Jason Fitzgerald


Recent Posts by Jason

Rams Restructure Contract of Jared Cook for Cap Relief

I had speculated the other day that the Rams needed to restructure a contract in order to execute the trade for safety Mark Barron and as it turns out the Rams did just that. According to Brian McIntyre, the Rams tweaked the contract of tight end Jared Cook this time around to comply with salary cap restrictions.

In the restructure it seems that the Rams reduced Cook’s P5 from $3 million to the minimum of $730,000 and converted the balance to a signing bonus. The Rams gained $901,323 in cap space with the restructure. Cooks salary cap charge will now rise by $300,441 over the next three seasons. I believe Cook had incentives in his contract which I am assuming were removed as those would have counted against the cap following the restructure.

The Rams, probably more than any other team in the NFL, ride the cap as close as possible to their salary cap limit. This leads to the need for potential in-season restructures if a big move comes along, like the trade, or if injuries force them to sign additional players. The Rams have been decimated by injuries the last two seasons so they have had a handful of restructured deals leading into and during the season.

It’s a bit of a different approach than most teams in the NFL. Usually teams that ride this close to the salary cap do so because they have very little choice based on how they have managed their roster and the costs associated with cutting certain players. The Rams operate this way by choice, maintaining flexibility in future years to pick and choose the contracts to restructure, in part based on current performance rather than trying to project that performance at an earlier date.

NFL Predictions: Week 9 Thursday Night Football

I finished last week with a 9-6 record straight up and 8-7 record against the spread. My yearly record now stands at 80-40-1 and 70-48-3.

Saints (-3) over PANTHERS- While I dislike taking the Saints on the road, I just don’t see a way for the Panthers to compete on offense with New Orleans. Saints games are often going to resemble something of a shootout and its nearly impssible for the Panthers to win that kind of game. The short week should also work in the favor of the Saints who are more experienced in these situations and much better coached. Carolina should put up some points this week but I have a feeling they need to be in at least the high 20’s to have a shot and I just dont see that. Saints 29 Panthers 23

Week 9 FanDuel Fantasy Football Contest

We have another FanDuel league set up for the week if you would like to join in. The entry fee is $2 and its a 10 team league. The league will run even if we have less, but hopefully we get 10 again this week. Prizes go to the top 3 teams and the deadline for entry is a few minutes before the 1PM kickoff on Sunday.

Follow this links for the OTC Week 9 FanDuel League

If you haven’t tried FanDuel out yet its basically a weekly fantasy football league where your team is made up within the constraints of a salary cap. They do have free games to try out and if you click through the link you should be able to see how the game works and how you pick a team with no commitments.

It was a tight contest last week with chaplainward120 taking first place with Arian Foster putting up huge numbers for his team. Tokyola was a very close second while Indianajet snuck into 3rd place.

My own team came in 6th as I had a strong feeling in the Seahawks offense and boy was that a bad idea.  I had almost no hope of overcoming that poor performance and then Jordy Nelson did little in the night game and I was completely sunk.

If for some reason anyone gets shut out because we fill up just let me know and we can see about expanding the league next week if we have enough. Good luck to everyone this week.

10 Contract Year Players Who Need to Step Up In the 2nd Half via SN

Check out this week’s Sporting News piece where I give my opinions on 10 contract year players who I think really need breakout second halves of the season to get that big contract next year.

Based on recent feedback I’ll keep this post open for comments if there are any so click through the link to read the article first.

Read the OTC Sporting News Article

The OTC NFL Power Rankings: Week 9

The Cardinals jumped to number 7, while the Seahawks dropped to 8. I cant recall the last time Seattle did not come out as a top 5 team in these rankings. Sometime back in 2012 I’d guess and one more poor week and I think its time to start being concerned.

On the low end of the rankings, the Buccaneers are proving to be the worst team in some time. There is nothing they do well and its against a pretty easy schedule. Jacksonville and St. Louis are the other teams trending really bad. The Raiders have actually played a bit better than the record would indicate but they have a very difficult schedule which, in some ways, helps them in these rankings since they are not always getting blown out.

The Falcons, Bears, and Rams look like the worst value teams in the NFL. The Falcons have the highest true payroll in the NFL while the other two are in the top 10. All three are among the worst in the NFL. The Rams do have the injury excuse as a massive portion of the team is on IR, but I would expect changes in the other two organizations unless things improve.

NFL Power Rankings, Through Week 8

RankChangeTeamScoring EfficiencyDefensive EfficiencyTotal EfficiencyProjected Wins
1-Broncos56.2%19.0%75.2%15.1
2-Colts47.2%1.9%49.1%12.6
3-Ravens8.7%34.6%43.2%12.1
4+2Chiefs10.9%28.1%39.0%11.7
5-Chargers14.0%16.1%30.1%10.9
6+8Patriots31.8%-6.5%25.2%10.3
7+3Cardinals3.3%19.2%22.5%10.1
8-4Seahawks5.5%15.2%20.7%10.0
9-2Eagles20.3%-0.8%19.5%9.8
10-1Cowboys9.8%7.0%16.8%9.6
11-Lions-20.8%33.0%12.2%9.2
12+3Bengals2.8%8.5%11.3%9.1
13+3Bills0.8%10.1%10.9%9.0
14-1Dolphins5.4%4.9%10.3%9.0
15-7Packers20.2%-10.4%9.7%8.9
16+1Texans-2.6%10.1%7.6%8.7
17-549ers-1.3%8.3%7.0%8.7
18+4Saints26.8%-21.8%4.9%8.4
19+1Steelers10.2%-8.2%2.0%8.2
20-2Giants1.3%-1.2%0.0%8.0
21-2Browns-4.7%1.3%-3.5%7.7
22+4Redskins-7.1%-13.4%-20.5%6.0
23-Panthers-10.5%-10.8%-21.3%6.0
24-Vikings-32.4%10.9%-21.4%6.0
25+2Falcons3.7%-27.8%-24.1%5.7
26-5Bears-8.4%-19.8%-28.2%5.3
27+1Titans-27.1%-8.4%-35.5%4.7
28-3Jets-19.6%-19.7%-39.3%4.3
29+1Raiders-34.7%-8.9%-43.6%3.9
30+1Jaguars-38.7%-12.0%-50.6%3.2
31-2Rams-16.7%-34.1%-50.8%3.2
32-Buccaneers-25.2%-45.1%-70.3%1.3

Podcast: NFL Week 8 Rewind, Gerald McCoy, and Idzik and the Jets

In todays podcast we look at the two trades in the NFL plus Gerald McCoys new contract extension, give thoughts on all the games from week 8, and then wrap things up by talking about the Idzik “plan” and the sad state of affairs with the Jets

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Buccaneers Trade Barron and Casillas

While not much was expected at the deadline the Buccaneers made some noise by selling off former first round draft pick saftey Mark Barron to the Rams and linebacker Jonathan Casillas to the Patriots.

The trade of Barron is the interesting one because again it shows how the new CBA allows first round picks to be traded away rather than being forced to keep an unwanted player on the roster. I would expect more of these in the future.

Barron still has two years remaining under contract, both fully guaranteed, as well as an option year that can be picked up for 2016 after this season. The Rams will take on $902,719 in cap charges in 2014 and $2,362,704 in 2015. The Rams released Case Keenum to make make room for Barron which saves them $262,059 against ths salary cap. The Rams only had about $540,000 in cap room as of today so they likely had to restructure a contract to fit Barron on the roster. In the past the player they always go to in these situations is Chris Long so I would not be surprised if his deal was tweaked today as well.

Casillas was signed this year as a free agent and had received $200,000 in an offseason bonus. The Patriots will take on the the balance of his salay, $582,353, for this year.

The Buccaneers will keep a $2,240,273 dead money charge against their 2015 cap for Barron. They will avoid $902,719 in payments this year for Barron and $582,353 for Casillas which will boost their miniscuke $410,000 in cap room that remained following the extension of Gerald McCoy. This should give them the breathing room they need for the rest of the year.