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Falcons 2012 Salary-Cap Math, How Can They Sign Who They Need To?


theProf
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According to the latest Rapid Reports, Atlanta has 20 unsigned FAs who are on the current 53- man roster. Therefore, 33 roster players (53 total roster - 20 unsigned) are signed for the 2012 season at a total committed cap-cost of $99.7 million, according to the latest salary-cap update from Pat Yasinskas. This would be an average of slightly over $3 million salary-cap per 2012 signed player ($99.7m / 33 signed players).

The total salary-cap was $120 million for the 2011 season. I've read some projections where the estimated total salary-cap will be $125 million in 2012. Atlanta still needs to sign 20 more roster players for the 2012 season, but with only about $25.3 million ($125m 2012 estimated total - $99.7m already committed) of estimated remaining salary-cap to do so. This would average about $1.3 million ($25.3m / 20 unsigned players) per player of estimated available salary-cap for re-signings and new signings.

Some of the 20 remaining roster spots will come from the 2012 drafted rookies. However, Atlanta only has 5 draft choices for 2012. If all 5 drafted rookies make the final roster, that still leaves 15 roster spots (20 - 5) needed to be filled with FAs. These 15 FAs will come from either our own unsigned FAs or FAs from other teams, or possibly undrafted rookie FAs.

The problem is how in the world is Atlanta going to sign 15 FAs and 5 rookies with only $25.3m of available cap space? Atlanta's rookies will cost less than most teams because the Falcons don't have a #1 pick, and only 5 total picks. Let's assume that the Falcons sign its five rookie draft choices for $3.3m against the 2012 cap, or an average of $660,000 per rookie signee.

That would leave $22m ($25.3m - $3.3m estimated rookie) for 15 FA signings, or an average of almost $1.5m per FA. I still don't see how Atlanta can realisticly re-sign about 8 of its own core FAs, according to Dimitroff on the Jan 11 Conference Call, and 7 more other teams' FAs with only an estimated $22m of available salary cap. Can someone explain to me how this can be done? In other words, give me a list of 15 FAs, including our own and some from other teams, that Atlanta can sign for a total $22m against the 2012 salary-cap to finish filling out the final 53-man roster.

BTW, the latest list of Falcons unsigned FAs as follows:

Jan. 23, 2012 1:06 p.m. - by Knox Bardeen - WR Weems among Falcons free agents on offense

Atlanta has 11 potential free agents on offense, nine unrestricted: C Todd McClure, QB Chris Redman, WR Eric Weems, WR Harry Douglas, TE Michael Palmer (exclusive rights), RB Jason Snelling, RB Antone Smith (Exclusive Rights), TE Reggie Kelly, OL Kirk Chambers, C Brett Romberg and LS Joe Zelenka. Falcons RapidReports

Jan. 23, 2012 12:51 p.m. - by Knox Bardeen - Falcons have nine free agents on defense

Atlanta has nine potential free agents on defense, eight unrestricted: LB Curtis Lofton, DE John Abraham, CB Brent Grimes, S Thomas DeCoud, DE Kroy Biermann, CB Kelvin Hayden, S James Sanders, DT Vance Walker (Restricted), and LB Mike Peterson. Falcons RapidReports

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22 mil not 22.3. Keep in mind cuts as well as restructuring/extension of contracts. Baker frees up 2 mil, extending Ryan a year saves about 5 mil in cap space. Restructure Dunta to save 2 mil. So 31mil for 16 players adding in for Baker.

McClure- 1 mil cap hit

Douglas- 1.5 mil cap hit

Jared Gaither- 3 mil cap hit

Grimes- 6 mil cap hit

Michael Griffin- 4 mil hit

Abe- 5 mil hit

Lofton- 5 mil hit

Keep in mind thats cap hit and not contracts. Leaving 5.5 mil for 9 players, or 611k per. Tough but doable. Sign some undrafted players, ppl like Biermann, etc.

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You are not taking into consideration cap casualties and possible reworking old deals. Baker and Jerry would be a start. For cuts

If you cut someone under existing contract, such as Baker or Jerry, you still have to replace them with someone else. Left OTs and DTs do not come cheap, and both Baker and Jerry are still playing under their rookie contracts, which are generally much less expensive than FA contracts. You are correct that perhaps some existing Falcons contracts could be reworked to save some cap space for 2012.

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If you cut someone under existing contract, such as Baker or Jerry, you still have to replace them with someone else. Left OTs and DTs do not come cheap, and both Baker and Jerry are still playing under their rookie contracts, which are generally much less expensive than FA contracts. You are correct that perhaps some existing Falcons contracts could be reworked to save some cap space for 2012.

I've also considered to cut Babs and free up about 5 mil in cap, dude was a nonfactor last season. Replace him in FA. Cutting Jerry only frees up like 800k, not really worth it.

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Keep only 8 off those lists....impossible.

Obviously i would want to keep the best 8 players, but those are also the most expensive to re-sign.

Also, only keeping 8, i see us losing alot of quality role players that will have to replaced with draft picks or affordable unproven talent.

Not looking good capwise and our options for freeing up more cap space look worse.

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22 mil not 22.3. Keep in mind cuts as well as restructuring/extension of contracts. Baker frees up 2 mil, extending Ryan a year saves about 5 mil in cap space. Restructure Dunta to save 2 mil. So 31mil for 16 players adding in for Baker.

McClure- 1 mil cap hit

Douglas- 1.5 mil cap hit

Jared Gaither- 3 mil cap hit

Grimes- 6 mil cap hit

Michael Griffin- 4 mil hit

Abe- 5 mil hit

Lofton- 5 mil hit

Keep in mind thats cap hit and not contracts. Leaving 5.5 mil for 9 players, or 611k per. Tough but doable. Sign some undrafted players, ppl like Biermann, etc.

You are correct: it was $22m not $22.3m remaining for FAs, using my estimated numbers. I did edit the original post to $22m. Your list is fairly realistic, ASSUMING that restructuring can free-up $7m in available cap-space. Remember if you cut left OT Baker and free-up another $2m cap space, you will still have to probably replace him with another left OT, who are not cheap.

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You are correct: it was $22m not $22.3m remaining for FAs, using my estimated numbers. I did edit the original post to $22m. Your list is fairly realistic, ASSUMING that restructuring can free-up $7m in available cap-space. Remember if you cut left OT Baker and free-up another $2m cap space, you will still have to probably replace him with another left OT, who are not cheap.

I know, I'd be fine with Gaither and Svitek on the roster. And like I said and the poster above said, plenty of cheap contracts to be had.

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Keep only 8 off those lists....impossible.

Obviously i would want to keep the best 8 players, but those are also the most expensive to re-sign.

Also, only keeping 8, i see us losing alot of quality role players that will have to replaced with draft picks or affordable unproven talent.

Not looking good capwise and our options for freeing up more cap space look worse.

I think they are referring to the fact that TD made a public statement that he would probably only re-sign 8 of the 17 (UFAs)

Anyway most likely GONE (just my guess) but easily cut 7

Weems (keep Cone and give return duties to Franks)

Snelling (they let him play the FA market last year and only resigned him to 1 year + Nance)

Kelly (they signed Winterswyk and Gallarda as blocking TEs

Chambers (A. Jackson back from IR)

Romberg ( Hawley backup McClure and M Johnson at G)

Hayden (Walls takes his place)

Sanders (?????)

Edited by delaigle
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Also Palmer and A. Smith are Exclusive Rights FA

and V Walker is a restricted FA

so the cost to re-sign them (if they are re-signed) will be minimum

so 15 -3

it's now down to 12

Thanks for the input, you are correct. The Falcons can pretty much pay the two exclusive right FAs the minimum player salary. However, wouldn't restricted FA Walker have to be payed a four-year vet minimum?

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Thanks for the input, you are correct. The Falcons can pretty much pay the two exclusive right FAs the minimum player salary. However, wouldn't restricted FA Walker have to be payed a four-year vet minimum?

I did some research about 2011 minimum player salaries under the new CBA agreement as follows:

"The minimum salaries for NFL players have increased by $55,000 across the board. For 2011, that means rookies will get $375,000. Players with one year of service get $450,000. Two years of service will push the minimum to $525,000.

Players with three years of service will make a minimum of $600,000. For players with four to six years of service, the minimum salary is $685,000. Seven to nine, $810,000.

For players with 10 years or more of service, the minimum salary is $910,000."

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/07/25/minimum-salaries-shoot-up-under-new-deal/

I'm not sure what the 2012 minimum player salaries will be.

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Thanks for the input, you are correct. The Falcons can pretty much pay the two exclusive right FAs the minimum player salary. However, wouldn't restricted FA Walker have to be payed a four-year vet minimum?

Yes a 4th year player and That's why I had (if they re-sign them) included

Edited by delaigle
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I'm amazed how the patriots make it work with career backups, undrafted free agents and project players, Look at the guy who knocked the ball out of Evans hands in the playoff games, 3 career starts up to that point

Walls and franks. Time to step up

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I've also considered to cut Babs and free up about 5 mil in cap, dude was a nonfactor last season. Replace him in FA. Cutting Jerry only frees up like 800k, not really worth it.

Babs 2012 cap hit is scheduled to be $5.7 million ($4.1m base salary + $1.6m prorated bonus). If Babs were to be cut, then the 2012 cap savings would be $4.1m, because he would still have remaining one year of dead-money prorated bonus of $1.6m.

http://www.spotrac.c...than-babineaux/

Jerry's cap hit for 2012 is scheduled to be $845,000, with no prorated bonus.

http://www.spotrac.c...ns/peria-jerry/

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Yeah, about what I thought. 5.7 mil is a lot to pay Babs if he is going to play this season like he did last season, we could probably get an upgrade in FA for the same price if not save a little. As much of a non-factor as Jerry has been, for only 845k I think it's worth it to keep him on one more year.

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Jerry's cap hit for 2012 is scheduled to be $845,000, with no prorated bonus.

http://www.spotrac.c...ns/peria-jerry/

According to Jeff Schultz's AJC article today, Jerry's 2012 cap hit is scheduled to be $1.95 million. Evidently there must be some type of 2012 roster bonus in the neighborhood of $1.1m in Jerry's contract, because its not a prorated signing bonus. Thus, cutting Jerry would save almost $2 million against the 2012 salary-cap. Thanks to 74ice for a link to the Schultz AJC article. An excerpt from the article as follows:

" Mistake No. 2. Defensive tackle Peria Jerry: He was the Falcons’ first-round pick (24th overall) in 2009, getting a five-year, $10.35 million contract with $7.55 million guaranteed. He has two sacks in three seasons and, also partly because of injuries, he just hasn’t been good enough to make an impact and win a starting job. Jerry’s base salary next season is only $845,000, though he carries a cap hit of $1.95 million. Money’s really not the issue. It’s more like: How long can the Falcons wait? More than likely, they’ll see if they can do better in the offseason before making a decision. Tough call: Stall."

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22 mil not 22.3. Keep in mind cuts as well as restructuring/extension of contracts. Baker frees up 2 mil, extending Ryan a year saves about 5 mil in cap space. Restructure Dunta to save 2 mil.

According to the Jeff Schultz AJC article today, cutting Baker would save Atlanta $3.7m in 2012 salary-cap hit as follows:

"Baker has one year left on his contract at $2.576,250. With option bonuses, his cap hit next year actually would be $3.7 million."

http://blogs.ajc.com...ff_schultz_blog

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