Originally Posted by Miguel
The Pats are under the cap by 17 to 18 million. My proposed deal would take $4 million of that cap space leaving the Pats with 13 to 14 million to address the holes in the team, sign draft picks, sign players 52 and 53, sign a 8-man practice squad, provide an injury replacement reserve, and extend Branch and Samuel.
My proposed deal would be the biggest ever for a DL in terms of new money over a 3-year period and over a 5-year period.
Miguel - you have a very sound layout of possible contract for Seymour. If the Pats sign Seymour, it will be interesting to see how close you have forecast the actual numbers - you would likely be very very close.
The $45 Million dollar question remains, however, will the Patriots reach a deal with Seymour at all.
To the best of my knowledge, since Belichick and Pioli took over, the Patriots have never signed a contract making a player the highest paid player at their position (correction or clarifying info would be very welcome, Miguel). All factors taken into account over expected years of the contract, I don't think Brady's contract made him the highest paid player either. So this would be a pretty significant change or exception from previous practice. While I would never be surprised to see Belichick and Pioli do something different than previously (how many times have they reinforced that), personally I would be more surprised than not if they would give any player, Seymour included, the highest contract.
Your formula looks very sound for a reasonable highest paid contract. But, it would put the Patriots in a position of allocating over 10% of their cap next year to one player, and probably over 15% of their cap in 2008 to one player. I have to wonder if the Patriots would do that. It would certainly be a very surprisingly significant about-face from what has appeared to be their fundamental approach.
We also may well never know if the Patriots would have offered this high a contract, just like we will never know what they were willing to offer McGinest, Givens, or Vinatieri. For a couple reasons.
- Given this years funny-money cap jump, Seymour and agent would most likely be looking for a 'higher than any other player' contract to be 'higher' in terms of the excessive jumps that have occurred this year. If that were to be the case, which seems highly likely, it seems very unlikely that the Patriots would come to those terms when they look ahead to next year and judge that after this year's spending frenzie, there is going to be a lot less money floating around next year for free agents.
- Unless the Patriots come up with an offer that is so much 'higher' that Seymour and agent can't even dream that they can beat in it full free agency bidding next year, I would be very surprised if they can resist the allure of going to free agency next year. Even if overall free agency money is tighter next year, all it takes is two teams who are willing to go thru the roof to sign Seymour or one team to outbid only themselves. I would be awfully surprised if there wasn't at least one team like that.
- The Patriots appear to not leave even the smallest stones unturned. Doing an extension this year puts them in the position of paying out a huge amount of guaranteed money even if Seymour has a career-ending injury this year. By putting off the extension to next year, they put off their exposure to that possibility for a year. This is probably not a significant factor.
So what can we expect ? Crystal balls are notoriously hazy, but from past history maybe we can make a couple guesses.
Given that Seymour has already shown that he is willing to sit out rather than play for what he considers to be an insufficient amount of money, it seems more likely than not that we'll see the same thing this year. The Patriots seem to have shown that they are willing to negotiate and increase compensation in the case of Seymour (altho I'm not sure we know the exact nature of last year's negotiation). So as long as Seymour's demands aren't more than the Patriots are willing to pay versus just getting on without him, they may again reach a one year accomodation. On Seymour's side, he would weigh the chance of injury before his big payday versus making some decent coin this year as offered by the Pats. If he still sat out, he would likely return towards the end of the season to qualify for accruing this season so he still goes to free agency next year. Another possibility - and maybe Miguel can say whether we would have had any visibility of this - would be that part of last year's deal (or even a deal this year) was to include a sizable number of LTBE bonuses for this year - that would easily fit into the model of the Patriots where they are willing to pay for value while limiting their risk.
So what about next year's smoky crystal ball ? As I said, I personally think it reasonably unlikely that the Pats will feel they are in a position to negotiate an extension even next year. So one interesting possibility would be to franchise Seymour where they pay slightly less than top dollar and only have a one year term without the long term risk or cap commitment. Seems like that would be a Patriot idea of good business - and they have shown that they are willing to use the franchise tool in the past. That would also put them in a very strong position to trade Seymour for significant value in terms of a player or high draft pick(s) so that they wouldn't end up with nothing in return for him leaving. They would be in a position to have their cake or get a new dessert.
* One other thing that may well have been mentioned but I have just missed it (apologies in advance) is a possibility of trading Seymour this season. They might see a Seymour instant starter replacement available in a high draft pick or they might take a player in trade that they rate highly as well as lower pick(s). I would think this is a real possibility except that BB/SP seem pretty conservative when it comes to bird in the hand versus bird in the bush.
I'm sure some folks will be mighty upset with me for suggesting that we might lose Seymour - so be it, I understand completely and certainly can't fault you. But more interesting would be some thoughts on the underlying factors that I have mentioned above, or ones that I have probably missed, that tend to influence the odds of what will happen. Any kind of speculation and forecasting when it comes the Patriots is an IFFY proposition at best. But it doesn't keep it from being an interesting exercise.
Edit: * Well one thread at least where a trade was discussed was
IF...we can't extend Sey, do we trade him before the draft?
posted a couple weeks ago by SaCaCh.