For a player carrying the non-exclusive tag, he can negotiate with any other team. Ultimately, one offer sheet can be signed.
Once it’s signed, the situation simplifies considerably. The player’s current team will match the offer and keep him, or the player’s team will not match the offer and collect a pair of first-round picks from the new team.
The two first-round picks given as compensation must be the team’s original picks — not any picks obtained via trade or otherwise.
And there’s a loophole which, eventually, a desperate coach or G.M. may use. The period for signing franchise players to offer sheets lingers beyond the current year’s draft. Thus, for example, a team that wants to sign quarterback Joe Flacco (if the Ravens use the non-exclusive tag) could, in theory, wait until after the draft, sign Flacco to a front-loaded offer sheet that the Ravens can’t match, and then surrender not the 2013 and 2014 first-round picks, but the first-round picks for 2014 and 2015.
There’s nothing in the labor deal that prevents this from happening until July 15, after which date the player can sign only a one-year deal with his current team.
We have a major advantage over the Saints headed into the draft with this plan in mind. For one, it's doubtful they'd trade a TE to replace him this year.
The strategy heading into the draft would be to get all of the value we can out of the #6 pick as we won't have a 1st rounder again for a few years. Knowing this the best option in this scenario is to trade down and do it a LOT. The extra picks will help make up for the lack of picks in the coming years.
A few feasible trade scenarios:
ATL trades #6 to STL for #13 and 2nd rounder. STL selects Sammy Watkins
ATL then trades #13 to MIA for #19 and 3rd+4th rounder. MIA selects OT Zack Martin
ATL then trades #19 to CLE for #26 + 3rd rounder (Derek Carr)
Now our draft is set up like this:
#26 - OT Morgan Moses - (Instant fix for the biggest hole on offense. Now we can focus on defense for the majority of the draft)
2nd - DE/DT - Stephon Tuitt (Versatility is key in this draft. Hybrid defense needs hybrid players. Tuitt instantly becomes our other 3-4 DT and can slide inside or play LDE in place of Jackson in our 4-3 sets)
2nd (STL) - DE/OLB Trent Murphy (Another tough, gritty 'tweener' that will play out of both a 2 and 3 point stance in Nolans defense. Bring back the amoeba. )
3rd (CLE) - OLB Jeremy Attaochu (We badly need pass rushers. This guy is well documented here)
3rd - ILB Chris Borland (We need a true ILB in our 3-4 sets and this guy brings the wood. Him and Worrilow would feed off of each other)
3rd (MIA) - OT Jawuan James (Lets face it, we need Baker insurance. Doubling down on OT's in an OT heavy draft is smart)
4th - RB Lache Seastrunk
4th (MIA) - OLB Adrian Hubbard
4th (comp) - DT Justin Ellis (Solali will need a back up and rotational man)
5th - OG Chris Watt (Future Blalock replacement)
6th - WR Jeff Janis (trumped Watkins combine in every single category)
7th - FB JC Copeland (Running game needs to be a focus)
A few things this draft accomplishes:
- Depth for days at many positions
- Makes a few players expendable (Osi, Biermann, Spoon)
- Those players cap savings will be important (9.3 mil between them)
- Addresses the pass rush and both lines heavily
According to overthecap.com we are sitting @ 14.4 mil under the cap AFTER the Decoud cut. Roughly 1 mil of this is unavailable until after June 1st though due to Decoud being a June 1st cut.
Post draft cuts:
After the draft we release Osi, Spoon and Biermann. They're all on the last year of their deals. Osi and Spoon don't really fit what we're after and Biermann is coming off a major injury and we loaded up on hybrid players. He's outclassed now. We save roughly 9.3 mil.
After cuts we're sitting @ roughly 22 mil.
4-5 mil will be allocated to rookies
3-5 mil will be spent on remaining FAs (Chris Clemons)
This leaves us with 12-15 mil cap space. This cap space is going to be used to front load a contract to Jimmy Graham as much as possible.
This serves two purposes.
1 - Makes it so the Saints can't match the contract
2 - Makes Jimmy's cap hit reasonable throughout the rest of the contract. Paying him 10-12 mil in his first season will ensure his cap hit will never spike.
ATL trades 2015 and 2016 1st rounders to NO for TE Jimmy Graham, ATL signs Graham to a 6 yr/60 mil contract with 20 mil guaranteed. Graham cap hit year one 10 mil
Crushing blow dealt to the Saints this year.
Rosters for 2014
QB - Ryan
RB - Sjax/Seastrunk
WR - Julio/Janis
WR - Roddy/HD
TE - Graham/Toilolo
FB - Copeland
LT - Baker/Moses/Holmes
OG - Blalock/Watt
C - Hawley/Konz
OG - Asamoah/Konz
RT - Moses/James
DE - Tuitt/Babs/Peters
DT - Solali/Ellis
DE - Jackson/Maponga
OLB - Mass/Attachou
ILB - Worrilow/Dent
ILB - Borland/Dent
OLB - Murphy/Attachou
CB - Tru/Mcclain
CB - Alford/Mcclain
FS - Clemons/Ishmael
SS - Moore/Motta
DE - Murphy/Attachou
DT - Tuitt/Babs/Peters
DT - Solali/Ellis
DE - Mass/Attachou
OLB - Worrilow/Bartu
MLB - Borland/Dent
OLB - Attachou
CB - Tru/McClain
CB - Alford/Mcclain
FS - Clemons
SS - Moore