take care of you when you hit free agency, they will cut you 2 years into the deal which will drive up guarantees and if I'm Arian it makes a holdout mandatory to get the guarantees set in stone before being exposed to injury like OD and DeMeco were (Sadly AP cost himself millions by not following the CJ route last year and getting the business end locked up).

As for Matt Schaub redoing his deal, this isn't worth more than a few seconds of reflection. The guy made $5.7 million this year (less than the $6.5 million the Colts paid to lure a 39 year old Kerry Collins to play a few weeks for) and will make $7.15 million next year which is drastically under market value. There were 14 QBs that made more than him last year and that includes others due massive raises like Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers not to mention some lesser QBs that could leapfrog him this offseason like Alex Smith plus draft picks like Luck and RG3 pushing him down the ranker out of the gate. Schaub is a lock to get a top 10 QB salary which is at least in the $10 million per season range. Matt is only 30 with limited mileage and will easily justify a 6 year deal with most of it guaranteed since he will be in his prime for most of it. Think about it this way, he signed his original deal when he had started 2 NFL games and there was at least some doubt as to whether he could be a legit starter and now he has 64 starts and a Career Passer Rating in the top 10 with Joe Montana. We may take Matt for granted around here, but if a team was willing to sacrifice multiple high picks and pay a 32 year old Carson Palmer $10 million a season, Matty will have significant value if he is allowed to hit free agency. For goodness sake, he is the model that has made a guy like Matt Flynn a hot property as a speculative starter, except he is proven commodity with a Pro Bowl resume.
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Jacobys Homey


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great analysis Apollo. This offseason is going to be interesting, for sure.
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texandominance


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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amazingandre


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not going to pretend to have any clue about this stuff, BUT


If you were to r-esign Matt NOW, couldn't you make his cap hit lower up front then make his deal more as the life of the contract goes on....

And by re-signing Mario, lets say at 8 mil. per season, would immediately shave off 6 million allowing us to sign Myers and possibly Foster, not to mention, guys like Jones and Walter should be CUT and we should try to sign new wide outs, drafting one....

Ward is gone, thats 1.75 off the books, draft a late round rookie to replace him. Only 750k comes off for Caldwell, DEerrick Mason and Bryant Johnson, give us a little bit, Dreessen is prolly gone giving us slightly more than 1 million, Bye bye Turk, Hello 750k from Demps, plus a few other low level guys.

Smith will earn his money this year by keeping core guys and redoing deals. Don't we have a cap guy that worked for the league office? He knows the ins and outs of the rules so I am sure he will get us where we need to be...
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texans_uk


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

amazingandre wrote:
And by re-signing Mario, lets say at 8 mil. per season


Not happening
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kenney


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First-off, if Rick has any business sense, he's not going to touch Schaub's contract. We ought not to re-sign a guy who's been healthy two out of the five years he's played here. Let him play out his contract. If he is healthy next year, re-sign him.

Secondly, I appreciate the analysis Apollo, but I'd be more interested to see your breakdown of a viable solution to the cap situation. Even without your insight I and many others knew we were more than up against the cap. Is this going to be an 04-05 offseason-esque exodus of all of our free agents to other teams simply because of the cap situation? After letting Mario walk, do we have any room to sign Foster or Myers without significant cuts elsewhere?
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amazingandre


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenney wrote:
First-off, if Rick has any business sense, he's not going to touch Schaub's contract. We ought not to re-sign a guy who's been healthy two out of the five years he's played here. Let him play out his contract. If he is healthy next year, re-sign him.

Secondly, I appreciate the analysis Apollo, but I'd be more interested to see your breakdown of a viable solution to the cap situation. Even without your insight I and many others knew we were more than up against the cap. Is this going to be an 04-05 offseason-esque exodus of all of our free agents to other teams simply because of the cap situation? After letting Mario walk, do we have any room to sign Foster or Myers without significant cuts elsewhere?


If we let Mario walk we would have 16 million immediately off the books, so yes we could sign Foster AND Myers and prolly have money left
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kenney


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

amazingandre wrote:
kenney wrote:
First-off, if Rick has any business sense, he's not going to touch Schaub's contract. We ought not to re-sign a guy who's been healthy two out of the five years he's played here. Let him play out his contract. If he is healthy next year, re-sign him.

Secondly, I appreciate the analysis Apollo, but I'd be more interested to see your breakdown of a viable solution to the cap situation. Even without your insight I and many others knew we were more than up against the cap. Is this going to be an 04-05 offseason-esque exodus of all of our free agents to other teams simply because of the cap situation? After letting Mario walk, do we have any room to sign Foster or Myers without significant cuts elsewhere?


If we let Mario walk we would have 16 million immediately off the books, so yes we could sign Foster AND Myers and prolly have money left


It's my understanding that letting Mario walks puts us at roughly $2MM below the cap. We're going to need to cut some folks.
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amazingandre


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenney wrote:
amazingandre wrote:
kenney wrote:
First-off, if Rick has any business sense, he's not going to touch Schaub's contract. We ought not to re-sign a guy who's been healthy two out of the five years he's played here. Let him play out his contract. If he is healthy next year, re-sign him.

Secondly, I appreciate the analysis Apollo, but I'd be more interested to see your breakdown of a viable solution to the cap situation. Even without your insight I and many others knew we were more than up against the cap. Is this going to be an 04-05 offseason-esque exodus of all of our free agents to other teams simply because of the cap situation? After letting Mario walk, do we have any room to sign Foster or Myers without significant cuts elsewhere?


If we let Mario walk we would have 16 million immediately off the books, so yes we could sign Foster AND Myers and prolly have money left


It's my understanding that letting Mario walks puts us at roughly $2MM below the cap. We're going to need to cut some folks.


How would that make any sense? You lose a guy at 16 million a year (which is what he made) but you don't get that off the cap? Every player that is up for free agency is "off our books" so even AF and Myers salaries will not reflect our cap room prior to any of them being signed. So we could have say, 20 million after the free agency begins, but you have to consider certain guys you would be bringing back, like Myers and AF and others....Williams will create 16 million if he alone is not brought back
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

texans_uk wrote:
amazingandre wrote:
And by re-signing Mario, lets say at 8 mil. per season


Not happening


Haloti Ngata's deal is less than $8MM/season:

5 year/$61MM deal
2011: $2MM
2012: $2.9MM
2013: $4MM
2014: $8.5MM
2015: $8.5MM

(Per rotoworld.com):

http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/3599/player?r=1

If Mario asks for MORE than that, he's walking...point blank. Ngata is arguably top 5 in the NFL regardless of position. Mario might make a case for top 10 OLB/top 10 DE, and that is being VERY generous. Teams are not going to give him QB money.

Guys...Mario Williams is NOT going to be asking for much more than that. (He shouldn't at least, as he's not nearly worth it).Simply put, there won't be a market for that given how his last two seasons have played out. If we can get a deal that is in line with what Ngata got we're actually OVERPAYING for him.

As crazy as this sounds, a 5 year/$55 deal broken down like Ngata's deal would be MORE than fair for Mario and the Texans. If Mario asks for more, let him go.
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kenney


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

amazingandre wrote:
kenney wrote:
amazingandre wrote:
kenney wrote:
First-off, if Rick has any business sense, he's not going to touch Schaub's contract. We ought not to re-sign a guy who's been healthy two out of the five years he's played here. Let him play out his contract. If he is healthy next year, re-sign him.

Secondly, I appreciate the analysis Apollo, but I'd be more interested to see your breakdown of a viable solution to the cap situation. Even without your insight I and many others knew we were more than up against the cap. Is this going to be an 04-05 offseason-esque exodus of all of our free agents to other teams simply because of the cap situation? After letting Mario walk, do we have any room to sign Foster or Myers without significant cuts elsewhere?


If we let Mario walk we would have 16 million immediately off the books, so yes we could sign Foster AND Myers and prolly have money left


It's my understanding that letting Mario walks puts us at roughly $2MM below the cap. We're going to need to cut some folks.


How would that make any sense? You lose a guy at 16 million a year (which is what he made) but you don't get that off the cap? Every player that is up for free agency is "off our books" so even AF and Myers salaries will not reflect our cap room prior to any of them being signed. So we could have say, 20 million after the free agency begins, but you have to consider certain guys you would be bringing back, like Myers and AF and others....Williams will create 16 million if he alone is not brought back


That's not true, though.

I'm telling you that if we don't re-sign Mario, we have ~$2MM in cap space from what I've heard and read. That's why this off-season is so critical and re-signing Mario is such a tall task.
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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EliteTexan80 wrote:
texans_uk wrote:
amazingandre wrote:
And by re-signing Mario, lets say at 8 mil. per season


Not happening


Haloti Ngata's deal is less than $8MM/season:

5 year/$61MM deal
2011: $2MM
2012: $2.9MM
2013: $4MM
2014: $8.5MM
2015: $8.5MM

(Per rotoworld.com):

http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/3599/player?r=1

If Mario asks for MORE than that, he's walking...point blank. Ngata is arguably top 5 in the NFL regardless of position. Mario might make a case for top 10 OLB/top 10 DE, and that is being VERY generous. Teams are not going to give him QB money.

Guys...Mario Williams is NOT going to be asking for much more than that. (He shouldn't at least, as he's not nearly worth it).Simply put, there won't be a market for that given how his last two seasons have played out. If we can get a deal that is in line with what Ngata got we're actually OVERPAYING for him.

As crazy as this sounds, a 5 year/$55 deal broken down like Ngata's deal would be MORE than fair for Mario and the Texans. If Mario asks for more, let him go.


I'll get into more details later, but 5 years / $61 million is NOT less than $8 million per year. The bonus counts $7 million per year against the cap plus the salary so the cheapest it is is $9 million, up to $15.5 million in 2015. Comparing a 3-4 NT/DE to a 4-3 DE/3-4 LB is like comparing housing prices in California to Texas. You may think that a house in Texas is every bit as nice as the one in Cali, but if you offer a Texas price in California they will laugh you out of the building.

The comps for Mario's services will be Peppers, Allen, Ware, Suggs, Dumervil, Freeney. Richard Seymour got $30 million for 2 years from the Raiders last year as a 31 year old, so let's not kid ourselves that anything less than $60 million is an option for a #1 overall pick who made $13.8 million in salary alone last year and is not going backwards. It is remotely possible we could keep Mario at the $61 million figure, but it will almost all be guaranteed at that level (Dumervil got $42 of his $61 million guaranteed). Peppers got $42 million guaranteed, Ware $40, Suggs $38. I can absolutely guarantee you that Mario's guaranteed portion will set a new record for guaranteed money as the new CBA will push up the values further with less guarantees committed to rookie deals. If you don't think that's much of a difference, consider DeMeco's $48 million deal only included $21.75 in guaranteed money and that was for a player who never missed a game when he signed it and we're talking about more than doubling his guarantee for a player significantly affected by injuries 4 of his 6 seasons already. DeMeco illustrates why guaranteed money is so dangerous as things can change in an instant in the NFL and you are making decisions today that will effect your team thru 2018.
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jargin


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the reality is that a team offering Mario a huge contract is more likely to lure him away than a reduced contract to play here will.

Depending on where we are in regards to the cap I think the whole Myers and Foster situation becomes more drastic. If we are in the situation where players yearly salaries are going up all over the team and we are nearly at the cap limit we could be looking at only having Foster and Myers for one more season as the Schaub deal looms. Having Schaub, Tate and some new C is probably a more likely scenario then letting Schaub go to another team and keeping our running back and center.

I'll put it this way: I want to see Mario, Foster, Myers and Schaub here forever but with the way the NFL works that is probably just wishful thinking. I hope we don't lose any of them but we may end up losing all of them except Matt.

I really have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to contracts and cap space and everything. I don't think anyone is really claiming to be an expert here. All I know for sure is that we are at that stage as a team where we have to start making hard decisions about players we want to keep and players we will allow to leave kinda like the Patriots after their Super Bowls letting guys go in free agency and taking players in the draft who have the potential to play a specific role in their system.

The thing about the ZBS is that it was really successful with late round picks and UDFA's. So aside from Brown our only 1st rounder on the line who has been awesome and plays the most important position, I don't think its as big of a deal that we let Myers go as it is that we let Foster or Mario go. I mean, there are tons of solid OL who go undrafted every year but its really hard for teams to find a true #1 RB and a really great pass rusher. I think more picks are spent on QB's and pass rushers every year than any other position so if we have those two parts locked up I think we will be alright in the long run. Looking at the Giants they have Eli Manning at QB and a totally dominant pass rush that has changed significantly since 2007 but still has Tuck and Osi, JPP being the newest guy.

Its gonna be interesting to watch how all this goes, no doubt about it. We are always excited for the free agency period to begin every new league year and last year was without a doubt our best year in FA getting Joseph and Manning for the price of Nnamdi. Now we might have to see one of our marque players signed to a new team.
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amazingandre


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenney wrote:
amazingandre wrote:
kenney wrote:
amazingandre wrote:
kenney wrote:
First-off, if Rick has any business sense, he's not going to touch Schaub's contract. We ought not to re-sign a guy who's been healthy two out of the five years he's played here. Let him play out his contract. If he is healthy next year, re-sign him.

Secondly, I appreciate the analysis Apollo, but I'd be more interested to see your breakdown of a viable solution to the cap situation. Even without your insight I and many others knew we were more than up against the cap. Is this going to be an 04-05 offseason-esque exodus of all of our free agents to other teams simply because of the cap situation? After letting Mario walk, do we have any room to sign Foster or Myers without significant cuts elsewhere?


If we let Mario walk we would have 16 million immediately off the books, so yes we could sign Foster AND Myers and prolly have money left


It's my understanding that letting Mario walks puts us at roughly $2MM below the cap. We're going to need to cut some folks.


How would that make any sense? You lose a guy at 16 million a year (which is what he made) but you don't get that off the cap? Every player that is up for free agency is "off our books" so even AF and Myers salaries will not reflect our cap room prior to any of them being signed. So we could have say, 20 million after the free agency begins, but you have to consider certain guys you would be bringing back, like Myers and AF and others....Williams will create 16 million if he alone is not brought back


That's not true, though.

I'm telling you that if we don't re-sign Mario, we have ~$2MM in cap space from what I've heard and read. That's why this off-season is so critical and re-signing Mario is such a tall task.



Post a link, because I find that hard to believe...
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