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2006 Offseason Overview

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Miguel, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Please note that I am using one of Adamjt13's post as a template for this article.

    I like to thank Mrs.B for putting the fire under me to do this.

    With 54 players under contract for 2006, the Patriots currently have $95.4 million committed to the 2006 salary cap. But that is before the advent of a number of factors that will increase or decrease New England’s cap number, such as future years of rookies’ contracts voiding, credits from the 2005 cap, cuts or renegotiations for several veteran players and tenders given to exclusive-rights free agents, restricted free agents and possibly a franchise free agent.

    This breakdown is an attempt to spell out exactly where the Patriots stand in regard to the 2006 cap and the cap effects of the various personnel moves the team could make. The numbers themselves are my estimates. I wish that I could say that a league source confirmed them but I can't.

    TEAM SALARY CAP BREAKDOWN

    As I mentioned, the Patriots’ current cap number for 2004 is $95,400,000. The following factors will change that:

    Voided years — I am projecting that no Patriot had voided years in their contracts. By rule, the prorated signing bonuses from the voided years would have accelerated into 2005, and, after using the remaining 2005 cap space, would have carried over into 2006.

    Street Free Agents - I do not expect the Patriots to sign any more street free agents at the rookie minimum of $235,000 but if they do, the cap cost would be zero due to the Rule of 51 (see below).

    Exclusive-rights free agents — The Patriots have 5 ERFAs, and I am projecting that they will give tenders to all of them. The following 3 ERFAs would get third-year tenders of $391,720: Randall Gay, Gene Mruczkowski, and Billy Yates. Brandon "Bam" Childress and Guss Scott would get the first-year tenders of $241,720. The gross cap hit of the Patriots’ 5 ERFA tenders would be $1,658,600 but the net cap cost (483,600) would be lower due to the Rule of 51 (see below).

    Restricted free agents — The Patriots do not have any RFAs

    Franchise Free Agent — I am projecting that the Patriots will not use either a franchise tag or the transition tag this offseason, despite reports that Adam Vinatieri could be franchised. If he is, his tender will be $3,011,000.

    Rule of 51 — In the offseason, the only base salaries or tenders that count against the team salary cap are those of the players with the 51 highest cap numbers on the team. Since New England already has 54 players signed for the 2006 season, my projected 5 tenders would bring the Patriots’ total to 59 players counting against the cap. Therefore, the base salaries or tenders of the players with the 8 lowest cap numbers will not count against the cap. Using my projection for tenders, the salary of the player with the 51st-highest cap number ($241,720) would be $235,000. The salary of the player with the 52nd-highest would also be $235,000. So, the base salaries or tender amounts of 5 more players with cap numbers of $241,720 or less would not count against the cap. The total of those amounts is $1,200,000.

    Minimum salary increase — Any player whose base salary specified in his contract is lower than the minimum salary for a player of his experience level is automatically given a raise to the minimum salary. For 2006, this situation does NOT apply to a Patriots player.

    LTBE/NTLBE Adjustment - Last year the Patriots had a negative cap adjustment of 2,902,125. I am projecting that this year that the Pats will have a negative cap adjustment of $500,000.

    Salary Increases because of Escalator Clauses - Several Patriots (Branch, Koppen, Graham, Samuel, Klecko, TBC) will be in the last year of their rookie deals. It is likely that some of them reached escalator clauses that would either increase their 2006 salary or give them a roster bonus. I am projecting that the cap numbers for these 6 players will be increased by $1,000,000 because they reached the levels needed to trigger the escalator clauses.

    Here, then, is the breakdown of the Patriots’ team cap, with my projected effects of the factors that will change the total:

    Current cap number: $95,400,000 (includes $418,584 in dead money)
    Added effect of voided years: $0
    Added ERFA tenders: $1,700,000
    Added RFA tenders: $0
    Added franchise/transition tenders:$0
    Added effect of minimum salary increase: $0
    Added effect of Rule of 51: (minus-$1,200,000)
    LTBE/NTLBE adjustment: (minus - $500,000)
    Escaltor clause effect: 1,000,000
    Projected cap number before cuts/renegotiations: $96,400,000

    The salary cap for 2006 has been projected to between $92 and $95 million. I split the difference and will be using $93,500,000 as the cap number. As you can see, based on my projections above, the Patriots would be over the cap by $2.9 million if they do not cut any veterans or renegotiate any contracts. But there are plenty of opportunities to do both, thereby opening up millions of dollars under the cap. Here are some possible ways that the Pats could free up cap space. Please note that I am NOT advocating that the Patriots do all of these salary-manuevers. Please note that I am presuming the CBA will be extended before March 3rd.

    1.) Release Duane Starks - net cap savings of $3.4 million.
    2.) Release Tyrone Poole - net cap savings of $1.8 million
    3a.)Reduce McGinest's salary from $3.5 million to $1.5 million while converting his $3.5 million roster bonus into a NTLBE incentive - cap savings of $5.5 million
    3b) Release McGinest - net cap savings of $6.8 million
    4a.) Convert $3 million of Brady's $4 million salary into a signing bonus while extending his deal out to the 2012 season - cap savings of $3.87 million while pushing out $4.28 million of signing bonus proration to the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
    4b.) Convert $3 million of Brady's $4 million salary into a signing bonus - cap savings of $2.4 million while adding $600,000 to his cap numbers for the 2007,2008,2009, and 2010 seasons.
    5a.) Extend Brandon Gorin's contract by 2 years and convert his $700,000 LTBE incentive into a signing bonus - cap savings - $525,000
    5b.) Convert Gorin's LTBE incentive into a NTLBE incentive - cap savings of $700,000
    6a.) Extend Ross Hochstein's contract by 3 years and convert his $500,000 LTBE incentive into a signing bonus - cap savings - $375,000
    6b.) Convert Hochstein's LTBE incentive into a NTLBE incentive - cap savings of $500,000
    7.) Convert Matt Light's $2.6 million into a NTLBE incentive - cap savings of $2.6 million
    8.) Convert $2.7 million of Colvin's $3.65 million salary into a signing bonus while extending his deal out to the 2012 season - cap savings of $2.025 million while pushing out $1,012,500 million of signing bonus proration to the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
    9.) Convert Jarvis Green's $2.5 million roster bonus into a signing bonus - cap savings of $1,875,000
    10.)Extend Richard Seymour's contract by 6 years lowering his cap number from $7.4 million to $6.4 million - cap savings of $1 million.

    As you can see from above, the Pats could free up more than $22 million in cap room if they chose to do so. The Pats could free up more than $17 million in cap room WITHOUT releasing a single player. The Patriots could free up more than $9 million without releasing a player and without pushing out signing bonus money.

    When determining the cap savings from releasing players, keep in mind the Rule of 51. When a player from the top 51 is released or traded, the base salary of the player with the 52nd-highest cap number is added to the cap. For example, if Starks was released, his cap number would be lowered by $3,606,720, although the actual team savings would be only $3,371,7200 because another player’s $235,000 base salary or tender would be added to the team cap. Using my projections, the first six players released or traded would result in a $235,000 salary being added.

    The Rule of 51 also applies when free agents are signed. If the free agent’s cap number is among the 51-highest on the team, the base salary of the player whose cap number had been 51st-highest no longer counts against the cap. In most cases, then, the effect of signing a free agent will be $235,000 less than his cap number for 2006. To determine about how much can be spent on free agents, add $235,000 to the team’s cap room per free agent signed. So, if the Patriots enter the free-agency period $8,000,000 under the cap, they could sign one free agent for a 2006 cap number of $8,235,000, or two free agents for a combined cap number $8,470,000, or three for $8,705,000, or four for $8,940,000, and so on. I expect the Pats to sign one big-name free agent (most likely Adam) who will have a 2006 cap number around $2 million, two free agents (one of them to be - Steven Neal) who will have a 2006 cap number of $1.2 million, 3 free agents (most likely Andre Davis, Antrell Hawkins, and Michael Stone), who will have a cap number of $800,000 and 10 other free agents (Christin Fauria, Matt Chatham, Don Davis, Chad Scott, Ross Tucker) who will sign deals qualifying for the veteran minimum exception thereby having a cap number of $485,000. I suspect that the Patriots will sign 16 to 20 free agents who will have a 2006 gross cap hit of about $12 million but because of the rule of 51 will take up about $9.5 million.

    See http://www.patscap.com/2006faoverview.htm for what I expect the time to look like before the draft picks are signed.
     
  2. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    2000 Offseason Overview - Continued

    At the time of the draft, the Patriots figure to have far more than 51 players signed or tendered. They will not need any additional cap room in order to draft, since all of the draft choices’ automatic rookie tenders of $235,000 will be below the 51st-highest cap number on the team. The Patriots’ 2006 rookie pool figures to be approximately $5,200,000, although the exact number will not be determined until after the draft. Of the rookie pool amount, only about $2.5 million will count against the cap, due to the Rule of 51. Somewhere between $10,000 and $25,000 of that will be used immediately after the draft to sign Undrafted Free Agents. The rest won’t be needed until July, when the draft choices are signed. The Patriots would also need to reserve at least $1,109,200 in order to pay for a 8-man practice squad and to pay for players, 52 and 53. In http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/pat_kirwan/news/2001/05/09/kirwan_insider_may9/
    Pat Kirwan wrote in a cap-related article he wrote "that teams should keep a reserve pool of $750,000 to account for in-season replacements." Over the past couple of years the Patriots have used about a million dollars for in-season replacements.

    Please note that as Jocelyn Robichaud pointed out in an email: "The current cap status is calculated with the top 51 earners. On the other hand, not all of these players will make the team. Thus, as the team shrinks its roster to 53 players, it will create cap room unless it keeps all of its top earners. For example, let's say that Bethel Johnson ($478,000 in salary) does not make the team and is replaced by Bam Childress ($235,000 in salary). This would free $243,000 in cap room for the Patriots. If Mike Wright makes the team instead of Dan Klecko, that would create $150,000 in cap space. If Ryan Claridge makes the 53-man roster instead of Chad Brown, that would create $565,000 in cap space. With just 3 those roster decisions the Patriots could create over $900,000 in cap space when the rosters are cut down to 53 players.

    Calendar -
    Today - $95,400,000
    After signing the 5 ERFAs - $95,900,000
    After the LTBE/NTLBE adjustment - $95,400,000
    Escalator clause effect - $96,400,000
    After converting the LTBE incentives of Light, Hochstein, and Gorin into NTLBE - $92,800,000
    After releasing Starks and Poole - $87,600,000
    After redoing Brady and Green's deals - $83,300,000
    After extending Seymour - $82,300,000
    After redoing McGinest's deal - $76.8 million
    Signing 20 free agents (their own and others) - $86.3 million
    Signing draft picks and UDFAs - $88.8 million
    Practice squad and players 52 and 53 - $89.9 million
    InSeason replacements - $90.9 million
    which leaves a $2.6 million cushion to cover if my above estimates are way off as they are likely to be.
     
  3. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    "...Guss Scott would get the first-year tenders of $241,720."

    We lost Guss to I/R against San Diego in week four, was this insufficient time for him to accrue a year?

    EDIT: Whoops, forgot to add a Thank You for the labor of love. :rocker:
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2006
  4. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    great work, as always, miguel. Thanks a million.
     
  5. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    All I can say is wow and do I feel dumb.
     
  6. Patti37

    Patti37 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    You are amazing...both with the time you put in to figuring the cap information out and the fact that you can do it.

    Thanks.
     
  7. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Miguel....GREAT job as always!! I feel like one who is just close to clueless with all the many ins and outs of it all...Two questions....
    1---How does the Patriot's situation seem now as opposed to last year?? OK, under control but a few things needing to be done?? At least the team is not near the Jets or Raiders..LOL (Great that you mentioned possible moves to free money..GREAT!!)
    2----Regading Starks and cutting him..will his injury have anything to do with whether they cut him or not?? I know obviously DURING the season on IR that is a no no..but?? Similar to Law last year??
    Seems like a LOT of Cap room possibilities...
    3---ANy thoughts as to what positions who they may go after with a lot of money freed up?? Speculation??
    Thanks!!!!! An awesome job!!!
     
  8. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Awesome work, as always. It certainly leaves me optimistic that we can do whatever we want with regards to bringing in some big time talent if we choose to. Pushing money out is always a concern but with the salary cap likely to explode upwards it's less of a concern and we have a 5 or so year window with Brady at the top of his game mentally and physically and we need to do what we can in that time.
     
  9. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You have allowed $9.5M net for signing 20 free agents (our or theirs). I don't think that 20 free agents will make the team, but that doesn't affect the anlaysis. Jags are almost free on a net basis (about $100k each. I won't count on extending Seymour, although $6.4M might very well get it done.

    That leaves a $7.5M net budget for real free agents. To me, that is an excellent position to be in. It seems a lock that we sign at least one receiver and a kicker. One receiver could be part of the jag vet minimum budget. This allows us to franchise Adam if we choose, or transition Givens if we choose.
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Miguel's Calendar -
    Today - $95,400,000
    After signing the 5 ERFAs - $95,900,000
    After the LTBE/NTLBE adjustment - $95,400,000
    Escalator clause effect - $96,400,000
    After converting the LTBE incentives of Light, Hochstein, and Gorin into NTLBE - $92,800,000
    After releasing Starks and Poole - $87,600,000
    After redoing Brady and Green's deals - $83,300,000
    After extending Seymour - $82,300,000
    After redoing McGinest's deal - $76.8 million
    Signing 20 free agents (their own and others) - $86.3 million
    Signing draft picks and UDFAs - $88.8 million
    Practice squad and players 52 and 53 - $89.9 million
    InSeason replacements - $90.9 million
    which leaves a $2.6 million cushion to cover if my above estimates are way off as they are likely to be.
     
  10. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Great job Miguel, as usual.

    One question. I've heard this several times before. In order for a team to sign one or two good FA"s and all their draft choices, they need to be around $20 mill under the cap.

    Is that accurate in your opinion.
     
  11. flutie2phelan

    flutie2phelan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Thunderous Applause

    < thunderous applause >

    I have a lot of re-reading of this thread to do today.
     
  12. minvardar

    minvardar Practice Squad Player

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    Awesome stuff. Thank you.
     
  13. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    I think so.
     
  14. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I did not do an overview last year but I do think that the Pats have less flexibility than last year.

    That was my thought process.

    A veteran QB
    several defensive backs
    A nose tackle.

    No names yet. Maybe in a couple of weeks.
     
  15. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    No, because of
    1.) the rule of 51
    2.) the 1st year cap hits for most FA deals are relatively low
     
  16. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Thanks for all of the very kind words. They are greatly appreciated.
     
  17. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It will be interesting to see the actual calendar of events, especailly what will be done by the first day of free agency.

    1) CBA agreement announced.
    2) Caps announced.
    3) McGinist restructure.
    4) Poole cut to avoid paying another year on IR.
    ?????5) Starks cut to avoid paying another year on IR.
     
  18. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As usual Miguel awesome stuff. Both you and that Mrs. B are the equivalent of national treasures within Patriot Nation.

    FYI not strictly cap related but outlook related, both Jonathan Kraft and Richard Seymour were on with Felger yesterday. Richard is in Detroit but Jonathan is home and said they are working on two tracked approaches for the offseason - one with and one without a new CBA. He did say from a cash/payroll standpoint BB and SP will have whatever they want or need to regain the competitive edge, much as was the attitude after 2002. He has no qualms about the team remaining in the top 3 $100M range in actual spending although the cap has to be accounted for.

    Richard on the other hand, without coming right out and saying it, indicated again that he wants to be highest paid DL. What he basically says is if that is what he is then that is what he should be paid. It's a personal philosophy with him (he believes to be paid fairly you should be paid what you are worth period) and will butt up against BB's organizational philosophy that says nobody is highest paid (long term by AAV - franchising aside) including the coach, GM and QB. He did say he was hopeful a deal could be done, but he also wouldn't rule out another holdout for this season (apparently the restructure was not enough in his mind at least to preclude that). Spoke highly of and said he has no problems or issues with management, it's just business though where his contract is concerned and he sounds fairly intractable in that basic belief (i.e. no hometown or other discounts).

    After he left Felger was discussing what would be entailed and said he believes Richard will want to see at least Kearse bonus $$ ($16M) if not a little more irrespective of AAV. He said a deal here would be next to impossible as a result without a new CBA, and the only hope he saw was in Richard accepting something along the lines of the Brady deal that is not highest paid but does deliver more cash in the first 3 years than other QB deals. Or accepting a blended deal that acknowledges in total or AAV his use as a DT moreso than a DE. Felger said that is what his pro bowl selections categorize him as and what he is sure is a negotiating point from management's side. Said if both sides remain far apart, and he believes they are still at this juncture as Richard indicated theer had been no further discussions since last spring, it's time to think about other options. Don't know what kind of extension you were envisioning for Richard, but that's some food for thought.
     
  19. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    54 players under contract for 2006? I'm counting 53.

    When did McGrew sign for 2006?

    EDIT: I checked the nflpa.org site, and you're right.

    Excellent, excellent article/plan though!
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2006
  20. JLC

    JLC Practice Squad Player

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    I'm not certain about rooks - but for vets, 5 games = 1 credited season
     

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