RandomFan

RE: Andy LeVitre

24 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I see a lot of people continuing to make the assumption that LeVitre is almost a lock to be cut or released before the 2018 season due to a bit of a salary cap increase with the way his contract is structured. My question is why in the world are people so seemingly confident in assuming this? It makes very little sense to think about releasing a then 31 year old vet in 2018 that fits our scheme like a glove and was extremely solid in 2015.

First of all, his contract isn't that outrageous in 2018. HIs cap hit for this year is $6,625,000, which is the current 17th highest cap hit for an OG in 2017. For reference, the top OG cap hit for 2017 is $13,200,000. So he's making roughly half what the top paid OG is in 2017. 

In 2018 it's true his contract jumps up to $8,375,000. But even then that still only makes him the 12th highest OG cap hit for that year -- and that is before free agency starts, where he would probably get bumped farther down that list when other teams sign free agent OGs.  The top OG cap hit for that year is $12,400,00, which means he would be making only about 67.5% of what the top paid OG makes in 2018. That's hardly what I would consider an unsustainable contract number.

However, acknowledging his contract numbers for 2018 aren't that out of whack or as outrageous as some seem to make it appear, and it would be acceptable to have LeVitre return for the final year of his contract at that price, he probably wont. I don't say that to mean I think he will be released. I say that because he's more likely to get a contract extension that would end up reducing his 2018 cap hit. I'm not going to say he would end up taking a pay cut in that scenario, because he's really not overpayed right now to begin with. We're paying him an average of about $7 million per year, and that is the same for 3 years, or if he plays his 4th and final contract year of 2018 at his current salary. The money we've laid out for him is $21 million for 3 years, or $28 million for 4 years = $7M per year either way. 

But the bulk of his money in 2018 comes from a $7 million base salary, which could easily be reduced in a contract extension to lower his cap hit for 2018 if we wanted. So for everyone thinking LeVitre is a goner after this year, I say to you,

lee-corso-sucks.jpeg

 

 

Edited by RandomFan

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It's not so much that he's overpaid, although I'd argue he will be in 2018, it's more where is the money going to come from for the Matthews, Freeman, Beasley & Jarrett extensions. The most logical casualty in 2018 is Levitre. I don't think it's a given but his contract has been structured in a way to make him expendable after this year.

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I think that most posts talk about the need to find Levitre's successor, in case a deal can not be made.  

This offense is on the brink of greatness.  We can not, we will not allow injuries nor cap realities get in the way of continuing a formidable OL.  

The offense depends on the OL.  That is the truth and we need to be prepared for anything.  

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22 minutes ago, Smiler11 said:

It's not so much that he's overpaid, although I'd argue he will be in 2018, it's more where is the money going to come from for the Matthews, Freeman, Beasley & Jarrett extensions. The most logical casualty in 2018 is Levitre. I don't think it's a given but his contract has been structured in a way to make him expendable after this year.

A quality starting LG isn't exactly expendable... at all really.

Mathews and Freeman will get paid, Jarrett might get an extension before the 2018 season, but Beasley won't get an extension for another two years. We'll have cap room. Right now we're projected to have roughly $30.3 million in cap space after cutting Brooks Reed before 2018. We could add another $900k to that by designating him a post-June 1st cut.

And like I said, signing LeVitre to a contract extension likely lowers his 2018 cap hit -- substantially if needed.

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Posted (edited)

10 minutes ago, etherdome said:

I think that most posts talk about the need to find Levitre's successor, in case a deal can not be made.  

This offense is on the brink of greatness.  We can not, we will not allow injuries nor cap realities get in the way of continuing a formidable OL.  

The offense depends on the OL.  That is the truth and we need to be prepared for anything.  

While there are some people talking that way, most of what I keep seeing are people just talking about LeVitre like he's gone after 2017. Not even an attempt to lower his cap hit, negotiate an extension, etc...just gone -- which is stupid.

Edited by RandomFan
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You make some excellent points, OP.

Even if Schweitzer is their guy,  I feel sure they will draft another OG to cover their bases with Levitre. As long as we keep drafting well, all these perceived issues become non-issues. 

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1 hour ago, etherdome said:

I think that most posts talk about the need to find Levitre's successor, in case a deal can not be made.  

This offense is on the brink of greatness.  We can not, we will not allow injuries nor cap realities get in the way of continuing a formidable OL.  

The offense depends on the OL.  That is the truth and we need to be prepared for anything.  

Thus, the need for a premier C/G, Max Aspin Western Kentucky. Already been interviewed. I make him a 3rd Round pick. 

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2 hours ago, RandomFan said:

While there are some people talking that way, most of what I keep seeing are people just talking about LeVitre like he's gone after 2017. Not even an attempt to lower his cap hit, negotiate an extension, etc...just gone -- which is stupid.

Im guilty of that,  and its because of the numbers, but you may be right, he may be cheap by 2018. Sure has nothing to do with his play, I thought  last year, he was arguably our second best lineman ( Mack ) and may be well worth the contract.

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If you have the cash to pay him for restructuring/extension; thereby lowering cap hit over remaining life, then great. This means you project him as your starter past age 32. Not a bad thing, hopefully Mack can be our starter for a few years and his leg heals up well. The thinking at the time was if we overpaid for a FA RG; instead of going after Poe, and thereby everyone on the OL eventually being signed to expensive contracts. Granted, in the next 2-3 years it might make them all seem like bargains.:shrug:

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16 hours ago, RandomFan said:

I see a lot of people continuing to make the assumption that LeVitre is almost a lock to be cut or released before the 2018 season due to a bit of a salary cap increase with the way his contract is structured. My question is why in the world are people so seemingly confident in assuming this? It makes very little sense to think about releasing a then 31 year old vet in 2018 that fits our scheme like a glove and was extremely solid in 2015.

First of all, his contract isn't that outrageous in 2018. HIs cap hit for this year is $6,625,000, which is the current 17th highest cap hit for an OG in 2017. For reference, the top OG cap hit for 2017 is $13,200,000. So he's making roughly half what the top paid OG is in 2017. 

In 2018 it's true his contract jumps up to $8,375,000. But even then that still only makes him the 12th highest OG cap hit for that year -- and that is before free agency starts, where he would probably get bumped farther down that list when other teams sign free agent OGs.  The top OG cap hit for that year is $12,400,00, which means he would be making only about 67.5% of what the top paid OG makes in 2018. That's hardly what I would consider an unsustainable contract number.

However, acknowledging his contract numbers for 2018 aren't that out of whack or as outrageous as some seem to make it appear, and it would be acceptable to have LeVitre return for the final year of his contract at that price, he probably wont. I don't say that to mean I think he will be released. I say that because he's more likely to get a contract extension that would end up reducing his 2018 cap hit. I'm not going to say he would end up taking a pay cut in that scenario, because he's really not overpayed right now to begin with. We're paying him an average of about $7 million per year, and that is the same for 3 years, or if he plays his 4th and final contract year of 2018 at his current salary. The money we've laid out for him is $21 million for 3 years, or $28 million for 4 years = $7M per year either way. 

But the bulk of his money in 2018 comes from a $7 million base salary, which could easily be reduced in a contract extension to lower his cap hit for 2018 if we wanted. So for everyone thinking LeVitre is a goner after this year, I say to you,

lee-corso-sucks.jpeg

 

 

Three things:  

1) You don't really have a grasp of how "up against it" the Falcons will be over the next three years with the cap.  You seem to be in the camp that the Falcons will never have to make a decision regarding the cap - the "we can keep everyone" strategy.  We are tight against cap now with a large chunk of our talent on their rookie deals.  These are the tough choices Falcons will make - Levitre is the poster child of players the Falcons can no longer keep in the out years going forward.

2) Let's talk about Levitre himself.  He was a brick before Alex Mack got to the ATL, now he has been good since then - I give him that.  He will be what ? - 33yrs old - heading into 2018 season.  Is he special? Ummmm....No

3) Levitre contract - While you can say he is 12th highest paid guard or whatever - and the $8mm/yr is reasonable or just a slight overpay - the simple truth is Levitre is not more valuable than Beasley, Jake, Poe, Debo or Neal - all guys the Falcons must start planning for.  It is possible they may want to keep Gabriel, although I doubt it - another tough choice, albeit a better and younger player than Levitre.

Falcons need to load up on offensive interior linemen in next two years drafting, and given you can get a rook on a deal making 20% of what you are paying Levitre - who could arguably play just as good or better = no brainer.

Levitre stays in 2017 and then he is a goner.  I have little doubt that's what happens.   Levitre probably has 3 yrs left in league and guys at that age also want to get all they can before making middle class money for rest of their lives

 

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15 hours ago, etherdome said:

I think that most posts talk about the need to find Levitre's successor, in case a deal can not be made.  

This offense is on the brink of greatness.  We can not, we will not allow injuries nor cap realities get in the way of continuing a formidable OL.  

The offense depends on the OL.  That is the truth and we need to be prepared for anything.  

all true...further, Falcons interior offensive line is as follows:

LG: Levitre(32)

C: Mack(33)

RG:  Open - Garland(29), Schweizer(23)

Falcons will add an offensive lineman early this year - rounds 1,2 or 3 - and in 2018, Falcons will likely draft a guard or center in rounds 1 & 2.

Not only must Falcons get cheaper in the interior OLine,  they must get younger as well.

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I don't think this is a philosophy of the message board but just how the league works.

When you got good players on Defense, and offense that are making money, cuts have to come from somewhere.

The Oline is the obvious answer. It is the one area where undrafted guys, late round picks, and 30 yr+ vets can be brought in and perform usually.

Seattle had to do it and made a mess of it. Denver has done it and it's been mixed. Similar to NE, worked out well this yr, costed them the yr before.

It's why I say we need to draft some Olinemen this yr. A couple in the later rounds and start grooming them. 

We now have a good Online but we are invested in it with high draft picks, and $$. We got to find more R. Schrader's which aren't rare. Most olines are comprised of late Rd and undrafted guys. I've said before, his replacement should've already been on the roster, and let him walk. It wasn't, so we did the right thing and re-signed him. 

Got to start getting guys like Wes, hopefully Garland, keeping them on the roster/practice squad for 2-3 yrs and get them ready to start/provide depth. Hopefully we start doing that this yr as the starters are fairly set finally. Goes back to horrible Oline drafting in previous yrs.

 

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A couple of years ago, thought Levitre's salary for this year and next was unjustifiable, but OL salaries have sky-rocketed since then. As far as finding money for Matthews, he will get a 5th year extension, and his first big contract will not come into play, until after Levitre's contract has ended. Ryan's extension comes up after Levitre's contract has expired. Beasley will get a 5th year extension, Neal will get a 5th year extension, these guys come-up way down the road.

Levitre is part of an offense that was 8th best in history, get use to the idea that he is going to be around another two seasons. His replacement will already be on board and ready to go at that time.

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3 hours ago, g-dawg said:

Three things:  

1) You don't really have a grasp of how "up against it" the Falcons will be over the next three years with the cap.  You seem to be in the camp that the Falcons will never have to make a decision regarding the cap - the "we can keep everyone" strategy.  We are tight against cap now with a large chunk of our talent on their rookie deals.  These are the tough choices Falcons will make - Levitre is the poster child of players the Falcons can no longer keep in the out years going forward.

2) Let's talk about Levitre himself.  He was a brick before Alex Mack got to the ATL, now he has been good since then - I give him that.  He will be what ? - 33yrs old - heading into 2018 season.  Is he special? Ummmm....No

3) Levitre contract - While you can say he is 12th highest paid guard or whatever - and the $8mm/yr is reasonable or just a slight overpay - the simple truth is Levitre is not more valuable than Beasley, Jake, Poe, Debo or Neal - all guys the Falcons must start planning for.  It is possible they may want to keep Gabriel, although I doubt it - another tough choice, albeit a better and younger player than Levitre.

Falcons need to load up on offensive interior linemen in next two years drafting, and given you can get a rook on a deal making 20% of what you are paying Levitre - who could arguably play just as good or better = no brainer.

Levitre stays in 2017 and then he is a goner.  I have little doubt that's what happens.   Levitre probably has 3 yrs left in league and guys at that age also want to get all they can before making middle class money for rest of their lives

 

1. I fully grasp where we are in regards to the salary cap. That's why I know LeVitre still fits, especially at a renegotiated contract extension that lowers his cap hit for 2018. The last time an OL was the poster child of players the Falcons could no longer afford was when TD released Tyson Clabo and Harvey Dahl without having viable replacements on the roster. We all remember how poorly that turned out. I would like to think TD learned a valuable lesson from that huge mistake and wont do the same stupid thing twice.

2. He was a brick before Mack got here? Hrmm, he was an All-Pro before he came here, and then didn't fit the blocking scheme change the Titans switched too. He was traded here the week of the first game, didn't have an offseason with us, and played with obvious issues in 2015 because of it. 2017 was back to the old very good LeVitre, and more reflective of the player he's been his entire career. His last season in a bad scheme fit in Tennessee and the late shoehorn into our offense in 2015 are the aberrations in his career, not his 2016 season.

Also, LeVitre will be 32 years old for the 2018 season, exact same age as Alex Mack who we just gave a huge contract too last offseason. LeVitre will have another good 2 or 3 years left in him at that point.

3. While I agree with some of the value assessments, most if just pure speculation. Especially the part of Gabriel being a better and more valuable player. Yeah, the guy that played every single snap protecting our QB is less valuable than a 3rd WR that saw the 4th most snaps of our WR corps...:rolleyes:  That is simply ridiculous.

Also, you're falling back into the trap of thinking we can't keep those players and LeVitre too. Yes, there will be tough choices on players in the years to come, but it's false to assume we know what those choices will be and who they will involve. That was my point to begin with, stop assuming LeVitre is a guaranteed goner after 2017 because we don't know that. For all we know LeVitre could go the Chris Chester route where he played his last few years with us for around $2.5m per year. Aging players don't have much contract leverage, IF we decide to try and lowball LeVitre for a renegotiation to a lower salary for 2018, none of us have an idea how that might turn out.

Again, many factors will determine if LeVitre is gone after 2017, it's not a done deal so stop pretending it is.

 

 

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I've been a very vocal advocate for drafting an OG before DE if possible. We need a year one starter if Chester's replacement comes from the draft. Levitre was a last minute gamble that has paid off great for us. He can be upgraded, but who can't be? Right now the $ allotment to OL and DL is almost equal. You have to keep it that way to be successful. Cutting Levitre won't be a viable option I'm afraid, because more than likel our play at RG is going to drop. IDT our RG will only surrender one sack this year. We will, in my opinion, still be looking for THE answer at RG next offseason. Levitre will be here until he retires or hits the wall. I hate his drive killing penalties, but the importance of OL continuity is something this board doesn't understand. We have to get younger on the OL and that means drafting unsexy this year. There will be a lot of competition brought in. We don't have our starter right now imo

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Freeman is more likely let go than Levitre.  Running backs are plentiful and can be had for a reasonable price every year. 

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2 hours ago, Herr Doktor said:

Freeman is more likely let go than Levitre.  Running backs are plentiful and can be had for a reasonable price every year. 

Dem's fightin' words right there.  :argh:  :wiggle:

Freeman better be a Falcon for life. Besides, TD already said Freeman isn't going anywhere.

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2 hours ago, RandomFan said:

Dem's fightin' words right there.  :argh:  :wiggle:

Freeman better be a Falcon for life. Besides, TD already said Freeman isn't going anywhere.

Don't get me wrong, I love free, but running backs are a dime a dozen now.  

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4 hours ago, Herr Doktor said:

Freeman is more likely let go than Levitre.  Running backs are plentiful and can be had for a reasonable price every year. 

go back and watch the video of Bucky Brooks doing a 1-on-1 interview with Thomas Dimitroff.  Bucky was asking for 3-4 traits that Falcons look for when drafting a player - passion,.positivity, urgency and a few others - and then TD said "a player like Devonta Freeman".....

So to your point.....yeah, ummmm...NO!

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On ‎4‎/‎14‎/‎2017 at 6:24 PM, RandomFan said:

While there are some people talking that way, most of what I keep seeing are people just talking about LeVitre like he's gone after 2017. Not even an attempt to lower his cap hit, negotiate an extension, etc...just gone -- which is stupid.

I agree with this post and your original. For one, yes we will have to re-sign and extend players, but the cap goes up every year. That's the reality. So economics is something that we can manage.

Also, Levitre tanked because the Bills changed schemes. He fits here and he is a good player. You're right, there are ways to lower his cap--or just play with him on his contract now which ain't bad.

Plus this just isn't a great year to draft OL. Lamp is good, but he probably will require us trading up. But the  rest are not great. And even Lamp may be overvalued due to this poor year of OL prospects.

And, for god's sake. Don't people realize there will be a draft in 2018? And in 2019? You don't have to fill every dang future hole in this one draft. This draft should be about adding playmakers and returning to the Superbowl. Get off the quantity kick and on the Quality kick. I'm watching the Patriots and they traded a first rounder for a spectacular wr; traded a fourth to add a dynamic TE in Allen (he is good); added Gilmore for a big contract and signed Burkhead. Belichik is planning for this year. That's brilliant, he knows Brady is aging and the time is now.

Matt is 31 and at his peak we need to make this our Super Bowl run period. Add serious playmaking ability and go for it.

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On 4/14/2017 at 6:42 PM, Vandy said:

You make some excellent points, OP.

Even if Schweitzer is their guy,  I feel sure they will draft another OG to cover their bases with Levitre. As long as we keep drafting well, all these perceived issues become non-issues. 

Not just draft well but develope our guys like this coaching staff does. 

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