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Levitre Restructured


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Yes, he would have gotten less - bust the last two years and does not fit the blocking scheme of about 20/32 NFL teams out there.

g-dawg, you know I respect you as a poster, but you making that claim and it being true are two way different things.

Teams are desperate for Oline help, he could easily have started a bidding war between two or three teams and his salary is right back to 5+ mil.

And, he didn't have to come here if he was cut. Even if he is overpaid a bit this year, who cares- plenty of cap room and that was the only way to make sure he was here.

Levitre traded a possible 4 mil later for a guaranteed .5 mil now. Falcons got more flexibility this year, an easy cut if need be and a cheaper deal if Levitre kicks butt. Don't see anything wrong with it for either side.

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Incorrect.

Levitre has more guaranteed money now than before the restructure. Levitre could have been cut with no ramifications before the restructure and no money owed.

At this point your just being obstinate.

What are the odds the Falcons were going to cut Levitre this week ? To even think they would is beyond moronic.

First game is Monday, that means first game check. So if he's not cut this week we're paying him every game weeks percentage of his 6.5 million dollar contract. So no we weren't going to cut him with no money owed. Do you think we're going to cut him by week 8 ? How about week 10 ? You think when Holmes comes off the PUP list we might cut him ?

I would be willing to bet we don't cut him before the season is over if we cut him then. So now it's a difference of paying his full 6.5 million dollars as part of this years cap or spreading it out and rolling over the excess cap from this year to next year. We opted to go with the latter and lower the cap hit for the next 3 years if he is here.

That's smart cap management, your way means we trade a 6th for a player and then cut him 2 weeks later before he ever plays a game.

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But his cap hit this year would have been horrendous. I'm totally on board with this restructure.

But what difference does it make? if we had enough monies under the cap this year - we had enough - are we adding more players this year? once the season starts, does not really matter the cap hit, right?

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At this point your just being obstinate.

What are the odds the Falcons were going to cut Levitre this week ? To even think they would is beyond moronic.

First game is Monday, that means first game check. So if he's not cut this week we're paying him every game weeks percentage of his 6.5 million dollar contract. So no we weren't going to cut him with no money owed. Do you think we're going to cut him by week 8 ? How about week 10 ? You think when Holmes comes off the PUP list we might cut him ?

I would be willing to bet we don't cut him before the season is over if we cut him then. So now it's a difference of paying his full 6.5 million dollars as part of this years cap or spreading it out and rolling over the excess cap from this year to next year. We opted to go with the latter and lower the cap hit for the next 3 years if he is here.

That's smart cap management, your way means we trade a 6th for a player and then cut him 2 weeks later before he ever plays a game.

the point I have been making consistently is the restructure was only ever so slightly better than the original deal - Levitre was grossly overpaid before the re-structure and he is grossly overpaid after the re-structure. Anyone painting it as BRILLIANT or anything close to it is simply incorrect. The restructure is just marginally better than the original deal and it is over market.

I have never said peep about cutting Levitre - we would not trade a 6th round pick if we were going to cut him - that (cutting Levitre) is a red herring and has nothing to do with any point I have made.

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The Atlanta Falcons acquired veteran left guard Andy Levitre in a trade with Tennessee last week. Initially, it appeared they also acquired a hefty contract, with Levitre due base salaries of $6.5 million the next three seasons and $5.8 million in 2018.



But as ESPN Insider Field Yates reported Wednesday, the Falcons and Levitre agreed upon a restructured contract once the trade was finalized. Levitre is now due $23.25 million through '18 instead of $27.3 million. Levitre received a $5.5 million signing bonus and has a base salary of $1.5 million this season. And none of his money is guaranteed beyond this season.



Levitre's base salaries are the following: $1.5 million ('15), $4 million ('16), $5.25 million ('17), and $7 million ('18). The $2 million roster bonus he had on his contract for '18 was eliminated.



Levitre had the highest 2015 cap number of all the offensive linemen prior to the restructure at $6.5 million. Now, his cap number for this season is $2.875 million, below both injured right guard Jon Asamoah ($3,768,750) and starting left tackle Jake Matthews ($3,733,977). Starting right guard Chris Chester ($2.8 million) is right below Levitre.



The Falcons traded a sixth-round draft pick in 2016 and a future conditional pick to the Titans for Levitre.

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What is the logic of taking this year's base salary and converting it to a signing bonus, meaning that we have dead money when he gets cut in future? We have enough cap room this year, so it's not as if we needed the cap space to take on his contract.

The only reason I can think of, is that he wanted us to structure it that way, so that the dead money acts as a disincentive for us to cut him in future years - making it more likely that he will see the future years of the contract. Does that make sense, or is there some other reason that I am overlooking?

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This restructure isn't a coup or anything but it does mean if Levitre performs well this year, we can keep him for a slightly more realistic figure without having to risk losing him.

Considering he'll never reach the 2018 salary of 7 mill, we essentially paid Levitre $500,000 to sign a 3-year, $16.25 contract (avg of $5.4 mill, $7 mill guaranteed).

There are several things we don't know about this situation (listed below) and we really didn't have much leverage in these dealings. As such, I think the restructure was fair to both sides.

1) We don't know if another team was looking to trade for Levitre - he may never have been released

2) If he "was" released, could we have gotten him? What could we have gotten him for? It's hard to say. It would have been a big risk considering our current left guard options

3) If he plays well in 2015 and we did NOT restructure, we would either have to continue paying him his high salary or risk releasing him and losing him to the open market. Levitre is probably confident in his abilities (especially now that he's healthy and in a Zone Blocking scheme again). He's not going to come down much on his previous salary at this point. Usually guys making the big bucks need to have a bit of an open-market wake up call before they'll back down on their demands.

Edited by Mekias
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What is the logic of taking this year's base salary and converting it to a signing bonus, meaning that we have dead money when he gets cut in future? We have enough cap room this year, so it's not as if we needed the cap space to take on his contract.

The only reason I can think of, is that he wanted us to structure it that way, so that the dead money acts as a disincentive for us to cut him in future years - making it more likely that he will see the future years of the contract. Does that make sense, or is there some other reason that I am overlooking?

We essentially paid an extra $500,000 to defer the cap hit from this year and keep Levitre from hitting the open market. The extra cap money we have from this year rolls over to next year if it's not used so we won't lose it if we don't use it.

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I don't get how this restructure is some act of genius? Levitre was scheduled to make $6.5mm/yr and the average per year goes down $1mm/yr when he was overpaid per his mkt. value by probably $2-3mm/yr.

When Falcons took the contract in the trade, the trading team (Titans) assumed all the dead money so there was no dead money. Now, with the restructure, we lowered Levitre's cap hit but he us still getting basucally same cash money this year and about $5.75mm/yr on average.

Falcons sucked in this negotiation - no other team would have given him this much money. If he would have gotten cut, he would have been lucky to get the $4.5mm that Evan Mathis got.

Lol come on g dawg. It was a solid trade for a decent player at a huge position of need with minimal risk. If it where a bad trade you would be using it as a chance to bash td. Give the decent move some fair credit.
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Lol come on g dawg. It was a solid trade for a decent player at a huge position of need with minimal risk. If it where a bad trade you would be using it as a chance to bash td. Give the decent move some fair credit.

The trade was good but I am able to separate the trade from the money aspect.

Trade grade: B+

Restructure Grade: C-

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We essentially paid an extra $500,000 to defer the cap hit from this year and keep Levitre from hitting the open market. The extra cap money we have from this year rolls over to next year if it's not used so we won't lose it if we don't use it.

... But we didn't need to defer the hit. We could have given him the extra $500k and paid the whole $7m as base salary to get it off the books, rather than deferring money. I am just wonder why we didn't do so? It has obviously been done for a reason.

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... But we didn't need to defer the hit. We could have given him the extra $500k and paid the whole $7m as base salary to get it off the books, rather than deferring money. I am just wonder why we didn't do so? It has obviously been done for a reason.

Maybe, like suggested above, Falcons are earmarking those monies for a 1yr deal for Jake Long.

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The thing that makes this deal good is not the signing bonus. All that does is take money that we were going to pay this year, guarantee it, and then spread it out over the remainder of his deal. We still pay it, just not right now.

The thing that makes this deal good is that we lowered his remaining base salaries.

2016: 6.5 to 4

2017: 6.5 to 5.25

2018:5.8 to 7

2018 is raised, but the overall money across the entire contract is now less.

Exactly right. But it seems a lot of people still aren't seeing the big picture. In this post I'm going to ingnore the fictional argument of we might have been able to sign him to a cheaper deal if we had just let the Titans cut him, for a few reasons. First, that is pure speculation that can't be proven one way or another. And second, that wrongly assumes we would have been his preferred destination, which once again can't be proven one way or another. So seeing how that argument is pointless, lets concentrate on the facts and their implications.

What is the logic of taking this year's base salary and converting it to a signing bonus, meaning that we have dead money when he gets cut in future? We have enough cap room this year, so it's not as if we needed the cap space to take on his contract.

The only reason I can think of, is that he wanted us to structure it that way, so that the dead money acts as a disincentive for us to cut him in future years - making it more likely that he will see the future years of the contract. Does that make sense, or is there some other reason that I am overlooking?

The reason is because if the Falcons want to get something, they have to also give something in return. The Falcons wanted to lower the cost of his total contract, but the tradeoff for Levitre agreeing to do that is to move some of that money to a guaranteed signing bonus now. Levitre is now due $23.25 million through '18 instead of $27.3 million. So we saved $4.05 million on the total cost of the contract, but in order to do that we had to give some of that money to Levitre up front in case he gets released or injured in the future. It does also serve as a mild disincentive for us to cut him, as you suggest. But not to a large degree. However, it also tells Levitre as long as he performs up to expectations, then we do intend for this to be more than just a 1 year rental. It gives him some hope for a few years of job security if he plays well enough.

Now lets look at some more of the math:

There is definitely a cap hit if he gets cut before he plays out the full term of the contract. The $5.5M signing bonus gets spread over the 4 year deal ($1.375M per year). If he's cut after the 2015 season, the remaining years of $1.375M per year count as dead money against the cap, so it would be $1.375M x 3 = $4.125M dead money cap hit in 2016

http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/atlanta-falcons/andy-levitre/

That is correct. Yes, he now has guaranteed money on the cap over the 4 years of his contract in the form of a signing bonus that would have to be counted as dead money if he is cut at any point. However, a lot of folks seem to be missing the fact that he was already due to be paid $6.5M this year. His current cap hit is $2.875M, and his total compensation for this year is $7M.

For arguments sake, lets say Levitre plays terribly this year and gets cut after the 2015 season. That would then accelerate his remaining signing bonus of $ 4.125M into a cap hit on our 2016 cap. This translates into the following:

  • With no restructuring and cut after one year, we were guaranteed to pay him $6.5M already.
  • With restructuring and cut after one year, we would pay him a total of $7M. Or $500k more.

Again, this is part of the tradeoff arrangement. Levitre gets $500k more guaranteed for restructuring his contract for us. We can still cut him after 1 year for only $500k more than before the restructuring. So yes, he is still on a 1 year prove-it deal because we're only on the hook for $500k more than we would have been anyway.

You can argue that all this does is kick the can down the road and we'll have to pay it later. Or why not just absord his big cap hit this year since we have plenty of cap space. There is a major reason I'm coming too, but also keep in mind that our cap space rolls over from year to year. The cap space we don't use this year, we don't lose it. It is added to our cap space next year. So the absorbing it all right now argument is a moot point. Remember, the incentive for Levitre to restructure and lower his total contract was so he could get some guaranteed money now. You can't do that without allowing for a signing bonus cap hit that will be spread over the life of the contract.

The big point that I haven't seen mentioned yet relates to the final year of how his new contract is structured. Do you know how when you hear over the years about these big 6 and 7 year contracts with extravegant money that just seems ridiculous? And then some talking head comes on TV talking about how this 7 year contract is really structured as a 4 year contract that will have to be renegotiated after those 4 years because of how much the contract balloons in price then?

Look at the final year of Levitre's contract. He has a non-guaranteed salary of $7M and an additional signing bonus charge of $1.375M, for a total cap hit of 8.375M. He will be 32 years old at the start of that season. I highly doubt we are going into that season with him under that cap hit. He will either be released that offseason, which would save us $7M against the cap, or he will have his salary reduced/restructured if he is still playing well enough to warrant it.

So instead of a 4 year contract for $23.25M, what we are really looking at, at most, is a 3 year contract for $16.25M - which includes the final year's cap hit of $1.375M.

This translates into an average salary of $5.42M over 3 years. Which will end when Levitre is 31 years old. Before the restructuring, he was scheduled to average $6.825M per season.

That translates into an annual savings of $1.405M. And THAT is what the restructuring was all about. Those are pretty substantial results.

And now that those facts are laid out, a little bit of speculation on my part: I'm fairly certain that a handshake agreement was reached between the Falcons and Levitre to restructure his contract before the trade was consumated. As McClure pionted out on day 1 of this trade to expect a restructuring of the contract. I imagine he was relaying what he'd heard from someone on the Falcons staff, that a restructure was already being negotiated. That is pure speculation, but I can't imagine a different scenario from a front office as fiscally responsible as ours.

EDIT - while I was busy typing this up I see Mekias posted some of the things I included in here. So kudos to Mekias for being the 1st person to talk about the contract really being a 3 year deal instead of 4.

Edited by RandomFan
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We might have to restructure Levitre next year too as his cap hit next year is $7.5 million (ouch).

Chester is on a one year deal so next year the starting OGs might be Levitre and Aso.

The Spotrac numbers seem to be wrong. 2016-2018 are still from his old contract. If he plays out the contract, the current cap hits are:

2015 - 2,875,000

2016 - 5,375,000

2017 - 6,625,000

2018 - 8,375,000

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Carryover money is king...

Exactly, Having money available under the cap is like a rainy-day fund or, in financial terms, "cash-on-hand". At any time we can use it to make a push, whether that be this year, next year or whatever. We didn't just defer most of Levitre's 2015 salary for one year, we deferred it multiple years. That means more "cash-on-hand" for the next several years. If we see big progress from our players this year and think we have a great chance at the Superbowl next year, that extra cash allows the Falcons to go above and beyond the 2016 cap to make a run at the trophy.

Edited by Mekias
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Simply a garbage response, Gazoo. We needed the player, that much is true - but literally making no effort to secure a better deal is silly. The job of the GM is both player acquisition and minding the store on the cost. If the Falcons are so desperate that we overpay players so dramatically to acquire services, that is an even more dayuming indictment of the GM.

GM doesn't control injuries. GM doesn't cherry pick the players. Quinn had final say over the players. He didn't like what he originally did either from the body of work in preseason or injury. He requested another player and TD made it work for this season without any future implications. If you want to call it a rental call it a rental but the team, GM included are making whatever moves we need to on order to win. No GM hits a home run on every pick. Pete Konz was touted by everyone as the best center, a safe pick and we drafted for a need. There is a clear agenda here with your hatred for the GM. We're all fans let's just be happy that were making moves to fix a clear problem.

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