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SALARY CAP

Archive for the ‘ overview ’ Category

This past week’s (8/18/2014) New England Patriots salary cap happenings

1.On August 10th the Patriots waived Asa Watson. Watson received a $3,000 signing bonus on May 10 and had $17,000 of his salary guaranteed making his dead money hit $18,000 ($1,000 plus $17,000). Patriots lost $17,000 in cap space as a result of his waiver.
2.On August 10th the Patriots also waived Justin Jones. Jones received a $5,000 signing bonus on May 10 and had $10,000 of his salary guaranteed making his dead money hit $11,666 ($1,666 plus $10,000). Patriots lost $10,000 in cap space as a result of his waiver.
3.On August 10th the Patriots also waived Stephen Houston. Houston received a $7,500 signing bonus on May 10 and had $15,000 of his salary guaranteed making his dead money hit $17,500 ($2,500 plus $15,000). Patriots lost $15,000 in cap space as a result of his waiver.
4.On August 10th the Patriots signed Ben Hartsock. They released him on August 14th. These two transactions cancel each other out resulting in no cap impact on the Patriots.
5.On August 10th the Patriots also signed Terrence Miller. His signing did not affect the 2014 salary cap at all because he did not receive a signing bonus and his rookie salary was not large enough to crack the Top 51 list.
6.On August 10th the Patriots signed Steve Maneri. His signing cost the Patriots $150,000 in cap space as his $570,000 salary displaced a player with a $420,000 salary from the Top 51 list
7.On August 11th Aaron Dobson was removed from the PUP list leaving Jeremy Gallon as the sole Patriot remaining on the PUP list.
8.Also on August 11th Dominique Easley was removed from the NFI list leaving Chris Martin as the sole Patriot remaining on the NFI list.
9. On August 13th the Patriots traded Justin Green for Ben Bass. Trade had no cap impact as both players have the same salaries of $420,000.
10. Also on August 13th the Patriots traded a future conditional pick for Jerel Worthy. His signing cost the Patriots $328,928 in cap space as his $748,928 salary displaced Michael Buchanan’s $495,000 salary from the Top 51 list
11. On August 13th the Patriots waived/injured Terrence Miller clearing a roster spot for Worthy. On August 14th Miller cleared waivers and was placed on IR. On August 15th the Patriots and Miller reached an injury settlement removing him from the IR list.
12.Updated my blog post that lists the Patriots eligible for the practice squad

13. Updated my listing of the New England Patriots dead money.
14. Updated my 2015 salary cap preview.
15.The Patriots started the week with $6,553,532 in cap space. They ended the week with $6,107,604 in cap space. The Patriots ended the week with 89 players on their 90-man active roster and one player on Injured Reserve

Updating this to include the impact of the recent waivers of Justin Jones, Asa Watson, and Stephen Houston.

Aaron Hernandez- $7,532,800. I write more about Aaron Hernandez’s salary cap implications in another blog post.
Isaac Sopoaga – $1,000,000
Steve Gregory – $833,334
Adrian Wilson – $666,667
Ras-I Dowling -$589,382
Daniel Fells – $333,334
Lavelle Hawkins – $75,000
James Morris – $20,000
Asa Watson – $18,000 (Watson was waived by the New England Patriots on August 10 after receiving a $3,000 signing bonus on May 10 and having $17,000 of his salary guaranteed. The $18,000 is the dead money hit that resulted from his waiver)
Stephen Houston – $17,500 (Houston was waived by the New England Patriots on August 10 after receiving a $7,500 signing bonus and having $15,000 of his salary guaranteed. The $17,500 is the dead money hit that resulted from his waiver)
Justin Jones – $11,666 (Justin Jones was waived by the New England Patriots on August 10 after receiving a $5,000 signing bonus on May 10 and having $10,000 of his salary guaranteed. The $11,666 is the dead money hit that resulted from his waiver)
Sudfeld, Zachary -$8,000
Ben Bartholomew – $6,667
T.J. Moe – $5,334
Elvis Fisher – $5,000
Markus Zusevics – $4,334
Kanorris Davis – $3,334 (Davis was waived by the Pats on 8/31/2013 after receiving a signing bonus in May, 2013. The $3,334 is the dead money hit that resulted from his waiver.
Chris McDonald -$3,334
Cory Grissom – $2,667
Josh Kline – $2,667 (Kline was waived by the Pats on 9/2/2013 after receiving a signing bonus in May, 2013. The $2,667 is the dead money hit that resulted from his waiver)
Francis, Justin – $2,334
Jones, Brandon – $2,334
Ford, Brandon – $2,000
Morris, Stephon – $1,667
Stankiewitch, Matt – $1,667
Tyler Beck – $1,500
Zupancic, Mike – $1,334
Cherrington, Dewayne $667
Quentin Hines – $667
Michael Jenkins – (-$79,200)
Jonathan Fanene – (-$360,000)
Total – $10,699,990

Previewing the New England Patriots 2015 Salary Cap – Updated on August 13, 2014

I had asked my Twitter followers what should be my next bog post. A couple of them asked for a 2015 salary cap preview. Please note that I have used parts of an Adamjt13 and ninercaphell posts as a template for this post.

These numbers were updated on August 13, 2014. These numbers now include the impact of the Patriots trading for Jerel Worthy.

Quick summary – The Patriots are going to have to make several difficult and most likely unpopular decisions in the next year to become active participants in 2015 free agency. For the purpose of this exercise, I will presume that the 2015 salary cap will be $140 million.

I will first list the pending free agents after 2014, then list the 70 players under contract

  1. ERFA – James Develin, FB – Expect Develin to be tendered in 2015 if he plays in 2014 like he did in 2013
  2. ERFA – Sealver Siliga, DT – Expect Siliga to be tendered in 2015 if he plays in 2014 like he did in the end of 2013
  3. ERFA – Ben Bass, DT – If Bass makes the 53-man roster in 2014, expect him to be tendered in 2015

  4. RFA – Brandon Bolden, RB – Brandon Bolden, Stevan Ridley, and Shane Vereen are probably in a battle to see who will be the Patriots starting running back in 2015 with the losers going elsewhere in free agency.
  5. UFA – Danny Aiken, LS – If Aiken beats out Charley Hughlett for the long snapper spot in 2014, he may reach a long-term deal with the Patriots like Lonie Paxton did in 2003.
  6. UFA – James Anderson – LB – Since Anderson signed a MSB (Minimum Salary deal) he can not be extended until after the 2014 season ends. I can see him signing a two to three deal with the Patriots right before the 2015 League Year begins.
  7. UFA – Marcus Cannon, G – Marcus Cannon and Dan Connolly are probably in a battle to see who will be the Patriots starting right guard in 2015 with the loser going elsewhere in free agency.
  8. UFA – Patrick Chung, S – Patrick’s 2014 roster spot is not secure as there are other cheaper options (Kanorris Davis, 2014 draft picks) around.
  9. UFA – Dan Connolly, G – Marcus Cannon and Dan Connolly are probably in a battle to see who will be the Patriots starting right guard in 2015 with the loser going elsewhere in free agency.
  10. UFA – Stephen Gostkowski, K – Expect the Ghost to be extended before the start of the 2015 League Year.
  11. UFA – Tommie Kelly, DT – I can see Kelly on the Patriots in 2015 with a similar deal that he signed in March – heavily incentivized.
  12. UFA – Ryan Mallett, QB – Only if Mallett likes being a backup or if Brady suffers a career-ending injury in 2015 do I see Mallett on the Patriots roster in 2015.
  13. UFA – Devin McCourty, S – As he gets closer to free agency, the cost to extend him increases. McCourty is the one Patriot free agent who could be franchised in 2015. I talk about his comparables in my safeties overview post.
  14. UFA – Stevan Ridley, RB – Brandon Bolden, Stevan Ridley, and Shane Vereen are probably in a battle to see who will be the Patriots starting running back in 2015 with the losers going elsewhere in free agency.
  15. UFA – Matthew Slater, WR/Special Teams Ace – Expect Slater to be extended before the start of the 2015 League Year.
  16. UFA – Will Smith – DE – May not make the 2014 roster.
  17. UFA – Shane Vereen, RB – Brandon Bolden, Stevan Ridley, and Shane Vereen are probably in a battle to see who will be the Patriots starting running back in 2015 with the losers going elsewhere in free agency.
  18. UFA – D.J. Williams, TE – May not make the 2014 roster.
  19. UFA – Ben Hartsock, TE – May not make the 2014 roster.
  20. UFA – Steve Maneri, TE – May not make the 2014 roster.
  21. UFA – Chris White, LB – Chris White is battling other special team specialists like Nate Ebner, Matt, Slater, and Kanorris Davis to make the 2014 roster.

Now let us take a look at the players under contract in descending order by current 2015 cap number.

  1. CB Darrelle Revis($25M cap charge) – If he plays well in 2014, Revis will have a lot of leverage in his negotiations with the Patriots when the two meet to lower his 2015 cap number.
  2. QB Tom Brady ($13,000,000 cap charge) – One of the league’s best quarterbacks at a bargain price. Could see the Patriots lowering his cap number even further by converting six million of his salary into a signing bonus. Such a move would save the Patriots $4 million in 2015.
  3. G Logan Mankins($11,000,000 cap charge) – 2015 is the last year that Mankins’ signing bonus will be prorated. Therefore, no matter what, he will count at least $4 million against the 2015 cap. The question is will Mankins show in 2014 that he will be worth $7 million in new money in 2015. If he does, I could see the Pats extending him a couple of years to lower his 2015 cap number.
  4. LB Jerod Mayo($10,287,500 cap charge) – Mayo must stay healthy and play well in 2015 in order to remain worthy of such a high cap charge.
  5. TE Rob Gronkowski ($8,650,000 cap charge) – Gronk must stay healthy and play well in 2015 in order to remain worthy of such a high cap charge. Otherwise, I could see the Pats releasing him before the start of the 2015 League Year so as to avoid guaranteeing his 2015 $4.75 million salary.
  6. DT Vince Wilfork ($8,058,333 cap charge) – Vince must stay healthy and play well in 2015 in order to remain worthy of such a high cap charge. Otherwise, I could see the Pats releasing him before the start of the 2015 League Year so as to avoid paying him his 2015 $4 million roster bonus that is due the first day of the 2015 League Year. Since Vince has a 46-man active roster bonus, he will increase his 2015 cap number by $31,250 a game for every game he plays in 2014 that is more than 4. Example, he plays in 16 games in 2014. His cap number will increase by $31,250 X 12 or $375,000
  7. LB Nate Solder($7,438,000 cap charge) – His $7,438,000 salary becomes fully guaranteed the first day of the 2015 League Year
  8. WR Danny Amendola ($5,575,00 cap charge) – Yet another Patriot that must stay healthy and play well in 2015 in order to remain worthy of such a high cap charge.
  9. CB Brandon Browner($4.7M cap charge) – Browner must avoid getting suspended once again by the NFL. Otherwise, I could see the Pats releasing him before the start of the 2015 League Year so as to avoid paying him his 2015 $2 million roster bonus that is due the first day of the 2015 League Year.
  10. CB Kyle Arrington ($4.625M cap charge) – Would not be surprised if Arrington is approached by the Patriots to lower his 3 million salary, especially if Logan Ryan, Dennard or a 2014 draft pick surpasses him on the depth chart.
  11. OT Sebastian Vollmer ($4.5M cap charge) – Vollmer just signed an extension in 2013 so the Patriots obviously view SeaBass as the future at RT. The more he plays in 2014, the higher his 2015 cap number will be.
  12. WR Julian Edelman($4.25M cap charge) – Edelman just signed an extension in 2014 so it is very likely that he will be on the Patriot roster in 2015
  13. DE Rob Ninkovich($3.95M cap charge) – Ninkovich just signed an extension in 2013 and as of April 11th there is no replacement on the Patriots roster so we should expect Ninkovich on the Patriots 2015 roster.
  14. WR Brandon Lafell($3M cap charge) – Lafell must hold off Thompkins, Boyce, and Mark Harrison in 2014 in order to have a Patriots roster spot in 2015.
  15. DE Chandler Jones ($2,600,659 cap charge) – With his 2015 salary fully guaranteed Chandler Jones is ensured a roster spot in 2015
  16. LB Dont’a Hightower ($2,457,637 cap charge) – With his 2015 salary fully guaranteed Hightower is ensured a roster spot in 2015
  17. TE Michael Hoomanawanui ($1,761,250 cap charge) – An excellent price for what the Hooman brings to the table.
  18. DT Dominique Easley ($1,659,898 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor/starter locked in a cheap price through the 2017 season thanks to his rookie contract.
  19. C Ryan Wendell ($1.625M cap charge) – Wendell must return to the level of play he demonstrated in 2012 to be on the roster in 2015. If he plays in 2014 like he did in 2013, I expect the Patriots to release him early in 2015.
  20. CB Alfonzo Dennard ($1,517,462 cap charge) – Because he played so much in 2012 and 2013 Dennard raised his 2015 salary to the projected low RFA tender of $1.503 million which will make his 2015 cap charge $1,517,462.
  21. CB Tavon Wilson ($1,347,057 cap charge) – Would not be surprised if Tavon does not make the 2014 roster which would mean that his 2015 cap number would drop to $376,891, the 2015 proration of his signing bonus.
  22. LB Jamie Collins ($1,025,728 cap charge) – Expected 2014 starter locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract.
  23. WR Aaron Dobson ($935,010 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor/starter locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract.
  24. DE Jake Bequette ($799,950 cap charge) – Would not be surprised if Jake does not make the 2014 roster which would mean that his 2015 cap number would drop to $134,950, the 2015 proration of his signing bonus
  25. DT Jerel Worthy ($928,391 cap charge) – On the 2014 roster bubble.

  26. CB Logan Ryan ($745,813 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  27. S Duron Harmon ($724,400 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor/starter locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  28. QB Jimmy Garoppolo ($723,436 cap charge) – Expected 2014 backup locked in a cheap price through the 2017 season thanks to his rookie contract.
  29. WR Josh Boyce ($704,250 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor/starter locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract.
  30. S Nate Ebner ($684,150 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price thanks to his rookie contract
  31. DT Marcus Forston ($660,000 cap charge) – Doubtful that he makes the 2015 roster.
  32. C Bryan Stork ($629,250 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor/starter locked in a cheap price through the 2017 season thanks to his rookie contract.
  33. RB James White ($609,272 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2017 season thanks to his rookie contract.
  34. DE Michael Buchanan ($598,403 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  35. LB Steve Beauharnais ($596,898 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  36. WR Kenbrell Thompkins ($585,834 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  37. P Ryan Allen ($585,500 cap charge) – Expected 2014 punter locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  38. OT Cameron Fleming ($585,146 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2017 season thanks to his rookie
  39. OG Chris Barker ($585,000 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  40. S Kanorris Davis ($585,000 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  41. DT Chris Jones ($585,000 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  42. OG Josh Kline ($585,000 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  43. DT Joe Vellano ($585,000 cap charge) – Roster bubble player locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season thanks to his rookie contract
  44. WR Brian Tyms ($585,000 cap charge) – Roster bubble player locked in a cheap price through the 2015 season
  45. G Jon Halapio ($540,775 cap charge) – Expected 2014 contributor locked in a cheap price through the 2017 season thanks to his rookie contract.
  46. DE Zach Moore ($535,550 cap charge) – Roster bubble player locked in a cheap price through the 2017 season thanks to his rookie contract.
  47. CB Jemea Thomas ($533,128 cap charge) – Roster bubble player locked in a cheap price through the 2017 season thanks to his rookie contract. If placed on IR in 2014 as part of the roster cutdowns, his cap number will decrease by $85,000 as he will not have earned a credited season for 2015.
  48. WR Jeremy Gallon ($521,898 cap charge) – Roster bubble player locked in a cheap price through the 2017 season thanks to his rookie contract. If placed on IR in 2014 as part of the roster cutdowns, his cap number will decrease by $85,000 as he will not have earned a credited season for 2015.
  49. LB Cameron Gordon ($515,000 cap charge) – Cameron needs to take advantage of his opportunity – a thin depth chart at linebacker – in order to make the 2014 roster.
  50. RB Roy Finch ($511,666 cap charge) – Roy Finch is on the roster bubble and may make the 2014 practice squad and then signed to a futures contract in early 2015 making his 2015 salary $435,000.
  51. S Shamiel Gary ($511,666 cap charge) – Shamiel may make the 2014 practice squad and then signed to a futures contract in early 2015 making his 2015 salary $435,000.
  52. CB Travis Hawkins ($511,666 cap charge) – Travis is on the roster bubble and may make the 2014 practice squad and then signed to a futures contract in early 2015 making his 2015 salary $435,000.
  53. CB Malcolm Butler ($510,000 cap charge) – Malcolm has been making some noise at training camp and may make the 2014 roster.
  54. C Braxston Cave ($510,000 cap charge) – The Patriots would probably love to see Braxston (420K salary) beat out Dan Connolly ($3m salary) for a 2014 roster spot as that would free up over $2.5 million in cap space.
  55. LB Ja’Gared Davis ($510,000 cap charge) – Ja’Gared needs to take advantage of his opportunity – a thin depth chart at linebacker – in order to make the 2014 roster.
  56. OT Jordan Devey ($510,000 cap charge) – Do not expect Jordan to make the 2014 roster. Expect him to once again be on the Patriots practice squad. Expect that Devey will be signed to a futures contract early in 2015 at a $435,000 salary.
  57. RB Reggie Dunn ($510,000 cap charge) – Do not expect Reggie to make the 2014 roster. Expect him to be on the 2015 Patriots practice squad. Expect that Reggie will be signed to a futures contract early in 2015 at a $435,000 salary.
  58. LB Darius Fleming ($510,000 cap charge) – Darius needs to take advantage of his opportunity – a thin depth chart at linebacker – in order to make the 2014 roster.
  59. RB Jonas Gray ($510,000 cap charge) – Do not expect Jonas make the 2014 roster. Expect him to be on the 2014 Patriots practice squad. Expect that Jonas will be signed to a futures contract early in 2015 at a $435,000 salary.
  60. WR Derrick Johnson ($510,000 cap charge) – Derrick may make the 2014 practice squad and then signed to a futures contract in early 2015 making his 2015 salary $435,000.
  61. DT Eathyn Manumaleuna -
    Do not expect Tuipulotu to make the 2014 roster. May make the 2014 Patriots practice squad. If he does, expect him to be signed to a futures contract early in 2015 at a $435,000 salary.
  62. LB Taylor McCuller ($510,000 cap charge) – Do not expect McCuller make the 2014 roster. Expect him to be on the 2014 Patriots practice squad. Expect that Taylor will be signed to a futures contract early in 2015 at a $435,000 salary.
  63. TE Terrence Miller ($510,000 cap charge) – Do not expect Miller to make the 2014 roster. May make the 2014 Patriots practice squad. If he does, expect him to be signed to a futures contract early in 2015 at a $435,000 salary.
  64. LB James Morris ($510,000 cap charge) – James needs to take advantage of his opportunity – a thin depth chart at linebacker – in order to make the 2014 roster.
  65. LS Tyler Ott ($510,000 cap charge) – Economics may give Tyler the edge over Danny Aiken in the battle to become the Patriots long snapper. Tyler is cheaper and under the Patriots control for the next 3 years.
  66. LB Deontae Skinner ($510,000 cap charge) – Is a good candidate to be placed on NFI the entire season which would make his 2015 salary $435,000
  67. CB Daxton Swanson ($510,000 cap charge) – Do not expect Swanson to make the 2014 roster. May make the 2014 Patriots practice squad. If he does, expect him to be signed to a futures contract early in 2015 at a $435,000 salary.
  68. DT L.T. Tuipulotu ($510,000 cap charge) – Do not expect Tuipulotu to make the 2014 roster. May make the 2014 Patriots practice squad. If he does, expect him to be signed to a futures contract early in 2015 at a $435,000 salary.
  69. WR Wilson Van Hooser -
    Do not expect Van Hooser make the 2014 roster. May make the 2014 Patriots practice squad. If he does, expect him to be signed to a futures contract early in 2015 at a $435,000 salary.
  70. RB Tyler Gaffney ($435,000 cap charge) – Tyler will spend the 2014 season on Injured Reserve.
  71. TE Terrence Miller ($435,000 cap charge) – Terrence may spend the 2014 season on Injured Reserve if he does not reach an injury settlement with the Patriots by August 21st.
  72. WR Greg Orton ($435,000 cap charge) – Greg Orton will spend the 2014 season on Injured Reserve.

Please note that I am using one of Adamjt13′s post as a template for this portion. I currently have the 2015 Patriots’ current cap number as $146,500,576 with 71 signed players. For simplicity sake, I will round this figure to $146.5 million. The following factors will change that:

  • Exclusive Rights Free agents – The Patriots are scheduled to have three players eligible for exclusive rights free agency in 2015. They are James Develin, Ben Bass and Sealver Siliga. Their tender offers will be $660,000. Add the duo to the Top 51 list will displace three players with salaries of $510,000 from the list add $450,000 to the Patriots 2015 cap commitments making it now $147 million with 74 players signed or tendered.
  • 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 2014, and, after using the remaining 2014 cap space, would have carried over into 2015.
  • Restricted free agents. The Patriots have one player eligible for restricted free agency – Brandon Bolden who was undrafted. Below are the possible projected tenders.
    • Level 1: $1,503,000 (Right of First Refusal)
    • Level 2: $1,503,000 or 110% of 2014 salary (Original Round Pick)
    • Level 3: $2,296,000 or 110% of 2014 salary (Second Round Pick)
    • Level 4: $3,269,000 or 110% of 2014 salary (First Round Pick)

    I believe that the Patriots will not tender Brandon Bolden at the Right of First Refusal level ($1,503,000) which will make Bolden an free agent in 2015. Please note that I doubt that Bolden will make the 2014 roster but things could change between now and roster cutdowns

  • 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 2015, this situation does NOT yet apply to a Patriots player. A player has to be on the 53-man roster for at least 3 games in 2014 for 2014 to count as a credited season.
  • Proven Performance Escalator – As part of the new CBA there is a proven performance escalator for draft picks chosen in Round 3 through 7. Jake Bequette, Nate Ebner, and Alfonzo Dennard are eligible for it in 2015. An eligible player will qualify for the Proven Performance Escalator in his fourth League Year if: (1) he participated in a minimum of 35% of his Club’s offensive or defensive plays in any two of his previous three regular seasons; or (2) he participated in a “cumulative average” of at least 35% of his Club’s offensive or defensive plays over his previous three regular seasons. Jake Bequette has played in 2.7% of the defensive snaps in 2012 and 1% of the defensive snaps in 2013. Nate Ebner played in 3.3% of the defensive snaps in 2012 and 0.4% of the defensive snaps in 2013. Alfonzo Dennard played in 53.3% of the defensive snaps in 2012 and 62.3% of the defensive snaps in 2013. Irregardless of what he does in 2014, Alfonzo Dennard has already reached the escalator so his 2015 cap number will increase from $674,462 to $1,517,462, an increase of $843,000.After all of the above we have $147 million in 2015 cap commitments with 74 players signed or tendered.
  • Incentives adjustment – I think that more Patriots will reach their incentives than will not which will decrease the amount of cap space that the Pats can carry over into 2015. As of August 10 the Patriots have about $5,661,250 in NLTBE incentives that I consider easily reachable by the player.
    • Mayo’s per-game roster bonus – $312,500 if Mayo plays all 16 games
    • Mayo’s Pro Bowl bonus – $300,000 if Mayo is selected to the Pro Bowl
    • Vollmer’s playing time incentive – $2 million if he plays in 90% of the offensive snaps, $1 million if he plays in 80% of the offensive snaps
    • Kelly’s per-game roster bonus – $550,000 if Kelly plays all 16 games
    • Kelly’s playing time incentive maxes at $645,000 if Kelly plays in 60% of the defensive snaps
    • Amendola’s per-game roster bonus – $125,000 if Amendola plays all 16 games
    • Hoomanawanui’s per-game roster bonus – $18,750 if Hoomanawanui plays all 16 games
    • Browner’s per-game roster bonus – $600,000 if Browner plays in 12 games
    • Wilfork’s per-game roster bonus – $1,050,000 if Wilfork plays all 16 games.
    • Chung’s per-game roster bonus – $60,000 if Chung plays all 16 games.

    A reached NLTBE incentive in 2014 can adversely impacts the Patriots 2015 cap in two ways. It will lower the team’s 2015 adjusted cap number while also increasing the player’s cap number for 2015. Let’s use Vollmer as an example. Let’s presume that he plays in 95% of the offensive snaps in 2014. For simplicity sake, let’s also pretend that no other Patriot had incentives in their contract. By playing in over 90% of the offensive snaps, that would mean that he reached his 2 million NTLBE playing time incentive. Let’s assume that the 2015 cap is announced to be $140 million. The Patriots adjusted cap number would be decreased by the $2 million making it $138 million. Because he reached the incentive in 2014, the 90% playing time would be considered LTBE for 2015 increasing Vollmer’s cap number from $4.5 million to $6.5 million. That reached NLTBE incentive just lowered the Patriots 2015 cap space by $4 million. As you can see by that example, it is possible that as players reach their NTLBE incentives in 2014 the Patriots 2015 cap space will shrink greatly. For more information on incentives and their possible impact on the Patriots salary cap please see this blog

  • When the 2011 lockout ended with the adoption of the new CBA, the Salary Cap was reduced from $132M in 2009 to $120.6M in 2011. As a way to ease the transition into this lower Cap, the transition rules allow teams to “borrow” $4.5M over the first two seasons of the new CBA ($3M in 2011, $1.5M in 2012). From the CBA – “Clubs shall identify in writing to the NFL prior to the beginning of each of the 2014-17 League Years, the amount of any offset described in Subsections (i) and (ii) above that shall apply for such League Year. If a Club has not identified its entire offset as of the first day of the 201 6 League Year, then the remaining offset balance shall apply in the 2017 League Year.
    Do not know if the Patriots borrowed cap space in 2011 or in 2012. Heard that most teams did. Do know that they did not pay back cap space in 2014. Do know that some other teams (Jets – $4.5 million; Ravens and Steelers – $1.125 million; Texans – $1.5 million; Colts – $3 million) did pay back cap space right before the start of the 2014 League Year. If the Patriots did “borrow” cap space in 2011/2012, they could decide to pay back some of it in 2015.
  • Aaron Hernandez – The most cap relief I expect that Patriots to get from Aaron Hernandez is $4,466,800. $4,466,800 equals $3,250,000 (final installment of signing bonus which was due on March 31, 2014) plus $1,216,800 (the total grievance amount that I think hit the 2013 cap). Given that Hernandez’s murder trials are scheduled after the start of the 2015 League Year, if the Pats do win the right to withhold the $3.25 million signing bonus I take this portion of the CBA – In the event that a Club receives a refund from the player of any previously-paid Salary, or the Club fails to pay any previously allocated portion of a signing bonus (including any amount treated as signing bonus), such amount as has previously been included in Team Salary shall be credited to the Club’s Team Salary for the next League Year it is likely that the $3.25 million credit will hit the 2016 cap as the Pats have not yet won the right to withheld the final installment of Hernandez’s signing bonus. Precedent – The Patriots received a credit on their 2014 salary for the 2013 partial return of Jonathan Fanene’s signing bonus. On the other hand, there is precedent for the Patriots receiving credit during the 2015 league year if they happen to win the $1,216,800 grievance over Hernandez’s guaranteed salaries and workout bonus. I do not believe that the Patriots will ever get a full credit for the $12.5 million signing bonus as I expect Aaron Hernandez to spend most, if not all, of his money on legal fees and settling lawsuits. For more information on Aaron Hernandez please see this blog.

To sum it up, I can easily see the Patriots being over the 2015 cap before the 2015 League Year begins and having to make moves in order to get under the 2015 cap.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the more interesting cap issues facing the Patriots in 2015 and beyond:

The big leaps: Four contracts will have huge salary-cap increases in 2015 — cornerback Darrelle Revis, left tackle Nate Solder, linebacker Jerod Mayo and tight end Rob Gronkowski. Revis’ cap cost will go from $7 million this year to $25 million next year. Solder’s cap cost will go from $2,717,429 to $7,438,000. Mayo’s cap cost will go from $7,287,500 in 2014 to $10,287,500 in 2015. Mayo’s 2015 cap number may go higher. If he makes the Pro Bowl in 2014, it would make his $300,000 Pro Bowl incentive LTBE for 2015 making it count against the 2015 cap. Right now, Mayo’s 46-man active roster bonuses count $187,500 against the 2014 cap. If Mayo were to play in 16 games in 2014, the 46-game active roster bonuses cost against the 2015 cap would increase from $187,500 to $500,000. Gronk’s cap cost will go from $5,400,000 in 2014 to $8,650,000 in 2015.

Smaller bounces: The other cap jumps in 2015 are more modest. Vince Wilfork, Danny Amendola, Kyle Arrington, Rob Ninkovich, Julian Edelman and Brandon Browner are all scheduled for increases between $1 million and $3 million. No one else on the roster is scheduled to go up by more than $500,000.

Big decisions coming right around the start of the 2015 League Year

  • Darrelle Revis – The Patriots have an option on Revis’ April 1, 2015 roster bonus. They must decide to pick up the option or not by the end of the 2014 League Year. Have created a blog post dedicated to examining Darrelle Revis’s comparables and proposing six different contracts for him and the Patriots.
  • Brandon Browner – Brandon Brown earns a $2 million roster bonus if he is on the Patriots 90-man roster the first day of the 2015 League Year
  • Vince Wilfork – Vince Wilfork earns a $4 million roster bonus if he is on the Patriots roster the first day of the 2015 League Year
  • Rob Gronkowski – Gronk’s 2015 $4.75 million salary becomes fully guaranteed if he is on the Patriots roster the first day of the 2015 League Year. Also, if Gronk is on the Patriots roster the first day of the 2015 League Year there will be a $2 million proration of his 2016 million option bonus that will officially hit the Patriots 2015 cap.
  • Rob Ninkovich – 1 million of Ninkovich’s 2015 salary becomes fully guaranteed the 5th day of the Patriots league year.
  • Nate Solder – Solder’s 2015 $7.438 million salary becomes fully guaranteed if he is on the Patriots roster the first day of the 2015 League Year.

A look at the Patriots’ 2015 contracts shows that 14 players make up over eighty percent of the 2015 projected cap number. Those 14 players have a combined 2015 cap hit of $114,033,833, or 81 percent of the projected cap number of $140 million. Excluding Revis, the 13 players have a combined 2015 cap hit of $89,033,833, or 64 percent of the $140 million figure.

They are:

  1. $25,000,000 ……Darrelle Revis
  2. $13,000,000 ……Tom Brady
  3. $11,000,000 ……Logan Mankins
  4. $10,287,500 ……Jerod Mayo
  5. $8,650,000 ……Rob Gronkowski
  6. $8,058,333 ……Vince Wilfork
  7. $7,438,000 ……Nate Solder
  8. $5,575,000 ……Danny Amendola
  9. $4,700,000 ……Brandon Browner
  10. $4,625,000 ……Kyle Arrington
  11. $4,500,000 ……Sebastian Vollmer
  12. $4,250,000 ……Julian Edelman
  13. $3,950,000 ……Rob Ninkovich
  14. $3,000,000 ……Brandon Lafell

Safe to say that anybody on that list, other than Brady and Solder, could become a cap casualty after this upcoming season.

Any player the Patriots release or trade after June 1, 2014 season will give the Patriots dead money on the 2015 cap if the player had a signing bonus that was still being pro-rated over the 2015 season. To determine the amount of dead money add the remaining pro-rated amounts and any guaranteed salaries. The longer the player is still under contract and the larger his initial signing bonus, the higher that number will be.

How much dead money in 2015 would the Patriots have after releasing some of their higher-priced players after June 1, 2014?

  • $5,000,000 …..Darrelle Revis * dead money increases to $17,000,000 the begining of the 2015 League Year
  • $4,000,000 …..Logan Mankins
  • $6,000,000 …..Jerod Mayo
  • $3,300,000 …..Rob Gronkowski * dead money increases to $10,050,000 the beginning of the 2015 League Year
  • $866,667 …..Vince Wilfork * dead money increases to $4,866,667 the begininng of the 2015 League Year
  • $0 …..Nate Solder * dead money increases to $7,438,000 the beginning of the 2015 League Year
  • $3,600,000 …..Danny Amendola
  • $0 …..Brandon Browner * dead money increases to $2,000,000 the beginning of the 2015 League Year
  • $3,250,000 …..Kyle Arrington
  • $3,500,000 …..Sebastian Vollmer
  • $3,750,000 …..Julian Edelman
  • $2,500,000 …..Rob Ninkovich * dead money increases to $3,500,000 the 5th day of the 2015 League Year
  • $2,000,000 …..Brandon Lafell

Subtract dead money and $435,000 (salary of the player who will take released player’s spot in the Top 51 list) from the player’s 2015 cap number to get the potential cap savings. Example, Mankins has a 2015 cap number of $11,000,000. Subtract 4,000,000 from that and you get $7,000,000. Subtract $435,000 from $7,000,000 and you get $6,565,000 in cap savings. If the Patriots released with, say, Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Logan Mankins, Jerod Mayo, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, and Vince Wilfork in February of 2015, they would have a net gain of $44,459,166 in cap space.

Of course, the Patriots could reach extensions with some Patriots to lower their 2015 cap numbers, most notably Revis and Solder.

As of August 11, 2014 the Patriots have a total of $11,334 hitting the 2015 cap as dead money.

I started off this post stating that the Patriots are going to have to make several difficult and most likely unpopular decisions in the next year to become active participants in 2015 free agency. I would like to end up this post with my predictions.

  • Pick up Revis’ option? No.
  • Extend Revis’ option? Only if the APY of the real money in the deal is $14 million or lower.
  • Pick up Browner’s option? If he plays well in 2014, Yes. Otherwise, no.
  • If Revis and Browner are part of the Patriots’ long term plans, Arrington will probably be released sometime in 2015
  • Release Gronk before the start of the 2015 League Year? Yes, if he continues to miss a good number of games in 2014.
  • Keep the running back duo of Ridley and Vereen? No. One will remain a Patriot. The other will attempt to find success elsewhere in the NFL.
  • Keep the trio of Lafell, Amendola and Edelman for the 2015 season? One maybe two will have to go to create cap space and roster space for the younger wideouts on the team.
  • Keep or extend Mankins? His play in 2014 will decide the answer. I am guessing the latter.
  • Keep Mayo? If Mayo has a repeat of the 2013 season and Jamie Collins steps up in 2014 Mayo may be too expensive to keep in 2015
  • Reach a deal with McCourty? Yes

For more information about the 2015 Patriots salary cap page see my 2015 Patriots salary cap page

This past week’s (8/2/2014) New England Patriots salary cap happenings

  1. On July 28th the Patriots released Josh Hull freeing up $150,000 in cap space as Michael Buchanan’s $495,000 salary took Hull’s $645,000 salary in the Top 51 list.
  2. Also on July 28th the Patriots claimed Tyler Gaffney. This signing did not affect the Patriots salary cap at all since his former team, the Panthers, are responsible for his signing bonus prorations and his $420,000 salary is not high enough to make it to the Top 51 list. On August 30th the Patriots will be able to place Gaffney on the Injured Reserve list without exposing Gaffney to the waiver process. At that time his salary will drop from $420,000 to $303,000. His $303,000 salary will start to count against the 2014 cap on midnight, September 4th.
  3. Also on July 28th Greg Orton cleared waivers at 4PM. He was then placed on IR. Once Orton is on IR his salary should drop from $420,000 to $303,000. $303,000 is the split salary for a player who was earning a $420,000 salary. If the five days is 5 calendar days, the Patriots have until 4PM on August 2nd to reach an injury settlement. If it is 5 business days, the Patriots and Orton have until 4PM Monday August 4th to reach an injury settlement. I doubt that with a torn Achilles Orton will agree to an injury settlement.
  4. On July 29th Alfonzo Dennard was activated from the PUP list
  5. On July 31st Matthew Slater was activated from the PUP list
  6. Updated my blog post that lists the Patriots eligible for the practice squad. listing the reasons why I think that the player is eligible.
  7. Updated my salary cap breakdowns. My breakdowns include the following
    • Player’s age
    • future cap hits
    • when player hits Free Agency
    • a comparison to NFL average for position
    • Lists player’s salary cap rank among the Patriots and among the players at same position if the Patriot is among the Top 50 at his position
    • lists Most overpaid
    • Also lists Most underpaid.
    • Net cap savings if cut
    • 2014 and 2015 dead money hits if cut

    This past week I started to focus on the defense. Completed the linebackers and defensive ends.

  8. The Patriots started the week with $6,403,532 in cap space. They ended the week with $6,553,532 in cap space. The Patriots ended the week with 90 players on their 90-man active roster and one player on Injured Reserve. As you can see on the NFLPA site the league average is $10,549,660.69 so the Patriots have just under $4 million less than the league average. The Patriots have the 11th amount of cap space.

This past week’s (7/28/2014) New England Patriots salary cap happenings

  1. On July 21st the Patriots waived Seali’i Epenesa. His waiving did not affect the Patriots 2014 salary cap at all because he did not receive a signing bonus or have any of his salary guaranteed.
  2. On July 21st the Patriots signed Eathyn Manumaleuna. This signing did not affect the Patriots salary cap at all since Eathyn did not receive a signing bonus as part of his three-year deal
  3. On July 21st the Patriots placed DL Dominique Easley, RB Roy Finch, LB Deontae Skinner and T Chris Martin on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list. CB Alfonzo Dennard, WR Aaron Dobson, WR Jeremy Gallon, DT Tommy Kelly and ST/WR Matt Slater were placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. These transactions did not affect the Patriots salary cap at all.
  4. On July 23rd the Patriots waived Tyler McDonald retired. His waiving did not affect the Patriots 2014 salary cap at all because he did not receive a signing bonus or have any of his salary guaranteed.
  5. On July 23rd the Patriots re-signed Greg Orton. This re-signing did not affect the Patriots salary cap at all since Greg did not receive a signing bonus as part of his three-year deal.
  6. On July 24th Roy Finch was activated from the NFI list
  7. On July 25th the Patriots released Nate Byham freeing up $225,000 in cap space as James White’s $420,000 salary will take Byham’s place in the Top 51 list.
  8. On July 27th the Patriots signed Cole Stanford and Brian Tyms. They also waived/injured Greg Orton. As Nick Caserio said in his press conference, Orton will end up on IR after he clears waivers at 4PM the 28th. It is very doubtful that a team will claim him. Once Orton is on IR his salary should drop from $420,000 to $303,000. $303,000 is the split salary for a player who was earning a $420,000 salary. The Patriots and Orton have 5 days to reach an injury settlement after he clears waivers. I doubt that with a torn Achilles Orton will agree to an injury settlement.
  9. Updated my blog post that lists the Patriots eligible for the practice squad.
  10. The Patriots started the week with $6,403,532 in cap space. They ended the week with $6,100,532 in cap space. The Patriots ended the week with 90 players on their 90-man active roster and one player on Injured Reserve. As you can see on the NFLPA site the league average is $10,072,757.22 so the Patriots have about $3.9 million less than the league average. The Patriots have the 11th amount of cap space.

This past week (7/20/2014) New England Patriots salary cap happenings

1.) On July 16th Armond Armstead retired. His retirement did not affect the Patriots 2014 salary cap at all because he was not among the Top 51. By retiring Armstead forego the $250,000 salary guarantee.

2.) On July 17th Jeremy Johnson and Reese Wiggins were waived. Their waivers did not affect the Patriots 2014 salary cap at all since they did not receive a signing bonus or have any of their salaries guaranteed.

3.) On July 18th the Patriots resigned Derrick Johnson and signed Tyler McDonald. Their signings did not affect the Patriots 2014 salary cap at all since they did not receive a signing bonus.

4.) On July 20th the Patriots signed Nate Byham. Since he has 3 credited seasons his minimum salary is $645,000 and is not eligible for the veteran minimum salary benefit. A player needs 4 credited seasons to qualify for the MSB.

5.) Updated my examination of incentives and their impact on the Patriots salary cap. I try to substantiate why I believe that the Patriots will have to leave about a 4 million cushion at the beginning of the regular season to account for incentives.

6.) Updated my salary cap breakdowns. My breakdowns include the following

  • Player’s age
  • future cap hits
  • when player hits Free Agency
  • a comparison to NFL average for position
  • Lists player’s salary cap rank among the Patriots and among the players at same position if the Patriot is among the Top 50 at his position
  • lists Most overpaid
  • Also lists Most underpaid.

This past week I focused on the offense.
Quarterbacks
Running backs
Tight Ends
Wide Receivers
Offensive Linemen

7.) Thanks to a tweet by the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin learned that the Patriots received a $79,200 credit on their cap in late May as part of a settlement of Michael Jenkins’ grievance. Updated my breakdown of the Patriots dead money. Am glad to report that after learning that piece of information my salary cap space numbernow matches the NFLPA’s.

8.) Created a blog post that lists the Patriots eligible for the practice squad.

9.) The Patriots started the week with $6,403,532 in cap space. They ended the week with $6,178,532 in cap space. The Patriots ended the week with 90 players on their roster. As you can see on the NFLPA site the league average is $10,051,233.19 so the Patriots have about $3.9 million less than the league average. The Patriots have the 11th amount of cap space.

2014 Patriots eligible for practice squad – Updated on 8/19/2014

Starting at noon August 31st the New England Patriots can build its practice squad, which can consist of up to ten players. Not every player is eligible to be on the practice squad.

Below are the criteria for eight of the ten players:

  1. A player who has not accrued a season of NFL experience is eligible for the practice squad. (e.g. a rookie).
  2. A free agent who was active (46-man game-day roster) for fewer than nine games during their accrued season(s) is eligible for the practice squad (e.g. Steve Beauharnais).
  3. A player cannot be on a practice squad for a third season unless his team has a full 53-man roster.

Note that a player must have a minimum of six games – up from the current three games – on a Practice Squad in order for that season to count as one of the player’s three permissible seasons of Practice Squad service.

Two of the ten players can have up to two accrued seasons of free agency credit. Absent this exception, a player who has earned one or more accrued seasons would not be eligible for a Practice Squad unless the player spent fewer than nine games on a club’s 46-player active list in each of his accrued seasons.
Reminder – In order to be placed onto the Patriots practice squad, the player must first clear waivers.

This year practice squad players will be paid a minimum of $6,300 a week, an increase from $6,000 last year. $6,300 * 10 players * 17 weeks= $1,071,800.

Here is the list of all practice squad eligible Patriots on the team’s current roster and the reason why they are eligible.

  1. Chris Barker (One accrued season with less than 9 games on 46-man roster)
  2. Ben Bass (No accrued season. One practice squad season)
  3. Steve Beauharnais (One accrued season with less than 9 games on 46-man roster)
  4. Jake Bequette (Two accrued seasons with less than 9 games on 46-man roster)
  5. Malcolm Butler (Rookie)
  6. Braxston Cave (No accrued season. One practice squad season)
  7. Ja’Gared Davis (No accrued season. One practice squad season)
  8. Kannoris Davis (One accrued season with less than 9 games on 46-man roster)
  9. Jordan Devey (No accrued season. One practice squad season)
  10. Dominique Easley (Rookie)
  11. Roy Finch (Rookie)
  12. Cameron Fleming (Rookie)
  13. Darius Fleming (No accrued seasons)
  14. Marcus Forston (Patriots must have a full 53-man roster since Forston has played on a practice squad for two seasons)
  15. Tyler Gaffney (Rookie)
  16. Jeremy Gallon (Rookie)
  17. Jimmy Garoppolo (Rookie)
  18. Shamiel Gary (Rookie)
  19. Cameron Gordon (Rookie)
  20. Jonas Gray (No accrued season. One practice squad season)
  21. Jon Halapio (Rookie)
  22. Travis Hawkins (Rookie)
  23. Derrick Johnson (Rookie)
  24. Justin Jones (Rookie)
  25. Josh Kline (One accrued season with less than 9 games on 46-man roster)
  26. Eathyn Manumaleuna (Rookie)
  27. Chris Martin (Rookie)
  28. Taylor McCuller (Rookie)
  29. Zach Moore (Rookie)
  30. James Morris (Rookie)
  31. Sealver Siliga (Patriots must have a full 53-man roster since Siliga has played on a practice squad for two seasons)
  32. Deontae Skinner (Rookie)
  33. Bryan Stork (Rookie)
  34. Daxton Swanson (One accrued season with less than 9 games on 46-man roster)
  35. Jemea Thomas (Rookie)
  36. L.T. Tuipulotu (Rookie)
  37. Brian Tyms (One accrued season with less than 9 games on 46-man roster)
  38. Wilson Van Hooser (Rookie)
  39. Asa Watson (Rookie)
  40. James White (Rookie)

These players are now eligible because of the change of rules on August 19th

  1. Jerel Worthy (one accrued season)
  2. Brandon Bolden (two accrued seasons)
  3. Joe Vellano (one accrued season)
  4. Josh Boyce (one accrued season)
  5. James Develin (one accrued season)
  6. Aaron Dobson (one accrued season)
  7. Ryan Allen (one accrued season)
  8. Jamie Collins (one accrued season)
  9. Chris Jones (one accrued season)
  10. Logan Ryan (one accrued season)
  11. Duron Harmon (one accrued season)
  12. Michael Buchanan (one accrued season)
  13. Chandler Jones (two accrued seasons)
  14. Steve Maneri (two accrued seasons)
  15. Donta’ Hightower (two accrued seasons)
  16. Tavon Wilson (two accrued seasons)
  17. Nate Ebner (two accrued seasons)
  18. Alfonzo Dennard (two accrued seasons)

Greg Orton is ineligible since he was placed on Injured Reserve on July 28th. Chris White, D.J. Williams and Marcus Cannon are ineligible because they have 3 accrued seasons apiece.

This past week (7/12/2014) New England Patriots salary cap happenings

1.) Updated my blog post that looks at Devin McCourty’s comparables and then proposes an extension with him and the Patriots. Added the results of 4 recent rankings of the Top 100 players in the NFL.

2.) Added to my main salary cap page links to my Patriots Future Cap hits page

3.) On July 10th it was reported on NFL.Com that Andre Johnson told the Houston Texans that he no longer wants to be on the team. Of course, the New England Patriots was mentioned as a possible landing spot for Andre. So I created a blog post in which I examined if it is feasible or possible for the Patriots to acquire Andre Johnson in a trade.

4.) The Patriots started the week with $6,403,532 in cap space. They ended the week with $6,403,532 in cap space. The Patriots ended the week with 90 players on their roster. As you can see on the NFLPA site the league average is $9,867,858.19 so the Patriots have about $3.5 million less than the league average. The Patriots have the 11th amount of cap space.

5.) Updated my 2014 salary cap picture which tries to illustrate the remaining salary cap moves for the Patriots this season at this blog post and how the Patriots could even create more space this year.

6.) Created a blog post which broke down the Patriots salary cap allocations by position, by age and by unit.

7.) While the Patriots officially have $6,403,532 in cap space it is interesting that the 3 main NFL salary cap sites all have different numbers. I have them with $6,324,332 in cap space. OvertheCap.com has the Pats with $6,669,224 in cap space. Spotrac.Com has the Patriots with $6,000,467 in cap space.


The cap implications may be too great to land Tom Brady a player like Andre johnson. (USA TODAY Images)

On July 10th it was reported on NFL.Com that Andre Johnson told the Houston Texans that he no longer wants to be on the team. Of course, the New England Patriots was mentioned as a possible landing spot for Andre. In this blog post I intend to examine if it is feasible or possible for the Patriots to acquire Andre Johnson in a trade.

Andre Johnson is signed through the 2016 season. If the Texans were to trade Andre Johnson in 2014, they would take a dead money cap hit of $4,644,583 in 2014 and a $7,139,583 dead money hit in 2015 as they would be responsible for the remaining signing bonus prorations.

Year Base Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings
2014 $10,000,000 $4,644,583 $1,000,000 $15,644,583 $4,644,583 $11,000,000
2015 $10,500,000 $4,644,583 $1,000,000 $16,144,583 $7,139,583 $8,825,000
2016 $11,000,000 $2,675,000 $1,000,000 $14,675,000 $2,675,000 $12,000,000

According to a tweet by Joel Corry, the 1 million roster bonus is dependent on Andre Johnson participating in ninety percent of the Texans’ offseason workouts, and being a full participant in OTAs, minicamp & training camp. Andre Johnson has not met those requirements. While the CBA mentions some incentives are re-evaluated when a player is traded – “Any team performance-related incentive will be revalued under the “likely to be earned” rules if the contract is assigned to a new Team through trade or waiver” the CBA does not mention how a individual performance-related incentive like the 1 million roster bonus would be treated in a trade. I will take the cautious approach and presume that his new team would be on the hook for the 1 million roster bonus until there was a renegotiation of his deal. Therefore, I am presuming that his new team would be responsible for the $34.5 million in new money left on Johnson’s deal.

Per the CBA, the Patriots would have to be under the cap by $10,580,000 in order to take on Andre Johnson’s 10 million salary and 1 million roster bonus. Remember when Tom Brady converted most of his 2007 salary into a signing bonus so that the Patriots could absorb Randy Moss’ $9.75 million salary. The Patriots are under their adjusted cap number by $6,403,532. Therefore, they would have to create $4,176,468 in cap space in order to make the trade. Why not 11 million? Because of the Top 51 rule. That is, Andre Johnson would displace James White from the Top 51 list. James White has the 51st highest cap number on the Patriots. White has a salary of $420,000. 11 million minus $420,000 equals $10,580,000.

How can the Patriots create $4,176,468 in cap space? A combination of the following.

1.) Release Dan Connolly – net cap savings of $2.505 million
1b.) Extend Dan Connolly through the 2015 season converting $2 million of his $3 million salary into a signing bonus – cap savings of $1 million

2a.) Convert $5.4 million of Mankins’s $6.5 million salary into a signing bonus – cap savings of $3.6 million while pushing out $1.8 million of signing bonus proration to the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
2b) Releasing Mankins eould change Mankins’ numbers to
2014 – $4,000,000 ($6,250,000 gross saving and a $5,830,000 net savings on the cap as a player with a $420,000 salary would replace Mankins in the Top 51 list)
2015 – $4,000,000- (a 7 million savings)
2016 – $0 – (a 7 million savings)
2c.) Converting all but $1 million of his 2014 $6.25m salary and all but 1 million of his 2015 $6.75 salary to a signing bonus while lowering his 2016 salary from $6.75 million to $5 million would change the above numbers to
2014 – $8,916,666 (a $1,583,334 savings) – $1,000,000 salary + 7,666,666 prorated signing bonus +250,000 offseason workout bonus
2015 – $8,916,666 – (a $2,083,334 saving) – $1,000,000 salary + 250K workout bonus + 7,666,666 prorated signing bonus
2016 – $8,961,668 – (a $1,916,668 increase) – 5m salary +250K workout bonus + 3,666,668 prorated signing bonus

3.) Extend Gostkowski’s contract by 4 years while giving him a $5 million signing bonus and lowering his salary from $2.9 million to $900,000 – cap savings – $1,000,000
4.) Extend McCourty’s contract by 4 years while giving him a $10 million signing bonus while lowering his 2014 salary from $3.92 million to $1 million – cap savings – $1,000,000
5.) Release Tavon Wilson – net cap savings of $278,444 while having a dead money hit of $376,891 in 2014 and $376,891 in 2015.
6.) Release Jake Bequette – net cap savings of $80,000 while having a dead money hit of $134,950 in 2014 and $134,950 in 2015.
7.) Trade Danny Amendola – net cap savings of $2,880,000 while having a dead money hit of $1.2 million in 2014 and $3.6 million in 2015. Ben Volin tweeted that trading Amendola would cost the Patriots $2.25 million in cap space. Ben is wrong. Amendola’s 2014 cap hit of $4,575,000 consists of a 3 million salary, $1.2 million signing bonus proration, and $375,000 in 46-man per game roster bonuses. If traded, the Patriots would be responsible for the $1.2 million.

Unlike in 2007 it will not be easy for the Patriots to convert salaries into signing bonuses since most of the 11 players with the highest salaries on the team are either older (Mankins and Brady) or coming off injury (Gronkowski, Amendola, Mayo, Vollmer) or both (Wilfork).

Also, unlike 2007 it will not be easy to offer Andre Johnson a NTLBE incentive-laden contract that does not immediately count against the cap. Randy Moss’ poor season in 2006 (42 catches, 553 yds, 3TDs) made it easy for Pats to create an NLTBE incentive-laden contract in 2007. Randy Moss’ 2007 incentives consisted of a
350K bonus for 45 receptions
another 350K for 55 receptions
another 350K for 65 receptions
another 350K for 75 receptions
another 350K for 85 receptions
and a 250K Pro Bowl bonus

Here’s one possible restructure of an Andre Johnson deal

Year Base Salary 2014 Prorated Bonus Roster Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings
2014 $1,000,000 $3,000,000 $1,000,000 $5,000,000 $3,000,000 $2,000,000
2015 $10,500,000 $3,000,000 $1,000,000 $14,500,000 $6,000,000 $8,500,000
2016 $11,000,000 $3,000,000 $1,000,000 $15,000,000 $3,000,000 $12,000,000

The problem with this proposed deal is not in 2014 but is with 2015 and 2016. As of July 10, 2014 the Patriots’ 2015 cap commitments already total $146,013,351 and the Patriots’ 2016 cap commitments total $105,570,347. The Patriots have 52 players signed thru 2016.

  • 14 players (Brady, Mayo, Mankins, Gronkowski, Amendola, Wilfork, Arrington, Ninkovich, Edelman, Browner,Vollmer, Lafell, Easley, Collins) have average cap value of over 1M for the 2014/2015/2016 seasons
  • 12 (Brady, Mayo, Mankins, Gronkowski, Amendola, Wilfork, Arrington, Ninkovich, Edelman, Browner,Vollmer, Lafell) have an average cap value of over 3 million
  • 9 (Brady, Mayo, Mankins, Gronkowski, Amendola, Wilfork, Arrington, Vollmer, Browner) have an average cap value of over 4 Million
  • 6 (Brady, Mayo, Mankins, Gronkowski, Amendola, Wilfork) have an average cap value of over 5 million
  • 5 (Brady, Mayo, Mankins, Gronkowski, Wilfork) have an average cap value of over 6 million
  • 3 (Brady, Mayo, Mankins) have an average cap value of over 9M
  • Brady has an average cap value of $13.933,333

Andre Johnson is due in new money an average of $11.5 million in 2014/2015/2016.

The Patriots have 19 players who will become free agents after this year, 22 after 2015. Some of the upcoming free agents (Ridley, Vereen, McCourty, Revis, Gostkowski, Solder) are key contributors. Plus, the Patriots have to decide by May 3, 2015 if they want to pick up the 2016 options (at a cost of 7 to 9 million each) for Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower.

Summary, only if you believe in Felger’s simplistic “cap is crap” nonsense should anyone believe that acquiring Andre Johnson as long as he expects to receive $34.5 million in new money over a 3-year period will not affect the Patriots’ ability to retain all of their young talent.

To sum up, while it is possible for the Patriots to trade up for Andre Johnson, I just do not see the Patriots doing it because of how it will affect both the 2014 and 2015 cap.

Updating my 2014 Patriots salary cap picture the second week in July.

Right now, the total Patriot 2014 cap commitments is $132,784,719. The 2014 Patriots adjusted cap number is $139,109,051. The Patriots 2014 adjusted cap number of $139,109,051 minus cap commitment of $132,784,719 equals $6,403,532 in cap space with 90 signed players. This cap space number includes into the impact of the Josh Hull signing.

As you can see, based on the numbers above, the Patriots are under their projected 2014 cap by $6.4 million if they do not cut any more veterans or renegotiate any more contracts. 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-cap maneuvers. The bolded maneuvers are my current predictions.

1a.) Release Dan Connolly – net cap savings of $2.505 million
1b.) Extend Dan Connolly through the 2015 season converting $2 million of his $3 million salary into a signing bonus – cap savings of $1 million

2.) Convert $5.4 million of Mankins’s $6.5 million salary into a signing bonus – cap savings of $3.6 million while pushing out $1.8 million of signing bonus proration to the 2015 and 2016 seasons. For more ways to lower Mankins’s cap hit see this blog entry.

3.) Extend Gostkowski’s contract by 4 years while giving him a $5 million signing bonus and lowering his salary from $2.9 million to $900,000 – cap savings – $1,000,000

4.) Extend McCourty’s contract by 4 years while giving him a $10 million signing bonus while lowering his 2014 salary from $3.92 million to $1 million – cap savings – $1,000,000

5.) Release Tavon Wilson – net cap savings of $278,444 while having a dead money hit of $376,891 in 2014 and $376,891 in 2015.
6.) Release Jake Bequette – net cap savings of $80,000 while having a dead money hit of $134,950 in 2014 and $134,950 in 2015.

7.) Trade Danny Amendola – net cap savings of $2,880,000 while having a dead money hit of $1.2 million in 2014 and $3.6 million in 2015.

As you can see from above, the Pats could create more than $11.4 million in additional cap room if they chose to do so. The Pats could create $6.6 million in additional cap room WITHOUT releasing a single player. That is, the $10.4 million and the $6.6 million figures are in addition to the $6.4 million in cap space that the Pats have. I should note here that I believe any Revis extension will increase his cap number from $7 million, thereby taking up cap space.

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 Connolly was released, his cap number would be lowered by $3,000,000, although the actual team savings would be only $2,505,000 because another player’s $495,000 base salary would be added to the team cap.

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 $495,000 less than his cap number for 2014. To determine about how much can be spent on free agents, add $495,000 to the team’s cap room per free agent signed. So, as of now, the Patriots could sign one free agent for a 2014 cap number of $7,895,000.

The Patriots would also need to reserve at least $1,696,800 in order to pay for a 8-man practice squad and to pay for players 52 and 53.

Over the past couple of years the Patriots have used about 2 million dollars for in-season replacements.

I consider the Patriots to have at maximum 5.3 million in easily reached NLTBE incentives. Do not know if the Patriots leave themselves a cushion for those. Wanted to mention them since any reached NLTBE incentives in 2014 will likely lower the Patriots 2015 adjusted cap number. I am trying to guess at how the Patriots will handle having $5.3 million in NTLBE incentives. If they do not leave a cushion for them, the Patriots could end up with an adjusted cap number that is lower than the actual cap number. This is the first time I have seen the Patriots with so much easily attainable NLTBE incentives. Do the Patriots leave a 100% cushion? 0% cushion? Decided to split the difference. I am presuming that the Patriots do leave themselves a 100% cushion or $2,706,250 for the 46-man active roster bonuses and maybe have a 50% cushion ($1.3 million) for the other NLTBE incentives. That is, I guesstimate that the Patriots would like to leave themselves a 4 million cushion at the start of the regular season just to cover reached NLTBE incentives. Why a 100% cushion for the 46-man roster bonuses because as a player reaches that particular NTLBE incentive the amount of their incentive hits the cap the next week. In 2013 as Svitek played in a game the next week the Patriots lost $10,000 in cap space.

  • Mayo’s per-game roster bonus – $312,500
  • Vollmer’s playing time incentive – $2 million
  • Kelly’s per-game roster bonus – $550,000
  • Kelly’s playing time incentive maxes at $645,000
  • Amendola’s per-game roster bonus – $125,000
  • Hoomanawanui’s per-game roster bonus – $18,750
  • Browner’s per-game roster bonus – $600,000.
  • Wilfork’s per-game roster bonus – $1,050,000 if Wilfork plays all 16 games.
  • Chung’s per-game roster bonus – $60,000 if Chung plays all 16 games.

To read more about LTBE/NLTBE incentives see this blog post.

Please note that as Jocelyn Robichaud once 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 us say that Jake Bequette ($570,000 in salary) does not make the team and is replaced by Ja’Gared Davis ($420,000 in salary). This would free $150,000 in cap room for the Patriots. If Justin Green makes the team instead of Tavon Wilson, that would create $353,444 in cap space. If Armond Armstead makes the 53-man roster instead of Marcus Forston, that would create $150,000 in cap space. If Charley Hughlett makes the 53-man roster instead of Danny Aiken, that would create $225,000 in cap space With just 4 those roster decisions the Patriots could create over $870,000 in cap space when the rosters are cut down to 53 players. Figuring that the Robichaud roster effect will create about $2 million in cap space the Patriots would probably like to enter training camp under their adjusted cap by about 6 million dollars.

When Brandon Browner’s suspension takes effect, the Patriots will receive a cap credit of $235,294 — or 4/17ths of Browner’s base salary — making his cap number about $1.59 million.

Current cap space – $6,400,000
Offseason workout bonus money – $375,000. Sometime between now and the end of the regular season every team will be charged for the offseason workouts attended by their players. The daily offseason workout amount is $175. In 2013 the Patriots had 33 scheduled offseason workouts. There are 65 Patriots who can partake in the offseason workouts. 175*33**65=375,375.
Players 52, 53, and practice squad (-$1,700,000) – early September
Robichaud roster effect – ($2,300,000). May create more if the Patriots release more higher-paid salaried players that I am currently expecting. – Also early September
Cushion for replacing injured players during the season (-$2,000,000) – Also early September
Cushion for reached NLTBE incentives (-$4,000,000) – Also early September
Credit for Brandon Browner’s suspension ($235,000) – 1st four weeks of regular season

6,400,000
- 375,000
-1,700,000
+2,300,000
-2,000,000
-4,000,000
+235,000
===========
$860,000
shows that the Patriots have about 860,000 in cap space to account for any future free agent signings. That is, they could sign one free agent to a $1.3 million deal today and account for the

My Positional Breakdowns

Quarterbacks
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Offensive Line
Fullback
Running Backs
Dead Money
LineBackers
Defensive Tackles
Safeties
Cornerbacks
Defensive Ends
Special Teams