Jason Fitzgerald


Recent Posts by Jason

OTC Podcast 4/17: Hernandez, Peterson, Rivers on the Block…

In this weeks OTC Podcast:

– Impact of Hernandez verdict on Patriots

– Adrian Peterson trade possibilities

– Rivers on the way out of San Diego?

– Thoughts on the 2012 Rookie Options

– Is Russell Wilson really considering baseball or is it just posturing

– Plus some more Twitter and email questions

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A Look at the 2012 Rookie Options

Recently I have been getting some questions on the 2012 rookie option years so I thought it made sense to get a post together on it and update it as the options gets picked up.  For those unfamiliar with the rookie option system, every first round pick in the draft signs a four year contract with a team option for a fifth season. The team option must be exercised between the end of the 2014 regular season and May 3, 2015 at 4PM.  The value of the option depends upon the position of the player and if the player was drafted in the top 10.  Once the option is exercised it is guaranteed for injury. If the player is still on the roster on the first day of the 2016 League Year the option will be fully guaranteed. If the team fails to exercise the option the player will become a free agent in 2016.

Already Exercised

As of April 15, three players have had their options picked up by their respective teams. The three players are Andrew Luck (Colts), Melvin Ingram (Chargers), and David DeCastro (Steelers). Luck is considered the best young QB in the NFL while DeCastro is a high level offensive lineman so both were no brainers.

Ingram has only started 12 games in his three year career and has been injury prone, so this was a bit of more of a surprise. He has flashed when healthy and considering the Chargers have limited long term depth on the team he may have benefitted from the situation.  He’ll need to be productive to keep the option at its current value.

Should be Exercised

The Dolphins have geared up to make a run over the next few years so it should be inevitable that Ryan Tannehill will have his $16.155 million option exercised. You don’t want to spend all that money in free agency and have to go back into the draft for a quarterback.

Luke Kuechley is arguably the best linebacker in the NFL and it is a no-brainer that his option year will be picked up by Carolina. I’d guess he’ll be extended by the time the season begins

Stephon Gilmore is a good player and he will likely thrive in Rex Ryan’s defense in Buffalo. Given the recent contracts signed in free agency this should be an easy decision for Buffalo.

Dontari Poe is an exceptional player and falls into the JJ Watt category where he just missed out on the top 10 money. This may lead to some unhappiness for Poe in 2016, but the Chiefs will deal with that when the time comes.

It is surprising that Fletcher Cox hasn’t been extended given the Eagles usually proactive approach to contracts, but he will have his option picked up to continue to extend that negotiating window.

Michael Floyd is arguably the best receiver in Arizona so they will pick up his option. His chances for an extension might hinge on how he and the others around him play this season.

Bruce Irvin plays solid run defense and can rush the passer, bringing a very versatile element to Seattle’s exceptional defense. There would be no reason for them to pass on this.

Dre Kirkpatrick is a player that will likely have his option picked up due to the team situation. The Bengals are older at cornerback and Kirkpatrick is going to see increased time this year due to the departure of Terrance Newman.

Kendall Wright has shown an ability to be a very good receiver despite the poor player’s he has had passing him the football. With the Titans potentially improving on the QB spot in the draft it would make sense to lock Wright up for an additional season.

Chandler Jones is a dominant player for the Patriots and should be a fixture for the next five seasons. They will pick this up and work on extending him sometime thereafter.

Riley Reiff has started 31 games over the last two seasons for Detroit and graded out well per Pro Football Focus. Detroit needs to keep improving their line so keeping a young player like Reiff would be smart. They could work out an extension ahead of time as well.

Don’t’a Hightower has developed into one of the better interior linebackers in the NFL. The Patriots won’t hesitate to exercise his option, though they should make Jones a priority to extend.

Kevin Zeitler has been effective when healthy so I would imagine the Bengals will protect themselves by picking up his option.

Harrison Smith is one of the best safeties in the NFL. It’s obvious that the Vikings will pick this up unless a long term contract is worked out sooner.

Might be Exercised

Given Robert Griffin’s injury history and poor play the last two seasons I think Washington my pass on the option year and let him either earn a new contract or ride off into the sunset. Nothing prevents them from tagging him the following season if he plays great.

Over $11 million to Matt Kalil is a bit steep considering Kalil is not one of the best tackles in the NFL.  This should be an easier decision that the RGIII one in Washington since this salary is top of the market salary, unlike the QB option. I think using $11 million on Kalil makes working out a reasonable contract extension much more difficult.

Mark Barron is another player I would lean toward “no” on because the cost is high and Barron doesn’t play much. The only reason I put him in this category is because they did trade for him and may have a much bigger role planned for him. They can always pull back if they need to.

I feel that the $6.14M number for Michael Brockers is a bit high since he is more of a run defender, but the Rams have spent like that before and Brockers has been a consistent starter. I would lean more towards them exercising this one.

Quinton Coples is a hard player to grasp. There are times he looks terrific and times he looks like he doesn’t care.  The pass rusher market was way down for player like Coples last season so the Jets should pass on this and hope it lights a fire for free agency.

The presence of Jadeveon Clowney is something that makes me think the Texans will move on from Whitney Mercilus. Whitney is solid but not spectacular and I feel comes across as more of an afterthought at times. I’d probably lean towards them picking this up as insurance in case Clowney cant shake the injury bug.

Shouldn’t be Exercised

While there is much to be said about protecting an investment, it makes almost no sense to protect Morris Claiborne. Claiborne looks to be at best a 3rd or 4th corner and his injury potential makes it risky to consider a $11M+ option.

Shea McClellin has been essentially useless for Chicago and there is no need to pick up an additional year.

Nick Perry has only started 15 games for Green Bay and they have looked for other options due to his disappointing play. They won’t sink $7.7 million in him on a one year contract.

Doug Martin has fallen off the face of the earth and I cant see a team picking up his $5.28 million option. Even if he had a great season he would not earn that much in free agency.

Ineligible

Trent Richardson was traded by the Browns and later released by the Colts, which officially terminated his rookie contract. He is currently signed with the Raiders.

Justin Blackmon has spent most of his career suspended. He should have to honor his missed seasons if he is ever reinstated. Even if he did not have to honor them he would be a restricted free agent making the option far too expensive.

Brandon Weeden was released by Cleveland. He signed a low cost contract with the Cowboys.

AJ Jenkins was traded to Kansas City and later released. He is currently out of the NFL.

David Wilson retired from the NFL due to injuries.

The 2012 Rookie Option Tracker

PickPlayerPosTeamCostExercised
1Andrew LuckQBColts$16,155,000YES
2Robert Griffin IIIQBRedskins$16,155,000-
3Trent RichardsonRBNA$0-
4Matt KalilTVikings$11,096,000-
5Justin BlackmonWRJaguars$0-
6Morris ClaiborneCBCowboys$11,082,000-
7Mark BarronSRams$8,263,000-
8Ryan TannehillQBDolphins$16,155,000-
9Luke KuechlyLBPanthers$11,058,000-
10Stephon GilmoreCBBills$11,082,000-
11Dontari PoeDTChiefs$6,146,000-
12Fletcher CoxDEEagles$7,799,000-
13Michael FloydWRCardinals$7,320,000-
14Michael BrockersDTRams$6,146,000-
15Bruce IrvinLBSeahawks$7,751,000-
16Quinton CoplesLBJets$7,751,000-
17Dre KirkpatrickCBBengals$7,507,000-
18Melvin IngramLBChargers$7,751,000YES
19Shea McClellinLBBears$7,751,000-
20Kendall WrightWRTitans$7,320,000-
21Chandler JonesDEPatriots$7,799,000-
22Brandon WeedenQBNA$0-
23Riley ReiffTLions$8,070,000-
24David DeCastroGSteelers$8,070,000YES
25Dont’a HightowerLBPatriots$7,751,000-
26Whitney MercilusLBTexans$7,751,000-
27Kevin ZeitlerGBengals$8,070,000-
28Nick PerryLBPackers$7,751,000-
29Harrison SmithSVikings$5,278,000-
30AJ JenkinsWRNA$0 -
31Doug MartinRBBuccaneers$5,621,000-
32David WilsonRBNA$0-

Should the Chargers Trade Philip Rivers via SN

In this weeks piece for the Sporting News I look at the trade rumors surrounding Chargers QB Philip Rivers, the usual cost of the veteran QB, and why the Chargers will likely get their best return now by trading him. As usual if you have any comments feel free to add them here.

Drafting Decisions and the Salary Cap 2015

Normally this time of year I’ll do some different financial looks at the draft and ways to price draft picks, so here we go with this year’s entry.  The idea for this actually came from a post on Chase Stuart’s Football Perspective where there was a consideration as to how much, in terms of cap room, would a team creatively give up to acquire a draft pick.  While there are a lot of different ways to look at that question I thought it might be worthwhile to try to actually compare the expected rookie performance over a 4 year period with a comparable veteran player performance over the same time period. Using the veteran player’s contract as a “market price” we can re-value a draft pick in veteran dollars.

The Metrics

I went back and forth with a few ways to compare players, which is by no means easy in the NFL. It came down to either using my games/games started/honors matrix or Approximate Value as defined by Pro Football Reference. I decided to use AV for this since I think games/starts won’t be a fair barometer for veteran NFL players who are already proven to be gameday active most weeks whereas many rookies, specifically later round rookies, are not given  that opportunity.

Secondly I wanted to only look at four year windows since the four year period is our rookie contract length. While first rounder’s have fifth year options, those prices are based on a veteran marketplace so I didn’t think that would be used in the evaluation. So when we look at AV we are looking at a draft picks AV from year 1-4 in his NFL career and a veteran’s AV from year 5 onward.

I looked at every draft from 1994 through 2011 and compiled the combined AV for every draft pick made in that time frame. Each slot was then broken into quartiles to determine performance ranges that we can expect for the players. We set our upper limits using the IQR for each slot (the lower limit in almost all cases was going to be 0). Originally I was going to adjust for outliers but once I started looking at the data in many cases that didn’t seem to make sense since there is no logical reason for say a player drafted at 13 to be an outlier for that individual selection but be fine for pick 14-20.

Similarly I looked at every veteran player that has been in the NFL since 2011 and determined their combined AV for that four year period. Each player’s APY was then used as the salary basis for the player. The one limitation of that is that for some players that had multiple contracts over that time period I am using their most current negotiated deal. While that may not be perfect I think for the sake of these posts it’s fair to use. For players with a 0 AV quartile I used the cap charge vet minimum salary plus full bonus ($665K).

The Salary Calculation

With that data we can now create a matrix that allows us to determine the average veteran salary that corresponds to the expected AV range for each draft pick. There are different ways to use the financials, which I’ll touch on in some later posts, but the most basic method is to simply average the dollars across each quartile.

So let’s look at the number 1 overall pick for a quick overview of how the process works:

Draft Pick AV RangeAvg. Veteran Salary Per Year
47.8-84$14,370,613
34.5-47.8$7,440,532
23.8-34.5$4,324,613
0-23.8$1,975,572
TOTAL$7,027,833

What those numbers tell us is that we have a 25% chance of drafting a player whose AV will be above 47.8 over the first four seasons of his career. Veterans in the NFL who accounted for totals in that range had an average salary of $14.37 million per year.  The team has a 25% chance of drafting a player worth $7.44 million, a 25% chance of drafting a player worth $4.325 million, and finally a 25% chance of drafting a player worth $1.975 million.   That averages to a bit over $7 million a year, which is the expected return for a player deemed worthy of a number 1 pick.

Because we get some fluky draft results, such as draft pick number 10 performing far worse than a pick after, I wanted to smooth the expectations by taking a forward average approach. This should take into account the fact that every team selecting in a given slot is likely considering drafting a player valued a few spots ahead. This also makes pretty much all our individual outliers that don’t make much intuitive sense to classify that way fit in with the expected results with few exceptions.

This was a purely subjective decision on my part just based on how we often hear draft grades give or mock draft debates on decisions.  I’d be more than happy to adjust results based on alternate draft possibilities if people had any ideas on the subject. Here is the way I broke things down:

Draft PicksForward Average Range
1-22 picks
3-53 picks
6-324 picks
33-975 picks
98-2558 picks

Here is what our results look like using that formula

NFL Draft Value

We can further (really we could have just done this initially) work with the data by determining a best fit line to use to calculate the draft pick value in terms of veteran dollars, which I will do in the following sections.

The Draft Pick Benefit

In the coming days we will look at a few different ways to interpret the numbers, but for this post let’s look at where the draft is most underpriced.

NFL Draft Value Chart

The biggest benefit to drafting in the NFL is the top of the second round.  This is somewhat expected as the NFL put a relatively large devaluation between the end of the 1st and start of 2nd round despite there being little difference in performance.  The top four picks in the second round are expected to give a team about $1.65 million per year in benefits. I was a bit surprised to see the top picks of the third round providing similar discounted prices. A team is essentially getting $2.5 million in value for just  $750,000 per year. The 16th pick in the draft is our initial first rounder to make the list, adding about $1.6M in value. As I’ve discussed before the best values in that first round really come into play in the mid first round.

Our least value received comes with the 4th pick in the draft, which gives us just $320,000 in additional value. The fifth pick in the draft is also poor with just $400,000 in benefits. These rank with all the 7th round picks that provide limited value.

As for the first pick, it is a mid value pick. A team gains about $1.2 million per year in benefits. It’s the best value among the top 7 picks in the draft, despite having the highest price tag.  When we go back and look at the old CBA it is pretty clear how overpriced those picks were. Sam Bradford, the final number one pick of the non-slotted system, would have been overpriced by about $5.2 million per year.  To justify that pick you would have had to be one of the top picks ever at the position.

We can also look at the charts to better identify the gain that teams realize by being awarded compensatory draft selections. A third round pick is worth close to $2 million per year in true value and the team gains over $1.2 million per year in value. I think a team needs to strongly consider that when giving up comp picks for lower valued players. In general if you are in line for a 3rd-5th round comp you probably should protect that if possible.

The following chart shows the values per draft slot

Draft PickTrue ValueActual CostGain
1$6,784,935$5,588,875$1,196,061
2$6,054,508$5,341,650$712,859
3$5,627,236$5,184,326$442,911
4$5,324,082$5,004,526$319,556
5$5,088,937$4,689,876$399,061
6$4,896,809$4,128,001$768,808
7$4,734,368$3,678,500$1,055,868
8$4,593,655$3,229,001$1,364,654
9$4,469,537$3,206,526$1,263,011
10$4,358,510$3,082,913$1,275,597
11$4,258,074$2,891,876$1,366,198
12$4,166,382$2,622,175$1,544,208
13$4,082,035$2,554,750$1,527,285
14$4,003,941$2,442,375$1,561,566
15$3,931,238$2,397,426$1,533,812
16$3,863,228$2,262,575$1,600,653
17$3,799,343$2,217,626$1,581,717
18$3,739,110$2,161,439$1,577,672
19$3,682,135$2,127,725$1,554,411
20$3,628,083$2,116,488$1,511,595
21$3,576,669$2,105,251$1,471,418
22$3,527,647$2,082,774$1,444,873
23$3,480,804$2,060,300$1,420,504
24$3,435,956$2,015,350$1,420,606
25$3,392,938$1,992,876$1,400,063
26$3,351,608$1,970,401$1,381,208
27$3,311,838$1,947,925$1,363,913
28$3,273,514$1,936,688$1,336,827
29$3,236,536$1,846,513$1,390,023
30$3,200,811$1,798,758$1,402,053
31$3,166,257$1,758,757$1,407,500
32$3,132,801$1,733,001$1,399,801
33$3,100,375$1,408,526$1,691,849
34$3,068,916$1,397,287$1,671,629
35$3,038,369$1,386,050$1,652,320
36$3,008,683$1,363,576$1,645,108
37$2,979,811$1,354,585$1,625,226
38$2,951,708$1,334,359$1,617,350
39$2,924,336$1,314,131$1,610,205
40$2,897,656$1,296,151$1,601,505
41$2,871,636$1,278,171$1,593,465
42$2,846,242$1,257,943$1,588,300
43$2,821,446$1,239,963$1,581,483
44$2,797,220$1,222,831$1,574,390
45$2,773,539$1,198,834$1,574,705
46$2,750,378$1,172,986$1,577,392
47$2,727,715$1,138,825$1,588,890
48$2,705,529$1,116,351$1,589,178
49$2,683,801$1,093,874$1,589,927
50$2,662,511$1,071,400$1,591,111
51$2,641,644$1,048,926$1,592,718
52$2,621,181$1,026,450$1,594,732
53$2,601,109$1,003,976$1,597,133
54$2,581,411$981,501$1,599,911
55$2,562,075$959,025$1,603,050
56$2,543,088$947,788$1,595,300
57$2,524,436$941,045$1,583,392
58$2,506,109$929,808$1,576,301
59$2,488,095$914,076$1,574,019
60$2,470,384$907,333$1,563,051
61$2,452,966$898,343$1,554,623
62$2,435,831$891,600$1,544,231
63$2,418,970$889,354$1,529,616
64$2,402,374$884,858$1,517,517
65$2,386,036$745,826$1,640,210
66$2,369,948$744,394$1,625,554
67$2,354,101$744,250$1,609,851
68$2,338,489$742,708$1,595,781
69$2,323,105$741,023$1,582,082
70$2,307,943$737,813$1,570,130
71$2,292,995$735,625$1,557,370
72$2,278,257$734,081$1,544,176
73$2,263,721$732,000$1,531,721
74$2,249,384$730,969$1,518,415
75$2,235,239$729,375$1,505,864
76$2,221,282$724,868$1,496,414
77$2,207,506$724,359$1,483,147
78$2,193,909$723,450$1,470,459
79$2,180,485$721,594$1,458,891
80$2,167,229$719,719$1,447,510
81$2,154,139$717,844$1,436,295
82$2,141,209$716,517$1,424,692
83$2,128,436$713,813$1,414,623
84$2,115,815$711,890$1,403,925
85$2,103,344$710,813$1,392,531
86$2,091,019$708,986$1,382,033
87$2,078,837$707,278$1,371,559
88$2,066,793$706,345$1,360,448
89$2,054,886$706,035$1,348,851
90$2,043,112$705,880$1,337,232
91$2,031,468$705,725$1,325,743
92$2,019,951$704,950$1,315,001
93$2,008,558$703,400$1,305,158
94$1,997,288$701,850$1,295,438
95$1,986,137$700,300$1,285,837
96$1,975,102$698,750$1,276,352
97$1,964,182$696,504$1,267,678
98$1,953,374$696,504$1,256,870
99$1,942,675$696,504$1,246,171
100$1,932,085$694,257$1,237,828
101$1,921,599$691,500$1,230,099
102$1,911,217$691,106$1,220,111
103$1,900,936$690,362$1,210,574
104$1,890,754$689,250$1,201,504
105$1,880,670$688,607$1,192,063
106$1,870,682$688,172$1,182,510
107$1,860,787$687,563$1,173,224
108$1,850,984$686,888$1,164,096
109$1,841,272$686,065$1,155,207
110$1,831,648$684,114$1,147,534
111$1,822,112$683,850$1,138,262
112$1,812,661$683,400$1,129,261
113$1,803,294$683,288$1,120,006
114$1,794,009$682,725$1,111,284
115$1,784,806$681,300$1,103,506
116$1,775,682$680,845$1,094,837
117$1,766,637$679,805$1,086,832
118$1,757,668$678,716$1,078,952
119$1,748,776$678,023$1,070,753
120$1,739,957$677,325$1,062,632
121$1,731,212$676,301$1,054,911
122$1,722,539$675,027$1,047,512
123$1,713,937$675,027$1,038,910
124$1,705,404$673,977$1,031,427
125$1,696,940$673,140$1,023,800
126$1,688,543$671,903$1,016,640
127$1,680,213$671,367$1,008,846
128$1,671,948$670,135$1,001,813
129$1,663,747$669,272$994,475
130$1,655,610$667,875$987,735
131$1,647,535$666,413$981,122
132$1,639,521$645,146$994,375
133$1,631,568$645,146$986,422
134$1,623,674$645,146$978,528
135$1,615,839$623,878$991,961
136$1,608,062$623,403$984,659
137$1,600,342$623,000$977,342
138$1,592,678$622,763$969,915
139$1,585,070$621,725$963,345
140$1,577,516$620,493$957,023
141$1,570,016$620,125$949,891
142$1,562,568$619,750$942,818
143$1,555,173$619,625$935,548
144$1,547,830$619,500$928,330
145$1,540,537$618,613$921,924
146$1,533,295$618,200$915,095
147$1,526,102$618,000$908,102
148$1,518,957$617,938$901,019
149$1,511,861$617,825$894,036
150$1,504,812$617,790$887,022
151$1,497,810$617,513$880,297
152$1,490,855$617,220$873,635
153$1,483,945$616,813$867,132
154$1,477,080$616,685$860,395
155$1,470,259$616,250$854,009
156$1,463,482$616,048$847,434
157$1,456,749$615,606$841,143
158$1,450,058$615,413$834,645
159$1,443,410$614,633$828,777
160$1,436,803$614,527$822,276
161$1,430,237$614,125$816,112
162$1,423,712$612,870$810,842
163$1,417,227$612,215$805,012
164$1,410,782$611,200$799,582
165$1,404,376$610,700$793,676
166$1,398,009$610,075$787,934
167$1,391,680$606,140$785,540
168$1,385,388$606,140$779,248
169$1,379,135$606,140$772,995
170$1,372,918$606,140$766,778
171$1,366,737$606,140$760,597
172$1,360,592$606,140$754,452
173$1,354,484$606,140$748,344
174$1,348,410$606,140$742,270
175$1,342,371$606,140$736,231
176$1,336,366$606,140$730,226
177$1,330,396$602,205$728,191
178$1,324,459$601,279$723,180
179$1,318,556$600,775$717,781
180$1,312,685$600,150$712,535
181$1,306,847$599,483$707,364
182$1,301,041$598,947$702,094
183$1,295,267$598,556$696,711
184$1,289,524$598,363$691,161
185$1,283,812$598,000$685,812
186$1,278,132$597,625$680,507
187$1,272,481$597,515$674,966
188$1,266,861$596,918$669,943
189$1,261,271$596,550$664,721
190$1,255,710$596,450$659,260
191$1,250,178$596,327$653,851
192$1,244,675$596,213$648,462
193$1,239,201$596,055$643,146
194$1,233,755$596,018$637,737
195$1,228,337$595,966$632,371
196$1,222,947$595,947$627,000
197$1,217,584$595,788$621,796
198$1,212,249$595,550$616,699
199$1,206,940$595,418$611,522
200$1,201,658$595,075$606,583
201$1,196,402$594,724$601,678
202$1,191,172$594,358$596,814
203$1,185,968$594,250$591,718
204$1,180,790$594,150$586,640
205$1,175,637$593,513$582,124
206$1,170,509$593,128$577,381
207$1,165,406$592,750$572,656
208$1,160,328$592,058$568,270
209$1,155,274$589,670$565,604
210$1,150,244$589,670$560,574
211$1,145,237$589,670$555,567
212$1,140,255$589,670$550,585
213$1,135,296$589,670$545,626
214$1,130,360$589,670$540,690
215$1,125,448$589,670$535,778
216$1,120,558$589,670$530,888
217$1,115,690$587,281$528,409
218$1,110,845$587,225$523,620
219$1,106,022$586,875$519,147
220$1,101,222$586,741$514,481
221$1,096,442$586,287$510,155
222$1,091,685$585,933$505,752
223$1,086,949$585,682$501,267
224$1,082,234$585,612$496,622
225$1,077,540$585,562$491,978
226$1,072,867$585,455$487,412
227$1,068,214$585,150$483,064
228$1,063,582$585,064$478,518
229$1,058,971$585,062$473,909
230$1,054,379$584,856$469,523
231$1,049,807$584,850$464,957
232$1,045,255$584,793$460,462
233$1,040,723$584,462$456,261
234$1,036,210$584,212$451,998
235$1,031,716$583,988$447,728
236$1,027,241$583,403$443,838
237$1,022,786$582,848$439,938
238$1,018,349$582,720$435,629
239$1,013,930$582,588$431,342
240$1,009,530$582,456$427,074
241$1,005,149$582,358$422,791
242$1,000,785$582,250$418,535
243$996,440$582,150$414,290
244$992,112$582,050$410,062
245$987,802$581,898$405,904
246$983,510$581,787$401,723
247$979,235$581,628$397,607
248$974,977$581,474$393,503
249$970,736$581,474$389,262
250$966,513$581,474$385,039
251$962,306$581,474$380,832
252$958,116$581,474$376,642
253$953,943$581,474$372,469
254$949,786$581,474$368,312
255$945,645$581,474$364,171

Updating the Trade Value Chart

By using our expected salary values we can now create a new trade value chart that can be used to evaluate a trade.  With each player we can determine salary above replacement (again the 665K veteran) and re-assign the old trade value chart which overvalues the top picks by too much. However this is only part of the puzzle, which we’ll focus on a in part 2 later this week.

Draft PickNew Trade ValueOld Trade Value
111063000
29742600
38972200
48421800
58001700
67651600
77361500
87101400
96881350
106681300
116491250
126331200
136181150
146041100
155901050
165781000
17567950
18556900
19545875
20536850
21526800
22517780
23509760
24501740
25493720
26486700
27478680
28472660
29465640
30458620
31452600
32446590
33440580
34435560
35429550
36424540
37418530
38413520
39408510
40404500
41399490
42394480
43390470
44385460
45381450
46377440
47373430
48369420
49365410
50361400
51357390
52354380
53350370
54346360
55343350
56339340
57336330
58333320
59330310
60326300
61323292
62320284
63317276
64314270
65311265
66308260
67305255
68302250
69300245
70297240
71294235
72292230
73289225
74286220
75284215
76281210
77279205
78276200
79274195
80272190
81269185
82267180
83265175
84262170
85260165
86258160
87256155
88253150
89251145
90249140
91247136
92245132
93243128
94241124
95239120
96237116
97235112
98233108
99231104
100229100
10122796
10222592
10322388
10422286
10522084
10621882
10721680
10821478
10921376
11021174
11120972
11220770
11320668
11420466
11520264
11620162
11719960
11819858
11919656
12019454
12119352
12219150
12319049
12418848
12518747
12618546
12718445
12818244
12918143
13017942
13117841
13217640
13317539.5
13417339
13517238.5
13617038
13716937.5
13816837
13916636.5
14016536
14116435.5
14216235
14316134.5
14416034
14515833.5
14615733
14715632.6
14815432.2
14915331.8
15015231.4
15115131
15214931.8
15314831.2
15414730.8
15514630.4
15614430
15714329.6
15814229.2
15914128.8
16014028.4
16113828
16213727.6
16313627.2
16413526.8
16513426.4
16613226
16713125.6
16813025.2
16912924.8
17012824.4
17112724
17212623.6
17312523.2
17412422.8
17512222.4
17612122
17712021.6
17811921.2
17911820.8
18011720.4
18111620
18211519.6
18311419.2
18411318.8
18511218.4
18611118
18711017.6
18810917.2
18910816.8
19010716.4
19110616
19210515.6
19310415.2
19410314.8
19510214.4
19610114
19710013.6
1989913.2
1999812.8
2009712.4
2019612
2029511.6
2039411.2
2049310.8
2059210.4
2069110
207909.6
208909.2
209898.8
210888.4
211878
212867.6
213857.2
214846.8
215836.4
216826
217815.6
218815.2
219804.8
220794.4
221784
222773.6
223763.3
224753
225752.9
226742.8
227732.7
228722.6
229712.5
230702.4
231702.3
232692.2
233682.1
234672
235661.9
236651.8
237651.7
238641.6
239631.5
240621.4
241611.3
242611.2
243601.1
244591
245580.95
246580.9
247570.85
248560.8
249550.75
250550.7
251540.65
252530.6
253520.55
254510.5
255510.45

OTC Podcast 4/10: Polamalu Retires, RFA Signings, Wilkerson Skips Workouts

After a very busy week for the host this weeks OTC Podcast features:

– Thoughts on Troy Polamlu’s retirement and what it means on the cap

– Reasoning behind Raiders and Bucs attempts to sign RFAs

– A look at Wilkersons decision to not attend offseason workouts with the Jets

– An overview of injury settlements

– What the Ravens might do next with Joe Flacco’s contract

– Plus some more Twitter and email questions

View in iTunes

Listen via Stitcher

Subscribe to the OTC Podcast

Troy Polamalu Retires

Steelers’ safety Troy Polamalu has decided to retire from the NFL after 12 seasons, 8 of which saw him play in the Pro Bowl. The retirement has been rumored for some time due to Polamalu’s declining play and large salary. Often such players are presented with scenarios where they can accept massive pay reductions or be asked to move on. It clearly would have been hard to imagine Polamalu in another uniform and Steelers fans likely would much rather see this than Polamalu struggle while ending his career in another uniform similar to Ed Reed’s brief stints with the Texans and Jets a few years ago.

Last year many people, myself included, thought Polamalu would have been a salary cap casualty. Instead the Steelers gave him a two year contract extension that was really just a salary cap manuever designed to give Polamalu one more opportunity to return to the playoffs and finish out his career on a high note. His cash payout last season of $8.25 million, of which $6.75 million came in the form of a signing bonus, was identical to the original payment due to Polamalu under the terms of his original contract. He was set to count for $8.25 million against the salary cap  this year and it seemed doubtful the team would have him play at that figure, realizing that last season was the final year they could cave in on a contract for their star.

What happens next will determine when the Steelers and Polamalu decice to process the paperwork for retirement. If it occurs before June 1, the Steelers will gain $3.75 million in cap space and have Polamalu count for $4.5 million in dead money. If they wait until after June 1 then they will gain $6 million in 2015 and take a $2.25 million dead money charge in each of the next two seasons.

Raiders, Buccaneers Try to Sign Restricted Free Agents

While it is rare to see teams pursuing Restricted Free Agents in recent years, we have seen two offers made in the last two years and today we actually had two teams go after another teams RFA’s. Oakland signed Packers safety Sean Richardson to an offer sheet reportedly worth around $2.5 million while Tampa signed Lions defensive end George Johnson to an undisclosed offer sheet.

The way the process works is that both the Packers and Lions will have five days to match the offer sheet. If they opt to match it the player will revert to his orginal team under the terms of the offer he signed with the new team. If they do not match the offer sheet the player will join the new team. No draft compensation will be awarded as both Richardson and Johnson only had the right of first refusal tender applied.

The Buccaneers offer to Johnson will be a much more interesting scenario to watch unfold. The Lions currently have about $3.6 million in cap space, so the cap heavy Bucs can use that to craft an offer that will make it difficult to match. Tampa Bay also uses a completely different contract structure (all cash) than the Lions (signing bonus heavy) in the event it is a multi year contract that the Lions have to consider matching. If this is a multi-year offer the Buccaneers can use a similar mechanism as the Browns last year with Andrew Hawkins, and RFA at the time with the Bengals, where an all cash type deal was frontloaded in the first two years.

Any offer that would increase Johnson’s cap charge by $1.5 million would likely result in the Lions being forced to further restructure contracts to comply with the cap when it comes time to sign draft picks and then operate during the season. The fact that James Ihedigbo is unhappy with his contract only makes the situation worse. The team has seemingly avoided further restructures to the contract of Matt Stafford or Calvin Johnson to help fix their books, but like Dallas with Romo a few days ago, may find they have no choice to keep a player they feel they need.

Green Bay has no cap concerns when it comes to matching Oakland’s offer. This is simply a play hoping that the Packers just dont value Richardson around the 2nd round tender level, since they passed on their opportunity to pay him that way a few weeks ago. That was the same strategy the Patriots used when they targeted wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders of the Steelers, who have given him the lowest tender offer, in 2013. The Steelers matched that offer and there is probably a good chance the Packers will as well if they see any value in the player.