First, I'm terribly sorry that this thread was deleted. I was attempting to delete specific posts, but I clicked the "Delete Thread" button instead of the "Delete Post" button. Clump, if you need to make changes just let me know. Hope you, and everyone else understands...
Just an update for my Fishy friends!
Even though I'm a Bills fan, when it comes to the draft or the cap, I'm unbiased. Many of you will not believe that, but it is true. I offer my numbers that I maintain from a spreadsheet I've kept on the Fish (and of course my Bills) for 2 seasons. I don't need to keep one of the Pats because there is one available at www.patsfans.com/miguel . I'm going to try the Jets cap this offseason and keep track of the AFC East so as to be an informed nuisance
I presently have Miami $2.081 million OVER the projected 2003 cap of $73.9 million with 51 players signed. However, the recent extension of the DirecTV deal may lead to an increase in the cap number to as much as $76 million. We will all know in a couple of weeks.
According to www.nflpa.org and other sources, the follwing players are UFAs: DE Bowens, WR C. Carter, TE D. Clark, OT Dixon, RB Edwards, WR Gadsden, LB Gaylon, FB Konrad, CB Miranda, P Royals, OT B. Smith, OT Spriggs, and TE Weaver. RFAs: S Freeman, S Gamble, DB R. Green, DE Ogunleye, and DT Haley. EFAs: WR A. Johnson RFA FB Deon Dyer was already re-signed to 2 yr deal with salaries of 450K and 535K, I assumed $100,000 signing bonus)
Recent information indicates that Miami wants to keep Dixon, Gadsden, Konrad, and Royals. Possibly Bowens and Weaver. UFAs gone will likely be Carter, Clark, Edawards, Gaylon, Miranda, Smith, and Spriggs. RFAs and EFAs that are likely be retained: all except Green. Each player must be tendered prior to the start of the 2003 League Year (end of February). Minimum qualifying offers are likely to be as follows:
S Freeman (5th rd compensation): $615,000 (approx. )
S Gamble (no compensation): $615,000
DT Haley (7th rd compensation): $615,000 (Is he worth 1st rd tender??)
DE Ogunleye (no compensation): $615,000 (He is likely to receive 1st rd tender of approx. $1.5 million)
WR A. Johnson (EFA): $330,000
This would impact the cap as follows: It increases the number of players signed (tendered players are consider signed because the tender amount counts vs. cap). Miami would now have 56 players signed. Only the top 51 salaries count. Each of the above tenders are greater than the 5 lowest salaries, thus each adds to the cap.
615K+615K+615K+1,500K+330K=$3.675 million. This is offset by the 5 lowest salaries totalling $1.125 million. This effectively adds $2.55 million to the cap, thus Miami now has 56 players signed (51 top salaries count vs cap) and are $4.631 million OVER the projected $73.9 million cap Next step: Miami must be under cap by March 1st. I'll look at how they can do this. The following players are potential salary cap cuts (cap savings):
QB Ray Lucas ($750,000) with dead cap of $266,000
WR James McKnight ($420,000) with dead cap of $1.08 million
OL Todd Perry ($300,000) with dead cap of $900,000
LB Derrick Rodgers($600,000) with dead cap of $1.5 million
C Tim Ruddy ($700,000) with dead cap of $1.6 million
What does this mean? Basically, when a player is released prior to June 1st in any League Year, any remaining bonus amortization from future years is accelerated into the year of release. Thus, Brock Marion(approx $1.2 million) and Jamar Fletcher (approx. $1 million) are not on the list because their release would ADD to the cap in 2003. Trading a player at any time during the offseason results in the same acceleration of the bonus, thus I doubt that Fletcher will be traded. He could be a candidate for release after June 1st and it would save $200,000.
The total for the 5 players listed is $2.77 million. HOWEVER, with the uncertainty on the OL with FA and injury concerns of Jaime Nails, I do not believe Perry is a true candidate for release. Ruddy has a $450,000 roster bonus, $1.85 million salary, and $800,000 bonus in both 2003 and 2004. Thsu, he only saves $700,000. Miami may be forced to release him in order to get under the cap. I will only release Lucas, Rodgers, and Ruddy. That saves $2.05 million. Miami now has 53 players signed and are still $2.581 million OVER
Since y'all are still $2.581 million OVER, restructuring/extensions are the next option. Follwing players to extend: LB Zach Thomas That's it!!! Why? Well, no one else can be extended without adding to the 2003 cap. Players like Taylor and Madison already have long term deals with HUGE bonus amortization. Suratin could be extended because he has 3 years left, but the primary target would be Zach Thomas. He has 1 yr left with salary of $4.7 million and bonus amortization of $2.306 million. His cap number is $7.06 million. No matter what happens, that $2.306 million cannot be changed. The minimum veterans salary for Zach is approx. $675,000 (7-9 years service). So, that's $2.981 million. The reports of a $12 million signing bonus are moronic!! Even if his deal were to be extended by 6 yrs, the resulting cap number for 2003 is $4.695 million and that saves only $2.365 million. That HUGE signing bonus would seriously hamper future cap years. Zach Thomas is 30 or 31 yrs old, no way that Spielman, if he's as good as he's said to be, gives him that type of bonus. I will give him a $7.2 million bonus to extend deal 5 yrs (that's 6 yrs total), but also include roster bonuses later in the deal that if not paid make him an UFA. The resulting bonus amortization is $7.2 million/6 yrs=$1.2 million. His new cap number is $4.181 million and his extension saves $2.879 million. Miami still has 53 players signed and now are $298,000 UNDER the cap
I'll end this now because many of you are getting dizzy!
Just some ending notes:
1) Miami could still have a "debit" on the 2003 cap due to NLTBE incentives not applicable to the 2002 cap. Miami's "debit" in 2002 was $2,633,052. If Miami has a similar cap adjustment ("debit"), then another $2.3 million in cap space would need to be found in order to just be cap compliant!
2) Miami, as do many teams, really need the new DirecTV deal to increase the cap. Early projections are about $2 million.
3) Restructuring contracts lead you into cap hell. Right now, Miami is in cap jail. Thus, looking to Taylor and Madison to restruture again, isn't a sound strategy but may be necessary.
4) It may be better is release Zach Thomas due to the cap and find a younger, bigger MLB.
5) Miami is not going to be a major player in FA prior to June 1st, the cap space is just not there. They also do not have much flexibility.
6) After June 1st, Miami could release players and spread out the bonus amortization over 2 yrs. This could free up cap space to add inexpensive UFAs going into training camp
I'll continue to update y'all as new information becomes available!
(My sources are numerous media articles, nflpa website, and MiamiDonW from kffl (who I think is aqua on this site )