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SALARY CAP

Archive for the ‘ Individual Salary Cap ’ Category

This is my attempt to explain what has happened and could happen with Aaron Hernandez’s salary cap numbers. I used reports from Ian Rapoport, Field Yates, and Joel Corry as well as my own research for my source material. Any errors in this blog are solely mine.

Quick summary – Patriots received a $1,184,000 credit on their 2015 salary cap for grievances over guaranteed salary and offseason workout bonus money. Patriots should eventually receive a $3.25 million credit from Aaron Hernandez’s signing bonus. The credit should not come from the Odin Lloyd conviction but from the expected double murder convictions (Danny Abreu and Safiro Furtado).

In late August of 2012 Aaron Hernandez signed an extension with the Patriots. His signing bonus was $12.5 million. It was scheduled to be paid out over three installments. Hernandez received $6 million in August of 2012 and $3.25 million in March of 2013. Aaron is scheduled to receive the third and final payment- $3.25 million on March 31, 2014. Hernandez’s workout bonus clauses required successful completion of at least 90% of the workouts in New England’s voluntary offseason workout program. His 2013 salary – $1.323 million – was originally guaranteed for injury only and became fully guaranteed in March of 2013 since Aaron Hernandez was on the Patriots at that time. $1.137 million of his 2014 salary which was originally guaranteed for injury only also became fully guaranteed in March of 2013. Aaron’s 2014 $500,000 offseason workout bonus also became fully guaranteed in March of 2013 since he was on the Patriots roster at that time. Most NFL contracts include a “failure to perform” or “failure to practice” clause that will make any guarantees such as a signing bonus or guaranteed salaries within the contract null and void. On June 24th Ian Rapoport reported that according to Paragraph 32(d) of Hernandez’ extension, the 2014 workout bonus became “null and void” if the player fails to report and that the sections of the contract dealing with the guaranteeing of the 2013 and 2014 salaries did not not contain a “failure to perform” or “failure to report” clauses. According to Joel Corry, a former sports agent Paragraph 35 of Hernandez’s contract contains a clause where he represents and warrants that there weren’t any existing circumstances when he signed his deal that would prevent his continuing availability throughout the contract. Joel reported on CBSSportsline.Com that “There’s another clause explicitly stating that the Patriots wouldn’t have entered into the contract except for Hernandez’s representations.

aaronhis a screenshot of Aaron Hernandez’s deal with the Patriots. You will have to double-click it to see it completely

When Aaron Hernandez was waived by the Patriots on June 26, the other hand, his 2013 cap hit went from $4,073,000 to $2,550,000 (the 2013 proration of his 2010 and 2012 signing bonuses). His 2014 cap hit increased from $4,200,000 to $7,500,000 (the unamortized portion of his 2012 $12.5 million signing bonus). There were questions over whether or not the guaranteed salaries would hit the Patriots salary cap in 2013. It turns out that they did not.

Sometime after his release Aaron Hernandez filed grievances for his 2013 and 2014 offseason workout bonuses and salaries which is why the Patriots lost over $1.1 million in cap space in late October of 2013. Per the CBA 40% of any grievance amount goes against the team’s cap until the grievance is settled or until the end of the League Year, in this case, 2013. The grievance amounts in question were the 2013 offseason workout bonus money of $82,000, 2013 salary of $1,323,000, 2014 offseason workout bonus money of $500,000, and 2013 salary of $1,137,000. Those four amounts totaled $3,042,000. 40% of $3,042,000 is $1,216,800. Jonathan Kraft is quoted as saying “You have to hit 90 percent in our contract, and Aaron didn’t hit 90 percent, in our view,”. Jonathan Kraft contended that Aaron attended 25 of 33 workouts. As Joel Corry opined – “Hernandez was recovering from shoulder surgery during the offseason which limited his participation in organized team activities and mini-camp. It may have also limited him during the workout program. Since Hernandez’s workout clause doesn’t account for supervised rehabilitation, the Patriots may contend that he didn’t fulfill his workout obligations because his shoulder surgery prevented him from successfully completing workouts. It remains to be seen whether the arbitrator would find this type of argument persuasive.”

For most of December 2013 and January 2014 the NFLPA site http://www.nflplayers.com/cap showed the Patriots were under their 2013 adjusted cap number by $4,024,801. Because of that I had expected that to be the amount that the Patriots would be rolling over into 2014. So when the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin tweeted that the Patriots are rolling over exactly $4,106,801 in cap space for 2014, I tried to figure out why would that number changed. The first thing I noticed is the difference between the two numbers is exactly Aaron Hernandez’ 2013 offseason bonus money – $82,000. I thought then that the Patriots had won the grievance over the 2013 offseason workout bonus money of $82,000. It turned out that conclusion was premature. The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin tweeted that $32,800 was counting against the Patriots 2014 cap because of an Aaron Hernandez’ grievance. 40% of $82,000 is $32,800. So it appeared that the Patriots and Hernandez were still arguing over Hernandez’s 2013 offseason workout bonus money in 2014.

While conducting research for this blog post, I looked at a couple of cases to see how long it took a team to get a cap credit for recouped money. The Patriots released Jonathan Fanene on August 21, 2012 with a “failure to disclose physical condition” designation. The Patriots filed a grievance seeking some, if not all, of the $3.85 million signing bonus Fanene received when he signed with the team March 20. The grievance hearing was held in July of 2013. On September 21, 2013 ESPNBoston.Com’s Mike Reiss reported that “The Patriots and defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene (represented by the NFL Players Association) settled their grievance within the past week, according to sources, and part of the settlement is that the Patriots won’t have to pay Fanene the final $1.35 million of his $3.85 million signing bonus… We can now officially close the book on the Patriots’ failed Fanene signing, with Fanene able to keep $2.5 million of the original signing bonus and the Patriots receiving a credit on their 2013 salary cap.” On March 13, 2014 update OvertheCap’s owner, Jason Fitzgerald, tweeted referring to the Patriots 2014 adjusted cap number that “the official number (also includes the 504k adjust and 360k of fanene is a direct credit and not in adjustment”. To sum up it took the Patriots two years to get a credit for a grievance filed in 2012. It took the Falcons five years to get a $3 million credit for Michael Vick. In August 2007 they won a grievance against Vick for around $20 million.

Let’s now take a look at four amounts involved.

The 2013 offseason workout bonus money of $82,000. I think that the Patriots won this grievance. The case for the Patriots (their contract has a strict threshold and Aaron did not meet it) is stronger than Aaron Hernandez’s (he did not meet the threshold because he was recovering from a football injury). Think that the Patriots received an unreported credit of $32,800 sometime during the 2013 season.

The 2014 offseason workout bonus money of $500,000. This was a slam dunk victory for the Patriots as there was no way Aaron could have attended the 2014 workouts. Patriots won this grievance and they received a $200,000 credit on their 2015 salary cap as part of the 2014 year-end adjustment. For more information on the credit please see this blog post from January.

The 2013 and 2014 guaranteed salaries - Even though Hernandez’s contract was missing “failure to perform” or “failure to report” clauses when it came to these salaries, Patriots won the grievance over these guaranteed salaries. The $984,000 that was charged to the 2013 cap was credited back to the Patriots in January 2015 as part of the 2014 year-end adjustment. For more information on the credit please see this blog post from January.

The $7.5 million signing bonus proration that hit the Patriots 2014 cap – I have seen some posts/tweets opining that the NFL should just simply give the Patriots a $7.5 million cap credit. I doubt that will happen. Why? Sean Taylor. Sean Taylor was a 1st round pick of the Washington Redskins who was murdered. A year after his murder he counted against the Redskins cap. If the Redskins did not get cap relief for a murdered player, cannot see the NFL giving cap relief for an alleged murderer. Given that the CBA provided the Patriots an avenue for recouping the signing bonus money (wait until start of the 2013 training camp when Aaron could not attend and he would have invoked this clause in the CBA – “Forfeitable Breach. Any player who (i) willfully fails to report, practice or play with the result that the player’s ability to fully participate and contribute to the team is substantially undermined (for example, without limitation, holding out or leaving the squad absent a showing of extreme personal hardship); or (ii) is unavailable to the team due to conduct by him that results in his incarceration; or (iii) is unavailable to the team due to a nonfootball injury that resulted from a material breach of Paragraph 3 of his NFL Player Contract; or (iv) voluntarily retires (collectively, any “Forfeitable Breach”) may be required to forfeit signing bonus, roster bonus, option bonus and/or reporting bonus, and no other Salary, for each League Year in which a Forfeitable Breach occurs (collectively, “Forfeitable Salary Allocations”), as set forth below”. As expected in my first Aaron Hernardez blog  the Patriots chose not to pay Aaron the final installment of his $12.5 million bonus that was is due him on Monday, March 31st. Aaron Hernandez’s legal team already filed a grievance anticipating this Patriots move. As we have seen with Jonathan Fanene and Michael Vick, it can take years for a team to obtain a cap credit for money recouped. Please note that the cap credit is for the actual cash recouped so if Aaron has spent most of his signing bonus money it is likely that the only credits that the Patriots may ever get is the $3.25 million signing bonus that they have withheld.

If Aaron Hernandez is convicted for crimes that occurred before July, 2012 (example – the July 16, 2012 murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado)  the Patriots would then be able to go after the $12.5 million signing bonus because Aaron would have then violated the clause where he represented and warranted that there weren’t any existing circumstances when he signed his deal that would prevent his continuing availability throughout the contract and the clause that explicitly states that the Patriots wouldn’t have entered into the contract except for Hernandez’s representations. Once again, I have to note that any cap credit is for the actual cash recouped so if Aaron has spent most of his signing bonus money on lawyer fees or to settle civil cases against him it is likely that the only credits that the Patriots may ever get is the $3.25 million signing bonus that they withheld in March, 2014

Trying to anticipate questions that the blog post may cause:
Question: How much have the Patriots paid Aaron Hernandez? Answer: Aaron Hernandez has been paid in cash $11,260,000 from the Patriots.

  • $620,000 in 2010
  • $670,000 in 2011
  • $6,740,000 in 2012
  • $3,000,000 in 2013 (Hernandez received a $3 million installment of his signing bonus in March 2013).

Question: Will the Odin Lloyd conviction lead to salary cap relief for the New England Patriots? Answer: I think not. The murder occurred after he signed his extension. Therefore, the clause where Aaron Hernandez represented and warranted that there weren’t any existing circumstances when he signed his deal that would prevent his continuing availability throughout the contract and the clause that explicitly states that the Patriots wouldn’t have entered into the contract except for Hernandez’s representations are not applicable.

Question: How much cap space has Aaron Hernandez taken? Answer: Aaron Hernandez has taken up $13,292,000 in cap space.

  • $436,000 in 2010
  • $700,000 in 2011
  • $3,290,000 in 2012
  • $2,550,000 in 2013
  • $7,500,000 in 2014
  • $1,184,000 credit in 2015

Footnotes – Joel Corry’s reporting on Aaron Hernandez’s salary cap implications at the National Football Post

Today Aaron Wilson tweeted that
“Alan Branch has up to $750,000 playtime incentives each year, up to $400,000 weight bonus each year”
“Alan Branch $25K per game roster bonus 2015, $400,000 roster bonus first day of 2016 league year, $25K per game 2016 roster bonus”
“Alan Branch two-year Patriots deal, $4.3M, $700K bonus, salaries $1.2M, $1.2M, 2016 option year to be exercised by end of 2015 league yr”

Let’s take a look at the salary cap consequences of each tweet.

  • Since Alan Branch played in only 14% of the Patriots defensive snaps in 2014, it is very likely that his trigger level is above 14%. I define a trigger level as the condition needed to earn the incentive. In Alan Branch’s case I mean the percentage of defensive snaps needed to earn his playing-time incentive. Could be 20%, 30%, 40%, or  75%. Do not know. We will have to wait for his final contract details to come in.
  • Alan Branch’s $400,000 weight bonus is considered LTBE (Likely to Be Earned) and therefore counts against the 2015 cap. Quoting the CBA – “Any incentive within the sole control of the player (e.g., non-guaranteed reporting bonuses, offseason workout and weight bonuses) shall be deemed “likely to be earned”.
  • Since Alan played in 8 games in 2014, his $25,000 46-man active roster bonus will be considered LTBE for 8 games and NLTBE for 8 games. $25,000 times 8 = $200,000. In 2016 his 46-man active roster bonus will be reevaluated based on how many games he plays in 2015. If Alan Branch plays in all 16 games, the value of his 46-man roster bonus will go from $200,000 in $2015 to $400,000 in 2016. Please note that as Alan Branch plays in more games in 2015 than he did in 2014, the Patriots will lose $25,000 in cap space the following Tuesday. From CBA – “(xix) Any incentive bonus that is stated in terms of a per play or per game occurrence automatically will be deemed “likely to be earned” to the extent the specified performance was achieved by the player (if an individual incentive) or by the team (if a team incentive) in the previous year….(xxi) Any portion of an incentive bonus that is earned, but which had not been deemed likely to be earned, will be deemed earned at the end of the season and not immediately upon attainment of the required performance level, except: (1) as provided in Subsection (xix) above in regards to per play or per game occurrences;”
  • The 2016 $400,000 roster bonus will be considered LTBE because the trigger date is in the preseason. Once again, quoting CBA – “Preseason roster bonuses are automatically deemed “likely to be earned.”
  • The $700,000 signing bonus will be prorated over two years, $350,000 per year. Note that signing bonuses can only be prorated for a maximum of 5 years, even if the contract is for a longer term.
  • If the Patriots do pick up Alan Branch’s 2016 option, he is due a $400,000 roster bonus the 1st day of the 2016 League Year. If the Patriots do not pick up Alan Branch’s 2016 option, he will become eligible to be included in the 2017 compensatory pick calculations.
  • A player’s salary cap number is the total of
    1. his salary
    2. signing bonus proration, if any
    3. any LTBE incentives
Alan Branch’s deal
Year Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Weight Cap No Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Total Cash
2015 $1.2m 350K 200K 400K 2.15m 700K 815K $2.5m $2.5m
2016 $1.2m 350K 600K 400K 2.55m 350K 1.675m $2.2m $4.7m

The 2015 cap savings presumes a release after June 1st while the 2016 cap savings presumes that the Patriots do not pick up his 2016 option.
How do we get to the reported maximum of $6.6 million.
Add $4.7 million from above table to
$1.5 million in playing-times incentives to
$400,000 in NLTBE 46-man active roster bonuses.

The below table shows the impact on Alan Branch’s 2016 cap number if he plays in all 16 games in 2015 and also earns all of his $750,000 playing-time incentive.

Alan Branch’s deal
Year Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Weight Playing-Time Incentive Cap No Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Total Cash
2015 $1.2m 350K 200K 400K 2.15m 700K 815K $2.5m $2.5m
2016 $1.2m 350K 800K 400K 750K 3.5m 350K 2.625m $3.15m $5.65m

Please follow me on twitter – @patscap.

Like most of Patriots nation I was surprised when I heard that Darrelle Revis signed with the New York Jets within the first few hours of free agency on March 10th. None of us are privy to the negotiations that occurred between Darrelle Revis and the Patriots. The purpose of this blog post is to provide some background and to hopefully provide an educated guess at what happened.

Background information:

Darrelle Revis will be 30 years old when the 2015 season starts. Revis has been selected to six Pro Bowl (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014) and has earned four first-team All Pro honors (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014). Revis was named AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 after finishing the year with 72 total tackles and six interceptions.

When Darrelle Revis signed with the Patriots on March 12, it was widely reported to be an one-year $12 million deal. On March 13 ESPNBoston.Com’s Mike Reiss reported that “An important wrinkle has been learned about the contract Darrelle Revis has agreed to with the Patriots. It has widely been reported as a one-year, $12 million deal, which is accurate. Revis will earn $12 million this season. But for salary-cap accounting purposes, and to protect Revis from being assigned the franchise tag in 2015, the sides have added a second year to the pact in 2015 that would pay Revis $20 million and count $25 million against the salary cap. The $20 million is an astronomical figure, as is the $25 million cap charge. That makes it unlikely the Patriots would pay it, thus making Revis an unrestricted free agent in 2015 or one of the highest-paid players in football. The second year helps the Patriots spread out the salary-cap charges for Revis over two seasons instead of taking one $12 million salary-cap hit in 2014. Revis’ cap charge for 2014 is now $7 million.”

Joel Corry tweeted that “the installments of Revis’ $12 million roster bonus if option picked up are $3M on 3/31, $3M on 10/31, $3M on 12/31 & $3M on 3/31/16.” Once the first payment is made the Patriots can not convert the $12 million roster bonus into a signing bonus. In effect, Patriots had two Revis-related deadlines (4PM March 9th to pick up option, 4PM March 31st to convert roster bonus into signing bonus)

No matter what (Revis signed extension with Patriots, option not picked up, Revis traded by Patriots to another, Revis played the 2015 season for Patiots with $25 million cap number), the $5 million proration of Revis’ 2014 $10 million signing bonus would have been on the Patriots 2015 cap. Teams cannot further prorate existing signing bonus proration. The 2015 signing bonus proration is a sunk cost of winning the Super Bowl. It was money well spent.

Hopefully, that’s enough background. Let’s look at some financial comparables. Richard Sherman is almost 3 years younger than Revis. Sherman’s contract contains $40 million in guarantees. His 2014 salary is fully guaranteed. His 2015 salary will become fully guaranteed five days after the Super Bowl. All of his 2016 salary and 5 million of his 2017 salary will become fully guaranteed five days after the 2016 Super Bowl. Richard Sherman has been selected to the AP All-Pro team for 3 straight years and to the Pro Bowl two straight years.

Richard Sherman – $11m signing bonus
Year Base Salary Prorated Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Received Total Cash Received
2014 $1.431m $2,245,606 $3,676,606 $3,245,606 in 2014;$8,800,000 in 2015 0 $12,431,000 $12,431,000
2015 $10m $2.2m $12.2m $8.8m $3.4m $10m $22.431m
2016 $12.569m $2.2m $14.469m $6.6m $8.169m $12.569m $35m
2017 $11.431m $2.2m $13.631m $4.4m $9.231m $11.431m $46.431m
2018 $11m $2.2m $13m $2.2m $10.8m $11m $57.431m

Joe Haden is almost 4 years younger than Revis. Haden received over $45 million in guarantees, the most ever received by a cornerback. His 2014, 2015, and 2016 salaries are guaranteed. 4 million of his 2017 salary is guaranteed. Haden has a $100,000 incentive for making it to the Pro Bowl.

Joe Haden – $16m signing bonus
Year Salary Signing Bonus Pro Bowl Workout Cap No Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Total Cash
2014 $6,678,193 $5,149,702 $100,000 $200,000 $12,127,895 $45,078,193 ($32,950,298) $22,978,193 $22,978,193
2015 $8.3m $3.2m $100,000 $100,000 $11.7m $35.2m ($23.5m) $8.5m $31,478,193
2016 $10.1m $3.2m $100,000 $100,000 $13.5m $23.7m $(10.2m) $10.3m $41,778,193
2017 $11.1m $3.2m $100,000 $100,000 $14.5m $10.4m $4.1m $11.3m $53,078,193
2018 $11.1m $3.2m $100,000 $100,000 $14.5m $6.4m $8.1m $11.3m $64,378,193
2019 $10.4m $0 $100,000 $100,000 $10.6m $0 $10.6m $10.6m $74,978,193

Patrick Peterson is almost 5 years younger than Revis. Peterson, like Richard Sherman, was named to the first All-Pro team in 2013. Peterson’s 2014 salary is fully guaranteed. His 2015 and 2016 salary are guaranteed for injury now and will become fully guaranteed the 5th day of that year’s waiver period.

Patrick Peterson – $15,361,866 signing bonus
Year Base Salary Prorated Bonus Reporting Workout Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Total Cash
2014 $889,114 $6,048,195 $0 $0 $6,937,309 $6,937,309 in 2014, $12,289,509 in 2015 $0 $16.25m $16.25m
2015 $11.619m $3,072,377 $0 $250,000 $14,941,377 $23,908,509 ($8,967,132) $11.869m $28.12m
2016 $9.75m $3,072,377 $0 $250,000 $13,072,377 $18,967,132 ($5,894,754) $10m $38.12m
2017 $9.75m $3,072,377 $0 $250,000 $13,072,377 $15,894,754 ($2,822,377) $10m $48.12m
2018 $11m $3,072,377 $0 $250,000 $14,322,377 $3,072,377 $11.25m $11.25m $59.37m
2019 $11m $0 $0 $250,000 $11.25m $0 $11.25m $11.25m $70.62m
2020 $12.05m $0 $250,000 $250,000 $12.55m $0 $12.55m $12.55m $83.17m

Summing up the above 3 deals in terms of fully guaranteed money received upon signing deal
Joe Haden-$22,078,193
Patrick Peterson-$16.25M
Richard Sherman-$14.231M

Summing up the above 3 deals in terms of cash received during the first 3 years
Joe Haden-$41,478,193
Patrick Peterson-$37,969,114
Richard Sherman-$35M

It seemed reasonable to venture that a Revis extension in the $13 to $15 million per year average range would have been fair for both sides and would recognize that Revis, while he may be better than Sherman, Haden, and Peterson, is also older than the aforementioned trio.

In my blog post that looked at Revis’s comparables and proposed several deals for him my preferred deal averaged 14.1 million per year in new money over the four extended years. That 14.1M APY would have given Revis highest APY for a cornerback and more cash in Years 1, 2 and 3 than any other cornerback in NFL history. The 2015 salary would be fully guaranteed. His 2016 salary would have been guaranteed for injury now and became fully guaranteed the 5th day after the 2016 Super Bowl. $4.5 million of his 2017 salary would have become fully guaranteed if Revis is on the 53-man roster on the last day of the 2016 regular season.

Darrelle Revis – 14.1M APY $22M signing bonus (My Preferred Deal)
Year Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Cap No Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Total Cash
2014 $1.5m $5m $500,000 $7m $12m $12m
2015 $4m $10.5m $500,000 $15m $26m ($11m) $26.5m $38.5m
2016 $9.5m $5.5m $500,000 $15.5m $26m ($10.5m) $10m $48.5m
2017 $9.5m $5.5m $500,000 $15.5m $15.5m $0 $10m $58.5m
2018 $9.5m $5.5m $500,000 $15.5m $5.5m $10m $10m $68.5m

This next deal is what has been reported about Revis’ deal with the Jets.

Darrelle Revis’s deal with the Jets
Year Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Cap No Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Total Cash
2015 $16m $0 $0 $16m $39m ($23m) $16m $16m
2016 $17m $0 $0 $17 $23m ($6m) $17m $33m
2017 $13m $0 $2m $15m $6 $9m $15m $48m
2018 $11m $0 $0 $11m $0 $11m $11m $59m
2019 $11m $0 $0 $11m $0 $11m $11m $70m

Comparing my preferred deal to what Revis got

Component Preferred Deal Jets
Fully Guaranteed Money 26m 39m
Total Guarantees 40m 39m
Signing Bonus 22m 0m
Term 4 years 5 years
2015 cap number 15m 16m
APY 14.1m 14m
Cash 46.5m 48m

As you can see from above my preferred deal was close to what Revis got except in the structure. The Jets used a pay as you go feature where what Revis received in cash equals his cap number. The Jets were able to use the two advantages that they had over the Patriots in their construction of the deal. The Jets adjusted cap number is $156,149,394 while the Patriots is $144,578,084. Literally, the Jets could use $11,571,310 more cap space on Revis and build the rest of the 53-man roster than could the Patriots. $16 million takes up smaller percentage of $156 million than it does $144.5 million. Second advantage that the Jets had is that they have more cap space.

The question I am struggling is why would Revis prefer a pay as you go structure from the Jets over a signing bonus structure from the Patriots. With a signing bonus he gets most of the money up-front. Please note that the Patriots often pay their large signing bonus in installments. In a pay as you go structure Revis has to wait until September to first receive any money. That is, unless the Jets agreed to deviate from the usual payment plan of 17 paychecks during the regular season. Six months of interest on $20 million is pretty significant.

I am also puzzled why Revis would prefer the pay as you go structure of the Jets over a signing bonus from the Patriots. The Jets can get out of the deal and save cap space by releasing Revis before the start of the 2017 League Year. The Patriots can get out of  my preferred Revis deal and save cap space on June 2, 2017. By that time a replacement will not be available in free agency.

The Patriots could have done what they did with McCourty (fully guaranteed the 2015 and 2016 salaries and have the 2017 season eventually become fully guaranteed). This would have bumped his fully guaranteed money at time of signing to $35.5 million.

Should the Patriots have matched the Jets structure? No, it would have meant a $21 million cap number for Revis  ($16 million salary and $5 million signing bonus proration) in 2015. I currently have the Patriots under the cap by $13,611,603. Matching the Jets offer would have caused the Patriots to quickly create $2.4 million in cap space. As I show in this blog, the Patriots could have done so but it is not wise to make business decisions under pressure.

 

Trying to anticipate questions that the blog post may cause:
1.) Question: Has any team won a Super Bowl with a player taking up a percentage as large as Revis’ if he played with a $21 million cap number? Answer: No.
2.) Question: If Revis played at a $21 million cap number in 2015 how much it would have cost to tag him in 2016? Answer: 120% of $21 million, or $25,200,000.
3.) Question: Are you surprised at what happened? Answer: Extremely so. I always thought that as long as Revis was willing to be paid in the neighborhood of the top cornerbacks ($12 to $14M APY) rather than the top defenders ($16M to $19M APY) a deal would get done.
4.) Question: Does the Revis  departure prove that the Patriots are cheap? Answer: Only if you believe that looking at a small sample of data is fair. Haters are going to hate. They were silent in 2012 when the Patriots was among the leaders in cash spending.
5.) Question: Will Revis count as a compensatory pick.Answer:Yes.  In Feb 2008 Pats declined option on Donte Stallworth. He signed FA deal with the Cleveland Browns on 3/1/2008. Pats got 2009 5th round compensatory pick that turned out to be George Bussey. So there is that precedent. Also, Darrelle Revis’ name is listed among the 2015 UFAs in the NFL’s free agency press release. Compensatory picks are meant to help compensate a team for its lost free agents.
6.) Question: If the Patriots had reached an extension with Darrelle, could they have prorated the existing $5 million signing bonus proration.Answer:No
7.) Question: Why do you think that the Patriots and Revis could not reach a deal? Answer: He wanted to return to New York and only by receiving a much better offer that would not happen. It seems strange to me that in a passing league very few teams entered into his bidding. 4:45PM update Am now hearing that Revis was asking for $16M from the Patriots. He signed with the Jets for $14M APY.
8.) Question: Your report of $13.6 million in cap space even after Revis departure seems low. Please explain. Answer: Saved the best question for last. Hopefully, I am up to the task:)

  1. The big leaps: Four contracts had huge salary-cap increases in 2015 — left tackle Nate Solder, right tackle Sebastian Vollmer and tight end Rob Gronkowski. Solder’s cap cost went $2,717,429 to $7,438,000. Vollmer’s cap cost went from $3,750,000 in 2014 to $7,020,833. Gronk’s cap cost went from $5,400,000 in 2014 to $8,650,000 in 2015.
  2. Smaller bounces: The other cap jumps in 2015 were more modest. Vince Wilfork, Danny Amendola, Kyle Arrington, Rob Ninkovich,  and Julian Edelman are all scheduled for increases between $1 million and $3 million. Dennard’s cap number increased by $972,000. Chung’s increased by $945,000. Cannon’s increased by over $800,000. Blount’s increased by over $600,000. No one else on the roster is scheduled to go up by more than $500,000
  3. Reached incentives in 2014 – A major reason for the first two reasons is that some players reached NLTBE (Not Likely To Be Earned) incentives in 2015 making them LTBE for 2015. Examples, Lafell’s receptions incentive now counts $300,000 against the 2015 cap. Edelman’s receptions incentives now counts $500,000. Wilfork’s playing-time incentive now counts $500,000. Vollmer’s playing-time incentive now counts $750,000. Wendell’s playing-time incentive now counts $850,000. In total, there are $3.5 million in LTBE incentives counting against the 2015 cap. There were $1.25 million in 2014.
  4. Reached incentives in 2014 (Part 2) – Patriots like to include 46-man active roster bonuses in their contracts. The amount that counts against the cap is dependent on the games that the Patriot played in the prior season. Amendola, Wilfork, Chung, and Hoomanawanui all played in more games in 2014 than they did in 2013. Their 46-man active roster bonuses are now counting against the cap for all 16 games.
  5. Players not signed past the 2015 season with large cap numbers – Nate Solder and Stephen Gostkowski.

It was reported/rumored during the first week in June, 2014 that the Patriots and Devin McCourty had started talks about extending his contract which will expire after the 2014 season. It seemed appropriate in June to now look at his comparables and propose a contract that I consider fair to both him and the Patriots. Please note that I consider McCourty to be an elite safety.

Updated on February 16 to add free agency rankings
Updated on March 1 to have guarantee numbers in some proposed deals match cash received if tagged for two straight years. Also added the free agency ranking of NFL.Com and ProFootball Focus

Background information: Devin was the 1st round pick of the Patriots in 2010. Devin was drafted as a cornerback and was permanently switched to safety during the 2012 season. Top cornerbacks are paid higher than top safeties. For example, the franchise tag figure for cornerbacks this year was $10.081 million while the franchise tag for safeties was $7.253 million. Earl Thomas who is the highest paid safety averages 10 million cap hit in his deal. There are four cornerbacks with a higher average. Devin had earned enough escalators in his rookie contract to increase his 2014 salary by $3,050,000 to $3,920,000. His 2014 cap number is $5,115,000. Devin McCourty who will be 28 when the 2015 season starts was selected to the Associated Press’s All-Pro 2nd team in 2013. Before the 2014 season started there were four rankings of the NFL’s Top 100 players. They were done by Pro Football Focus, CBS Sportsline’s Pete Prisco, CBS Sportsline’s Pat Kirwan, and NFL players as tabulated by NFL Network.

Player Pro Football Focus Pete Prisco Pat Kirwan NFL Players
Earl Thomas 20 10 12 17
Eric Berry 37 54 33 50
Kam Chancellor 28 73 72 65
Troy Polamalu 95 99 100 61
Eric Weddle 96 34 92
T.J. Ward 100 76
Devin McCourty 22 62
Jarius Byrd 71 37
Antrell Rolle 72

AzCentral.Com’s Bob McManaman rates McCourty the 10th best available free agent. USA Today also rates McCourty the 10th best available free agent. ESPN has McCourty as the 5th
best available free agent. The New York Post also considers Devin the 5th best free agent. AOL rates McCourty as the 9th best available free agent. NFL.Com rates McCourty as the 6th best available agent. Pro Football Focus wrote this about McCourty – “After switching from corner early in his career McCourty has really hit his stride as a center fielder that you really shouldn’t try testing. A valuable skill in any era”

Rater Ranking
AzCentral.Com 10
USAToday 10
ESPN 5
New York Post 5
AOL 9
NFL 6
ProFootballFocus 4

Now let’s look at some financial comparables. Jarius Byrd is 10 months older than McCourty and played under the franchise tag ($6.916 million) in 2013. Byrd’s contract contains $26.3 million in guarantees, a record for a veteran safety deal. His 2014 salary is fully guaranteed. His 2015 $6 million roster bonus became fully guaranteed in late March so it is treated like a signing bonus. 6 million of his 2016 salary is now guaranteed for injury. Will become fully guaranteed the 3rd day of the 2016 League Year.

Jarius Byrd – 9M APY
Year Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Bonus Workout Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings
2014 $1,300,000 $2,200,000 $0 $100,000 $3,500,000 $18,300,000 ($14,800,000)
2015 $2,000,000 $3,400,000 $0 $100,000 $5,500,000 $14,800,000 ($9,300,000)
2016 $7,400,000 $3,400,000 $0 $100,000 $10,900,000 $11,400,000 ($500,000)
2017 $7,900,000 $3,400,000 $300,000 $100,000 $11,700,000 $8,000,000 $3,700,000
2018 $8,400,000 $3,400,000 $300,000 $100,000 $12,200,000 $4,600,000 $7,600,000
2019 $8,600,000 $1,200,000 $300,000 $100,000 $10,200,000 $1,200,000 $9,000,000

Earl Thomas was also drafted in the first round in 2010. Thomas was selected in 2011 to the Associated Press Second-team All-Pro In 2012 and in 2013 Earl Thomas was selected to the Associated Press’ All-Pro first team, Sporting News’ All Pro team, and the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Pro team. Earl Thomas is a year and 9 months younger than McCourty. His 2014 and 2015 salaries are fully guaranteed. 6 million of his 2016 salary is guaranteed. Do not know if the 2016 guarantee is currently full or guaranteed for injury now and then become fully guaranteed later.

Earl Thomas
Year Salary 2014 Prorated Bonus 2010 Signing Bonus Proration 2011 Salary Advance Proration Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings
2014 $4,750,000 $1,900,000 $100,000 $648,212 $7,373,212 $14,225,000 ($6,851,788)
2015 $5,500,000 $1,900,000 $0 $0 $7,400,000 $12,100,000 ($4,700,000)
2016 $8,000,000 $1,900,000 $0 $0 $9,900,000 $5,700,000 $4,200,000
2017 $8,500,000 $1,900,000 $0 $0 $10,400,000 $3,800,000 $6,600,000
2018 $8,500,000 $1,900,000 $0 $0 $10,400,000 $1,900,000 $8,500,000

Eric Weddle, a member of the 2013 Associated Press’ All Pro 2nd team, signed his current 5 year $40 million deal in 2011. Kam Chancellor, yet another member of the AP All Pro 2nd team, signed a four-year, $28 million extension in April, 2013. Antrell Rolle, one more member of the AP All-Pro 2nd team, signed a five year, $37 million deal with the Giants in 2010 when he was 27. Dashon Goldson signed his 5-year, $41.5 million deal in March, 2013. William Moore signed his 5-year, $30 million deal in March, 2013. Michael Griffin signed his 5-year, $35 million deal in June of 2012. This offseason six safeties got deals that averaged over 5 million a year. Mike Mitchell who will turn 27 in June received a 5-year $25 million deal. Reshad Jones who is 26 years old got a 5yr $29.3m deal from the Dolphins. Antoine Bethea got a 4yr, 22m deal from the 49ers. Donte Whitner signed a four year, $28 million contract with the Browns on March 11, 2014.
T.J. Ward got a four-year, $22.5 million contract from the Broncos. T.J. received a $5 million signing bonus. His 2014 salary is fully guaranteed. His 2015 salary and roster bonus are currently guaranteed for injury only. Will become fully guaranteed the 5th day of the 2015 League Year.

T.J. Ward
Year Salary 2014 Signing Bonus Proration Roster Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings
2014 $2,000,000 $1,250,000 $0 $3,250,000 $13,500,000 ($10,250,000)
2015 $4,000,000 $1,250,000 $2,000,000 $6,250,000 $9,750,000 ($3,000,000)
2016 $4,500,000 $1,250,000 $0 $5,750,000 $2,500,000 $3,250,000
2017 $4,500,000 $1,250,000 $0 $5,750,000 $1,250,000 $4,500,000

Eric Weddle received a $13 million signing bonus. His 2011 and 2012 salaries were fully guaranteed.

Eric Weddle
Year Salary 2011 Signing Bonus Proration Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings
2011 $1,000,000 $2,600,000 $3,600,000 $19,000,000 ($15,400,000)
2012 $5,000,000 $2,600,000 $7,600,000 $15,400,000 ($7,800,000)
2013 $6,000,000 $2,600,000 $8,600,000 $7,800,000 $200,000
2014 $7,500,000 $2,600,000 $10,100,000 $5,200,000 $5,900,000
2015 $7,500,000 $2,600,000 $10,100,000 $2,600,000 $7,500,000

On October 12th, 2014 CBS Sportline’s Jason LaCanfora reported that the percentage that will be used to determine the franchise tag number for safeties will be 6.713%. The 2015 cap is $143.28 million. The tag number for a safety was $9.61 million. It seems reasonable to venture that a McCourty deal in the $8 to $9 million per year average range would be fair for both sides, would recognize that McCourty sacrificed dollars in his move from the cornerback position to the safety position and would also recognize that McCourty has assumed all of the injury risk. The 2015 and 2016 salaries would be fully guaranteed. 3 million of his 2017 salary would be guaranteed for injury when the deal is reached in 2015 but would become fully guaranteed if McCourty is on the 53-man roster at the end of the 2016 season. McCourty would receive a $10 million signing bonus. This deal averages 8M in value over the 5-year period and would tie Eric Weddle for the 5th best safety deal.

Devin McCourty – $8M APY
Year Salary Signing Bonus Proration Roster Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Received Total Cash
2015 $1.5 $2 $.5 $4 $15 ($11) $12 $12
2016 $3.5 $2 $.5 $6 $11.5 ($5.5) $4 $16
2017 $5.5 $2 $.5 $8 $9 ($1) $6 $22
2018 $7.5 $2 $.5 $10 $4 $6 $8 $30
2019 $9.5 $2 $.5 $12 $2 $10 $10 $40

This next deal averages $8.25 million over a 5-year period and would make Devin McCourty the 4th highest paid safety. The 2015 and 2016 salaries would be fully guaranteed. 2 million of his 2017 salary would be guaranteed for injury when the deal is reached in 2015 but would become fully guaranteed if McCourty is on the 53-man roster at the end of the 2016 season. McCourty would receive a $12.5 million signing bonus.

Devin McCourty – $8.25M APY (Preferred Deal)
Number in Millions
Year Salary Signing Bonus Proration Roster Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Received Total Cash
2015 $3 $2.5 $.5 $6 $19.5 ($13.5) $16 $16
2016 $5 $2.5 $.5 $7.5 $14 ($6.5) $5 $21
2017 $5.75 $2.5 $.5 $8.75 $9.5 ($07.5) $6.25 $27.25
2018 $6.25 $2.5 $.5 $9.25 $5 $4.25 $6.75 $34
2019 $6.75 $2.5 $.5 $9.75 $2.5 $7.25 $7.25 $41.25

This next deal averages $8.5 million over a 5-year period and would make McCourty the 3rd highest paid safety. The 2015 and 2016 salaries would be fully guaranteed. 3 million of his 2017 salary would be guaranteed for injury when the deal is reached in 2015 but would become fully guaranteed if McCourty is on the 53-man roster at the end of the 2016 season. McCourty would receive a $11 million signing bonus.

Devin McCourty – $8.5M APY
Year Salary Signing Bonus Proration Roster Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Received Total Cash
2015 $1.3 $2.2 $.5 $4 $16.1 ($12,100,000) $12,800,000 $12.8
2016 $3.8 $2.2 $.5 $6.5 $12.6 ($6,100,000) $4,300,000 $17.1
2017 $5.9 $2.2 $.5 $8.6 $9.6 ($1,000,000) $6,400,000 $23.5
2018 $8.1 $2.2 $.5 $10.8 $4.4 $6,400,000 $8,600,000 $32.1
2019 $9.9 $2.2 $.5 $12.6 $2.2 $10,400,000 $10,400,000 $42.5

This next deal averages $9 million over a 5-year period and would tie for Jarius Byrd for the 2nd highest paid safety. The 2015 and 2016 salaries would be fully guaranteed. 3 million of his 2017 salary would be guaranteed for injury when the deal is reached in 2015 but would become fully guaranteed if McCourty is on the 53-man roster at the end of the 2016 season. McCourty would receive a $12.5 million signing bonus.

Devin McCourty – $9M APY
Year Salary Signing Bonus Proration Roster Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Received Total Cash
2015 $1.5 $2.5 $.5 $4.5 $18 ($13.5) $14.5 $14.5
2016 $4 $2.5 $.5 $7 $14 ($7) $4.5 $19
2017 $6.5 $2.5 $.5 $9.5 $10.5 ($1) $7 $26
2018 $8 $2.5 $.5 $11 $5 $6 $8.5 $34.5
2019 $10.5 $2.5 $.5 $13 $2.5 $10.5 $10.5 $45

http://overthecap.com/freeagents.php?Position=S&Year=2015 lists the safeties who like McCourty will become a free agent after this season. As of now, Devin McCourty should be considered the best available free agent safety. The only projected free agent safety that I consider in McCourty’s class is Antrell Rolle, who is close to 4 1/2 years older than McCourty.

http://overthecap.com/top-player-salaries.php?Position=S
lists the APYs for safeties.

A deal with a 4M APY would make McCourty the 24th highest paid safety.
5M APY would tie McCourty for 20th
6M APY would tie McCourty for 14th
7M APY would tie McCourty for 9th
7.5M APY would make McCourty the 6th highest paid safety
8M APY would tie McCourty for 5th
8.25M APY would tie McCourty for 4th
8.5M APY would make McCourty the 3rd highest paid safety
9M APY would tie McCourty for 2nd
9.5M APY would make McCourty the 2nd highest paid safety
10M would tie McCourty for 1st
>10M would make McCourty the highest paid safety

Given that Revis’ 2015 $25 million cap hit is the largest on the Patriots, it seemed appropriate to look at his comparables and propose a contract that I consider fair to both him and the Patriots. Please note that if the Patriots do not pick Revis’ $12 million option or reach an extension with him before 4PM March 9 Revis will become an free agent at the start of the 2015 League Year (4PM March 10). Please also note that this is about the 7th version of this blog.

March 7, 2015 update – No matter what (Revis signs extension, option not picked up, Revis traded, Revis plays 2015 with $25 million cap number), the $5 million proration of Revis’ 2014 $10 million signing bonus will be on the Patriots 2015 cap. Teams cannot further prorate existing signing bonus proration, It is a sunk cost of winning the Super Bowl. It was money well spent.
February 18, 2015 update – Added a note about the timing of the $12 million roster payment. Added some four-year extensions. Also added one five-year extension. Added a note about the 89% cash spending.
January 12, 2015 update – Added how the top of the cornerback market was reset after Revis was signed with the Patriots.
January 3, 2015 update – Updated 2014 All-Pro honors and make it easier to see size of signing bonuses.
December 9, 2014 update -include JJ Watt and Gerald McCoy as comparables

Background information: Darrelle Revis will be 30 years old when the 2015 season starts. Revis has been selected to six Pro Bowl (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014) and has earned four first-team All Pro honors (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014). Revis was named AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 after finishing the year with 72 total tackles and six interceptions. When Darrelle Revis signed with the Patriots on March 12, it was widely reported to be an one-year $12 million deal. On March 13 ESPNBoston.Com’s Mike Reiss reported that “An important wrinkle has been learned about the contract Darrelle Revis has agreed to with the Patriots. It has widely been reported as a one-year, $12 million deal, which is accurate. Revis will earn $12 million this season. But for salary-cap accounting purposes, and to protect Revis from being assigned the franchise tag in 2015, the sides have added a second year to the pact in 2015 that would pay Revis $20 million and count $25 million against the salary cap. The $20 million is an astronomical figure, as is the $25 million cap charge. That makes it unlikely the Patriots would pay it, thus making Revis an unrestricted free agent in 2015 or one of the highest-paid players in football. The second year helps the Patriots spread out the salary-cap charges for Revis over two seasons instead of taking one $12 million salary-cap hit in 2014. Revis’ cap charge for 2014 is now $7 million.” Added on February 18th – On February 17th Joel Corry tweeted that “the installments of Revis’ $12 million roster bonus if option picked up are $3M on 3/31, $3M on 10/31, $3M on 12/31 & $3M on 3/31/16.” Once the first payment is made the Patriots can not convert the $12 million roster bonus into a signing bonus.  In effect, Patriots have two Revis-related deadlines (4PM March 9th to pick up option, 4PM March 31st to convert roster bonus into signing bonus)

Added on January 12th Before Revis’ deal the top cornerback deal was Brandon Carr’s 10M APY (Average Per Year) deal. There were 5 other cornerbacks whose deals had a $9 to $9.75 million APY. Starting in May, 2014 the top of the cornerback market began to reset. Richard Sherman signed his 14M APY deal on May 7th. Joe Haden signed his $13.5m APY deal on May 27th. Patrick Peterson topped Richard Sherman’s deal by signing his $14.01m APY contract on July 30th.

There were four rankings of the NFL’s Top 100 players done before the 2014 season . They were done by Pro Football Focus, CBS Sportsline’s Pete Prisco, CBS Sportsline’s Pat Kirwan, and NFL players as tabulated by NFL Network. Revis ranked 18th, 28th, 21st, and 38th respectively.

Player Date of Birth Pro Football Focus Pete Prisco Pat Kirwan NFL Players
Darrelle Revis 7/14/1985 18 28 21 38
Richard Sherman 3/30/1988 6 11 13 7
Joe Haden 4/18/1989 75 33 28 39
Patrick Peterson 7/11/1990 58 8 7 22

Now let’s look at some financial comparables. Richard Sherman is almost 3 years younger than Revis. Sherman’s contract contains $40 million in guarantees. His 2014 salary is fully guaranteed. His 2015 salary will become fully guaranteed five days after the Super Bowl. All of his 2016 salary and 5 million of his 2017 salary will become fully guaranteed five days after the 2016 Super Bowl. Richard Sherman has been selected to the AP All-Pro team for 3 straight years and to the Pro Bowl two straight years.

Richard Sherman – $11m signing bonus
Year Base Salary Prorated Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Received Total Cash Received
2014 $1.431m $2,245,606 $3,676,606 $3,245,606 in 2014;$8,800,000 in 2015 0 $12,431,000 $12,431,000
2015 $10m $2.2m $12.2m $8.8m $3.4m $10m $22.431m
2016 $12.569m $2.2m $14.469m $6.6m $8.169m $12.569m $35m
2017 $11.431m $2.2m $13.631m $4.4m $9.231m $11.431m $46.431m
2018 $11m $2.2m $13m $2.2m $10.8m $11m $57.431m

Joe Haden is almost 4 years younger than Revis. Haden received over $45 million in guarantees, the most ever received by a cornerback. His 2014, 2015, and 2016 salaries are guaranteed. 4 million of his 2017 salary is guaranteed. Haden has a $100,000 incentive for making it to the Pro Bowl.

Joe Haden – $16m signing bonus
Year Salary Signing Bonus Pro Bowl Workout Cap No Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Total Cash
2014 $6,678,193 $5,149,702 $100,000 $200,000 $12,127,895 $45,078,193 ($32,950,298) $22,978,193 $22,978,193
2015 $8.3m $3.2m $100,000 $100,000 $11.7m $35.2m ($23.5m) $8.5m $31,478,193
2016 $10.1m $3.2m $100,000 $100,000 $13.5m $23.7m $(10.2m) $10.3m $41,778,193
2017 $11.1m $3.2m $100,000 $100,000 $14.5m $10.4m $4.1m $11.3m $53,078,193
2018 $11.1m $3.2m $100,000 $100,000 $14.5m $6.4m $8.1m $11.3m $64,378,193
2019 $10.4m $0 $100,000 $100,000 $10.6m $0 $10.6m $10.6m $74,978,193

Patrick Peterson is almost 5 years younger than Revis. Peterson, like Richard Sherman, was named to the first All-Pro team in 2013. Peterson’s 2014 salary is fully guaranteed. His 2015 and 2016 salary are guaranteed for injury now and will become fully guaranteed the 5th day of that year’s waiver period.

Patrick Peterson – $15,361,866 signing bonus
Year Base Salary Prorated Bonus Reporting Workout Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Total Cash
2014 $889,114 $6,048,195 $0 $0 $6,937,309 $6,937,309 in 2014, $12,289,509 in 2015 $0 $16.25m $16.25m
2015 $11.619m $3,072,377 $0 $250,000 $14,941,377 $23,908,509 ($8,967,132) $11.869m $28.12m
2016 $9.75m $3,072,377 $0 $250,000 $13,072,377 $18,967,132 ($5,894,754) $10m $38.12m
2017 $9.75m $3,072,377 $0 $250,000 $13,072,377 $15,894,754 ($2,822,377) $10m $48.12m
2018 $11m $3,072,377 $0 $250,000 $14,322,377 $3,072,377 $11.25m $11.25m $59.37m
2019 $11m $0 $0 $250,000 $11.25m $0 $11.25m $11.25m $70.62m
2020 $12.05m $0 $250,000 $250,000 $12.55m $0 $12.55m $12.55m $83.17m

J.J. Watt is currently the highest paid defender in the NFL. J.J. Watt is almost 4 years younger than Revis. Watt was named the AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2012. Watt was named to the Pro Bowl and the first team AP All-Pro teams in 2012,2013 and 2014. His 2014 and 2015 salaries are fully guaranteed. His 2015 and 2016 salary are guaranteed for injury now and will become fully guaranteed the 5th day of that year’s waiver period.

J.J. Watt
Year Base Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Total Cash
2014 $907,385 $3,668,182 $0 $4,575,567 $22,544,567 $0 $10,907,385 $10,907,385
2015 $9,969,000 $2,000,000 $10m $21,969,000 $17,969,000 $4,000,000 $19,969,000 $30,876,385
2016 $10,500,000 $2,000,000 $0 $12,500,000 $6,000,000 $6,500,000 $10,500,000 $41,376,385
2017 $10,500,000 $2,000,000 $0 $12,500,000 $4,000,000 $8,500,000 $10,500,000 $51,876,385
2018 $11,000,000 $2,000,000 $0 $13,000,000 $2,000,000 $11,000,000 $11,000,000 $62,876,385
2019 $13,000,000 $0 $0 $13,000,000 $0 $13,000,000 $13,000,000 $75,876,385
2020 $15,500,000 $0 $0 $15,500,000 $0 $15,500,000 $15,500,000 $91,376,385
2021 $17,000,000 $0 $0 $17,000,000 $0 $17,000,000 $17,000,000 $108,386,385

Gerald McCoy is currently the 2nd highest paid defender in the NFL. Gerald McCoy is almost 2 1/2 years younger than Revis. McCoy was named to the Pro Bowl in 2012 and in 2013 and to the first team AP All-Pro team in 2013. His 2014 and 2015 salaries are fully guaranteed. These details about Gerald McCoy’s contract come from this Joel Corry report. McCoy’s $5 million 2015 base salary, $6 million 2016 base salary and $6.5 million third day of the 2015 league year roster bonus become fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2015 waiver period (February 4). McCoy’s $6.5 million fourth day of the 2016 league year roster bonus and $12,742,692 of his $13.25 million 2017 base salary are fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2016 league year.

Gerald McCoy
Year Base Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Bonus Workout Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Received Total Cash
2014 $17,500,000 $3,095,000 $0 $300,000 $20,895,000 $22,544,567 $0 $20,300,000 $20,300,000
2015 $5,000,000 $3,095,000 $6,500,000 $0 $14,595,000 $2,000,000 $12,595,000 $11,500,000 $31,800,000
2016 $6,000,000 $500,000 $6,500,000 $0 $13,000,000 $1,500,000 $11,500,000 $12,500,000 $44,300,000
2017 $13,250,000 $500,000 $0 $0 $13,750,000 $1,000,000 $12,750,000 $13,200,000 $57,500,000
2018 $12,250,000 $500,000 $0 $0 $12,750,000 $500,000 $12,250,000 $12,250,000 $69,750,000
2019 $13,000,000 $0 $0 $0 $13,000,000 $0 $13,000,000 $13,000,000 $82,750,000
2020 $10,000,000 $0 $2,500,000 $0 $12,500,000 $0 $12,500,000 $12,500,000 $95,250,000
2021 $10,432,253 $0 $2,500,000 $0 $12,932,253 $0 $12,932,253 $12,932,253 $108,182,253

 

In the below proposals I do not backload Revis’ contracts as much as the Patriots have typically have done in the past in order to increase the Patriots’ cash spending in the years 2015 and 2016. In the new CBA teams are required to spend 89% of the cap in cash over a four-year period (2013-2016). The Patriots spent 82.7%.

It seems reasonable to venture that a Revis extension in the $13 to $15 million per year average range would be fair for both sides and would recognize that Revis, while he may be better than Sherman, Haden, and Peterson, is also older than the aforementioned trio. An extension will lower Revis’ 2015 $25 million cap number. Here is one example how:

  • Extend Revis through the 2017 season.
  • Give him a $18 million signing bonus which would be prorated over 3 years (2015/2016/2017).
  • Lower his salary from $7,000,000 to $2,000,000.
  • Eliminate the $12.5 million roster bonus

2015 Current cap number of $25,000,000 consists of:

  • $7,500,000 salary
  • $5,000,000 signing bonusproration
  • $12,00,000 roster bonus due on March 10 (to be paid in four installments)
  • $500,000 46-man active roster bonus

Proposed 2015 cap number of $13,500,000 consists of:

  • $2,000,000 salary (fully guaranteed)
  • $5,000,000 existing bonus proration
  • $6,000,000 new signing bonus proration
  • $500,000 46-man active roster bonus

Proposed 2016 cap number of $15,500,000 consists of:

  • $9,00,000 salary (guaranteed for injury now; becomes fully guaranteed the 5th day after the 2016 Super Bowl)
  • $6,000,000 new signing bonus proration
  • $500,000 46-man active roster bonus

Proposed 2017 cap number of $15,000,000 consists of:

  • $8,500,000 salary
  • $6,000,000 signing bonus proration
  • $500,000 46-man active roster bonus

This deal averages 13 million per year in new money over the three extended years. That 13M APY would give Revis the 4th highest APY for a cornerback. Please note that the 2014 franchise tag number for cornerbacks is projected to be $13.05 million so this deal recognizes Revis as a franchise cornerback.

Darrelle Revis – 13M APY – $18 million signing bonus
Year Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Bonus Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Total Cash
2014 $1.5m $5m $500,000 $7m $12m $12m
2015 $2m $11m $500,000 $13.5m $20m ($6.5m) $20.5m $32.5m
2016 $9m $6m $500,000 $15.5m $21m $(6m) $9.5m $42m
2017 $8.5m $6m $500,000 $15m $6m $9m $9m $52m

This next deal averages 13.5 million per year in new money over the four extended years and $13.2m over the five years that Revis will be on the Patriots. That $13.5M APY would give Revis the 3rd highest APY for a cornerback. The 2015 salary will be fully guaranteed. His 2016 salary will be guaranteed for injury now and will become fully guaranteed the 5th day after the 2016 Super Bowl). 

Darrelle Revis – 13.5M APY – $20m signing bonus
Year Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Total Cash
2014 $1.5m $5m $500,000 $7m $12m $12m
2015 $3.5m $10m $500,000 $14m $23.5m ($9.5m) $24m $36m
2016 $9.5m $5m $500,000 $15m $24.5m ($9.5m) $10m $46m
2017 $9.5m $5m $500,000 $15m $10m $5m $10m $56m
2018 $9.5m $5m $500,000 $15m0 $5m $10m $10m $66m

This next deal averages 14.1 million per year in new money over the four extended years. That 14.1M APY would give Revis highest APY for a cornerback and more cash in Years 1, 2 and 3 than any other cornerback in NFL history. The 2015 salary will be fully guaranteed. His 2016 salary will be guaranteed for injury now and will become fully guaranteed the 5th day after the 2016 Super Bowl. $4.5 million of his 2017 salary will become fully guaranteed if Revis is on the 53-man roster on the last day of the 2016 regular season.

Darrelle Revis – 14.1M APY $22M signing bonus (My Preferred Deal)
Year Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Cap No Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Total Cash
2014 $1.5m $5m $500,000 $7m $12m $12m
2015 $4m $10.5m $500,000 $15m $26m ($11m) $26.5m $38.5m
2016 $9.5m $5.5m $500,000 $15.5m $26m ($10.5m) $10m $48.5m
2017 $9.5m $5.5m $500,000 $15.5m $15.5m $0 $10m $58.5m
2018 $9.5m $5.5m $500,000 $15.5m $5.5m $10m $10m $68.5m

This next deal averages 15 million per year in new money over the three extended years. Revis would get a $18 million signing bonus. That 15M APY would give Revis the highest APY for a cornerback in the NFL The 2015 salary will be fully guaranteed. $5 million of his 2016 salary will be guaranteed for injury now and will become fully guaranteed the 5th day after the 2016 Super Bowl) making it the same cap number to keep Revis on or off the Patriots roster.

Darrelle Revis – 15M APY- $18m signing bonus
Year Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Cap No Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Total Cash
2014 $1.5m $5,000,000 $500,000 $7m $6,500,000 $5,000 $12m $12,000,000
2015 $5m $11,000,000 $500,000 $16.5m $23,000,000 ($6,500,000) $23m $35,000,000
2016 $10.5m $6,000,000 $500,000 $17m $17,000,000 $0 $11m $46,000,000
2017 $10.5m $6,000,000 $500,000 $17m $5,000,000 $12,000,000 $11m $57,000,000

This next deal averages 16 million per year in new money over the five extended years. Revis would get a $30 million signing bonus. That 16M APY would tie Revis for the highest APY for a defensive player in the NFL The 2015 and 2016 salaries will be fully guaranteed. $6m of his 2017 salary will be guaranteed for injury now and will become fully guaranteed the 5th day after the 2016 Super Bowl

Darrelle Revis – 16M APY- $30m signing bonus
Year Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Cap No Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Total Cash
2014 $1.5m $5m $500,000 $7m $12m $12m
2015 $5m $11m $500,000 $16.5 $35m ($18.5m) $35.5m $47.5m
2016 $11m $6m $500,000 $17.5m $35m ($17.5m) $11.5m $59m
2017 $11.5m $6m $500,000 $18m $24m ($6m) $12m $71m
2018 $11m $6m $500,000 $17.5m $12m $5.5m $11.5m $82.5m
2019 $9m $6m $500,000 $15.5m $6m $9.5m $9.5m $92m

This next table shows Revis’ cap hits if the Pats retain his $25 million cap hit in 2015 and then choose to place the franchise tag on him after the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Please note that the player’s franchise tag number is the higher of 120% of his prior year’s cap number OR the result reached in the franchise tag number formula calculation.

Darrelle Revis – w 25 million cap hit in 2015 and then tagged
Year Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Cap No Dead Money Cap Savings Cash Total Cash
2014 $1.5m $5,000,000 $500,000 $7m $0 $0 $12,000,000 $12,000,000
2015 $7.5m $5,000,000 $12,500,000 $25m $8m $17m $20,000,000 $32,000,000
2016 $30m $0 $0 $30m $30m $0 $30,000,000 $62,000,000
2017 $36m $0 $0 $36m $36m $0 $36,000,000 $98,000,000

http://overthecap.com/freeagents.php?Position=CB&Year=2015 lists the cornerbacks who will become free agents after this season. As of now, Revis should be considered the best available free agent cornerback. There is no one that I consider to be in Revis’ class.

http://overthecap.com/top-player-salaries.php?Position=CB lists the APYs for cornerbacks.

  • A extension with a 12M APY would make Revis the 4th highest paid cornerback
  • 12.5M APY would make Revis the 4th highest paid cornerback
  • 13M APY would make Revis the 4th highest paid cornerback
  • 13.5M APY would tie Revis for 3rd
  • 14M APY would tie Revis for 2nd
  • 14.01M APY would tie Revis for 1st

As of February 13, Danny Amendola’s 2015 cap number is $5,700,000 which consists of 4 million salary, $1.2 million in signing bonus proration, and $500,000 ($31,250 per 46-man active roster appearance) roster bonus. Amendola is due $16.5 million in cash from the Patriots for the next three seasons. Danny Amendola also has $500,000 in NTLBE incentives tied to receptions. Do not know the exact trigger level but presume that the lowest level is 64 since he had 63 receptions in 2012.

Cut or Trade Danny Amendola before June 2:

Amendola’s 2015 cap number would then decrease from $5.7 million to $3.6 million – the rest of his signing bonus proration for a gross cap savings of $2.1 million. Since a player with a $510,000 salary would then take his place in the Top 51 list, the the net cap savings for the Patriots would be $1,590,000 ($2.1 million minus $510,000).
Amendola’s 2016 cap number would go from $6.7 million to zero.
Amendola’s 2017 cap number would go from $7.7 million to zero.

Cut Danny Amendola before June 2 and make him a post June 1 designation:

That means the Pats would carry his $4 million salary and his $500,000 roster bonus on their books until June 2nd. On June 2nd he would be released. His 2015 cap number would then drop from $5.7 million to $1.2 million ($1.2 million signing bonus proration) – gross cap savings in 2015 of $4.5 million, net cap savings of $3,915,000.
His 2016 cap number would go from $6.7 million to $2.4 million.
His 2017 cap number would go from $7.7 million to zero.

A Twitter follower asked me to list the pros/cons of designating Amendola a June 2 release as opposed to releasing him before June 1.
Pros: Greater cap savings in 2015 ($3,915,000 versus $1,590,000)
Cons: Less cap savings in 2016 ($4.3 million versus $6.7 million)
More dead money in 2014 ($2.4 million versus zero)
Have to carry Amendola’s $5.7 million on the cap until June 2nd.

Cut or Trade Danny Amendola after June 1:

His 2015 cap number would then drop from $5.7 million to $1.2 million ($1.2 million signing bonus proration) – gross cap savings in 2015 of $4.5 million, net cap savings of $3,990,000.
His 2016 cap number would go from $6.7 million to $2.4 million.
His 2017 cap number would go from $7.575 million to zero.

Lower Danny Amendola’s salary from $4 million to $1.9 million:
This would lower his 2015 cap number from $5.7 million to $3.6 million for a cap savings of $2.1 million. The $3.6 million cap hit with him on the 53-man roster would be the same as releasing him before June 2nd.

Lower Danny Amendola’s salary from $4 million to x million with a chance to recoup reduced salary by reaching NLTBE incentives (This is my preferred scenario)
Danny Amendola could agree to lower his salary and he would have the chance to earn the money back by reaching NLTBE incentives. The incentives could be for

  1. Receptions – Anything more than 27 receptions would be NLTBE
  2. Receiving Yards – Anything more than 200 receiving yards would be NLTBE
  3. Receiving TDs – Anything more than 1 receiving TD would be NLTBE
  4. Wins – Anything more than 12 wins would be NLTBE

These incentives could have different levels. One example is
250 yards – is worth $250,000
500 yards – is worth another $250,000 for a total of $500,000
800 yards – is worth another $500,000 for a total of $1 million

Lower Danny Amendola’s salary from $4 million to $745,000
$745,000 is the lowest minimum salary for a player with Danny Amendola’s experience for a cap savings of $3,255,000. I just doubt that Amendola would agree to such a paycut

Redo Danny Amendola’s entire deal
Danny Amendola and Patriots could come to the realization that he is not worth an average of $5.5 million in cash the next 3 years and lower the cash due Amendola from $16.5 million to X million. Would expect Amendola would get a small signing bonus in return for agreeing to lowering his salaries the next 3 years. Such a move would lower all of his cap numbers.

Here’s one example:
In return for a $3 million signing bonus Amendola agrees to lower his salaries to $1 million, $2 million, $3 million, respectively.
His 2015/2016/2017 cap numbers would all be lowered by $2 million each to $3.7 million, $4.7 million, and $5.7 million respectively.
The downside of doing this type of deal is that it increases Amendola’s dead money hit for all 3 years.

Amendola’s Current Deal in Millions
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Salary 1.25 2.75 4 5 6
Signing Bonus Proration 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2
Roster Bonus .375 .5 .5 .5 .5
Totals 2.825 4.45 5.7 6.7 7.7
Cash Received 7.625 3.25 4.5 5.5 6.5
Total Cash Received 10.875 15.375 20.875 27.375
Amendola’s Proposed Deal
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Salary 1.25 2.75 1 2 3
Signing Bonus Proration 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2
2015 Signing Bonus Proration 1 1 1
Roster Bonus .375 .5 .5 .5 .5
Totals 2.825 4.45 3.7 4.7 5.7
Difference 2 2 2
Cash Received 7.625 3.25 4.5 2.5 3.5
Total Cash Received 10.875 15.375 17.875 21.375
Cash Difference 0 3 3

How Super Bowl Champions New England Patriots can create cap space to repeat in 2015

As of February 7, I have the Patriots 2015 total cap commitments as $151,829,797. The $151,829,797 total is AFTER the Patriots signed all of its practice squad players to 2015 contracts as presumes that the Patriots will tender all 5 ERFAs. There are several projections for the 2015 League cap. They have ranged from $138 million to $146 million.  I will split the difference and use $142 million. I project that that the Patriots adjusted cap number will be about $1.88 million higher than the league cap number. So, as of February 7 I project the Patriots to be over their projected cap number by about $7.9 million. So it appears that the Patriots will need to create cap space by releasing veterans or renegotiating existing contracts. There are plenty of opportunities to do both, thereby opening up millions of dollars under the cap.

March 10, 2015 update – Have Pats under their adjusted cap number of 144,578,084 by $9,556,603

When determining the cap savings from releasing players, keep in mind the Rule of 51. When a player from the top 51 is released or traded, the base salary of the player with the 52nd-highest cap number is added to the cap. For example, if Amendola was released, his cap number would be lowered by $2,100,000, although the actual team savings would be only $1,590,000 because another player’s $510,000 base salary would be added to the team cap.

These numbers are in millions
Player Salary Bonuses Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings after Top 51 effect
Darrelle Revis $7.5 $17.5 $25 $5 $19.49
Tom Brady $8 $6 $14 $18 (-$4.51)
Jerod Mayo $6.25 $4 $10.2875 $6 $3.7775
Vince Wilfork $3 $5.9 $8.9 $.9 $7.6
Rob Gronkowski $4.75 $3.9 $8.65 $8.3 ($.016)
Sebastian Vollmer $2.25 $5.8 $8.02 $4.2 $3.34
Nate Solder $7.438 $0 $7.438 $0 $6.928
Danny Amendola $4 $1.7 $5.7 $3.6 $1.59
Brandon Browner $1.9 $2.9 $4.8 $0 $4.29
Kyle Arrington $3 $1.625 $4.625 $3.5 $.865
Julian Edelman $2.25 $1.9 $4.656 $5.75 (-$1.60375)
Rob Ninkovich $2.1 $1.85 $3.95 $2.5 $.94
Brandon Lafell $1.8 $1.7 $3.5 $2 $.99
Marcus Cannon $1.2 $1.4 $2.6 $2.1 $0
Matthew Slater $1 $.666 $1.666 $2.3 (-$1.08)
Ryan Wendell $1 $.6 $2.45 $.425 $1.515
Michael Hoomanawanui $.8 $.78 $1.58 $.18 $.89
Alfonzo Dennard $1.5724 $0.014462 $1.5724 $0.014462 $1.064
Tavon Wilson $.8 $.78 $1.58 $.18 $.89
LaGarrette Blount $.75 $.25 $1 $0 $.49

Some notes on the above numbers

  • Darrelle Revis’ dead money increases to $17,000,000 the beginning of the 2015 League Year because his $12 million roster bonus is due then
  • Jerod Mayo’s dead money increases to $10.5 million if release is injury-related. $4.5 million of Mayo’s 2015 salary is guaranteed for injury.
  • Rob Gronkowski’s dead money increases to $10,300,000 the beginning of the 2015 League Year because the Patriots would have to count the 2015 proration of his 2016 $10 million option bonus as dead money if they released Gronk after the start of the 2015 League Year.
  • Vince Wilfork’s dead money increases to $4,866,667 the begininng of the 2015 League Year because he is due a $4 million roster bonus then
  • Nate Solder’s dead money increases to $7,438,000 the beginning of the 2015 League Year because his $7.438 million becomes fully guaranteed then
  • Brandon Browner’s dead money increases to $2,000,000 the beginning of the 2015 League Year because he is due a $2 million roster bonus then
  • Matthew Slater’s dead money drops to $1,333,334 if traded because his $1 million salary is fully guaranteed
  • Julian Edelman’s dead money drops to $3,750,000 if traded because $2 million of his 2015 salary is fully guaranteed and his new team would be responsible for it.
  • Rob Ninkovich’s dead money increases to $3,500,000 the 5th day of the 2015 League Year because $1 million of his salary becomes fully guaranteed that day
  • Michael Hoomananawui’s dead money increases to $480,000 the 5th day of the 2015 League Year because he is due a $300,000 roster bonus then
  • LaGarrette Blount’s dead money increases to $100,000 the 5th day of the 2015 League Year because he is due a $100,000 roster bonus then
  • Ryan Wendell’s 2015 cap number may be increased if any part of his $1.25 million in playing-time incentives are classified as LTBE for the 2015 season.
  • Brandon Lafell’s 2015 cap number may be increased if any more part of his 2015 incentives are classified as LTBE for the 2015 season.

Here are some possible ways that the Pats could free up cap space. Please note that I am NOT advocating that the Patriots do all of these salary-cap maneuvers. The bolded maneuvers are my current predictions for that particular player. Am NOT predicting that the Patriots will do all of the bolded moves, just that if they do a move with a player, that it will be the bolded one. There is no need for the Patriots to do all of the bolded moves. The players are listed in descending 2015 cap number. Please note that following some option will result in increasing the player’s cap numbers for future seasons.

  1. Extend Darrelle Revis I outline several possible extensions between the Patriots and Darrelle Revis in this blog post. My preferred deal would create $10 million in cap space
  2. Release Darrelle Revis for a net cap savings of $19,490,000
  3. Redo Jerod Mayo’s deal similar to the 2014 Vince Wilfork restructure for a cap savings of $4,016,667
    Reaching a Wilfork-type deal with Jerod Mayo
  4. Release a healthy Jerod Mayo for a net cap savings of $3,777,500.
  5. Release an injured Jerod Mayo for a net cap loss of (-$722,500). I outline other cap scenarios for the Patriots and Jerod Mayo in this blog post
  6. Release Vince Wilfork for a net cap savings of $7,556,667.
  7. Extend or Restructure Vince Wilfork’s deal giving him a signing bonus in return for a lower salary in 2015 and eliminating the $4 million roster bonus due him on March 10 – net cap savings of between $3 million and $5 million
  8. Extend Sebastian Vollmer through the 2017 season for a net cap savings from 2 to 3 million.
  9. Extend Nate Solder for a net cap savings of $4.389 million. I would use the deal struck between the Arizona Cardinals and Jared Veldheer in March of 2014 as a template. 5 year, $35 million deal. $6.25 million signing bonus. 500,000 each year in 46-man active roster bonuses.
    • 2015 – $6.25m signing bonus, $1.25m fully guaranteed salary, $500,000 in 46-man active roster bonuses. 3 million cap number
    • 2016 – $5.5 million salary. $3 million guaranteed for injury at start of deal, becomes fully guaranteed at the start of 2016 season. $500,000 in 46-man active roster bonuses. $7.25 million cap number
    • 2017/2018/2019 – $6.5 million salary. $500,000 in 46-man active roster bonuses. $8.25 million cap number.

    As rich as this deal sounds, this would put Solder among the lowest paid left tackles who are NOT on a rookie contract.

  10. Release Nate Solder for a net cap savings of $6.928 million.
  11. Lower Danny Amendola’s salary from $4 million to $1.9 million – net cap savings of $2,100,000 which is $510,000 more than what would be achieved by releasing him. Amendola’s 2015 cap number would then be $3.6 million. Releasing Amendola before June 2nd would cause a dead money hit of $3.6 million. For the same amount of cap space as releasing him the Patriots would have on their roster a capable backup for Edelman. I outline other cap scenarios for the Patriots and Danny Amendola in this blog post.
  12. Release Danny Amendola for a net cap savings of $1,590,000
  13. Lower Danny Amendola’s salary from $4 million to $745,000, the lowest minimum salary for a player with Danny Amendola’s experience for a cap savings of $3,255,000. I just doubt that Amendola would agree to such a paycut.
  14. Release Ryan Wendell for a net cap savings of $1,505,000.
  15. Extend or Restructure Brandon Browner’s deal giving him a signing bonus in return for a lower salary in 2015 and eliminating the $2 million roster bonus due him on March 10 – net cap savings of between $1.5 million and $2 million
  16. Release Kyle Arrington for a net cap savings of $865,000
  17. Release Michael Hoomanawanui for a net cap savings of $890,000
  18. Trade or Waive Alfonzo Dennard – net cap savings of about $1 million. Because Alfonzo earned a Proven Performance Escalator, his 2015 salary will increase to the lowest RFA tender which is $1.542 million. Since it seems that both Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler have passed Dennard on their depth chart, there are better uses for Dennard’s $1.542 million salary especially when Dennard has a minuscule dead money hit of $14,462.
  19. Release Tavon Wilson for a net cap savings of $455,166
  20. Release LaGarrett Blount for a net cap savings of $490,000

As you can see from above, the Pats could create $32 million in cap space if they chose to do all of my bolded predictions. The Pats could create $28 million in cap space WITHOUT releasing a single player. The Pats could create over $43 million in cap space without increasing future cap hits.

Here are the moves that I think that will happen

 

  1. Extend Revis
  2. Restructure Mayo
  3. Release Wilfork
  4. Lower Danny Amendola’s salary
  5. Waive Alfonzo Dennard
  6. Release Michael Hoomanawanui

The Patriots may wait to do the other bolded moves for when they need to create cap space.

New England Patriots free-agent breakdown: Jonathan Casillas

Free agency is right around the corner for the Super Bowl champions New England Patriots, who have 15 players with contracts that expire in March. Of the 15, 10 are unrestricted free agents and five are exclusive rights free agents. I’m taking a look at a free agent and the reasons why he will or won’t be re-signed.

Previous entries in this series
Wide Receiver Greg Orton
Lineback James Morris
Wide Receiver Brian Tyms
Fullback James Develin
Defensive Tackle Sealver Siliga
Linebacker Chris White

I will now take a look at Jonathan Casillas, who will be an unrestricted free agent. A player becomes an unrestricted free agent after four accrued seasons. A player earns an accrued season for each season during which he was on, or should have been on, full pay status for a total of six or more regular season games, but which, irrespective of the player’s pay status, shall not include games for which the player was on: (i) the Exempt Commissioner Permission List, (ii) the Reserve PUP List as a result of a nonfootball injury, or (iii) a Club’s Practice Squad. Games on IR count. Jonathan Casillas has five accrued seasons. Jonathan Casillas’ minimum salary in 2015 will be $730,000. Jonathan Casillas is also eligible for the MSB (Minimum Salary Benefit) treatment meaning that if he signs a qualifying deal only $570,000 of his salary would count against the cap, a $160,000 savings.

Year signed: 2014

Length of previous deal: One deal

2014 cap value: $1,400,000 ($1,100,000 salary, $200,000 signing bonus, $100,000 offseason workout bonus)

2014 role: Backup linebacker who also played on Special Teams. The Patriots traded their 2015 fifth-round pick for Casillas and the Buccaneers’ 6th round pick. He was active for 8 games. Played on defense in 7 games for a total of 158 snaps. Played between 17 to 22 special teams snaps in 13 games. His special teams snaps total of 257 was the fourth highest on the team. As you can see on the PatsFans.Com stats database Jonathan Casillas had 14 tackles and assisted on 8 others.

Why he will be re-signed:
I had asked on the PatsFans.Com messageboard for input regarding Jonathan. Chasa opined: “played well
good on special teams”. Mgteich responded “Casillas is probably worth more to the patriots than to other teams. I would expect him to receive about $1.5M – $2M a year. In any case, we should re-sign him because he provides great value as a backup linebacker and as a special teamer. His is the perfect Belichick backup linebacker.” BobDigital wrote: “I like Casillas but I don’t want to go over board on needing to sign him. He would be nice to sign sure but the Pats don’t use the base much as is and you already have 3 probowl quality LBs on your team as is who will be fighting for time. If they are all healthy accept for blowouts Casillas will not see the field much.The reason you keep Casillas is for STs and in case of injury. How much is that worth? Hard to say. I think if he wants 2M a year he is probably gone but 1.5 or lower be managable. He played well here but lets not turn his play into something it wasn’t. He looked good compared to the other 3rd LB options we had.I want to keep him but if some team is willing to pay him 2M I don’t see the Pats matching it cause he is frankly not worth it to us with the guys we already have.Keep him for 1.5-1 which is what i think he will probably cost in the end.”

My take: Jonathan added much needed depth at the linebacker position in 2014 while also providing solid special-teams play. 2015 is his best chance to maximize his value. I see him signing a two/three deal that averages between $1.5 million and $2 million a year.

Why he won’t be re-signed: I had asked on the PatsFans.Com messageboard for input regarding Jonathan. Chasa opined: “Other teams might offer more money
replacable”

Prediction:Jonathan Casillas will be re-signed to a three- year deal  that averages $1.5 million in value that could increase in value to an average of two million depending on reached incentives.

Credit – I have customized ESPN’s Corey Harvey’s Bengals free agency template for the Patriots.

At his current cap number of $10,287,500 Jerod Mayo has the 2nd highest number of all inside linebackers and the 5th highest cap number of all linebackers.  After ending the past two seasons on Injured Reserve Jerod Mayo is not worth such a high cap number. Therefore, as we get closer to the start of the 2015 League Year we should look at the possible salary cap moves that exist between Jerod Mayo and the New England Patriots

As of February 3rd, Jerod Mayo’s 2015 cap number is $10,287,500 which consists of

  • $6.25 million salary ($4.5 million of which is guaranteed for injury)
  • $3.6 million in signing bonus proration
  • $250,000 offseason workout bonus
  • $187,400 $31,250 per 46-man active roster bonus. If Mayo plays in all 16 games, this total increases to $500,000.
  • Jerod Mayo also has a $300,000 Pro Bowl bonus which is not counting against the 2015 cap.

His 2016 cap number of $10,087,500 consists of

  • $7.25 million salary
  • $2.4 million in signing bonus proration
  • $250,000 offseason workout bonus
  • $187,500 $31,250 per 46-man active roster bonus. If Mayo plays in all 16 games, this total increases to $500,000.
  • Jerod Mayo also has a $300,000 Pro Bowl bonus which is not counting against the cap

His 2017 cap number of $9,187,500 consists of

  • $8.75 million salary
  • $250,000 offseason workout bonus
  • $187,500 $31,250 per 46-man active roster bonus. If Mayo plays in all 16 games, this total increases to $500,000.
  • Jerod Mayo also has a $300,000 Pro Bowl bonus which is not counting against the cap

Now that we know the parameters of his current deal let’s look at possible moves by the Patriots. March 5, 2015 update As I tweeted in February please note that every player contract has this clause in it – “Player represents that he is and will maintain himself in excellent physical condition”. I take that to mean that the Patriots and Mayo can not redo his deal until Jerod passes a physical. March 12, 2015 update Some players have signed injury waivers . A couple of sources have told me that they doubt Mayo would sign an injury waiver until he was comfortable that he was healthy.

Cut an injured Jerod Mayo before June 2:

Mayo’s 2015 cap number would then increase from $10,287,500 to $10.5 million – the rest of his signing bonus proration ($6 million) and the $4.5 million salary that was guaranteed for injury. Since a player with a $510,000 salary would then take his place in the Top 51 list, the Patriots would lose $722,500 ($212,500 plus $510,000) in cap space
Mayo’s 2016 cap number would go from $10,087,500 to zero.
Mayo’s 2017 cap number would go from $9,187,500 to zero.

Current Deal Injured and Cut Before 6/2
Salary $6,250,000 $4,500,000
46-man active Roster Bonus $187,500
2012 Option Bonus Proration $2,400,000 $4,800,000
2011 Signing Bonus Proration $1,200,000 $1,200,000
OffSeason Workout Bonus $250,000
Totals $10,287,500 $10,500,000
2015 Gross Cap Savings ($212,500)

Cut or Trade a healthy Jerod Mayo before June 2:

Mayo’s 2015 cap number would then decrease from $10,287,500 to $6 million – the rest of his signing bonus proration. Since a player with a $510,000 salary would then take his place in the Top 51 list, the Patriots would gain $3,777,500 ($4,287,500 minus $510,000) in cap space
Mayo’s 2016 cap number would go from $10,087,500 to zero.
Mayo’s 2017 cap number would go from $9,187,500 to zero.

Current Deal Cut Before 6/2
Salary $6,250,000
46-man active Roster Bonus $187,500
2012 Option Bonus Proration $2,400,000 $4,800,000
2011 Signing Bonus Proration $1,200,000 $1,200,000
OffSeason Workout Bonus $250,000
Totals $10,287,500 $6,000,000
2015 Gross Cap Savings $4,287,500

Cut an injured Jerod Mayo before June 2 and make him a post June 1 designation:

That means the Pats would carry his $6.25 million salary and his $187,500 roster bonus on their books until June 2nd. On June 2nd he would be released. His 2015 cap number would then drop from $10,287,500 to $8,350,000 ($3.6 million signing bonus proration;$250,000 offseason workout;$4.5 million salary that was guaranteed for injury) – gross cap savings in 2015 of $1,937,500, net cap savings of $1,352,500 since by June a player with a $585,000 salary would take his place in the Top 51. Please note that I am presuming that Mayo by rehabbing would qualify for earning his offseason workout bonus.
Mayo’s 2016 cap number would go from $10,087,500 to $2,400,000.
Mayo’s 2017 cap number would go from $9,187,500 to zero.

Current Deal Injured and Cut Before 6/2 and a post June 1 designation
Salary $6,250,000 $4,500,000
46-man active Roster Bonus $187,500
2012 Option Bonus Proration $2,400,000 $2,400,000
2011 Signing Bonus Proration $1,200,000 $1,200,000
OffSeason Workout Bonus $250,000 $250,000
Totals $10,287,500 $8,350,000
2015 Gross Cap Savings $1,937,500

Cut or Trade Jerod Mayo after June 1:

That means the Pats would carry his $6.25 million salary and his $187,500 roster bonus on their books until June 2nd. After June 1st he would be traded. His 2015 cap number would then drop from $10,287,500 to $3,850,000 ($3.6 million signing bonus proration;$250,000 offseason workout) – gross cap savings in 2015 of $6,437,500, net cap savings of $5,852,500 since by June a player with a $585,000 salary would take his place in the Top 51. Please note that I am presuming that Mayo by rehabbing would qualify for earning his offseason workout bonus.
Mayo’s 2016 cap number would go from $10,087,500 to $2,400,000.
Mayo’s 2017 cap number would go from $9,187,500 to zero.

Current Deal Cut or Traded after June 1
Salary $6,250,000
46-man active Roster Bonus $187,500
2012 Option Bonus Proration $2,400,000 $2,400,000
2011 Signing Bonus Proration $1,200,000 $1,200,000
OffSeason Workout Bonus $250,000 $250,000
Totals $10,287,500 $3,850,000
2015 Gross Cap Savings $6,437,500

Lower Jerod Mayo’s salary from $6.25 million to $1.9 million:

This would lower his 2015 cap number from $10,287,500 to $5,937,500 for a cap savings of $4.35 million. The $5,937,500 cap hit with him on the 53-man roster is less than releasing him before June 2nd ($6 million).
Mayo’s 2016 cap number remains at $10,087,500.
Mayo’s 2017 cap number remains at $9,187,500.

Current Deal Lowered Salary to $1.9 million
Salary $6,250,000 $1,900,000
46-man active Roster Bonus $187,500 $187,500
2012 Option Bonus Proration $2,400,000 $2,400,000
2011 Signing Bonus Proration $1,200,000 $1,200,000
OffSeason Workout Bonus $250,000 $250,000
Totals $10,287,500 $5,937,500
2015 Gross Cap Savings $4,350,000

Lower Jerod Mayo’s salary from $6.25 million to $870,000 (the lowest possible salary for a player with Mayo’s experience)

This would lower his 2015 cap number from $10,287,500 to $4,907,500 for a cap savings of $5.38 million. The $4,907,500 cap hit with him on the 53-man roster is less than releasing him before June 2nd ($6 million).
Mayo’s 2016 cap number remains at $10,087,500.
Mayo’s 2017 cap number remains at $9,187,500.

Current Deal Lowered Salary to $870,000
Salary $6,250,000 $870,000
46-man active Roster Bonus $187,500 $187,500
2012 Option Bonus Proration $2,400,000 $2,400,000
2011 Signing Bonus Proration $1,200,000 $1,200,000
OffSeason Workout Bonus $250,000 $250,000
Totals $10,287,500 $4,907,500
2015 Gross Cap Savings $5,380,000

Offer Jerod Mayo the same exact deal as Vince Wilfork

This would lower his 2015 cap number from $10,287,500 to $6,270,833 for a cap savings of $4,016,667. The $6,270,833 cap hit with him on the 53-man roster is just more $270,833 more than releasing him before June 2nd ($6 million) while providing greater cap savings.
Mayo’s 2016 cap number would increase from $10,087,500 to $10,720,833.
Mayo’s 2017 cap number would increase from $9,187,500 to $9,620,834.
Offering Mayo Wilfork's restructure

Offer Jerod Mayo the same exact deal as Vince Wilfork but without the $1.3 million signing bonus.
This would lower his 2015 cap number from $10,287,500 to $5,837,500 for a cap savings of $4,450,000. The $5,837,500 cap hit with him on the 53-man roster is less than the one achieved by releasing him before June 2nd ($6 million) while providing greater cap savings.
Mayo’s 2016 cap number remains at $10,087,500.
Mayo’s 2017 cap number remains at $9,187,500.
Offering Mayo Wilfork's restructure

New England Patriots free-agent breakdown: Chris White

Free agency is right around the corner for the New England Patriots, who have 15 players with contracts that expire in March. Of the 15, 10 are unrestricted free agents and five are exclusive rights free agents. I’m taking a look at a free agent and the reasons why he will or won’t be re-signed.

Previous entries in this series
Wide Receiver Greg Orton
Lineback James Morris
Wide Receiver Brian Tyms
Fullback James Develin
Defensive Tackle Sealver Siliga

I will now take a look at Chris White, who will be an unrestricted free agent. Chris White has four accrued seasons. A player earns an accrued season for each season during which he was on, or should have been on, full pay status for a total of six or more regular season games, but which, irrespective of the player’s pay status, shall not include games for which the player was on: (i) the Exempt Commissioner Permission List, (ii) the Reserve PUP List as a result of a nonfootball injury, or (iii) a Club’s Practice Squad. Games on IR count. Chris White has four accrued seasons. Chris White’s minimum salary in 2015 will be $730,000. Chris White is also eligible for the MSB (Minimum Salary Benefit) treatment meaning that if he signs a qualifying deal only $570,000 of his salary would count against the cap, a $160,000 savings. Chris White was claimed off waivers from the Detroit Lions on September 1, 2013. He was waived by the Patriots on August 31st and then re-signed on September 4, 2014.

Year signed: 2014

Length of previous deal: One deal

2014 cap value: $650,600

2014 role: Backup linebacker who played primarily on Special Teams. He was a healthy scratch for 3 games. Played on defense in 3 games for a total of 7 snaps. Played between 17 to 22 special teams snaps in 13 games. His special teams snaps total of 257 was the fourth highest on the team. As you can see on the PatsFans.Com stats database Chris White did not have a tackle while playing defense. According to
TeamRankings.Com’s special teams tackles database Chris White had 7 solo tackles, 4 assisted tackles for a total of 11 tackles. His totals rank him 3rd, tied for 1st, and tied for 2nd respectively.

Why he will be re-signed:
I had asked on the PatsFans.Com messageboard for input regarding Chris White. Mgteich responded “If White is cost-effective, then he should be re-signed. However, guys like Fleming might be a better choice. Also, if Casillas is definitely back, then I would be less likely to re-sign White.In the end, as long as the bonus money isn’t high, we should try to re-sign White. After all, there are injuries on Special Teams, just like any other group, and the insurance is certainly worth something.
My take: Specializing in Special Teams lowers his value making it more likely that he will agree to a cap-friendly deal with the Patriots. The Patriots could give a small signing bonus ($10,000), small offseason workout bonus of $10,000, and Week 1 roster bonus of $60,000 and still have Chris White’s deal qualify for MSB treatment.

Why he won’t be re-signed:I had asked on the PatsFans.Com messageboard for input regarding Chris White. Mgteich responded “If White is cost-effective, then he should be re-signed. However, guys like Fleming might be a better choice. Also, if Casillas is definitely back, then I would be less likely to re-sign White.
My take: The August 31st waiving shows that the Patriots are more than willing to move from Chris White. Since that waiving the Patriots signed Jonathan Casillas who not only plays special-teams but also plays the linebacker position.

Prediction:Chris White will be re-signed to a one-year deal at a $730,000 salary with no more than $50,000 in additional compensation. $570,000 + $50,000 = $620,000 cap number.

Credit – I have customized ESPN’s Corey Harvey’s Bengals free agency template for the Patriots.