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Archive for the ‘ Individual Salary Cap ’ Category

Examining Tom Brady’s salary cap future with the Patriots

During the first week of October it was widely reported/speculated that the relationship between the New England Patriots and Tom Brady had soured and the Patriots had commenced examining at releasing or trading the face of the franchise – Tom Brady. Soon after those reports we started to see articles about Tom Brady’s salary cap numbers. I am writing this blog not because I believe that the Patriots will cut/trade Tom Brady this year but to provide my take on the salary cap implications on releasing/trading Tom Brady and to hopefully provide accurate information. I am writing this blog while listening to October 7 Patriots Football Weekly podcast. Hopefully, this will help Paul, Fred, Eric, and Paul understand the cap better:)

Background information: In late February 2013 Tom Brady who was signed through the 2014 season agreed to an deal that extended his contract 3 more years so that he would be under contract with the Patriots through the 2017 season. In doing so he received a $30 million signing bonus and agreed to lower his 2013 and 2014 salaries while eliminating his $5 million roster bonus and $250,000 roster bonuses. Please note that under Brady’s old deal his 2013 $9.75 million and his 2013 offseason workout bonus would have become fully guaranteed the 5th day of the 2013 League Year (March 17th, 2013) and his 2014 $9.75 million and his 2014 offseason workout bonus would have been fully guaranteed if Tom Brady was on the Patriots roster the last week of the 2013 regular season. As part of the extension Brady’s 2013 and 2014 salaries were fully guaranteed. His 2015/2016/2017 salaries were guaranteed for only injury when Brady signed the extension. They will become fully guaranteed if Brady is on the roster Week 17 of the 2014 season. If Tom Brady is on the Patriots roster Week 17, the Patriots then have to put into escrow with the NFL the $24 million.

Brady’s Old Deal
2013 2014
Salary $9,750,000 $9,750,000
Existing Signing Bonus Proration $6,800,000 $6,800,000
Roster Bonus $5,000,000 $5,000,000
Workout Bonus $250,000 $250,000
Totals $21,800,000 $21,800,000
Brady’s 2013 Extension
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Salary $1,000,000 $2,000,000 $7,000,000 $8,000,000 $9,000,000
Existing Signing Bonus Proration $6,800,000 $6,800,000
2013 Signing Bonus Proration $6,000,000 $6,000,000 $6,000,000 $6,000,000 $6,000,000
Totals $13,800,000 $14,800,000 $13,000,000 $14,000,000 $15,000,000

Note: When a player is released or traded, the remaining amounts of proration in a contract accelerate into his team’s current salary cap. For example, if a player signs a five-year contract with a $10 million signing bonus, $2 million of his signing bonus counts towards the salary cap for each year of his contract. If he is released after the second year of his contract, the $4 million of signing bonus proration from the last two years of the contract automatically accelerates into the club’s current cap, which results in $6 million of dead money. There are two major exceptions to this general rule. Only the current year’s proration counts towards the cap with players released or traded after June 1. The proration from the remaining contract years doesn’t accelerate until the next year. A team can also release two players each year prior to June 1st who will be treated under the cap as if they were released after June 1. This is known as a “Post-June 1 designation” – Source – Joel Corry’s piece about dead money

Note that when a player with future guaranteed salaries is released all future guaranteed salaries immediately hit that year’s salary cap.

The next two tables show graphically the implications of first releasing Brady and then lastly trading the best quarterback in Patriots history. The two tables presume that Brady completes the 2014 season on the Patriots roster thereby guaranteeing his 2015/2016/2017 salaries. Please note that Brady’s guaranteed salaries do not contain an offset. That is, if released and signed by another team the Patriots will not receive a credit the following year for the money paid to him by his new team.I will address the cap implications of releasing/trading Brady during this season later on.

Cap Implications of Cutting Tom Brady after this season
Date Total to Keep in 2015 Total to Keep in 2016 Total to Keep in 2017 2015 Cap Number if Cut 2016 Cap Number if Cut 2017 Cap Number if Cut 2015 Cap Savings 2016 Cap Savings 2017 Cap Savings
During the 2015 season and before 6/2/2015 $13,000,000 $14,000,000 $15,000,000 $42,000,000 $0 $0 (-$29,000,000) $14,000,000 $15,000,000
During the 2015 season and after 6/1/2015 or given the June 1 designation $13,000,000 $14,000,000 $15,000,000 $30,000,000 $12,000,000 $0 (-$17,000,000) $2,000,000 $15,000,000
During the 2016 season and before 6/2/2016 $13,000,000 $14,000,000 $15,000,000 $13,000,000 $29,000,000 $0,000 $0 $(-$15,000,000) $15,000,000
During the 2016 season and after 6/1/2016 or given the June 1 designation $13,000,000 $14,000,000 $15,000,000 $13,000,000 $23,000,000 $6,000,000 $0 $(-$9,000,000) $9,000,000
Anytime during the 2017 season $13,000,000 $14,000,000 $15,000,000 $13,000,000 $14,000,000 $13,000,000 $0 $0 $0
Cap Implications of Trading Tom Brady after this season
Date Total to Keep in 2015 Total to Keep in 2016 Total to Keep in 2017 2015 Cap Number if Traded 2016 Cap Number if Traded 2017 Cap Number if Traded 2015 Cap Savings 2016 Cap Savings 2017 Cap Savings
During the 2015 season and before 6/2/2015 $13,000,000 $14,000,000 $15,000,000 $18,000,000 $0 $0 (-$5,000,000) $14,000,000 $15,000,000
During the 2015 season and after 6/1/2015 $13,000,000 $14,000,000 $15,000,000 $6,000,000 $12,000,000 $0 $7,000,000 $2,000,000 $15,000,000
During the 2016 season and before 6/2/2016 $13,000,000 $14,000,000 $15,000,000 $13,000,000 $12,000,000 $0 $0 $2,000,000 $15,000,000
During the 2016 season and after 6/1/2016 $13,000,000 $14,000,000 $15,000,000 $13,000,000 $6,000,000 $6,000,000 $0 $8,000,000 $9,000,000
Anytime during the 2017 season $13,000,000 $14,000,000 $15,000,000 $13,000,000 $14,000,000 $6,000,000 $0 $0 $9,000,000

As you can see above, there is no point in time after this season in which the Patriots would save cap space by releasing Brady. As you can also see above, starting on June 2, 2015 the Patriots will create cap space by trading Brady.

The Patriots will not save any cap space in 2014 by releasing Gisele’s husband because Tom Brady, as a vested veteran, is eligible for termination pay. Any Termination Pay liability hits a team’s salary cap at the time the player is released. Releasing Tom Brady before Week 17 would prevent the fully guaranteed salaries from kicking in. Releasing Tom Brady before Week 17 would not change his 2014 salary cap number of $14,805,600. Releasing Tom Brady before Week 17 would cause the Patriots to lose cap space as the Patriots would be expected to replace Brady on the 53-man roster. Releasing Tom Brady before Week 17 would increase his 2015 cap number from $13 million to $18 million.

The following presumes that a rookie making a $420,000 salary would take Tom Brady’s place on the 53-man roster. Trading Brady in Week 7 would create Patriots $1,022,353 in cap space in 2014. Trading Brady in Week 8 would create Patriots $929,412 in cap space in 2014. Trading Brady in Week 9 would create Patriots $836,461 in cap space in 2014. The trading deadline is Tuesday of Week 9 so the Patriots can not trade Brady after Week 9. Trading Brady anytime in 2014 would increase his 2015 cap number from $13 million to $18 million.

If they do not trade Brady before the 2014 trade deadline, per the CBA, teams like the Patriots cannot trade in 2015 players like Tom Brady until after the 2015 League Year begins. Before the 2015 League Year begins, the Patriots will have to decide on the following:

  1. 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.
  2. Brandon Browner – Brandon Browner earns a $2 million roster bonus if he is on the Patriots 90-man roster the first day of the 2015 League Year
  3. 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
  4. 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 Gronkowski 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Devin McCourty – If the Patriots do not reach an extension with McCourty before the franchise tag deadline, they have to decide whether or not to place the franchise tag on Devin McCourty. Have created a blog post dedicated to examining McCourty’s comparables and proposing an extension between him and the Patriots.

Let’s say that the Patriots retain 3 or more of the 6 above players. What would the Patriots then trade Brady? Let’s say that the Patriots retain 3 or more of the 6 above players. Can they then afford to increase Brady’s 2015 cap number by 5 million?

Let’s say that the Patriots release Brady before Week 17 so as to avoid guaranteeing his 2015/2016/2017 salaries. Why would any of the six players work with the Patriots to redo their deals so as to lower their 2015 cap numbers.

There have been some articles contending that the Patriots can afford to have Brady’s 2015 cap number increased from $13 million to $18 million via a trade because they are currently carrying so much cap space. One article reported that the Patriots currently have $14,464,425. That number was referenced from the NFLPA site.. The problem of doing so is that site has not yet reflected the expiration of the Top 51 rule. That is, the site was reporting on September 1, 2014 that the Patriots had over $13.5 million in cap space. Since then the following has happened:
1.) Paying for the 10-man practice squad – minimum of $1.7 million – Occurred on 9/4
2.) Accounting for Brian Tyms – 400K – Occurred on 9/4
3.) Paying for the 4 players who were already on IR – $1.212 million – Occurred on 9/4
4.) Paying for players 52 and 53 – 840K – Occurred on 9/4
5.) Reaching injury settlements with Steve Beauharnais and Armond Armstead – Steve Beauharnais reached a two-week injury settlement with the Patriots. The amount of $37,412 is now counting against the Patriots 2014 cap. ESPNBoston.Com’s Mike Reiss reported on September 14, 2014 that Armond Armstead and the New England Patriots reached an injury settlement in the amount of $54,000.
6.) Matt Stankiewitch won his injury grievance to the tune of $178,235.
7.) All the roster moves done after Week 1.

Therefore, it is unlikely that the NFLPA number of $14,464,425 is correct.

There are 3 sites who unofficially track the Patriots salary cap number. . Spotrac.com has the Patriots cap space as $10,162,646. OvertheCap.com has the Patriots cap space as $10,928,847. I have the Patriots cap space as $9,745,399. Therefore, it is doubtful that the Patriots actually have $14.4 million in cap space. It is far more likely that the Patriots have between $9.7 and $11 million in cap space.

Whatever the Patriots cap space number is it is NOT likely that the Patriots will end the season with the same number. I talked about why in two blog posts. One lists 7 possible reasons for the cap space. The main reason is to account for the $8 million in NLTBE incentives. The second main reason is to have cap space to sign players to replace players who are placed on injured reserve after October 10.

Below are some questions that I expect this blog to create:
1.) Question: Why would releasing Brady before June 2nd in 2015 cause a $42 million dead money hit? Answer: The $42 million is a total of the $18 million in remaining signing bonus prorations and the $24 million in guaranteed salaries
2.) Question: When can the Patriots redo Jimmy Garoppolo’s deal? Answer: After the 2016 regular season.
3.) Question: How much dead money do the Patriots have for the 2015 season? Answer: According to my numbers – $4,616,819
4.) Question: What will be the salary cap in 2015? Answer: Heard projections that the 2015 cap will be $140 million. As the 2015 League Year gets closer, we will hear more definitive numbers. Right around the start of the 2015 League Year is when we will find out the Patriots 2015 adjusted cap number. As I did last offseason I plan to predict the Patriots 2015 adjusted cap number this upcoming offseason.
5.) Question: How would a $18 million dead money hit in 2015 rank in NFL history? Answer: According to my research it would be the largest dead money hit for one player in one season. I believe that the current high is Richard Seymour’s 2013 hit of $13.714 million.

Crafting a contract extension for Darrelle Revis and the New England Patriots

It was reported/rumored during the first week in August that the Patriots and Darrelle Revis had started talks about extending his contract which is due to expire after the 2015 season. It seems appropriate to now look at his comparables and propose a contract that I consider fair to both him and the Patriots.

Background information: Darrelle Revis will be 29 years old when the 2014 season starts. Revis has been selected to five Pro Bowl (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013) and has earned three first-team All Pro honors (2009, 2010 and 2011). Revis was named AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 after finishing the year with 72 total tackles and six interceptions.

When Darrelle Revis signed with the Patriots on March 12, it was widely reported to be an one-year $12 million deal. On March 13 ESPNBoston.Com’s Mike Reiss reported that “An important wrinkle has been learned about the contract Darrelle Revis has agreed to with the Patriots. It has widely been reported as a one-year, $12 million deal, which is accurate. Revis will earn $12 million this season. But for salary-cap accounting purposes, and to protect Revis from being assigned the franchise tag in 2015, the sides have added a second year to the pact in 2015 that would pay Revis $20 million and count $25 million against the salary cap. The $20 million is an astronomical figure, as is the $25 million cap charge. That makes it unlikely the Patriots would pay it, thus making Revis an unrestricted free agent in 2015 or one of the highest-paid players in football. The second year helps the Patriots spread out the salary-cap charges for Revis over two seasons instead of taking one $12 million salary-cap hit in 2014. Revis’ cap charge for 2014 is now $7 million.”

There have been four recent rankings of the NFL’s Top 100 players. They were done by Pro Football Focus, CBS Sportsline’s Pete Prisco, CBS Sportsline’s Pat Kirwan, and NFL players as tabulated by NFL Network. Revis ranked 18th, 28th, 21st, and 38th respectively.

Player Date of Birth Pro Football Focus Pete Prisco Pat Kirwan NFL Players
Darrelle Revis 7/14/1985 18 28 21 38
Richard Sherman 3/30/1988 6 11 13 7
Joe Haden 4/18/1989 75 33 28 39
Patrick Peterson 7/11/1990 58 8 7 22

Now let’s look at some financial comparables. Richard Sherman is almost 3 years younger than Revis. Sherman’s contract contains $40 million in guarantees. His 2014 salary is fully guaranteed. His 2015 salary will become fully guaranteed five days after the Super Bowl. All of his 2016 salary and 5 million of his 2017 salary will become fully guaranteed five days after the 2016 Super Bowl.

Richard Sherman
Year Base Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Bonus Workout Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Received Total Cash Received
2014 $1,431,000 $2,245,606 $0 $0 $3,676,606 $3,245,606 in 2014;$8,800,000 in 2015 0 $12,431,000 $12,431,000
2015 $10,000,000 $2,200,000 $0 $0 $12,200,000 $8,800,000 $3,400,000 $10,000,000 $22,431,000
2016 $12,569,000 $2,200,000 $0 $0 $14,769,000 $6,600,000 $8,169,000 $12,569,000 $35,000,000
2017 $11,431,000 $2,200,000 $0 $0 $13,631,000 $4,400,000 $9,231,000 $11,431,000 $46,431,000
2018 $11,000,000 $2,200,000 $0 $0 $13,000,000 $2,200,000 $10,800,000 $11,000,000 $57,431,000

Joe Haden is almost 4 years younger than Revis. Haden received over $45 million in guarantees, the most ever received by a cornerback. His 2014, 2015, and 2016 salaries are guaranteed. 4 million of his 2017 salary is guaranteed. Haden has a $100,000 incentive for making it to the Pro Bowl.

Joe Haden
Year Base Salary Prorated Bonus Pro Bowl Bonus Workout Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Received Total Cash Received
2014 $6,678,193 $5,149,702 $100,000 $200,000 $12,127,895 $45,078,193 ($32,950,298) $22,978,193 $22,978,193
2015 $8,300,000 $3,200,000 $100,000 $100,000 $11,700,000 $35,200,000 ($23,500,000) $8,500,000 $31,478,193
2016 $10,100,000 $3,200,000 $100,000 $100,000 $13,500,000 $23,700,000 $(10,200,000) $10,300,000 $41,778,193
2017 $11,100,000 $3,200,000 $100,000 $100,000 $14,500,000 $10,400,000 $4,100,000 $11,300,000 $53,078,193
2018 $11,100,000 $3,200,000 $100,000 $100,000 $14,500,000 $6,400,000 $8,100,000 $11,300,000 $64,378,193
2019 $10,400,000 $0 $100,000 $100,000 $10,600,000 $0 $10,600,000 $10,600,000 $74,978,193

Patrick Peterson is almost 5 years younger than Revis. Peterson, like Richard Sherman, was named to the first All-Pro team in 2013. Peterson’s 2014 salary is fully guaranteed. His 2015 and 2016 salary are guaranteed for injury now and will become fully guaranteed the 5th day of that year’s waiver period.

Patrick Peterson
Year Base Salary Prorated Bonus Pro Bowl Bonus Workout Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Received Total Cash Received
2014 $889,114 $6,048,195 $0 $0 $6,937,309 $6,937,309 in 2014, $12,289,509 in 2015 $0 $16,250,000 $16,250,000
2015 $11,619,000 $3,072,377 $0 $250,000 $14,941,377 $23,908,509 ($8,967,132) $11,869,000 $28,120,000
2016 $9,750,000 $3,072,377 $0 $250,000 $13,072,377 $18,967,132 ($5,894,754) $10,000,000 $38,120,000
2017 $9,750,000 $3,072,377 $0 $250,000 $13,072,377 $15,894,754 ($2,822,377) $10,000,000 $48,120,000
2018 $11,000,000 $3,072,377 $0 $250,000 $14,322,377 $3,072,377 $11,250,000 $11,250,000 $59,370,000
2019 $11,000,000 $0 $0 $250,000 $11,250,000 $0 $11,250,000 $11,250,000 $70,620,000
2020 $12,050,000 $0 $250,000 $250,000 $12,550,000 $0 $12,550,000 $12,550,000 $83,170,000

Therefore, it seems reasonable to venture that a Revis extension in the $12 to $14 million per year average range would be fair for both sides and would recognize that Revis, while may better than Sherman, Haden, and Peterson, is also older than the aforementioned trio. An extension will lower Revis’ 2015 $25 million cap number. Here is one example how:

Extend Revis through the 2017 season.
Give him a $14.25 million signing bonus which would be prorated over 3 years (2015/2016/2017)
Lower his salary from $7,000,000 to $1,000,000.
Eliminate the $12.5 million roster bonus
2015 Current cap number of $25,000,000 consists of:
$7,500,000 salary
$5,000,000 signing bonus proration
$12,500,000 roster bonus paid on 4/1/2015
$500,000 46-man active roster bonus

Proposed 2015 cap number of $11,250,000 consists of:
$1,000,000 salary (fully guaranteed)
$5,000,000 existing bonus proration
$4,750,000 new signing bonus proration
$500,000 46-man active roster bonus

Proposed 2016 cap number of $14,750,000 consists of:
$9,500,000 salary (5.25 million guaranteed for injury now; becomes fully guaranteed the 5th day after the 2016 Super Bowl)
$4,750,000 new signing bonus proration
$500,000 46-man active roster bonus

Proposed 2017 cap number of $14,750,000 consists of:
$9,500,000 salary
$4,750,000 signing bonus proration
$500,000 46-man active roster bonus

This deal averages 12 million per year in new money over the three extended years. That 12M APY would give Revis the 4th highest APY for a cornerback and more cash in Years 1, 2 and 3 than will Richard Sherman receive in his extension.

Darrelle Revis – 12M APY
Year Base Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Bonus Workout Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Received Total Cash Received
2014 $1,500,000 $5,000,000 $500,000 $0 $7,000,000 $6,500,000 $5,000 $12,000,000 $12,000,000
2015 $1,000,000 $9,750,000 $500,000 $0 $11,250,000 $15,250,000 ($4,000,000) $15,750,000 $27,750,000
2016 $9,500,000 $4,750,000 $500,000 $0 $14,750,000 $14,750,000 $0 $10,000,000 $37,750,000
2017 $9,750,000 $4,750,000 $500,000 $0 $14,750,000 $4,750,000 $10,250,000 $10,250,000 $48,000,000

This next deal averages 13 million per year in new money over the three extended years. That 13M APY would give Revis the 4th highest APY for a cornerback and more cash in Years 1, 2 and 3 ($39 million) than will the trio received ($38,315,000) in their extensions. The 2015 salary will be fully guaranteed. $5.25 million of his 2016 salary will be guaranteed for injury now and will become fully guaranteed the 5th day after the 2016 Super Bowl)

Darrelle Revis – 13M APY
Year Base Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Bonus Workout Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Received Total Cash Received
2014 $1,500,000 $5,000,000 $500,000 $0 $7,000,000 $6,500,000 $5,000 $12,000,000 $12,000,000
2015 $4,000,000 $9,750,000 $500,000 $0 $14,250,000 $18,250,000 ($4,000,000) $18,750,000 $30,750,000
2016 $9,500,000 $4,750,000 $500,000 $0 $14,750,000 $14,750,000 $0 $10,000,000 $40,750,000
2017 $9,750,000 $4,750,000 $500,000 $0 $14,750,000 $4,750,000 $10,250,000 $10,250,000 $51,000,000

This next deal averages 14 million per year in new money over the three extended years. That 14M APY would tie Revis for the 2nd highest APY for a cornerback and more cash in Years 1, 2 and 3 than any other cornerback in NFL history. The 2015 salary will be fully guaranteed. $6.25 million of his 2016 salary will be guaranteed for injury now and will become fully guaranteed the 5th day after the 2016 Super Bowl) making it the same cap number to keep Revis on or off the Patriots roster.

Darrelle Revis – 14M APY
Year Base Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Bonus Workout Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Received Total Cash Received
2014 $1,500,000 $5,000,000 $500,000 $0 $7,000,000 $6,500,000 $5,000 $12,000,000 $12,000,000
2015 $4,000,000 $9,750,000 $500,000 $0 $14,250,000 $18,250,000 ($4,000,000) $18,750,000 $30,750,000
2016 $10,500,000 $4,750,000 $500,000 $0 $15,750,000 $15,750,000 $0 $11,000,000 $41,750,000
2017 $11,750,000 $4,750,000 $500,000 $0 $17,000,000 $4,750,000 $12,250,000 $12,250,000 $54,000,000

This next deal averages 15 million per year in new money over the three extended years. Revis would get a $15 million signing bonus. That 15M APY would give Revis the highest APY for a cornerback in the NFL The 2015 salary will be fully guaranteed. $6 million of his 2016 salary will be guaranteed for injury now and will become fully guaranteed the 5th day after the 2016 Super Bowl) making it the same cap number to keep Revis on or off the Patriots roster. Revis will end up earning as much cash ($57 million) in 4 years (2014 through 2017) as will Brady over 5 years (2013 through 2017).

Darrelle Revis – 15M APY
Year Base Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Bonus Workout Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Received Total Cash Received
2014 $1,500,000 $5,000,000 $500,000 $0 $7,000,000 $6,500,000 $5,000 $12,000,000 $12,000,000
2015 $5,000,000 $10,000,000 $500,000 $0 $15,500,000 $20,000,000 ($5,000,000) $20,500,000 $32,500,000
2016 $10,500,000 $5,000,000 $500,000 $0 $16,000,000 $16,000,000 $0 $11,000,000 $43,500,000
2017 $13,000,000 $5,000,000 $500,000 $0 $18,500,000 $5,000,000 $13,500,000 $13,500,000 $57,000,000

This next proposal tries to give Revis the average cash intake that Joe Haden, Patrick Peterson, and Richard Sherman received in their 3 extensions. The problem I found crafting this proposal was do how I factor the $10 million signing bonus already given to Revis. Do I consider it part of the extension? Or do I consider it as part of a brand new deal?Extends Revis through the 2019 season (on average the trio is signed through the 2019 season)
Gives him a $15 million signing bonus which would be prorated over 5 years (2014/2015/2016/2017/2018/2019)
Lowers his 2014 salary from $1,500,000 to $730,000 (the lowest possible salary for a player with 6 credited seasons)
Lowers his 2015 salary from $7,500,000 to $1,000,000
Eliminates the 2015 $12.5 million roster bonus
Guarantees fully his 2014,2015, and 2016 salaries.
Deal gives him more cash in Year 1 than the trio and then ends up giving up the average for the rest of the deal

Darrelle Revis – Getting an average of the Haden, Peterson, and Sherman deals
Year Base Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Received Total Cash Received
2014 $735,000 $8,000,000 $500,000 $9,235,000 $36,835,000 ($10,635,000 in 2014), ($7,500,000 in 2015) $26,235,000 $26,235,000
2015 $1,000,000 $8,000,000 $500,000 $9,500,000 $28,100,000 ($18,600,000) $1,500,000 $27,735,000
2016 $10,100,000 $3,000,000 $500,000 $13,600,000 $19,100,000 ($5,500,000) $10,600,000 $38,335,000
2017 $10,400,000 $3,000,000 $500,000 $10,900,000 $6,000,000 $4,700,000 $10,900,000 $49,235,000
2018 $10,700,000 $3,000,000 $500,000 $11,200,000 $3,000,000 $9,200,000 $11,200,000 $60,435,000
2018 $10,650,000 $0 $500,000 $11,150,000 $0 $11,150,000 $11,150,000 $71,585,000

http://overthecap.com/freeagents.php?Position=CB&Year=2015 lists the cornerbacks who will become free agents after this season. As of now, Revis should be considered the best available free agent cornerback. There is no one that I consider to be in Revis’ class.http://overthecap.com/top-player-salaries.php?Position=CB
lists the APYs for cornerbacks.A extension with a 12M APY would make Revis the 4th highest paid cornerback
12.5M APY would make Revis the 4th highest paid cornerback
13M APY would make Revis the 4th highest paid cornerback
13.5M APY would tie Revis for 3rd
14M APY would tie Revis for 2nd
14.01M APY would tie Revis for 1st

It was reported/rumored during the first week in June that the Patriots and Devin McCourty had started talks about extending his contract which is due to expire after the 2014 season. It seems appropriate to now look at his comparables and propose a contract that I consider fair to both him and the Patriots. Please note that I consider McCourty to be an elite safety.

Background information: Devin was the 1st round pick of the Patriots in 2010. Devin was drafted as a cornerback and was permanently switched to safety during the 2012 season. Top cornerbacks are paid higher than top safeties. For example, the franchise tag figure for cornerbacks this year was $10.081 million while the franchise tag for safeties was $7.253 million. Earl Thomas who is the highest paid safety averages 10 million cap hit in his deal. There are four cornerbacks with a higher average. Devin has earned enough escalators in his rookie contract to increase his 2014 salary by $3,050,000 to $3,920,000. His 2014 cap number is $5,115,000. Devin McCourty who will be 27 when the 2014 starts was selected to the Associated Press’s All-Pro 2nd team in 2013. There have been four recent rankings of the NFL’s Top 100 players. They were done by Pro Football Focus, CBS Sportsline’s Pete Prisco, CBS Sportsline’s Pat Kirwan, and NFL players as tabulated by NFL Network.

Player Pro Football Focus Pete Prisco Pat Kirwan NFL Players
Earl Thomas 20 10 12 17
Eric Berry 37 54 33 50
Kam Chancellor 28 73 72 65
Troy Polamalu 95 99 100 61
Eric Weddle 96 34 92
T.J. Ward 100 76
Devin McCourty 22 62
Jarius Byrd 71 37
Antrell Rolle 72

Now let’s look at some financial comparables. Jarius Byrd is 10 months older than McCourty and played under the franchise tag ($6.916 million) in 2013. Byrd’s contract contains $26.3 million in guarantees, a record for a veteran safety deal. His 2014 salary is fully guaranteed. His 2015 roster bonus became fully guaranteed in late March. 6 million of his 2016 salary is now guaranteed for injury. Will become fully guaranteed the 3rd day of the 2016 League Year.

Year Base Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Bonus Workout Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings
2014 $1,300,000 $2,200,000 $6,000,000 $100,000 $3,500,000 $18,300,000 ($14,800,000)
2015 $2,000,000 $2,200,000 $0 $0 $10,300,000 $14,800,000 ($4,500,000)
2016 $7,400,000 $2,200,000 $0 $100,000 $9,700,000 $6,600,000 $3,100,000
2017 $7,900,000 $2,200,000 $300,000 $100,000 $10,500,000 $4,400,000 $6,100,000
2018 $8,400,000 $2,200,000 $300,000 $100,000 $11,000,000 $2,200,000 $8,800,000
2019 $8,600,000 $0 $300,000 $100,000 $9,000,000 $0 $9,000,000

Earl Thomas was also drafted in the first round in 2010. Thomas was selected in 2011 to the Associated Press Second-team All-Pro In 2012 and in 2013 Earl Thomas was selected to the Associated Press’ All-Pro first team, Sporting News’ All Pro team, and the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Pro team. Earl Thomas is a year and 9 months younger than McCourty. His 2014 and 2015 salaries are fully guaranteed. 6 million of his 2016 salary is guaranteed. Do not know if the 2016 guarantee is currently full or guaranteed for injury now and then become fully guaranteed later.

Year Base Salary 2014 Prorated Bonus 2010 Signing Bonus Proration 2011 Salary Advance Proration Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings
2014 $4,750,000 $1,900,000 $100,000 $648,212 $7,373,212 $14,225,000 ($6,851,788)
2015 $5,500,000 $1,900,000 $0 $0 $7,400,000 $12,100,000 ($4,700,000)
2016 $8,000,000 $1,900,000 $0 $0 $9,900,000 $5,700,000 $4,200,000
2017 $8,500,000 $1,900,000 $0 $0 $10,400,000 $3,800,000 $6,600,000
2018 $8,500,000 $1,900,000 $0 $0 $10,400,000 $1,900,000 $8,500,000

Eric Weddle, a member of the 2013 Associated Press’ All Pro 2nd team, signed his current 5 year $40 million deal in 2011. Kam Chancellor, yet another member of the AP All Pro 2nd team, signed a four-year, $28 million extension in April, 2013. Antrell Rolle, one more member of the AP All-Pro 2nd team, signed a five year, $37 million deal with the Giants in 2010 when he was 27. Dashon Goldson signed his 5-year, $41.5 million deal in March, 2013. William Moore signed his 5-year, $30 million deal in March, 2013. Michael Griffin signed his 5-year, $35 million deal in June of 2012. This offseason six safeties got deals that averaged over 5 million a year. Mike Mitchell who will turn 27 in June received a 5-year $25 million deal. Reshad Jones who is 26 years old got a 5yr $29.3m deal from the Dolphins. Antoine Bethea got a 4yr, 22m deal from the 49ers. Donte Whitner signed a four year, $28 million contract with the Browns on March 11, 2014.
T.J. Ward got a four-year, $22.5 million contract from the Broncos. T.J. received a $5 million signing bonus. His 2014 salary is fully guaranteed. His 2015 salary and roster bonus are currently guaranteed for injury only. Will become fully guaranteed the 5th day of the 2015 League Year.

T.J. Ward
Year Base Salary 2014 Signing Bonus Proration Roster Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings
2014 $2,000,000 $1,250,000 $0 $3,250,000 $13,500,000 ($10,250,000)
2015 $4,000,000 $1,250,000 $2,000,000 $6,250,000 $9,750,000 ($3,000,000)
2016 $4,500,000 $1,250,000 $0 $5,750,000 $2,500,000 $3,250,000
2017 $4,500,000 $1,250,000 $0 $5,750,000 $1,250,000 $4,500,000

Before 2011, the nonexclusive franchise tag was determined by calculating the average cap number of the five highest-paid players at the same position in the prior year. Starting with the 2011 CBA, the number for each position is determined by taking the sum of the franchise tags for the previous five seasons and dividing by the sum of the salary caps for the previous five seasons (an average of the 2009 and 2011 salary caps is used for the uncapped 2010 season in the calculations). The resulting percentage is then multiplied by the salary cap. Therefore, 30 numbers went into the calculation for the 2014 safety number of $8.433 million (the 5 highest cap numbers at the safety position for the 2009/2010/2011/2012/2013 seasons and the league cap limits for those 5 seasons). 30 numbers will go into the calculation for the 2015 season (the 5 highest cap numbers at the safety position for the 2010/2011/2012/2013/2014 seasons and the league cap limits for those 5 seasons). Therefore, in 2015 the franchise tag calculations will see the following numbers

  • 2009 Adrian Wilson Cardinals $7,039,503
  • 2009 Troy Polamalu Steelers $6,495,000
  • 2009 Ed Reed Ravens $6,400,000
  • 2009 Oshiomogho Atogwe Rams $6,342,021
  • 2009 Chris Hope Titans $6,000,002

replaced by

  • 2014 Eric Berry Chiefs $11,319,700
  • 2014 Eric Weddle Chargers $10,100,000
  • 2014 Antrell Rolle Giants $9,000,000
  • 2014 Dashon Goldson Buccaneers $9,000,000
  • 2014 Michael Griffin Titans $8,000,000

The 2014 cap number of $133 million will be used instead of the 2009 number of $123 million. If the 2015 cap is $140 million, I feel safe in projecting that the 2015 franchise tag for a safety will be in the 9 to 9.1 million range. For the sake of simplicity, I will use 9 million. If tagged again in 2016, McCourty’s 2016 cap numbers would be $10.8 million, a 20% increase over his projected cap number. If tagged two straight seasons, McCourty will have garnered in cash $23.8 million over 3 years (2014/2015/2016). Therefore, it seems reasonable to venture that a McCourty extension in the $7 to $8 million per year average range would be fair for both sides and would recognize that McCourty sacrificed dollars in his move from the cornerback position to the safety position. An extension could keep McCourty’s 2014 cap number the same. Here’s one such an example of how:

Extend McCourty through the 2018 season.
Give him a $10 million signing bonus which would be prorated over 5 years (2014/2015/2016/2017/2018)
Lower his salary from $3,920,000 to $1,920,000.
Current cap number of $5,115,000 consists of:
$3,920,000 salary
$1,145,000 signing bonus proration
$50,000 offseason workout bonus money

Proposed 2014 cap number of $5,115,000 consists of:
$1,920,000 salary (fully guaranteed)
$1,145,000 existing bonus proration
$2,000,000 new signing bonus proration
$50,000 offseason workout bonus money

Proposed 2015 cap number of $8,000,000 consists of:
$5,950,000 salary (5 million fully guaranteed)
$2,000,000 signing bonus proration
$50,000 offseason workout bonus money

Proposed 2016 cap number of $8,000,000 consists of:
$5,950,000 salary
$2,000,000 signing bonus proration
$50,000 offseason workout bonus money

Proposed 2017 cap number of $8,000,000 consists of:
$5,000,000 salary
$2,000,000 signing bonus proration
$50,000 offseason workout bonus money

Proposed 2018 cap number of $8,000,000 consists of:
$5,950,000 salary
$2,000,000 signing bonus proration
$50,000 offseason workout bonus money

This deal averages 8 million per year in new money over the four extended years. That 8M APY would tie Eric Weddle for the 5 highest APY for a safety.

Devin McCourty
Year Base Salary 2014 Prorated Bonus 2010 Signing Bonus Proration Workout Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings
2014 $1,920,000 $2,000,000 $1,145,000 $50,000 $5,115,000 $16,920,000 ($11,805,000)
2015 $5,950,000 $2,000,000 $0 $50,000 $8,000,000 $13,000,000 ($5,000,000)
2016 $5,950,000 $2,000,000 $0 $50,000 $8,000,000 $6,000,000 $2,000,000
2017 $5,950,000 $2,000,000 $0 $50,000 $8,000,000 $4,000,000 $4,000,000
2018 $5,950,000 $2,000,000 $0 $50,000 $8,000,000 $2,000,000 $6,000,000

Eric Weddle received a $13 million signing bonus. His 2011 and 2012 salaries were fully guaranteed.

Eric Weddle
Year Base Salary 2011 Signing Bonus Proration Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings
2011 $1,000,000 $2,600,000 $3,000,000 $19,000,000 ($16,000,000)
2012 $5,000,000 $2,600,000 $7,600,000 $15,400,000 ($7,800,000)
2013 $6,000,000 $2,600,000 $8,600,000 $7,800,000 $200,000
2014 $7,500,000 $2,600,000 $10,100,000 $5,200,000 $5,900,000
2015 $7,500,000 $2,600,000 $10,100,000 $2,600,000 $7,500,000

http://overthecap.com/freeagents.php?Position=S&Year=2015 lists the safeties who like McCourty will become a free agent after this season. As of now, Devin McCourty should be considered the best available free agent safety. The only projected free agent safety that I consider in McCourty’s class is Antrell Rolle, who is close to 4 1/2 years older than McCourty.

http://overthecap.com/top-player-salaries.php?Position=S
lists the APYs for safeties.

A extension with a 4M APY would make McCourty the 24th highest paid safety.
5M APY would tie McCourty for 20th
6M APY would tie McCourty for 14th
7M APY would tie McCourty for 9th
7.5M APY would make McCourty the 6th highest paid safety
8M APY would tie McCourty for 5th
8.5M APY would make McCourty the 3rd highest paid safety

A comprehensive look at Aaron Hernandez’s salary cap implications

This is my attempt to explain what I think may and could happen with Aaron Hernandez’s cap numbers. I used reports from Ian Rapoport, Field Yates, and Joel Corry as well as my own research for my source material.

In late August of 2012 Aaron Hernandez signed an extension with the Patriots. His signing bonus was $12.5 million. It was scheduled to be paid out over three installments. Hernandez received $6 million in August of 2012 and $3.25 million in March of 2013. Aaron is scheduled to receive the third and final payment- $3.25 million on March 31, 2014. Hernandez’s workout bonus clauses required successful completion of at least 90% of the workouts in New England’s voluntary offseason workout program. His 2013 salary – $1.323 million – was originally guaranteed for injury only and became fully guaranteed in March of 2013 since Aaron Hernandez was on the Patriots at that time. $1.137 million of his 2014 salary which was originally guaranteed for injury only also became fully guaranteed in March of 2013. Aaron’s 2014 $500,000 offseason workout bonus also became fully guaranteed in March of 2013 since he was on the Patriots roster at that time. Most NFL contracts include a “failure to perform” or “failure to practice” clause that will make any guarantees such as a signing bonus or guaranteed salaries within the contract null and void. On June 24th Ian Rapoport reported that according to Paragraph 32(d) of Hernandez’ extension, the 2014 workout bonus became “null and void” if the player fails to report and that the sections of the contract dealing with the guaranteeing of the 2013 and 2014 salaries did not not contain a “failure to perform” or “failure to report” clauses. According to Joel Corry, a former sports agent Paragraph 35 of Hernandez’s contract contains a clause where he represents and warrants that there weren’t any existing circumstances when he signed his deal that would prevent his continuing availability throughout the contract. Joel reported on CBSSportsline.Com that “There’s another clause explicitly stating that the Patriots wouldn’t have entered into the contract except for Hernandez’s representations.

aaronhis a screenshot of Aaron Hernandez’s deal with the Patriots. You will have to double-click it to see it completely

When Aaron Hernandez was waived by the Patriots on June 26, the other hand, his 2013 cap hit went from $4,073,000 to $2,550,000 (the 2013 proration of his 2010 and 2012 signing bonuses). His 2014 cap hit increased from $4,200,000 to $7,500,000 (the unamortized portion of his 2012 $12.5 million signing bonus). There were questions over whether or not the guaranteed salaries would hit the Patriots salary cap in 2013. It turns out that they did not.

Sometime after his release Aaron Hernandez has filed grievances for his 2013 and 2014 offseason workout bonuses and salaries which is why the Patriots lost over $1.1 million in cap space in October 2013. Per the CBA 40% of the total grievance amount goes against the team’s cap until the grievance is settled or until the end of the League Year, in this case, 2013. The grievance amounts in question are 2013 offseason workout bonus money of $82,000, 2013 salary of $1,323,000, 2014 offseason workout bonus money of $500,000, and 2013 salary of $1,137,000. Those four amounts total $3,042,000. 40% of $3,042,000 is $1,216,800. Jonathan Kraft is quoted as saying “You have to hit 90 percent in our contract, and Aaron didn’t hit 90 percent, in our view,”. Jonathan Kraft contended that Aaron attended 25 of 33 workouts. As Joel Corry opined – “Hernandez was recovering from shoulder surgery during the offseason which limited his participation in organized team activities and mini-camp. It may have also limited him during the workout program. Since Hernandez’s workout clause doesn’t account for supervised rehabilitation, the Patriots may contend that he didn’t fulfill his workout obligations because his shoulder surgery prevented him from successfully completing workouts. It remains to be seen whether the arbitrator would find this type of argument persuasive.”

For most of December 2013 and January 2014 the NFLPA site http://www.nflplayers.com/cap showed the Patriots were under their 2013 adjusted cap number by $4,024,801. Because of that I had expected that to be the amount that the Patriots would be rolling over into 2014. So when the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin tweeted that the Patriots are rolling over exactly $4,106,801 in cap space for 2014, I tried to figure out why would that number changed. The first thing I noticed is the difference between the two numbers is exactly Aaron Hernandez’ 2013 offseason bonus money – $82,000. I thought then that the Patriots had won the grievance over the 2013 offseason workout bonus money of $82,000. It turns out that conclusion was premature. The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin tweeted that $32,800 was counting against the Patriots 2014 cap because of an Aaron Hernandez’ grievance. 40% of $82,000 is $32,800. So it appears that the Patriots and Hernandez are still arguing over Hernandez’s 2013 offseason workout bonus money.

While conducting research for this blog post, I looked at a couple of cases to see how long it took a team to get a cap credit for recouped money. The Patriots released Jonathan Fanene on August 21, 2012 with a “failure to disclose physical condition” designation. The Patriots filed a grievance seeking some, if not all, of the $3.85 million signing bonus Fanene received when he signed with the team March 20. The grievance hearing was held in July of 2013. On September 21, 2013 ESPNBoston.Com’s Mike Reiss reported that “The Patriots and defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene (represented by the NFL Players Association) settled their grievance within the past week, according to sources, and part of the settlement is that the Patriots won’t have to pay Fanene the final $1.35 million of his $3.85 million signing bonus… We can now officially close the book on the Patriots’ failed Fanene signing, with Fanene able to keep $2.5 million of the original signing bonus and the Patriots receiving a credit on their 2013 salary cap.” On March 13, 2014 update OvertheCap’s owner, Jason Fitzgerald, tweeted referring to the Patriots 2014 adjusted cap number that “the official number (also includes the 504k adjust and 360k of fanene is a direct credit and not in adjustment”. To sum up it took the Patriots two years to get a credit for a grievance filed in 2012. It took the Falcons five years to get a $3 million credit for Michael Vick. In August 2007 they won a grievance against Vick for around $20 million.

Let’s now take a look at four amounts involved.

The 2013 offseason workout bonus money of $82,000. I see both sides winning. The case for the Patriots is that their contract has a strict threshold and Aaron did not meet it. The case for Aaron is that he did not meet the threshold because he was recovering from a football injury. If the Patriots win this grievance, they will get a credit of $32,800 sometime. Do not know exactly when. If the Patriots lose this grievance, they lose $49,200 in cap space. Do not know when the cap hit would occur.

The 2014 offseason workout bonus money of $500,000. I think that this is a slam dunk for the Patriots as there is no way Aaron can report to attend the 2014 workouts. I do not know if the Patriots have already won this grievance. They could have and the $200,000 that was charged to the 2013 cap was credited back to the Patriots as part of the 2013 year-end adjustment. The credit could come in 2015 or later. Do not know.

The 2013 and 2014 guaranteed salaries - While Hernandez’s contract may be missing “failure to perform” or “failure to report” clauses when it comes to these salaries, I think that the Patriots will win the grievance over these guaranteed salaries. I do not know if the Patriots have already won this grievance. They could have and the $984,000 that was charged to the 2013 cap was credited back to the Patriots as part of the 2013 year-end adjustment. The credit could come in 2015 or later. Do not know. I doubt that they have lost the grievance. Heard that both grievances would be handled simultaneously so it is very likely that this grievance was tabled until the Patriots do not pay the $3.25 million installment.

The $7.5 million signing bonus proration that is hitting the Patriots 2014 cap – I have seen some posts/tweets opining that the NFL should just simply give the Patriots a $7.5 million cap credit. I doubt that will happen. Why? Sean Taylor. Sean Taylor was a 1st round pick of the Washington Redskins who was murdered. A year after his murder he counted against the Redskins cap. If the Redskins did not get cap relief for a murdered player, cannot see the NFL giving cap relief for an alleged murderer. Given that the CBA provided the Patriots an avenue for recouping the signing bonus money (wait until start of the 2013 training camp when Aaron could not attend and he would have invoked this clause in the CBA – “Forfeitable Breach. Any player who (i) willfully fails to report, practice or play with the result that the player’s ability to fully participate and contribute to the team is substantially undermined (for example, without limitation, holding out or leaving the squad absent a showing of extreme personal hardship); or (ii) is unavailable to the team due to conduct by him that results in his incarceration; or (iii) is unavailable to the team due to a nonfootball injury that resulted from a material breach of Paragraph 3 of his NFL Player Contract; or (iv) voluntarily retires (collectively, any “Forfeitable Breach”) may be required to forfeit signing bonus, roster bonus, option bonus and/or reporting bonus, and no other Salary, for each League Year in which a Forfeitable Breach occurs (collectively, “Forfeitable Salary Allocations”), as set forth below>” I have my doubts on the strengths of the Patriots’ case to withhold the $3.25 million if Hernandez is not charged with a crime for actions committed before he signed his extension in July, 2012. I do expect the Patriots not to pay Aaron the final installment of his $12.5 million bonus that is due him on Monday, March 31st. Aaron Hernandez’s legal team has already filed a grievance also anticipating the Patriots move. As we have seen with Jonathan Fanene and Michael Vick, it can take years for a team to obtain a cap credit for money recouped. Please note that the cap credit is for the actual cash recouped so if Aaron has spent most of his signing bonus money it is likely that the only credits that the Patriots may ever get is the $3.25 million signing bonus that they will withhold and any grievances that they may win over his 2013/2014 offseason workout bonus and 2013/2014 salaries. Given Aaron Hernandez’s legal troubles, I do not expect a quick resolution

If Aaron Hernandez is charged for crimes that occurred before July, 2012, the Patriots would be able to go after the $12.5 million signing bonus because Aaron would have then violated the clause where he represented and warranted that there weren’t any existing circumstances when he signed his deal that would prevent his continuing availability throughout the contract. and the clause that explicitly states that the Patriots wouldn’t have entered into the contract except for Hernandez’s representations. Once again, I have to note that any cap credit is for the actual cash recouped so if Aaron has spent most of his signing bonus money it is likely that the only credits that the Patriots may ever get is the $3.25 million signing bonus that they will withhold and any grievances that they may win over his 2013/2014 offseason workout bonus and 2013/2014 salaries. Given Aaron Hernandez’s legal troubles, I do not expect a quick resolution.

May 16, 2014 Update – The most cap relief I expect that Patriots to get from Aaron Hernandez is $4,466,800 and I will not be surprised to see Tom Brady retire before the Pats receive it. $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).

Footnotes – Joel Corry’s reporting on Aaron Hernandez’s salary cap implications at the National Football Post

Danny Amendola – Cap Scenarios – Updated on March 18th

Updating my Danny Amendola cap scenarios page since I have learned that any salary cap credit for Danny’s 2 million guaranteed salary offset will appear in the 2015 Patriots adjusted cap figure.

Right now, Danny Amendola’s 2014 cap number is $4,575,000 which consists of 3 million salary, $1.2 million in signing bonus proration, and $375,000 ($31,250 per 46-man active roster appearance) roster bonus.

When Danny Amendola was signed to his current contract in March, 2013 it was widely reported that he received $10 million in guaranteed money and that 2 million of his 3 million 2014 salary was fully guaranteed. The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin reported that the “$2 million of his (Amendola’s) $3 million base salary in 2014 becomes guaranteed if he’s on the roster at 4 p.m. on March 11 which would mean that the Pats could take steps to avoid making the two million fully guaranteed. Albert Breer tweeted on March 5th that “the Patriots have to carry Amendola on their roster into the 2014 league year to make him a 6/1 cut. If they do that, his ’14 base is guaranteed.” It was then reported that the two million had offset language. That is, the Patriots would get a credit for the amount of compensation received by Amendola from another team for up to two million.

Trade Danny Amendola before June 2 -

His 2014 cap number would then increase from $4.575m to $4.8 million – the rest of his signing bonus proration. Since a player with a $495,000 salary would then take his place in the Top 51 list, the Patriots would lose additional $645,000 in cap space.
His 2015 cap number would go from $5.575 million to zero
His 2016 cap number would go from $6.575 million to zero.
His 2017 cap number would go from $7.575 million to zero.

Cut Danny Amendola after 4PM March 11 and before June 2 and make him a post June 1 designation:

That means the Pats would carry his $3 million salary and his $375,000 roster bonus on their books until June 2nd. On June 2nd he would be released. His 2014 cap number would then drop from $4.575m to $3.2 million ($1.2 million signing bonus proration and $2 million salary) – net cap savings in 2014 of around 880K
His 2015 cap number would go from $5.575 million to $3.6 million. Subtract up to 2 million from the $3.6 million any compensation Amendola receives from another team in 2014.
His 2016 cap number would go from $6.575 million to zero.
His 2017 cap number would go from $7.575 million to zero.

Cut Danny Amendola after 4PM March 11 and before June 2 and do NOT use the post June 1 designation:

His 2014 cap number would then increase from $4.575m to $6.8 million – the rest of his signing bonus proration ($4.8m) plus the $2 million salary. Since a player with a $495,000 salary would then take his place in the Top 51 list, the Patriots would lose additional $2,645,000 in cap space.
His 2015 cap number would go from $5.575 million to zero. The Patriots would get a credit for up to 2 million from the $3.6 million any compensation Amendola receives from another team in 2014.
His 2016 cap number would go from $6.575 million to zero.
His 2017 cap number would go from $7.575 million to zero.

Cut Danny Amendola after June 1:

His 2014 cap number would then drop from $4.575m to $3.2million ($1.2 million signing bonus proration and $2 million salary) – net cap savings in 2014 of around 880K
His 2015 cap number would go from $5.575 million to $3.6 million. Subtract up to 2 million from the $3.6 million any compensation Amendola receives from another team in 2014.
His 2016 cap number would go from $6.575 million to zero.
His 2017 cap number would go from $7.575 million to zero.

Trade Danny Amendola after June 1:

His 2014 cap number would then drop from $4.575m to $1.2 million ($1.2 million signing bonus proration) – net cap savings in 2014 of around $2.88 million
His 2015 cap number would go from $5.575 million to $3.6 million.
His 2016 cap number would go from $6.575 million to zero.
His 2017 cap number would go from $7.575 million to zero.

Ways to reduce Vince Wilfork’s cap number

With a 2014 cap number of $11,600,000 Vince Wilfork has the 2nd highest cap number on the Patriots and the 4th highest cap number for an defensive tackle in the NFL. Wilfork is signed through the 2014 season and is due $8 million in cash ($7.5 million salary, 300K weight bonus and a 200K offseason workout bonus). I was asked how could the Patriots lower Wilfork’ cap number. Here are the seven most likely ways.

Current cap numbers
2014 -$11,600,000 – 7.5m salary +300K weight bonus + 200K workout bonus + 3.6m prorated signing bonus

1) Releasing Wilfork would change the above numbers to
2014 – $3,600,000 (prorated signing bonus) a $8,000,000 gross saving and a $7,580,000 net savings on the cap as a player with a $420,000 salary would replace Wilfork in the Top 51 list

2.) Converting all but $1,00,000 of his $7.5m salary to a signing bonus while extend his current deal through the 2015 season would change the above numbers to
2014 – $8,350,000 – $1,00,000 salary +300K weight bonus + 200K workout bonus plus $6,850,000 prorated signing bonus (a $3,685,000 savings)

3.) Converting all but $1,00,000 of his $7.5m salary to a signing bonus while extend his current deal through the 2016 season would change the above numbers to
2014 – $7,266,666 – $1,00,000 salary +300K weight bonus + 200K workout bonus plus $5,766,666 prorated signing bonus (a $4,333,334 savings)

4.) Converting all but $1,00,000 of his $7.5m salary to a signing bonus while extend his current deal through the 2017 season would change the above numbers to 2014 – $6,725,000 – $1,00,000 salary +300K weight bonus + 200K workout bonus plus $5,225,000 prorated signing bonus (a $4,875,000 savings)

5.) Converting all but $1,00,000 of his $7.5m salary to a signing bonus while extend his current deal through the 2018 season would change the above numbers to 2014 – $6,400,000 – $1,00,000 salary +300K weight bonus + 200K workout bonus plus $4,900,000 prorated signing bonus (a $5,200,000 savings)

6.) Reduce Wilfork’s salary from $7.5 million to $4 million while converting $3.5 million of his salary into a NTLBE incentive – cap savings of $3.5 million

7.) An extension that includes NTLBE incentives. One such deal would extend Wilfork through the 2016 season while converting $2.5 million of his $7.5 million salary into a signing bonus. This cuts his 2014 cash intake by half (from $8 million to $4 million). The deal would offer Wilfork to recoup the money by reaching some NTLBE incentives (examples, Pro Bowl, Total defense – net yards, 46-man active per game roster bonuses, average net yards allowed per rushing play). Such a deal would result in a 2014 cap hit of 6,766,667 – $1,00,000 salary +300K weight bonus + 200K workout bonus plus $5,266,666 prorated signing bonus (a $4,833,333 savings)

To sum, the highest cap number Wilfork can have for the Patriots in 2014 is $11,600,000. The lowest he can have and while being on the roster is $4,555,000. The lowest cap number he can have is after being released – $3.6 million. The question is can Wilfork and the Patriots find a number between $4,555,000 and $11,600,000 that both sides are happy with. There are definitely ways for a deal to happen.