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Killing the "Can the Pats afford their rookies?" meme

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by ctpatsfan77, Apr 14, 2009.

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  1. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I've seen the idea that the Patriots will barely be able, or possibly unable, to sign all of their rookies on this board several times in the last 48 hours.

    This is simply wrong, for two reasons:

    (1) Remember that ONLY the top 51 salaries currently count towards the salary cap (all signing bonuses count, but the salaries below #51 do not).

    (2) Any rookie that signs a deal putting him in the top 51 will, necessarily, knock a top-51 salary off the salary cap. Right now, 10 of the 11 lowest salaries that count towards the salary cap are deals for vet minimum + a small signing bonus (the only exception is Wilhite).

    The minimum rookie salary for 2009 is $310K; the 51st salary is $467K. So if the rookie has a signing bonus proration of <$157K, only his signing bonus actually counts against the cap. If the signing bonus proration is >$157K, the entire amount goes against the cap, but then the Pats are credited $460K for the salary that gets bumped off the list.

    In other words, the total additional cap room to sign all of the Patriots' rookies this year should be about $2 million, if not less.
  2. BadMoFo

    BadMoFo Rookie

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    OK, Thanks?

    By the way, who is saying we can't sign these rookies?
  3. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    See pretty much every thread that talks about the salary cap the last couple of days (e.g., "A bit of Pepper" on the Draft forum, the Jason Taylor likely to sign with Pats thread here).
  4. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I have alway been on the side that the Pats could easily free up room if needed anyway, but I think you may be a little optimistic about how little extra money needed is. It could be right on the mark though depending on how this draft shapes out.

    First, the 51 player rule is only for the offseason. Once the season starts, all 53 players are included on the cap. Granted it doesn't change the general theme of your argument that much since the salaries of the last two players on the roster will not be significantly different in terms of cap hit between a rookie and a veteran.

    Also, the Pats' draft this year is very top heavy with 6 of their 11 picks in the first three rounds. If they do not trade away any of those picks (unlikely, but possible), their allocation to rookies will be much higher than you expect (most teams spend $4 million of cap on rookies anyway which is total dollars and not).

    If the Pats packs some of the top four picks to move up into the first round this year, the amount of money allocated to the rookies may go up significantly eventhough they have less picks. If the Pats end up having two first round picks and only one second rounder, their cap allocation probably goes up by $500k-$1 million depending on where the pick is (Meriweather's rookie cap hit was $1.1 million at 24 for example).

    I am not concerned at all about the ability to sign the rookies. So I don't disagree with your general argument. I just think that since this draft is top heavy and most people feel the Pats will be making a lot of moves on draft day that the money allocated to the draft picks could be higher than expected. Granted the Pats could trade two high draft picks into next year's draft and it would make this whole argument moot.
  5. JSn

    JSn Rookie

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    Kill the Meme if you like, but look out for the wrath of PETA.
  6. CampPen33

    CampPen33 Rookie

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    I've been posting that we only have just under $4 Million in Cap space according to Miguel. My point was not that we can't sign the rookies, just we can't sign them and an additional large veteran contract. The 51 rule only applies in the off-season. Someone was talking about it was realistic to give Peppers a $6 Mil per year contract. How would that be possible?
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  7. Jimke

    Jimke Rookie

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    I don't know who talked about giving Peppers 6 million per year but

    I suspect that he is off by about 9 million dollars per year.
  8. CampPen33

    CampPen33 Rookie

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    Right, so it is even more unrealistic. To expect them to bring in someone like that, and still pay draft picks.
  9. CampPen33

    CampPen33 Rookie

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    The rookie pool is essentially a cap within a cap. It represents the maximum each franchise can spend, in terms of total cap dollars, on its first-year players. A team's rookie allocation is part of, not in addition to, its overall spending limit.

    Got this off of ESPN
  10. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That's true. My point here is that about half, if not more, of what will ultimately be the Patriots' rookie cap is already accounted for in the current spending.
  11. CampPen33

    CampPen33 Rookie

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    Well, if you add in 52 and 53, who right now at the very least would be the rookie min, that takes the available cap space to just over 3 mil. Right? What worthwhile veteran linebacker you see signing for less than this. Certainly not Peppers, and probably not Taylor. Most of the talk was about how they won't have the space to sign rookies if they bring in another big name vet for big money. Thomas signed for $2 Million with the Chiefs. Something like that could be possible, but it would be tight.
  12. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    Yeah, it is simply wrong. I haven't seen people saying we can't afford to sign our rookies :D

    I have heard that we cannot keep all the rookies we draft if we end up using all 11 picks to draft players this year. THAT I agree with. But in the history of the cap I have never heard of any team, no matter how badly managed, that didn't have the money to sign their rookies.
  13. CampPen33

    CampPen33 Rookie

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    I think that the originator mistook what we were talking about as not being able to sign our rookies. What was meant was that we wouldn't be able to if we brought in another big contract. The debate came over the thought that team can go over the salary cap to sign rookies because there is a another magical salary cap with which you can sign rookies with. But the fact was that rookie cap still needed to fit under the overall cap. So this is all a mute point really. No one was talking about not being able to sign rookies. It was a question of could they max out the cap, and then add on rookies.
  14. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Here's the first post I saw on this vein. Maybe I did misinterpret it, but, the basic principle remains:

    As I've argued above, the Pats can do that with the $4M or so that remains (I expect that another $1M or so will come from restructures, and another $1M or so from cutting veterans in favor of younguns).
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  15. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As long as they follow kosher guidelines and don't go overboard with spices or overcook the meal, PETA has no grounds to complain. :cool:
  16. Rob0729

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    There are still ways to free up cap space. I and others have shown that it is possible to convert parts of both Brady's and Light's base salary into roster bonuses that could free up several million. If they extend Brady or several of the other players coming up for free agency, they will be able to recoup even more.
  17. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    [channeling Miguel]The Pats can create salary cap room by restructuring. They can NOT create salary cap room by extending Brady. There's already $9.6M on the books, so any restructuring would be on top of that.[/channeling]
  18. CampPen33

    CampPen33 Rookie

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    Right, and the players would have to agree to restructuring. So it's not such a simple fix.
  19. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Thanks Ct--you bring a lot to the boards, and I appreciate your posts and threads. You are obviously a class act, and don't jam your opinion down people's throats. The fact that you didn't say who the person or people were, prove that even more. The one thing you don't forget, is that we're all on the same team--so to speak.:)
  20. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I am not a cap expert by any stretch. But wouldn't the $3 million roster bonus be allowed to be amortized over the life of the new deal since it was money received for this year? The $6.6 million of prorated remaining signing bonus may not be touched, but the new money for 2009 might be. I always thought that you could redistribute the entire remaining dead money, but I will conceed that point. Granted Miguel may know better and you might too.

    If that is the case and the Pats work it out that this year he doesn't get too much of a bonus, they may be able to free up $3-4 million of cap space on him.
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