Dallas is NOT in Salary Cap trouble in 2014

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by bkight13, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. Blue Eyed Devil

    Blue Eyed Devil Active Member

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    Stephen laughed about it not being an issue in 2010, 2011, and now 2013. The biggest free agent contract in those 3 years combined is Justin Durant.

    But, again, we're not in cap trouble. Our roster has just been so perfect, immaculate, full of depth, that we just couldn't use anyone from any of the other 31 teams. I mean, come on, when you're doing as well as 6-10 and 8-8 why would you want to bring in new talent?
  2. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    Doubtful that would happen. I think Free is pretty much slotted to be a June 1st cut unless he makes some miraculous turnaround.

    A team can create room at any moment so long as they are willing to take space gained from the following years.

    Dallas has like 30 players under contract for 2015 and almost 130M in cap money spent. Adding money onto 2015 is not smart. Counting just Ware, Romo, Witten, Austin and Ratliff Dallas has $71M in cap space spent for 2015. Some of those under contract may not be there, some may be June 1st guys.....point is you can't look at the cap just for 1 single year.

    If you restructure them you're adding about $10M to that number and to 2016 . $81M on just 5 players. Any player designated as a June 1st cut adds to the hits for 2015.

    Sean Lee
    Tyron Smith
    Dez Bryant
    Bruce Carter
    DeMarco Murray

    None of those guys are under contract for 2015.

    Restructuring also extends the length of the contract by increasing the dead money if a player were to be cut. Dallas should not be doing that with Austin and Ratliff.

    That's part of the fundamental problem I have with restructuring. You delay the time it takes to make cutting a guy cap neutral. Instead of a move being cap neutral after 3 years, you have to get to that 4th year before cutting a guy costs the same as keeping him (just an example). The more you restructure, the more you delay the point at which it becomes neutral to part ways with a guy. Ultimately you are forced to either take a larger cap hit for cutting him and for keeping him. If that player doesn't live up to expectations, it hurts worse.

    Take Austin. If Dallas cuts him next year before 2014 they'll have $7.8M in dead space.

    If they restructure for 2014 and cut him before 2015, the dead money will be about $8.2M An entire year has passed and the cap liability for cutting the guy has INCREASED. Football is a young mans game and longer you take to getting to that neutral point the more risk you are taking that the player doesn't live up to his contract. If they didn't restructure and had him play 2014 as it currently is and then cut him, the cap consequence is like $5.1M. $3.1M less than what it would be by going the restructuring route. Had they not restructured him this year and had him play through 2014, the cap hit for cutting him is $1.5M.

    Ratliff, same thing. As is they would take about $7M in cap hit's to cut him next year. If they restructure him and try to cut him after 2014, his cap hit would be $7.5M

    Restructuring Romo next year would almost require another restructure in 2015.

    Currently, Romo's cap number is at $21M for 2014 and $25M in 2015. If they restructure, his cap number in 2015 jumps to about $28M which is very difficult to imagine the team being okay with having on the books. So that means they have to restructure again in 2015.

    The result of both of those means that Romo could play 4 years of the current contract and they'd still take a massive cap hit if he was cut. If they restructured both years, they'd have about $19M in dead money for 2017 if he started to decline. Without restructuring, it would be $5M. If he played 5 years, Dallas is still on the hook for $9M if he's cut after those restructures as opposed to NOTHING if they don't touch his contract.

    There's a reason why not every team follows the same plan of restructuring on an annual basis. It delays the point at which it becomes cap neutral to cut a guy and ties your hands in the long run. Some people like to say that it gives Dallas flexibility but I disagree. When you sign a guy, odds are you can project what you will be getting for the next 2 to 3 years. There's no way to know what you will get 4, 5 or 6 years down the line (6th year coming from restructuring). Restructuring makes the cap hits for those last years bigger than it would have been without restructuring and all the while that player has aged and the likelihood of living up to his original contract cap number has decreased, and the team has only inflated that number since.

    The reality is, high dollar players cost money and you can't fidget with the numbers to free up space because you're only hurting yourself down the line. If restructured, Romo's cap numbers beyond 2015 would be:

    2016: 20M
    2017: 24M
    2018: 25M
    2019: 24M

    Compare that to how the Packers have structured Rodgers contract: It's similar to Romo's this year but then it jumps up to 18M and slowly rises over the next 6 years to 21M for the final year. They take a decent bump next year and then gradually increase from there. $6M increase next year but only because they opted for a little more room right now. $6M isn't all that hard to account for. If Dallas restructures Romo next year, his cap number increases by $15M when going from 2014 to 2015 because they opted for a little room now and would be opting for room next year. Coming up with $15M isn't some simple task.

    Dallas is in a perpetual cycle of pushing money down the road and they have huge contracts on the horizon. Freeing up more space next year just builds up the risk of older players not living up to their inflated contracts and forces additional restructuring down the line.

    Can Dallas make room and should they are two different questions.
    dreghorn2 likes this.
  3. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    i reallly wish you would be just a little less daft.
    free, scandrick, miles and others were legit signings at the time.
    they have been made terrible signings because we restructure yearly and thus can't cut bait when they have CLEARLY underperformed terribly.

    when you are renegotiating 7-10 guys yearly on a schedule at least a couple are gonna flop on you.
    that's just the way it goes with injuries and other factors.

    all teams sign contracts that turn bad. key is being able to cut bait and eat the bad deal.
    when you have 15-20mil in future cap hits tied to guys who arent anywhere near franchise-worthy that is quite simply a problem.
    argue it all you want but it's completely illogical on every level.
  4. bkight13

    bkight13 Capologist

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    Your concerns are valid, but Dallas obviously made a commitment to the current core for the next few years. Romo, Ware, Witten, Austin, Carr, Ratliff and Spencer have been augmented by the young Bryant, TSmith, Lee, Carter, Claiborne, Murray and Frederick. I think it is the best team they have put together in a long time. Cutting any of these guys in the next couple years doesn't seem likely or smart, so their dead money number isn't very important. The Romo Era will end soon enough and I say keep pushing the money forward until it's over.
  5. superpunk

    superpunk Benched

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    It's part of the risk of handing out contracts. Everyone wants to get promising young players locked up well you're gonna have a few that don't quite work out. This isn't anything out of the ordinary for teams that have talented QBs and 30 year old stars on their second or third deals.
  6. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    rofl. i seriously cant tell if you are doing a bit here or are being serious and avoiding the key details out of some form of adhd.
    no it isnt the risk of handing out contracts.
    thats the point.
    dallas is inserting additional risk other teams are not with this idiotic planned restructure mechanism.
    if you guarantee 12-14m to a young guy that's one thing.
    guarantee them that money then hand them another 8m in base as Scheduled Restructure bonus not you've got 18-20m future money owed.
    that's fine for Romo, Ware or truly elite players.
    for mid-level guys that's absolutely insane.

    we have guys who are questionable and yet now can not be cut.
    had we given them a standard contract for the same dollars but ignored the idiotic SR we could cut them and save money.
    not cut them to break even or lose money. see doug free, nate livings, orlando scandrick, miles austin.

    all that said none of this means dallas can't compete or climb out of the cap mess with this model.
    but they do need to seriously scrap this model.
    if stephen is hard-headed as jerry we will be in serious trouble.
    dallas which has essentially been rebuilding on the fly shouldn't be cap-strapped after .500 finishes.
  7. superpunk

    superpunk Benched

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    And I can't tell if you're this oblivious or you really don't understand that this is just how you have to do business in the league when you've got a franchise QB and an aging core. Over the past few years noone in the NFL has restructured more contracts than Pittsburgh. New England gives Brady and co. a new deal every offseason because they're so tight on the cap. It's just one of the many ways to skin a cat. Teams know franchise QBs are tough to come by - we can pay the piper after Tony's career is over.

    Teams sit there with a top-heavy core of salaries, and yes there are plenty of bad contracts in there for every team. We've got a couple. Big whoop. The real problem we've had is that we drafted terribly til 2009 and had no depth to supplement our top heavy core. You don't get "depth" in free agency.

    There isn't anything wrong or out of the norm with how we do business. We just have a void (that we're overcoming now) due to terrible drafting.
  8. CoCo

    CoCo Well-Known Member

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    Haven't read the whole debate but I agree with SP's point that what Dallas is doing with planned restructures is not particularly reckless or something that MUST be changed going forward IMO. It's a pretty simple premise that allows you to pay market wage while deferring some of the cost to the future. To NOT do so means you give up $ you could have otherwise spent to improve your team NOW. To NOT do so puts you at a competitive disadvantage with teams who chose to defer costs.

    A huge key in all of it is of course how good you are at recognizing talent - be it the draft, your own current roster, or free agency. There is no salary cap cure if you are deficient in talent evaluation. Reality of course is somewhere in between

    But here is the enticement. Below is Romo's new deal. First # is that years Cap Cost, then Unamortized SB - the Cap Costs yet to come. In parentheses are how those Unamortized costs would split if elected over two years.

    2013 = 11.8 & 28.2 (8.2 & 20.0)
    2014 = 21.8 & 19.9 (8.3 & 11.6) or restructure to 12.6 & 29.1 (10.6 & 18.5)

    So come 2014 Dallas has a choice, find another $10 mil in cap room (from 11.8 to 21.8), spend it on keeping your QB instead of on retaining Dez or Carter or other talent you wish to acquire or keep. I'll tell you now, Romo is as good as restructured in 2014. Done deal. Mark it down. Simply way too big a hit to choose otherwise. This clearly illustrates the power of the restructure.

    Here's the rest of the story, or, 'But how do I get out of this mess?" Assuming the 2014 restructure takes place, here is how successive years look, including restructure options.

    2015 = 27.6 & 18.5 (8.9 & 9.6) or restructure to 16.0 & 30.1 (11.8 & 18.3)
    2016 = 20.3 & 18.3 (10.2 & 8.1) or restructure to 16.2 & 22.4 (11.5 & 10.9)
    2017 = 25.6 & 10.9 (6.6 & 4.3) or restructure to 18.6 & 17.9 (10.1 & 7.8)

    Up through the 2016 season, with restructures every year, you can keep your blue-chip QB at cap costs of 11.8 12.6 16.0 16.2. This is manageable. Then at the end of 2016 you could cut him loose, designate him a June 2 cut, and pay 11.5 in 2017 & 10.9 in 2018. The plan of course is that he is replaced by a youngster on their first NFL rookie scale contract which gives you time to eat those dead costs before your new QB demands his 2nd contract wages.

    The other appeal of restructures is that the cap room they generate doesn't HAVE to be spent right away. It can be carried over. But now you have flexibility to spend if needed, or roll it forward for a rainy day which is where Dallas currently stands. Part of that rainy day might be locking up a pending FA NOW versus next offseason when their market cost may go up.
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  9. bkight13

    bkight13 Capologist

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    I agree with everything you wrote and would just like to add that the two 5m salary cap penalties were an unexpected problem. A couple of those mid level restructures could've been avoided with out the penalties. Also having to tie up 10.6m for Spencer was not the ultimate plan. I'm sure they wanted to resign Spencer last year or this year to a more cap friendly contract, but couldn't reach a fair deal. Combined with the timing of Romo's extension, the problem seemed a lot worse than it really was.
  10. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    None of that is true.
    a. Pitt isn't leading the league in restructures. They are actually letting guys go. Same as the Pats.
    b. Bad contracts kill you in this league. Especially BAD contracts that you MUST carry.
    c. You can in fact sign depth if you have money. And depth isn't even expensive. Problem is guys like Scandrick, Free and Miles are paid like superstars that they are NOT. Once you realize they aren't you must cut bait. Not extend them while paying them at some break even point to push money further off.
    d. If this PLAN was working we'd have won more games while using it.
    e. We have a lot of quality draftees we NEED to pay coming up. Not the draft's fault here any longer. Now it is cap mgmt.
    f. The every year scheduled restructure is fine for QBs, stupid when used for others. Locks you into a relationship with spares and with such numbers as you are sure to be burned.
    g. Plan is particularly bad when cap costs for guys are coming down due to new CBA. You can sign guys cheaper then what we are paying to cut people.
    h. The next year cap hit plan is fine for teams winning at a high rate... but not teams with 8 wins.
    i. When we do get to 11 wins and need one final push to go for it all we'll have no room.
  11. CoCo

    CoCo Well-Known Member

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    This whole post strikes me as oversimplfying things. Lets stop giving bad contracts. Agreed. Lets do it. Of ocurse those are killer. But there is always judgment involved. Sean Lee is a great example. Folks on both sides of the fence. Dallas will be criticized either way. There is judgment too on when to cut bait and run. Dallas does not as a rule just restructure bad deals. No one does. You have to consider all the implications in whether to pay me now or later. It's not black & white.

    Dallas has erred on the side of "keeping this group together" becuase of Romo, Ware, Witten, etc and the glimpses we've seen of payoff in 2007 & 2009. Again, it's judgement. A bit more duct tape, or blow it up. Hindsight will tell.
  12. Eddie

    Eddie Well-Known Member

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    We'll just continue to restructure Romo and Ware's contracts until they're 50.

    Sounds like a plan to me.
  13. Bluefin

    Bluefin Well-Known Member

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    Not with normal releases.

    Orlando Scandrick's cap number would actually increase by $102,500K in 2014 if that happened, Nate Livings would save $2M, Mackenzy Bernadeau $1.42M and Kyle Orton $995K.

    That would clear $4.3125M, but four new contracts would also be added into the top 51 to replace the released players.

    In 2014, rookie contracts will be $420K and 1st years will be $495K, so the four new contracts would be worth between $1.68M to $1.98M. That's a final cap savings of $2.3325 to $2.6325M.

    If the team waited until June 1st, a lot more money would be available.

    Scandrick ($3.5M), Livings ($3.4M), Orton ($3.25M) and Bernadeau ($2.75M) would clear $12.9M with a total savings between $10.92M to $11.22M

    Doing this would see over $8.58M in dead money on the 2015 cap.


    Scandrick will be competing with B.W. Webb in 2014 for the Nickel job, I don't think he'll be in any danger of getting pink slipped.

    2015 is much more likely, if Webb proves equal to the hype.

    Orton is the back-up QB, he looks pretty safe to me because there's no obvious challenger for his job on the roster at this time.

    Bernadeau ($4.074M) is iffy, his '14 cap number's fine for a starter, but he might need to take a pay cut (reduce base salary to $1M, cap number to $2.324M) if only a reserve or possibly get cut.

    I expect Livings will be cut.

    But the team needs replacements on the roster to step up and make the other guys expendable.
  14. Idgit

    Idgit If you food, you gonna be ate. Staff Member

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    You seriously have a problem with either of those deals?
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  15. Fredd

    Fredd Well-Known Member

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    salary cap. schmalary cap.....we aren't ever in trouble...as (I think) xwalker said, if you lose one of your own players that you wanna keep based on your cap, then you are in trouble...the minute they re-signed Tony (and I think it was the right move), they knew they had a built in cap-relief/restructure guy...we are fine....
  16. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    LOL at SP and company. Yeah not getting any real help on the O line the last three years means we are fine with the Cap. Sure. Of course that is possibly because the numbies running the boys did not think they needed to invest any money in the O line.

    But it is more likely they realized they could not spend any real money after the Carr deal.
  17. bkight13

    bkight13 Capologist

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    Yeah because using two first round draft picks(TSmith and TFred), locking up one the best looking young Tackles(Free), signing 2 NFL starters in FA(Bern and Livings) and consistently trying to hit on later draft picks and younger guys(Parnell, Leary, Kowalski and Costa)is doing nothing. Not every signing works out and injuries decimated the OL last year. Romo still threw for almost 5000 yds and was missing his starting RB for most of the season.
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  18. bkight13

    bkight13 Capologist

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    I wouldn't recommend cutting guys just to create space, but was pointing out that plenty of room can be created without losing core guys. If Bern or Livings are healthy and starting then keep them. Scandrick costs a lot for a nickel CB and Orton is an expensive insurance policy. If Romo gets hurt we all know the team is in big trouble.

    I happen to think that Austin and Ratliff are worth keeping a couple more years and would keep pushing some of their money forward if they need help signing guys like Lee, Bryant and TSmith. I don't see the need for many top FAs in the next couple years. Probably another OL and DE, but not a major re-tooling.
  19. Idgit

    Idgit If you food, you gonna be ate. Staff Member

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    We also changed OL coaches. You know, nothing.
  20. superpunk

    superpunk Benched

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