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Where Do We Really Stand Salary Cap Wise? We're Better Off Than It Appears On Paper


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This is the salary cap space of the 12 playoff teams last year.

Atlanta: $6,037,809

Baltimore: $4,789,971

Cincinnati: $38,975,674

Denver: $40,090,437

Detroit: $13,033,733

Green Bay: $7,254,316

Houston: $8,799,012

New England: $13,667,715

New Orleans: $3,074,058

New York Giants: $2,367,050

Pittsburgh: $5,887,988

San Francisco: $23,577,592

Only the 49ers, Broncos and Cincy have significant cap space.

Lets see how some of these teams even got their cap space though.

Houston: $8,799,012 - How'd they get here? They restructured Andre Johnsons contract this year making his base salary 700k for the season reducing his cap hit from almost 10 mil to almost 5 mil. After this season his cap hit jumps to over 10 mil for the rest of his contract.

They released their pro bowl tackle Eric Winston. They lost their best defender in Mario Williams. I think it's safe to say that they took a step backwards. Next season they have two high priced FA's to sign in Schaub and Conner Barwin.

Detroit: $13,033,733 - Just resigned Megatron reducing his cap hit to 9 mil from almost 17 mil. This one move is the only reason they have any cap space at all. They are going to be hurting next year. They will have TWENTY free agents including Cliff Avril, Chris Houston, Corey Williams, Alphonso Smith, and Louis Delmas. They have a LOT of work to do.

New Orleans: $3,074,058 - Drew Brees is eventually going to rape whatever cap room they have left. They lost their pro bowl RG Carl Nicks, lost Meachem. It's safe to say we are in a better situation than the Saints right now.

Pittsburgh: $5,887,988 - They are in cap ****. They had to release James Farrior, Hines Ward, Chris Kemoutu, Aaron Smith, and Bryant McFadden. They also had to restructure Big Ben, Willie Colon and Casey Hampton just to have 6 mil in cap space. They still have to resign Mike Wallace too. We are easily in a better place than the Steelers right now. They just lost 4 starters on defense.

Atlanta: $6,037,809 - Only significant loss is going to be Lofton, The only FA's we have next year that we must keep is William Moore. TG's 6 mil is coming off the books. 2 mil in dead cap space from Busterson and Jenkins is coming off the books. Ryan is likely to resign dropping his cap hit significantly, Ovies 3 mil salary comes off the books, Sam Bakers 2.5 mil comes off the books and he's a FA. That alone makes me happy. Brent Grimes should be resigned by then. I can't see Turner playing at an 8 mil cap hit next year so he could be gone.

So next year TG's 6 mil + 2 mil dead space + 3 mil from Ovie + 2.5 from Baker. That's 13.5 mil in cap space and the only hole created is TE and possibly FB. If Turner gets cut and Ryan and Grimes resign that number could jump significantly and I suspect that it will.

Just looking at this makes me happy with what TD has done. He's kept us where we are at without having to break the bank or go through salary cap **** to do so.

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good read. Do you have a list of who all will be a FA after next season, or are you just saying Moore is the only one out of them you would want to keep?

Tony Gonzalez TE UFA Atlanta TBD -- Brent Grimes CB UFA Atlanta TBD -- Spencer Adkins LB UFA Atlanta TBD -- Sam Baker T UFA Atlanta TBD -- Mike Cox FB UFA Atlanta TBD -- William Moore S UFA Atlanta TBD -- Ovie Mughelli RB UFA Atlanta TBD -- Christopher Owens CB UFA Atlanta TBD -- Michael Palmer TE RFA Atlanta TBD -- Garrett Reynolds T UFA Atlanta TBD -- Lawrence Sidbury DE UFA Atlanta TBD -- Antoine Smith RB RFA Atlanta TBD -- Will Svitek T UFA Atlanta TBD -- Vance Walker DT RFA Atlanta TBD --

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Nice thread, thanks for posting.

Too many people looking at the lack of cap money this year and claiming TD is doing a bad job. You can't just look at our cap space this year to determine if TD is doing a good job. The future is more important IMO and our cap future looks great.

We haven't had any significant restructures, we haven't pushed a ton of money into future years, we have tons of money coming off the books next year ect...it

Edited by JulioisCoolio
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This is the salary cap space of the 12 playoff teams last year.

Atlanta: $6,037,809

Baltimore: $4,789,971

Cincinnati: $38,975,674

Denver: $40,090,437

Detroit: $13,033,733

Green Bay: $7,254,316

Houston: $8,799,012

New England: $13,667,715

New Orleans: $3,074,058

New York Giants: $2,367,050

Pittsburgh: $5,887,988

San Francisco: $23,577,592

Only the 49ers, Broncos and Cincy have significant cap space.

Lets see how some of these teams even got their cap space though.

Houston: $8,799,012 - How'd they get here? They restructured Andre Johnsons contract this year making his base salary 700k for the season reducing his cap hit from almost 10 mil to almost 5 mil. After this season his cap hit jumps to over 10 mil for the rest of his contract.

They released their pro bowl tackle Eric Winston. They lost their best defender in Mario Williams. I think it's safe to say that they took a step backwards. Next season they have two high priced FA's to sign in Schaub and Conner Barwin.

Detroit: $13,033,733 - Just resigned Megatron reducing his cap hit to 9 mil from almost 17 mil. This one move is the only reason they have any cap space at all. They are going to be hurting next year. They will have TWENTY free agents including Cliff Avril, Chris Houston, Corey Williams, Alphonso Smith, and Louis Delmas. They have a LOT of work to do.

New Orleans: $3,074,058 - Drew Brees is eventually going to rape whatever cap room they have left. They lost their pro bowl RG Carl Nicks, lost Meachem. It's safe to say we are in a better situation than the Saints right now.

Pittsburgh: $5,887,988 - They are in cap ****. They had to release James Farrior, Hines Ward, Chris Kemoutu, Aaron Smith, and Bryant McFadden. They also had to restructure Big Ben, Willie Colon and Casey Hampton just to have 6 mil in cap space. They still have to resign Mike Wallace too. We are easily in a better place than the Steelers right now. They just lost 4 starters on defense.

Atlanta: $6,037,809 - Only significant loss is going to be Lofton, The only FA's we have next year that we must keep is William Moore. TG's 6 mil is coming off the books. 2 mil in dead cap space from Busterson and Jenkins is coming off the books. Ryan is likely to resign dropping his cap hit significantly, Ovies 3 mil salary comes off the books, Sam Bakers 2.5 mil comes off the books and he's a FA. That alone makes me happy. Brent Grimes should be resigned by then. I can't see Turner playing at an 8 mil cap hit next year so he could be gone.

So next year TG's 6 mil + 2 mil dead space + 3 mil from Ovie + 2.5 from Baker. That's 13.5 mil in cap space and the only hole created is TE and possibly FB. If Turner gets cut and Ryan and Grimes resign that number could jump significantly and I suspect that it will.

Just looking at this makes me happy with what TD has done. He's kept us where we are at without having to break the bank or go through salary cap **** to do so.

Thanks for this. Good read. I have been so caught up in this years cap situation that I completely forgot about next years FAs. It will also be nice to have a 1st round pick next year, too.

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Too many people looking at the lack of cap money this year and claiming TD is doing a bad job. You can't just look at our cap space this year to determine if TD is doing a good job. The future is more important IMO and our cap future looks great.

We haven't had any significant restructures, we haven't pushed a ton of money into future years, we have tons of money coming off the books next year ect...it

Oh yeah, I don't post very often, but it should be well documented that I have no issue with how this team is being run since the new regime took over. I had a good idea about how TD was working the cap, but nothing close to this kind of detail. You have to balance the budget man, and it seems he's doing that while keeping us competitive since day one. Fricken miracle work if you ask me... Good news is that the cap is suppose to get bigger too.(maybe next year?) Thanks again.

Edited by Bob Ðigital
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Oh yeah, I don't post very often, but it should be well documented that I have no issue with how this team is being run since the new regime took over. I had a good idea about how TD was working the cap, but nothing close to this kind of detail. You have to balance the budget man, and it seems he's doing that while keeping us competitive since day one. Fricken miracle work if you ask me... Good news is that the cap is suppose to get bigger too.(maybe next year?) Thanks again.

No problem. I like looking up info like this. It truly gives you an idea of where a team is headed. I'm going to look up all of our 2013 cap hits to see exactly where we are here in a little bit.

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This is the salary cap space of the 12 playoff teams last year.

Atlanta: $6,037,809

Baltimore: $4,789,971

Cincinnati: $38,975,674

Denver: $40,090,437

Detroit: $13,033,733

Green Bay: $7,254,316

Houston: $8,799,012

New England: $13,667,715

New Orleans: $3,074,058

New York Giants: $2,367,050

Pittsburgh: $5,887,988

San Francisco: $23,577,592

Only the 49ers, Broncos and Cincy have significant cap space.

Lets see how some of these teams even got their cap space though.

Houston: $8,799,012 - How'd they get here? They restructured Andre Johnsons contract this year making his base salary 700k for the season reducing his cap hit from almost 10 mil to almost 5 mil. After this season his cap hit jumps to over 10 mil for the rest of his contract.

They released their pro bowl tackle Eric Winston. They lost their best defender in Mario Williams. I think it's safe to say that they took a step backwards. Next season they have two high priced FA's to sign in Schaub and Conner Barwin.

Detroit: $13,033,733 - Just resigned Megatron reducing his cap hit to 9 mil from almost 17 mil. This one move is the only reason they have any cap space at all. They are going to be hurting next year. They will have TWENTY free agents including Cliff Avril, Chris Houston, Corey Williams, Alphonso Smith, and Louis Delmas. They have a LOT of work to do.

New Orleans: $3,074,058 - Drew Brees is eventually going to rape whatever cap room they have left. They lost their pro bowl RG Carl Nicks, lost Meachem. It's safe to say we are in a better situation than the Saints right now.

Pittsburgh: $5,887,988 - They are in cap ****. They had to release James Farrior, Hines Ward, Chris Kemoutu, Aaron Smith, and Bryant McFadden. They also had to restructure Big Ben, Willie Colon and Casey Hampton just to have 6 mil in cap space. They still have to resign Mike Wallace too. We are easily in a better place than the Steelers right now. They just lost 4 starters on defense.

Atlanta: $6,037,809 - Only significant loss is going to be Lofton, The only FA's we have next year that we must keep is William Moore. TG's 6 mil is coming off the books. 2 mil in dead cap space from Busterson and Jenkins is coming off the books. Ryan is likely to resign dropping his cap hit significantly, Ovies 3 mil salary comes off the books, Sam Bakers 2.5 mil comes off the books and he's a FA. That alone makes me happy. Brent Grimes should be resigned by then. I can't see Turner playing at an 8 mil cap hit next year so he could be gone.

So next year TG's 6 mil + 2 mil dead space + 3 mil from Ovie + 2.5 from Baker. That's 13.5 mil in cap space and the only hole created is TE and possibly FB. If Turner gets cut and Ryan and Grimes resign that number could jump significantly and I suspect that it will.

Just looking at this makes me happy with what TD has done. He's kept us where we are at without having to break the bank or go through salary cap **** to do so.

You also have to factor the cap is expected to jump 15 - 25 million per team next year when the new TV deal hits . With the projected defections it's entirely possible that we wind up with 30 - 40 million in cap space next year .

Also LOL at some of the people thinking we should be more like the Steelers .

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2013 cap hits as of now

Matt Ryan - 11.5 mil

Roddy White - 9 mil

Dunta - 9.4 mil

Turner - 8 mil

Babineaux - 6.4 mil

Edwards - 7.7 mil

Clabo - 6.7 mil

Blalock - 6.8 mil

Nicholas - 2 mil

Bryant - 2.4 mil

Decoud - 2.5 mil

Julio - 4.4 mil

Biermann - 3.4 mil

Jerry - 795k

Weatherspoon - 1.1 mil

Snelling - 1.2 mil

Tatupu - 2.5 mi

Douglas - 2 mil(ish)

Abe - 5-6 mil? Dunno yet.

12 more players @ around 600k 600kx12=7.2 mil

Free Agents

Tony Gonzalez TE UFA Atlanta TBD -- Brent Grimes CB UFA Atlanta TBD -- Spencer Adkins LB UFA Atlanta TBD -- Sam Baker T UFA Atlanta TBD -- Mike Cox FB UFA Atlanta TBD -- William Moore S UFA Atlanta TBD -- Ovie Mughelli RB UFA Atlanta TBD -- Christopher Owens CB UFA Atlanta TBD -- Michael Palmer TE RFA Atlanta TBD -- Garrett Reynolds T UFA Atlanta TBD -- Lawrence Sidbury DE UFA Atlanta TBD -- Antoine Smith RB RFA Atlanta TBD -- Will Svitek T UFA Atlanta TBD -- Vance Walker DT RFA Atlanta TBD --

Current 2013 cap number - 101 mil. This would put us @ 19 mil under the cap for next year as of right now with Grimes being the only significant resigning.

Matt Ryans cap hit will more than likey go down as he's resigned. Cutting Turner would give us 5.5 mil so we can easily have a LOT of cap space next year.

Edited by JulioisCoolio
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2013 cap hits as of now

Matt Ryan - 11.5 mil

Roddy White - 9 mil

Dunta - 9.4 mil

Turner - 8 mil

Babineaux - 6.4 mil

Edwards - 7.7 mil

Clabo - 6.7 mil

Blalock - 6.8 mil

Nicholas - 2 mil

Bryant - 2.4 mil

Decoud - 2.5 mil

Julio - 4.4 mil

Biermann - 3.4 mil

Jerry - 795k

Weatherspoon - 1.1 mil

Snelling - 1.2 mil

Tatupu - 2.5 mi

Douglas - 2 mil(ish)

Abe - 5-6 mil? Dunno yet.

12 more players @ around 600k 600kx12=7.2 mil

Free Agents

Tony Gonzalez TE UFA Atlanta TBD -- Brent Grimes CB UFA Atlanta TBD -- Spencer Adkins LB UFA Atlanta TBD -- Sam Baker T UFA Atlanta TBD -- Mike Cox FB UFA Atlanta TBD -- William Moore S UFA Atlanta TBD -- Ovie Mughelli RB UFA Atlanta TBD -- Christopher Owens CB UFA Atlanta TBD -- Michael Palmer TE RFA Atlanta TBD -- Garrett Reynolds T UFA Atlanta TBD -- Lawrence Sidbury DE UFA Atlanta TBD -- Antoine Smith RB RFA Atlanta TBD -- Will Svitek T UFA Atlanta TBD -- Vance Walker DT RFA Atlanta TBD --

Current 2013 cap number - 101 mil. This would put us @ 19 mil under the cap for next year as of right now.

Yes, and with the expected jump in cap space we should be sitting pretty . However , with the increase in cap space comes the rule of teams having to spend 90 % of their budget on player salaries .

So it looks like we are going to be active again next year as well .

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Guest Gritz

Thanks. Trying to show people that we aren't in near as bad of a place that some people think we are in. We have no cap 'h3ll' in our future currently. The 4 teams I mentioned in the initial post certainly do. Pitt is going through it now.

Yeah, even though it might feel like we're just kind of "treading water" right now we're actually putting ourself in position to have a fairly good amount of flexibility in the next 2-4 years, especially if Ryan restructures and the anticipated TV contract money raises the cap (2013?).

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We had 6,037,809 in cap space as of thursaday. On friday, we re-signed Abraham. When you ask a guy that made 8 mil last year to accept 7 mil over the next three years I'm pretty sure its 6,037.809 mil this year and the remainder over the next two years, not 1 mil this year and 10 mil in 2013 and 2014.

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Yeah, even though it might feel like we're just kind of "treading water" right now we're actually putting ourself in position to have a fairly good amount of flexibility in the next 2-4 years, especially if Ryan restructures and the anticipated TV contract money raises the cap (2013?).

I noticed that most, if not all, of our high dollar contracts hit their peak cap space next year too. Duntas hit maxes out and so does Roddys.

I feel like we are losing Turner after this year. No way he plays for 8 mil next year. That is a significant amount of cap space. 5.5 mil if we cut him right there.

Just from cutting Turner we could have around 24 mil in cap space next year and we'd only need starters @ SS, LT (possibly), CB and RB. I think we're in a really good spot now that I've looked at it a little closer.

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Here's where I think many get confused. A lot of posters think that having a large amount of cap space is a sign of good cap management. Not true. Not true at all.

Say you get $10 a day to eat, and you only spend $7. The thing is, you can't carry that extra $3 over to the next day. The next day, you still only get $10 to eat. This means that the previous day when you only spent $7, you did not maximize the amount of funds you had at your disposal.

That's a very simplistic way to look at the salary cap. A team's goal is to have just enough to sign the players they want to sign with a bit left over in case of an emergency signing (like if a player gets hurt and a replacement is needed). If you have to cut players to sign the ones you most value, that's not really a good thing. Just like, if at the end of the day you have too much money left under the cap, that shows a lack of maximizing one's budget.

I'd say that our FO has been terrific at managing it's salary over the past few years.

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We had 6,037,809 in cap space as of thursaday. On friday, we re-signed Abraham. When you ask a guy that made 8 mil last year to accept 7 mil over the next three years I'm pretty sure its 6,037.809 mil this year and the remainder over the next two years, not 1 mil this year and 10 mil in 2013 and 2014.

You do know how signing bonuses work, right? I'm not trying to be rude or condecending, but judging by this and some of your past posts, it doesn't seem that you understand.

Let me see if I can give you an example...

We could have paid Abe a full $10 million this year, with $9 million in the form of a signing bonus and $1 million as a base salary. His salary cap hit, the amount he's costing us on the books, would only be $4 million. That would leave us close to $3 million under the cap where it currently stands while Abe get to take home a full $10 million to the bank.

His next year's base salary could be $1 million and his cap would again be $4 million.

Then, year 3 his base salary would jump to $10 million and his cap hit would be $13 million. And that's when we'd cut him (only costing us a cap hit of $3 million).

The point is - there are an infinite ways to structure his contract to average $7 million per season without actually having to pay him anywhere near that amount (or at the very least have that amount count against our cap).

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We had 6,037,809 in cap space as of thursaday. On friday, we re-signed Abraham. When you ask a guy that made 8 mil last year to accept 7 mil over the next three years I'm pretty sure its 6,037.809 mil this year and the remainder over the next two years, not 1 mil this year and 10 mil in 2013 and 2014.

Well you must be wrong, unless we plan to pay our draft picks and practice squad players in skittles. We must leave enough to sign the draft, ps, and plan for injuries. Also, you must leave room in the cap for incentives, they count against it. The only way Abe would have got that much is if they already planned to cut some players.

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