Originally Posted by AbeBeta
What you are missing is that we are "pushing it down the line" differently than some teams. Instead of a 20 mill signing bonus we might give a 10 mill SB and a 10 mill guaranteed 2nd year of a deal (or sometimes even the third).
No, I'm well aware of how they are doing it. It just doesn't matter to me because the end result is the same. More money committed to later years.
That makes our cap for the 2nd year appear bloated, but what it really does is give us flexibility to convert that big salary year to bonus -- or just leave it that way if we don't need the cap space (or convert part and leave part as salary).
The problem is, Dallas doesn't have that flexibility because they deliberately plan to restructure it so they can operate. I don't think there's any way they could NOT restructure Carr's contract.
It would be nice to be in a situation where the team could decide to restructure or not. A situation in which they had cap room without any restructuring at all, like other teams. But the reality is, Dallas has to restructure just to get even. They immediately eliminate the choice of "leaving as is" for certain contracts and all but eliminate the other choice of "part restructure" as well.
There is no flexibility. At best, it's an illusion of flexibility.
A team that starts out with the big SB doesn't see a bloated 2nd year cap number. But they also don't see the flexibility to use that money in multiple manners.
Every team is "pushing it down the line" - we are doing it in a manner that makes everyone freak out and scream "we are in cap HELL!!!!"
It doesn't have to be one or the other. You don't have to have the bloated 2nd/3rd year base OR a huge signing bonus. There's literally dozens of ways teams could write contracts. Dallas just happens to do so in a manner that I think is poorly thought out.
They're going to restructure Carr's contract and make it so they basically have to keep him on the roster no matter what until after 2015. Regardless of play, his cap hit will increase so much if cut that he will be on the team for another 3 seasons.
Dallas makes restructuring their standard procedure so they can actually sign guys. That's why Carr's cap number was 3M for 2012 and will likely be around 6M for 2013. That's 9M in cap charges for a guy who's regarded as one of the better players at a position that is typically paid very well. That's the tradeoff. You take cap relief now on all these contracts but it puts you in a position where the guy absolutely cannot fail or else you are losing your rear end on the deal. If Carr doesn't play well through 2015, it's a horrid deal.
Here's a little tweet about Ozzie Newsome's restructure policy.
@RavensInsider: Ozzie newsome said only time team considers restructures is if a player has great value or player has good chance of reaching end of deal
I'd like to point out the great value aspect. If you sign a middle tier player and he becomes a stud, what you are getting from him is above and beyond expected compared to what you have paid for him and what the cap is charging you for him.
Restructuring the deal gives you cap space now but it also brings his future cap charge up to a level that you would expect from his production. It makes sense and you aren't losing out on the deal.
Great value represents the short-term look in that for a given year your cap charge would be what you would expect it to be for a player who is giving you "X" amount of production.
This is where Dallas is failing.
Dallas has paid Carr for top quality play. Restructuring gives you cap relief now but it puts his cap charge so high in the future that he better be a top 5 CB for those 3 seasons or else the team is losing out on the deal.
It doesn't make sense. You're forcing yourself into a situation where the player has to perform at a level that is unlikely or else you're paying too much. That's what you get when you force "great value" by taking ridiculously low charges upfront in exchange for ridiculously high charges on the backend. Dallas is doing that, regardless of whether it comes from the initial negotiation or after a planned restructure.
Reaching the end of the deal is the longterm look in that over the span of "X" years the player's cumulative cap charge doesn't change. This perspective however hinges on the player actually playing well enough to reach the end of the deal based solely on merit and not on cap ramifications if cut.
Brandon Carr might pay well enough to justify those later cap charges. "Might". One this is for sure, he won't be cut until way down the road because of those cap charges. There's a large difference between having a cap charge deter you from cutting a guy and having a cap charge prevent you from cutting a guy.
Which brings it all back to flexibility and pretending that Dallas has some in the first place. Any flexibility they exercise now results in less flexibility in the future. If they didn't exercise flexibility now they'd own like 6M in cap charges if they cut Carr after this season. Exercising flexibility now takes that 6M and ups it to like 15M.
So here's a question.
Is it better to have flexibility now when the player is in the prime of his career and is more likely to perform at a high level and justify an appropriate cap charge, or is it better to have flexibility in the future when a player has accumulated wear and tear along with age and is less likely to play at a high level and justify a ridiculously high cap charge?
As for the idea of "Cap Hell", I think it's overblown by those who both claim it to be true and those who are adamantly opposed. I can't think of any time where a team was punished for not being cap compliant. I want to say that I have heard of it once but I can't recall who and it may have been speculation that was all for nothing as the team got under the limit before the deadline.
In that regard, there is no such thing as "Cap Hell" because no team is ever punished because being compliant isn't difficult so long as you are willing to borrow against the future.
But, given the cap status of others around the league Dallas sure isn't in the prettiest of positions.