The thing is with the cap ever increasing and most teams having to at least sign a handful of at least decent contract players every year, the amount of paid out bonuses are more likely than not even out or eclipsed amortized bonuses vs. the cap. If you sign several higher free agents you easily eclipse the amortized money. Besides, that is why teams put a lot of phoney years in contracts. Adalius Thomas got a six year deal which is very unlikely he will ever see the end since the Pats probably aren't going to be paying a nearly $6 million base salary to a 35 year old LB. But buy making the contract six years, they make the amortized cap charge for his signing bonus at $2 million rather than giving him a four year deal (which is more realistic what he will see of the contract) and taking a $3 million cap hit a year. San Francisco gave Nate Clements an eight year deal eventhough every knows that last two year are never going to be realized to minimize the affects of his huge signing bonus. Also, with signing bonuses getting so big, teams are giving out multiple bonuses over multiple years to minimize the loss. Seymour and Brady got his bonuses in two installments spread out over two years and Brady has more roster bonuses due to him in the last years of his contract. If Stallworth and Washington are on the roster in 2008, both are due big installments. On that subject, one thing that went under the radar this year is that Seymour just got an $12 million option bonus this year (at least we can assume they picked up the option because it is recognized on Miguel's site). So between Seymour, Thomas, and Welker the Pats paid out $37.6 million in real dollars vs. a cap charge of $11.8 million for this year. I don't think a small market team could easily afford to pay out nearly $40 million for just three players like that. This was my original point until we got bogged down in all the other peripheral BS.