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Thread: Reality: Salary Cap and making decisions

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoast View Post
    And was it worth it? Football outsiders has him as the 15th ranked QB.... and that's with a Gurley as RB.
    I'm not against trying for a franchise QB, but I am against paying a king's ransom to trade up and get one.
    Better to tank for a year than trade away that many draft picks IMO.
    Talent vs coaching: [url]www.planetsteelers.com/forums/showthread.php/48851-Poll-Question-for-Everyone/page14[/url]

    Steelers vs. Other Teams with good QBs: ... /47985-Steelers-most-successful-failure/page5

    Tomlin playoff record vs. expectations (Cowher pg24): ... /48742-Rooney-Brown-meeting/page22

    Tomlin's Las year: ... 49599-Just-sayin?p=778284#post778284

    Maniac Talent>Coaching: ...49632-Trades?p=779158#post779158

  2. #32
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    NFL QB pay is distorted and making teams noncompetitive... article a year old but spot on. Also the first I have seen Kraft admit Brady takes less than his value which enables them to be contenders:

    https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2019/1...atrick-mahomes


    In 1966, San Francisco 49ers star quarterback John Brodie received a contract pitch from the Houston Oilers: “We can set things up so that if you want to, all you’ll ever have to do is play golf and drink beer and gamble,” Oilers general manager Don Klosterman told him, according to the book America’s Game. A better offer has not been made to a quarterback in the five decades since, though teams have tried. In the era of the booming salary cap, quarterbacks are being paid a disproportionately high percentage of their team’s available dollars. They account for the 14 largest salary cap hits in 2018—in 2011, there were six QBs in the top 14. Denver quarterback Case Keenum has the same cap hit in 2018 as Houston defensive end J.J. Watt. San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s guaranteed salary this season is higher than the entire salary cap for a team in 1996. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is making $66.9 million this year as part of his new deal, which is $4 million more than a team’s entire salary cap in 2000.

    The problem with teams committing so much of their cap space to quarterbacks is that it is clearly an unsuccessful strategy. None of the five highest-paid quarterbacks in 2018 by average salary—Rodgers, Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins, Garoppolo, and Detroit’s Matthew Stafford—made the playoffs. Only Cousins came close. It’s overly simplistic to say that paying a quarterback a lot of money prohibits a team from being successful. New Orleans’s Drew Brees, Indianapolis’s Andrew Luck, and Seattle’s Russell Wilson each make over $20 million a year. We’re dealing with a small sample size, but what is clear from the 2018 season is that there are too many quarterbacks being paid like superstars. And it’s very bad for team-building if your highly paid quarterback doesn’t play like a superstar.

    The problem is simple: The more you give to a quarterback, the less you give to everyone else. This is fine as long as the quarterback plays to the value of his contract, or as long as a handful of cheap rookies come through to fill the gaps, as is the case in New Orleans and Indianapolis. When those things don’t happen, teams usually fail. Quarterbacks have been given huge extensions because teams deemed it risky not to, but it turns out going all in on a cap-eating quarterback is one of the riskiest propositions in the sport.

    “Once you decide a guy can’t win a Super Bowl, you should figure out how to get off that path with him. You cannot pay a middling starter like an elite guy.” —Zack Moore, salary cap expert
    Rising league revenues have pushed the salary cap from $123 million in 2013 to $177 million this season, giving teams more freedom. “There’s just a lot more flexibility,” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach told me. This era of salary growth came after changes to the value of rookie contracts. In 2010, no. 1 overall draft pick Sam Bradford received about $50 million guaranteed. A year later, after the new collective bargaining agreement, no. 1 pick Cam Newton signed for $22 million guaranteed. These changes have created unprecedented bargains. Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes II, this season’s presumptive MVP, is earning $3.7 million this year, making him the 400th-highest-paid player in the league. He gets about $800,000 less than Falcons backup Matt Schaub and is under contract until 2021.

    A consequence of these salary fluctuations is that NFL teams dump all but the top veterans once their rookie contracts are up. (This has had the added effect of lowering the average age of NFL players.) Just as there are more bargains to be found in the draft, there is also more money to spend, and a salary floor that requires teams to spend it. A lot of this money has gone to quarterbacks, and not always to good ones, which has created a disjointed, stunningly bad market for the position. Washington star cornerback Josh Norman told me this year that quarterback pay should be capped because not enough money goes to defensive players. (The real answer is for owners to pay every NFL player more money, but that’s a different issue.)

    It’s easier than ever to play the position in the NFL, and innovative offenses are getting better at maximizing the value of young quarterbacks. Teams like the Rams, Bears, and Chiefs are in enviable situations with young quarterbacks who are under contract for multiple years. Making the wrong decision about paying a quarterback can have disastrous consequences. “Teams act out of fear with quarterbacks,” Zack Moore, a salary cap expert and author of Caponomics: Building Super Bowl Champions, told me. “Once you decide a guy can’t win a Super Bowl, you should figure out how to get off that path with him. You cannot pay a middling starter like an elite guy.”


  3. #33
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    ...............
    Contracts for NFL quarterbacks are generally thought to fall into two categories: less lucrative rookie deals and expensive veteran deals. This is not necessarily true. “There’s a third category,” said Jason Fitzgerald, the founder of Over the Cap, who has consulted for NFL teams. This category includes star players who have outperformed their deals as the cap has risen. Fitzgerald explained that players like Wilson and Luck, who signed new deals in 2015 and 2016, respectively, have become relative bargains as their deals age. Wilson and Luck are far better players than Oakland’s Derek Carr and Stafford, yet they make less. Stafford’s cap hit this year is $2 million more than Luck’s, $3 million more than Wilson’s, and $4.5 million more than Philip Rivers’s, who signed his deal with the Chargers in 2015.

    “There was stagnation, and the quarterback market wasn’t moving, and then that thing jumped like crazy,” salary cap expert and former agent Joel Corry said. “Everyone became king for a day. Carr was the highest paid for 15 minutes, then Stafford, then Ryan, then Rodgers.”

    Fitzgerald thinks the chaos started around 2013, when Rodgers signed a five-year, $110 million contract. Rodgers is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and could have demanded much more, but his deal came at a time when essentially all veteran quarterbacks were paid within the same range. For instance, Rodgers had the same cap hit in 2017 ($20 million) as Miami’s Ryan Tannehill.

    “Jay Cutler was the quintessential ‘fear of the unknown’ quarterback. I think as the cap continues to go up, the new Jay Cutlers of the world will benefit.” —Joel Corry, former agent
    “Ryan Tannehill is the perfect example of it. He was paid as a top quarterback only because he was a starter,” Fitzgerald said of that wave of extensions. “There was nothing in his body of work that showed he should be a $19 million quarterback. Those teams put themselves at a disadvantage and you won’t find too many of them in the playoffs.”

    Joe Flacco’s contract extension in 2013, which paid him $52 million in guarantees despite his mediocrity, didn’t help matters. According to Corry, the deal that came to epitomize the NFL’s stupidity in awarding quarterback contracts was Jay Cutler’s seven-year, $127 million deal, with $54 million in guarantees, in 2014. “Jay Cutler was the quintessential ‘fear of the unknown’ quarterback,” Corry said. “I think as the cap continues to go up, the new Jay Cutlers of the world will benefit.”

    The reason we know that fear of the unknown is still motivating decision-making in NFL front offices is clear: No team in recent memory has willingly given up on a healthy starting quarterback without spending a high draft pick on the position or bringing in a high-priced replacement. When Cousins left the Redskins last year to sign a three-year, $84 million fully guaranteed deal with the Vikings, Washington didn’t replace him with a low-cost option. It traded a third-round pick to the Chiefs for Alex Smith and signed him to an extension worth nearly as much as Cousins’s contract.

    Teams can surely win with a high-priced quarterback. The Saints are not going to ask for their money back on Brees, nor will the Colts or Seahawks on their respective passers. What is important is how teams operate without the salary cap flexibility provided by a starting quarterback on a rookie deal. Moore, who studies how Super Bowl teams are built, said rookie contracts provide so much value that it’s changing the nature of how to build a team. It is not news to say that you need to hit on draft picks, but it’s arguably more important than ever. Get it right, and you can stack many more expensive players.

    Patriots owner Robert Kraft told Sports Illustrated in 2013 that if Tom Brady made “elite” quarterback money, the team wouldn’t have been able to build a contender. His comments came before the great quarterback pay boom. Brady has taken less than his market value at basically every turn. A team can pay a quarterback a lot of money and win at a high level, but it becomes harder to build the rest of the roster.

    The only team to win the Super Bowl while having its two highest-paid players make more than 21.6 percent of the salary cap is the 49ers in 1994 with Steve Young and Jerry Rice. Teams that spread the money around usually benefit. The two highest-paid players on the Eagles’ Super Bowl–winning team last year combined for 11.6 percent of the cap. The New York Giants paid Eli Manning and Olivier Vernon 22 percent of the cap this season. Moore points out that the 2017 Falcons came close to winning the Super Bowl with Ryan and Julio Jones accounting for nearly 25 percent of the cap, but Atlanta had a heavy concentration of talented rookie defenders on cheap contracts. The Saints pay Brees and Cameron Jordan slightly over 21.6 percent, meaning they could follow the example set by the 1994 49ers. That, of course, is made possible by the fact that Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, and Marshon Lattimore, among many others, are playing at superstar levels on rookie deals.

    No team has a higher percentage of its cap tied up in rookie contracts than the Baltimore Ravens. The Colts are third. The Chargers are fourth. The Saints are seventh. It is undoubtedly a smart team-building strategy. However, before you assume it’s the only team-building strategy, note that the Patriots, one of the smartest teams in football, are … 32nd.

    The lesson is obvious: don’t overpay. There are new, different ways to win in the NFL. The lesson of Mitchell Trubisky’s success in Chicago is that his contract allows the Bears to pay Khalil Mack. Jared Goff’s deal allows Aaron Donald and many other Rams players to get paid. It doesn’t mean that when the time comes, those teams should spend exorbitant amounts of money on Trubisky and Goff. Maybe teams will get smarter. There might be a test soon: Tannehill and Flacco could be hitting the market
    .

  4. #34
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    This was my point when debating paying skill positions top dollar vs a QB.

    I know franchise QB’s are valuable but any QB on a second contract is going to make ridiculous money.

    Does anyone think paying a QB who is over 36 years old top dollar is a better investment than paying other positions top dollar and rolling with a game manager?

    People on here love to talk about the Bubby Brister years but we had some extremely competitive teams with ODonnell and Kordell reached a championship game or 2.

    If we didn’t pay Ben last year and decided to move on we could’ve kept the D together AND probably moved him for premium picks. Even if he retired we could use some of his money to get a stop gap or move up to try and find another franchise QB.

    Maybe Ben shocks the world and has one more run in him. I would gladly eat that crow.. and I still think a gimpy Ben can get us 10 wins next year but IMO thats still a ton of money for what could end up being a slightly above average year.

    Folks need to accept that we paid Ben for what he has done for us and not for what we think he could do for 3 more years. I don’t think there is anything Ben could do besides go Lamar Jackson MVP style to justify that much money. QB salaries are stupid high these days.
    Tomlin’s coming back so what can you do?


  5. #35
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    Good article that explains the why of the salary cap mess the Steelers are in this year:

    By F. S. "Flip" Fisher@Flipsteeler Jan 7, 2020, 8:47am EST

    The Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 offseason started when they did not make the playoffs. As we all know, there is no true offseason in the NFL. One aspect that has become a hot topic here at BTSC is players the team should keep, ditch, and bring in via free agency. Before readers can fill out their wish list or take out their frustration and demand a player be jettisoned from the team, people need to be informed about the ramifications such a move would incur. Because of two quirks in the last year of the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the team cannot operate with the mentality of business as usual. (There are other quirks but they will not affect the Steelers.)

    What are the two quirks in the NFL’s CBA that will affect the Steelers 2020 cap situation?

    The first, the 30 percent rule. What is it? A stipulation in the CBA states that a team cannot pay a player over 30 percent, on a restructured or new contract signed in 2020, from 2020 to 2021, 2021 to 2022, and 2022 to 2023. This also includes restructured deals.

    To put this into real-world scenario, let’s look at Bud Dupree. If the Steelers wanted to give him a five year contract and his 2020 cap hit was $10 million, his 2021 salary could be no greater than $13 million. His cap hit for 2022 could not be greater than $16 million while his 2023 cap hit could not be greater than $19 million. In essence, no backloading the contact to give the team cap relief in 2020, which is desperately needed.

    Joe Haden’s contract is a prime example. He could not have signed his deal in 2020 because his second year cap hit of $12.6 million is over 30 percent greater than his first year of $8,716,668.

    The Steelers have for years structured contracts in a fashion that restructuring the deal down the road can happen. Because of the 30 percent rule, the team cannot save drastic amounts of cap space with a restructure. In a normal season, Stefon Tuitt would be a prime candidate for a restructure. His P5 (Base salary) is $9 million. The Steelers would normally give him $8 million of his P5 salary in the form of a signing bonus reducing his cap hit to $9.61 million. But such a move would cause his 2021 salary to be much greater than 30 percent of his 2020 cap number.

    The second quirk, the team cannot declare a player as a Post June 1 cut. What does that mean you ask? If a player has over one season left on his contract, his organization can opt to declare him as such and spread the dead money from the guaranteed money left on his contract over two seasons.

    To put this into perspective let’s look at Ben Roethlisberger’s contact. Big Ben has two years left on his deal and has already been paid out his signing bonus. If the team feels that he cannot continue his playing career, they would cut him before his $12.5 million roster bonus due on March 22. Each of the next two seasons have $12.5 million in prorated signing bonus money. In a normal season, the team could opt to eat $12.5 million in dead money each season. Not 2020 though. The Steelers would have to eat the full $25 million in 2020.

    Why is the above so important to understand for 2020? Just glancing at Over the Cap and Steeler Nation will notice that the team is sitting on just under $4.9 million in cap space. This includes 2020 dead cap space, 2019 carryover money, and an increase of $12 million over 2019 season.

    That figure is for the 46 players under contract. (The Steelers have more that the team signed from the practice squad but OTC does not have them listed.) This is not even enough money to sign the team’s 2020 draft class which is projected to cost close to $5.1 million.

    What other costs are not included in OTC’s figures? That is what I will tackle in the second part of this series, so be on the lookout for upcoming articles where I bloat the cap and then get the team in compliance with NFL rules.


    https://www.behindthesteelcurtain.co...ss-in-2020-nfl

  6. #36
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    The term "Cap Hell" comes to mind.
    From the 2010-2019 season, (A 9 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks.
    Dolphin fans in the 90’s who wanted to hold on to Don Shula for what he did in the 70’s...

    Are the same as Steeler fans (of 2020 ) holding on to Tomlin for what he did in 2008.

    [url]http://www.planetsteelers.com/forums/showthread.php/50121-A-Positive-View-of-they-Draft/page17[/url]

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoast View Post
    NFL QB pay is distorted and making teams noncompetitive... article a year old but spot on. Also the first I have seen Kraft admit Brady takes less than his value which enables them to be contenders:

    https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2019/1...atrick-mahomes
    To update the numbers for this year, 3 of the top 5 cap hit QBs missed the playoffs (and 10 of the top 15)

    Goff (missed)
    Ryan (missed)
    Ben (missed)
    Cousins (made)
    Wilson (made)
    Stafford (missed)
    Garapolo (made)
    Flacco (missed)
    Foles (missed)
    Rogers (made)
    Carr (missed)
    Smith (missed)
    Brissett (missed)
    Brees (made)
    Newton (missed)

    So this year, 33% teams with a QB in the top 15 cap hits made the playoffs (5/15). Teams with QBs outside the top 15 cap hits made the playoffs at 41% (7/17).

    As with all positions, you win in a cap league when you pay your talent less than market value.

    Brady isn't on this list because he's got the 18th cap hit. He may be declining, but he's still better than 17 other QBs.

    Rodgers and Brees are in the top 15, but they're also paid below their ranking at the position IMO. Wentz is ranked 16th in cap hit.

    Again we see the benefit of good QBs on Rookie deals. AFC favorites Baltimore (32nd) and KC (27th) are playing on easy mode with good QBs on cheap rookie deals. Josh Allen made the playoffs (26th). Tennehil isn't even on the list at Sportrac, but he'd be 38th. I don't see Mariota either, but he'd be about 25.

    Ben is paid above his ranking at the position IMO, but there will probably be new contracts this year that push his cap hit down the list.
    Talent vs coaching: [url]www.planetsteelers.com/forums/showthread.php/48851-Poll-Question-for-Everyone/page14[/url]

    Steelers vs. Other Teams with good QBs: ... /47985-Steelers-most-successful-failure/page5

    Tomlin playoff record vs. expectations (Cowher pg24): ... /48742-Rooney-Brown-meeting/page22

    Tomlin's Las year: ... 49599-Just-sayin?p=778284#post778284

    Maniac Talent>Coaching: ...49632-Trades?p=779158#post779158

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoast View Post
    NFL QB pay is distorted and making teams noncompetitive... article a year old but spot on. Also the first I have seen Kraft admit Brady takes less than his value which enables them to be contenders:

    https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2019/1...atrick-mahomes
    You do realize that the folly here is that EVERY REMAINING NFC QB is listed in that article as overpaid right?
    Rogers
    Garopolo
    Wilson
    Cousins

    Brees also made the playoffs
    Last edited by Captain Lemming; 01-07-2020 at 11:40 AM.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz View Post
    This was my point when debating paying skill positions top dollar vs a QB.
    You had that debate with me. And my last post shows how correct I am.

    FACT:
    More future HOF QBs were in the NFC playoffs this year than HOF caliber runningbacks have won SBs in 20 years.

    Skill position players- Overpaid.
    Elite QBs- Nope

    I do get what people are saying and it "IS" a fact that teams with elite young QBs have a HUGE advantage.

    But if I'm Seattle last season and have a choice between paying Wilson and spending his money on elite skill positions?
    It is going to the QB. And what doesnt go to him is going defense before flashy skill players.

    The money spent on QB...is money well spent my friends.
    Last edited by Captain Lemming; 01-07-2020 at 11:45 AM.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Lemming View Post
    You had that debate with me. And my last post shows how correct I am.

    FACT:
    More future HOF QBs were in the NFC playoffs this year than HOF caliber runningbacks have won SBs in 20 years.

    Skill position players- Overpaid.
    Elite QBs- Nope

    I do get what people are saying and it "IS" a fact that teams with elite young QBs have a HUGE advantage.

    But if I'm Seattle last season and have a choice between paying Wilson and spending his money on elite skill positions?
    It is going to the QB. And what doesnt go to him is going defense before flashy skill players.

    The money spent on QB...is money well spent my friends.
    The problem is that lots of teams pay QB hoping they'll be elite. And then too many hang on because they were elite.

    I think the list of the top 15 cap hits certainly shows the former.

    And I think Ben illustrates the latter. I think we paid him like an elite QB when he was "only" a QB with above average results (note that above average is hard to be when the elite guys skew the mean upward so that most players have below average results).

    Also: Brady shows us that future HOF player doesn't necessarily mean huge cap hit (maybe Rogers and Brees show something similar to a lesser extent).
    Talent vs coaching: [url]www.planetsteelers.com/forums/showthread.php/48851-Poll-Question-for-Everyone/page14[/url]

    Steelers vs. Other Teams with good QBs: ... /47985-Steelers-most-successful-failure/page5

    Tomlin playoff record vs. expectations (Cowher pg24): ... /48742-Rooney-Brown-meeting/page22

    Tomlin's Las year: ... 49599-Just-sayin?p=778284#post778284

    Maniac Talent>Coaching: ...49632-Trades?p=779158#post779158

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