Borges needs a fact-checker
From today's Globe -
"Seymour was asked if he'd thought about the possibility that the Patriots might try to protect their interests next year if a deal is not reached by franchising him as a defensive tackle -- a move that this year would have saved $2.676 million because of the cost difference between a defensive end ($8,332,000) and a defensive tackle ($5,656,000)."
Here's a couple of facts that IMO, should have been included in the story.
1.) Richard Seymour has been listed as DE by the NFLPA for 4 of the past 5 seasons (2001,2002, 2004,2005). Seymour was listed by the NFLPA as a DT in 2003.
2.) Richard Seymour was listed as a DE on the Franchise and Tenders press released
3.) Richard Seymour is listed as a DE for the 2006 season.
4.) Other 3-4 ends have been listed as DE.
5.) The CBA says "After the 1993 League Year, any Club that designates a Franchise Player shall on the date the designation is made notify the player and the NFLPA which one of the following two potential required tenders the Club has selected:
(i)A one year NFL Player Contract for the average of the five largest Prior Year Salaries for players at the position at which the Franchise Player played the most games during the prior League Year, or 120% of his Prior Year Salary, whichever is greater;
I think that Borges should have listed Seymour's 2006 cap number. I have it as $7,414,000. If my number is correct, then Seymour would be due a 20% raise making his franchise tag number $8,896,800. It is highly unlikely that the 2007 franchise numbers for both DTs and DEs will be as high as $8,896,800. Therefore, there is very little chance that the Patriots would even try to have Seymour listed at the interior defensive line position.
but Borges wouldn't be nearly as fun, if he ever used facts. :D
Ouch. Nice work as always Miguel.
With the new franchise tag rules in the new CBA and Seymour's current cap number, we already have the maximum "parameters" for a Seymour deal.
If the Pats do absolutely nothing and franchise tag Seymour for the next three years, his cap numbers will be:
2006: $7.414 million
2007: $8.897 million
2008: $10.676 million
2009: $12.811 million
[note: theoretically the tag number for 2009 could increase slightly, but it looks like that figure would probably cover the QB franchise tag number, which is $8.789 million for 2006.]
So, there's the max cap numbers the Pats are looking at for Seymour until age 30. There would be absolutely no motivation for them to do a deal that is equal to or higher than those numbers because, under the franchise tag scenario, the Pats can cut or trade Seymour at any time with no dead money hit. They have no injury exposure except one year at a time. If he blows out a knee, release him. The endless franchise tag option is reasonably attractive to the Pats.
So, the only way that Seymour can get a deal done is to offer something that is attractive relative to those numbers -- either in lower cap hits in the first four years or additional years tacked on to the end of the deal. He has no leverage for anything but a "win-win" negotiation because the Pats can keep him out of free agency for another four seasons -- basically the meat of his entire NFL career.
It seems to me that virtually all the motivation for a new deal rests with Richard Seymour. He is the one facing four years of bearing all of the injury risk to his career. He can posture all he wants, but at the end of the day, the Pats really don't have to do anything.
except pay Seymour 25% more new money over 4 years than Mike Strahan received during the 2002-2005 years.
except have Seymour take up a larger percentage of the cap each and every year.
except have the franchise tag unavailable for 3 straight offseasons.
except allow for the possibility for other teams to manipulate their QB's 2008 cap numbers as to make it even more expensive to keep Seymour for the 2009 season.
except allow for the possibility of Seymour holding out for the 1st ten games of the season
You did find a tremendous job of showing the maximum parameters of a Seymour deal. I would be surprised to learn that Seymour was asking to be paid that much money over the 1st four years of the deal. In the history of the salary-cap era I believe that only Peyton Manning has taken more than $40 million of "new money" in the 1st 4 years of their contract.
Edited to add the hold-out possibility
You are more optimistic about Seymour's negotiating stance than I am. I expect Seymour to demand more than $10 million a year of "respect" over the first four years of a contract. I don't expect him to be satisfied with a deal that is a little richer than Kearse's deal. Basically, he has decided to go to free agency and there is probably no rational deal the Pats could offer him at this point. I am braced for him "pulling a Vinatieri" and demanding a 25% premium over the next highest paid D-lineman in the NFL. I hope that doesn't happen, but these guys seem to have a rather inflexible view of "market pricing".
If the Pats look at franchising him just for two additional years, it's only $27 million, or $9 million a year cap hit. Compared to what Seymour will likely demand, paying $9 million a year for three years with essentially zero injury risk and no dead money hit in a trade is an attractive option to the Pats. The monetary value attached to not assuming the injury risk is huge, even if the players don't seem to fully understand that. A career ending injury in the year following a huge signing bonus (as almost happened with Colvin) is crippling to a franchise's cap management. If they get to year four and the player is still healthy and the $12+ million cap number looks reasonable at the time, they go for a fourth year. The beauty of the franchise tag option is that all of the decision making lies with the team and only needs to be done on a year-to-year basis.
Basically, franchising him for two years gives the Pats three years to shop him, starting today. Once you know that a player places no value on remaining with the team and, in fact, would rather hit the free agent market, all the emotion goes out of it. The team can view the player as a commodity. If I'm a player, I hate the year-to-year deal. But, of course, if I hate it bad enough, then I have incentive to get a long-term deal done.
Seymour can squawk about holding out. But, is he really going to walk away from a $9 million pay check? I don't think so. It's one thing to walk away from off-season work-out payments. It's another kettle of fish to walk away from $500,000 weekly game checks.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not disagreeing with you. I mean...it seems to me that doing a deal with Seymour should be pretty easy. You take the biggest d-lineman deal (Kearse...or whomever) and hammer out a deal that is similar with just enough sweetener so the player and agent can crow about the "biggest" ever". But, it should have been easy with Vinatieri, too....until he started throwing around numbers of $3 million a year. I just think there's a weird dynamic where the player decides that free agency is the ONLY way to go and everything stems from that decision. I hope I'm wrong. But, if I'm not, then there really is nothing the Pats can do in a negotiation.
On a long-term deal for Seymour (more than five years), you have to do a split-bonus deal (signing bonus now and option-bonus or roster bonus next spring) in order to max out the proration. But, that shouldn't be a big obstacle. If a split bonus is good enough for Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, one would hope that it would be good enough for Richard Seymour.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
My favorite Wrong Borges quote:
"On a day when they could have had impact players David Terrell or Koren Robinson or the second-best tackle in the draft in Kenyatta Walker, they took Georgia defensive tackle Richard Seymour, who had 1 sacks last season in the pass-happy SEC and is too tall to play tackle at 6-6 and too slow to play defensive end. This genius move was followed by trading out of a spot where they could have gotten the last decent receiver in Robert Ferguson and settled for tackle Matt Light, who will not help any time soon.
- Ron Borges, MSNBC after 2001 Draft."
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