2013 Free Agency: "Teams Don't Have Money"

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mayoclinic, Jan 26, 2013.

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  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    From Ian Rapoport at NFL.com:

    Senior Bowl buzz: QB over-drafting, boring free-agency class - NFL.com

    It's an interesting take on the free agency situation. With a flat cap, there's not a ton of money to go around, and while some teams will always have more to spend than others, there's just not a ton of room, so teams are going to have to be more selective and show restraint. And that could factor in to how big a deal teams are going to throw at a soont-to-be-32 year old slot receiver, a CB with a history of off-field issues and some hip injuries, and a 29 year old right tackle with a bad back, among others.

    It's quite possible that the Pats could be calculating that in the current salary cap situation, if they can't reach a reasonable deal with some of these guys, it may be worth letting them test the waters. Free agents may find out that the big money isn't so easy to come by this year.

    Just a thought.

    Then again, it's also quite possible that all restraint will go out the window once FA hits, and teams will get themselves into hot water.
  2. Brady2Moss

    Brady2Moss Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    This could be great news for us maybe we can retain all 3 with some creative contracts after they all test the waters. A Brady extension could give us the guns to go get a play maker to put us over the top.
  3. BradyBranch39

    BradyBranch39 In the Starting Line-Up

    Hope this means we can lock up Edelman for a couple years on the cheap.
  4. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Butler Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

    #95 Jersey

    hope talib is still here next year
  5. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Pro Bowl Player

    That's certainly not the case for the Bengals, Browns, or Colts.

    Incidentally, the Cincinnati Bengals only have two running backs under contract for the 2013 NFL Season.

    Incidentally, the Indianapolis Colts could use a starting right tackle not named Winston Justice and a competant cornerback not named Cassius Vaughn or Darius Butler.
  6. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Pro Bowl Player

  7. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Pro Bowl Player

    Dane Fletcher hopes he

  8. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Pro Bowl Player

  9. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    That's a pretty decent analysis from Jason with a couple of exceptions due to his lack of familiarity with the team and the way they have actually generally operated.

    Brady won't get a 5 year extension. His have always been 4 year increments (using the final remaining 2 to spread the amortization from the new deal) except for when they felt they had to wait a season to assess the ACL and in light of the impending uncapped year. That would take him through age 41 and 2018 when the cap from the recent CBA should finally be feeling the full effect of the TV deals. And as long as his entire salary isn't guaranteed prior to the start of that final season, they would have the wiggle room to talk or walk if by then it looks like he's dropping off dramatically. Hopefully they don't ballaxe that negotiation as they have a couple of costly ones over the last couple of seasons, including both Welker and Mankins. They seem to have attempted to go in the opposite direction of late, inking early deals with Mayo, Gronk and Ahern. Although in the latter case they may have overcommitted to the TE's in tandem a little too soon. Particularly in the case of Hernandez who absent Gronk isn't nearly the weapon everyone seems to have envisioned. Holding off on his extension until this off season might have saved them a few million and/or allowed them to structure his deal more along the lines of Gronkowski's.

    They blew any option to retain Brady for a final season or two via tag as opposed to via contract when they did the restructure this past season. I assume both sides weighed out their options before they did that and were comfortable with persuing the end game via contract extension. As for the Brees deal setting the bar, Tom has always been content to settle for semantic spitting distance. His new money may be equal, but his old money will not be and 2 years to spread it across will make it a more manageable deal on average. 4 years, $80M plus roughly $30M remaining for 2013-14 or an average of $18M per. Or they could go 3 although that might have to include upping the ante on the guaranteed money because it would lower the AAV to $16M. Risk reward wise given the way Brady has consistently maintained his level of performance an extension as opposed to any other approach would appear to be a slam dunk.

    I don't think Jason gets how they value Vince, who has become more than a top tier NT since signing his deal. I see them extending his deal by a couple of seasons because he has gotten better over that time span and early concerns about weight and conditioning and potential utilization have evaporated. Pay him up front for the remaining two years and tag a couple of salary years on the backend. The only concern they might have is emotion, as he did talk about retirement briefly in the aftermath of Sunday. And Bill tends to ascribe to the theory that once a player starts talking about it it is lurking just around the corner. Brief mention may however be discounted. The only knock on Vince, and it's always been there and it's not like Mayo isn't in a similar situation, is he's never really stepped up as a leader in the mold of some of the past Patriots defensive captains. He's not a guy who gets in others grills or instills fear. Hard worker who leads by example but more of a jovial presence in the locker room than a motivator who pushes those around him to step it up.

    Cutting Ninkovitch? To save $1.5?? Not gonna happen. Cutting Lloyd is also not gonna happen, although I could see them discussing that option given some level of concern going forward about fit and utilization and style... He didn't have a robust market aside from here with Josh last off season so they could possibly leverage the remaining 2 years of his deal offering incentives to still earn the deal, although that might be a risk given his reported odd personality.

    The situations they created by digging in on Mankins and Wellker and to a lesser extent on Vince coupled with the deals they pre-emptively lept into on the TE's and Mayo will unfortunately make for some difficult negotiations and decisions this season as well as going forward over the next couple of seasons when they face extensions for Solder and McCourty and Spikes. As Pioli used to say, can't pay 'em all elite money or the middle class budget will dry up. And the significance of maintaining flexibility in managing your cap can't be overestimated. Maybe that is part of the reason Floyd and the organization have decided to part company. But the personnel arm of the outfit has to start doing a better job of identifying talent, too. Seem to be drafting better the last couple of seasons, but we've also gotten a little too cavalier with trading away draft picks and doling out bonus money to FA who don't stick out of the gate. Can't afford to be burning double digits on dead cap.
  10. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

    #87 Jersey

    I don't have a problem with any of the Patriots players who deserve to be paid being paid. As you point out Mo, the skill comes in keeping the middle tier happy whilst managing the cap squeeze.
  11. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    #12 Jersey

    Don't we hear about this league-wide not-overpaying stuff most years around this time?
  12. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yes, and that lasts right up until opening day on FA signings when some panicked GM jumps the gun and empties the next several years' salary cap purse on some "big name" FA. Takes only one or two teams out of 32 to start a stampede.
  13. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yes, but we're in 'interesting times', where the cap's going to have been flat for 3 seasons. One thing that used to fuel free agency was that every team was gaining additional millions in spending money every season. That's not happening right now, so we could, possibly, see a situation like the early years of free agency, when good players had to be cut to keep teams under the cap.

    And if the players don't like it, they can take it up with D. Smith, who got them this CBA.
  14. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #3 Jersey

    Just look at last year, where a lot of mediocre receivers got a LOT of money.
  15. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    It will be interesting to see if a few teams break rank and start a feeding frenzy, or if teams stay disciplined and keep things more moderate with a flat cap. I'm pretty sure the Pats won't be joining in any frenzy, but it's generally a consistent theme of FA that teams at the bottom spend like crazy, and seldom get much better.
  16. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If memory serves (I didnt bother to look it up :eek: ), this is the year that all the spending floors and minimums and cash outlays all will be fully kicked in. That could lead to low paying teams like the Chiefs finally closing the spending gap. A team like the Chiefs could, for example, easily afford Vollmer, Welker and Talib (players they actually could use) and still have plenty of money left over.
  17. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    Very interesting thread. And I think it will lead to a very interesting off season with some very conflicting pressures. For teams like Cleveland, Miami, and TB, this off season can be a year where they can quickly add 2 or 3 impact players and turn their teams around. For Cinci, it can be a chance to do the same and make a real superbowl run.

    Then there is about 15 teams who are roughly are in the Pats position. Some where around 12-22MM under the cap, with the ability to add to that with restructures and cuts. But, like the Pats, most will have a few of their own FA's to sign that will eat most if not all of that space.

    Finally you have about 8 teams who are currently under water. Sure they will be able to quickly get under the cap, but only by cutting players, who will need to be replaced, and further add to the vet FA glut.

    The bottom line for the league is that I think the OP is right on the money. Once the 4 teams with more than 35MM in space take their pick of the litter, (lets say about 8-10 big contract players) the rest of the 300 or so vet FAs will find it very difficult to negotiate from any strength, given the vast glut of players and relatively small amount of space that MOST teams will have. In fact I wouldn't be surprised to see franchise tag,prices drop slightly after this season, after over a decade constant annual gains.

    As to the Pats in particular. I think the Pats will do the restructuring, extending, and cutting necessary to go into FA with about $25MM to resign their own FA and add a few vet FA's to the mix. I don't see them signing everyone of their own FA's and at this point I am so filled with the pros and cons of all of them, I have no idea who they will keep and who will be left to walk

    However what I do know is that the Pats will add 5 draft picks. They will add 4 players from the IR who didn't contribute much this season (Ballard, Dowling, Fletcher, Demps) plus Armstead. That's essentially 10 "new" players, added to the roster mix, even before we look at vet free agency.

    We already have a very good young roster core. I think we can get bulk of our own FA's resigned (but not all) and add a few low end quality vets. We aren't in "great" shape, but we aren't in bad cap shape either.
  18. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Actually the players are lucky DSmith and the NFLPA got the league to pre pay money into the cap that its even this high. IIRC if they had had a true cap number when they signed the CBA, it would have been around 112-14, not the 120MM number they wound up using.

    But you are right on the money with your main point. That over the next few years the FA environment is going to be considerably different than what we've seen in the past. The trend to more conservative spending is going to continue. In the past when this has happened it was due to sound fiscal management. Now it will be a function of necessity.
  19. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    While I'm sure there will be 3 or 4 "big" signings like there usually are early in the game, The reality of what the cap is, the CONTINUING bad experiences teams have had when signing these big money contracts, the overall lack of cap space, and the glut of available players, will greatly mitigate the number of deals you described. The injury risks alone requires a team not spend big a percentage of their cap on just a few players, forget about the fact that most of those big contract guys rarely play up to the level they are being paid.
  20. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    Just a thought - We need to have a source, when it comes dealing with the cap, that not only tells us how much the team has left under the cap, but how many players they have under contract. The room a team has under the cap has little meaning if you don't know how many players they have under contract.

    For example Team A who has 42 players under contract and is $18MM under the cap, is really in better cap shape than Team B who is $40MM under the cap and only has 28 players under contract

    I anyone aware of a single source that provides BOTH numbers?
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