Over the Cap http://overthecap.com NFL Salary Cap, Player Contracts, and Related News and Analysis Tue, 03 Mar 2015 00:12:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Expected Contract Value Weekly Rounduphttp://overthecap.com/expected-contract-value-weekly-roundup/ http://overthecap.com/expected-contract-value-weekly-roundup/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 22:54:44 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=9291 Rather than update all eight of the division-by-division posts, I will do a weekly roundup post where I compare the ECV forecasts with the transactions that are made (or not made) in real life.  In this week’s post, the focus will be on comparing the 2015 Expected Outcomes to the releases and non-releases, but after free agency begins I will provide the Expected Contract Value for new contracts as well.

In total, I ran the model on 479 players.  Of those 479 players, Expected Contract Value determined an Expected Outcome greater than 50% (meaning more likely to be kept under … Read the rest

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Rather than update all eight of the division-by-division posts, I will do a weekly roundup post where I compare the ECV forecasts with the transactions that are made (or not made) in real life.  In this week’s post, the focus will be on comparing the 2015 Expected Outcomes to the releases and non-releases, but after free agency begins I will provide the Expected Contract Value for new contracts as well.

In total, I ran the model on 479 players.  Of those 479 players, Expected Contract Value determined an Expected Outcome greater than 50% (meaning more likely to be kept under contract than released) for 314 players, and an Expected Outcome less than 50% (meaning more likely to be released than kept under contract) for 165 players.  Of those 314 players with Expected Outcomes  greater than 50%, 10 have been released so far.  Of those 165 players with Expected Outcomes less than 50%, 28 have been released so far.  We expect this number to grow significantly over the next couple of weeks.

Due to the probabilistic nature of the output, this isn’t really the best way to measure the results.  Eventually, we will break it down by probabilistic ranges.  So we will report the “accuracy” for the >90% players, the 80-89% players, the 70-79% players, etc.  The expectation is that the model will be most accurate for >90% players and <10% players, and least accurate for 50-59% players and 40-40% players, as the latter two ranges represent contract seasons for which the input variables point to a near toss-up.  Additionally, we note that the final results cannot be judged until after final roster cuts are made at the conclusion of the preseason, as contract considerations surely contribute to those decisions as well.

Correctly “Predicted” Releases:

-Todd Herremans (48.1%)

-Anthony Fasano (47.5%)

-Justin Blalock (46.3%)

-Brandon Gibson (44.7%)

-J.D. Walton (43.7%)

-Barry Cofield (42.7%)

-Keith Rivers (42.0%)

-Brad Jones (38.5%)

-Chris Johnson (36.6%)

-Kendall Langford (35.2%)

-Thomas DeCoud (29.3%)

-Lamarr Woodley (28.7%)

-AJ Hawk (28.3%)

-Mathias Kiwanuka (27.0%)

-Cortland Finnegan (26.3%)

-Harry Douglas (24.7%)

-James Casey (24.3%)

-Charlie Johnson (24.3%)

-Steven Jackson (23.5%)

-Chris Canty (22.1%)

-Donnie Avery (21.7%)

-Stephen Bowen (21.2%)

-Robert Geathers (19.7%)

-Darnell Dockett (18.3%)

-Cullen Jenkins (16.6%)

-Jarrett Johnson (12.5%)*

-Shaun Phillips (12.3%)

-Josh McCown (7.8%)

Incorrectly “Predicted” Non-Releases:

-Tyvon Branch (83.6%)

-Michael Oher (77.0%)

-David Wilson (75.3%)

-Brian Hartline (72.7%)

-Jacoby Jones (71.9%)

-LaRon Landry (58.0%)

-Reggie Bush (57.2%)

-DeAngelo Williams (54.8%)

-Ricky Jean-Francois (52.3%)

-Ted Ginn (52.1%)

Expected Contract Value was created by Bryce Johnston and Nicholas Barton.

Bryce Johnston earned his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center in May 2014, and currently works as a corporate associate in the New York City office of an AmLaw 50 law firm.  Before becoming a contributor to overthecap.com, Bryce operated eaglescap.com for 10 NFL offseasons, appearing multiple times on 610 WIP Sports Radio in Philadelphia as an NFL salary cap expert. Bryce can be contacted via e-mail at bryce.l.johnston@gmail.com or via Twitter @NFLCapAnalytics.

Nicholas Barton is a sophomore at Georgetown University. He intends on double majoring in Operations and Information Management and Finance as well as pursuing a minor in Economics. Currently one of the leaders of the Georgetown Sports Analysis, Business, and Research Group, Nick consults for Dynamic Sports Solutions, an innovative sports start-up that uses mathematical and computational methods to evaluate players. He also writes for the Hoya, Georgetown’s school newspaper, and his own blog, Life of a Football Fan. Nick can be contacted via e-mail at njb50@georgetown.edu.

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Salary Cap Set at $143.28M…Franchise Tags Announcedhttp://overthecap.com/salary-cap-set-143-28m-franchise-tags-announced/ http://overthecap.com/salary-cap-set-143-28m-franchise-tags-announced/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 22:07:53 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=9288 The NFL officially set the salary cap at $143.28 million for the 2015 League Year, a growth of slightly more than $10 million from 2014. Unlike the 2014 salary cap jump this one was somewhat expected so I don’t believe it has the same impact as last year’s number, but it is certainly a good thing for the players and teams in the league. The NFL also announced the finalized adjustements for the 2014 season, but those numbers had already been used in our salary cap pages for some time.

With the cap set the NFL also set the … Read the rest

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The NFL officially set the salary cap at $143.28 million for the 2015 League Year, a growth of slightly more than $10 million from 2014. Unlike the 2014 salary cap jump this one was somewhat expected so I don’t believe it has the same impact as last year’s number, but it is certainly a good thing for the players and teams in the league. The NFL also announced the finalized adjustements for the 2014 season, but those numbers had already been used in our salary cap pages for some time.

With the cap set the NFL also set the official franchise and transition tag numbers, which were necessary to allow teams to use their tags by the 4PM deadline today. Officially six players were tagged. Those players were

Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, Giants- $14,813,000

Justin Houston, LB, Chiefs- $13,195,000

Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys- $12,823,000

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos- $12,823,000

Charles Clay, TE, Dolphins- $7,071,000 (transition tag)

Stephen Gostowski, K, Patriots- $4,560,000

The only surprise on the list was Clay who is a decent player, but never someone considered to be in the upper echelon of the position. A $7 million salary ranks second in the NFL among tight ends and 7th in salary cap hits.

Players who were rumored to be tagged that were not included Ndmukong Suh (whose tag number was so high it’s hard to believe it was a rumor), Jerry Hughes, Julius Thomas, DeMarco Murray, Jeremy Maclin, and Devin McCourty. In some cases that is an indication that the tag was considered too high for the value of the player, but it does not mean that the teams will not continue to work on an extension.

Please note that franchise tenders are not contracts until signed. Players remain free agents and are free to negotiate with any team in the NFL. However the tags allow the team to match any offer sheet signed by the player. In addition a team with a franchise player that fails to match a contract will receive two first round picks as compensation. Because of that any movement usually requires a trade since two first round picks is considered too large a price to pay for any player. This is not the case for the transition tag where they only have the opportunity to match.

Teams have until 4PM on March 10 to tender their exclusive and restricted free agents. The RFA tenders should be $3.352M (1st round), $2.356 (2nd round), and $1.542M (ROFR/Original Round). Expect those tenders to begin trickling in this week.

We’ll be constantly updating our salary cap estimates, free agency pages, and everything else as we get information. Feel free to contact us with anything you see in error or additional information that we do not have. Our goal is to keep that as accurate as possible for anyone who uses OTC.

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The Compensatory Draft Pick Program Is Ready For 2016 (With One Big Question)http://overthecap.com/compensatory-draft-pick-program-ready-2016-one-big-question/ http://overthecap.com/compensatory-draft-pick-program-ready-2016-one-big-question/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:31:49 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=9285 A new update and a new addition has been made to the program devoted to projecting the NFL’s compensatory draft picks. These two items now have the program prepared to track not only the past (2015), but also the future (2016 and onward).

The update now has the 2016 tab on OTC’s draft page operational. Right now, the list of 2016 comp picks is quite boring—it is just showing the order of a hypothetical 8th round based on the 2015 draft order. Those represent the “non-compensatory” draft picks that would be awarded if there were fewer than 32 compensatory picks … Read the rest

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A new update and a new addition has been made to the program devoted to projecting the NFL’s compensatory draft picks. These two items now have the program prepared to track not only the past (2015), but also the future (2016 and onward).

The update now has the 2016 tab on OTC’s draft page operational. Right now, the list of 2016 comp picks is quite boring—it is just showing the order of a hypothetical 8th round based on the 2015 draft order. Those represent the “non-compensatory” draft picks that would be awarded if there were fewer than 32 compensatory picks awarded. With no UFAs having been signed yet, this is the result we would get. However, once the deluge of free agent signings begins on March 10, you will see those non-compensatory picks rapidly disappear. As news comes of the APYs earned by UFA signings, the program will be promptly updated with the new data, so you can see where teams stand on potentially earning 2016 picks in real time. I will also occasionally post updates as the offseason progresses to analyze some significant developments.

To assist in understanding how teams are gaining and/or losing picks, the new addition I have made is the Compensatory Draft Picks Cancellation Chart. This chart, broken down by each team, will display all UFAs lost and gained, and illustrate which lost free agent is cancelled out by which gained free agent. This should help readers understand better how the formula works, and to also analyze and judge whether certain teams should be wary of adding more UFAs at the risk of losing 2016 picks. Obviously, the 2016 tab is currently devoid of players, but you can look at 2015 to get a example of what’s to come, and also to assist in answering any lingering questions you may have about 2015’s current projections.

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With every year that passes with the compensatory draft pick process, there are usually one or two questions that emerge, either from newly discovered rules of the formula, or changes to the NFL contract rules in general. In 2016, the big question that I see lurking out there is how the formula will treat two types of team options on previous contracts.

The first of the two has to do with the fact that this is the first offseason in which the inaugural draft class (2011) of the current CBA will hit free agency. As you likely know, this CBA dictates that all drafted rookies sign four year contracts, but first round picks have a team option for a fifth season placed in their deals. While the majority of the 2011 first rounders had their fifth year option picked up, the players that did not have their options picked up and have an expiring contract are the following:

  • Jake Locker (Titans)
  • Blaine Gabbert (49ers)
  • Christian Ponder (Vikings)
  • Nick Fairley (Lions)
  • Adrian Clayborn (Bucs)
  • James Carpenter (Seahawks)
  • Mark Ingram (Saints)

The second type has to do with a few veteran contracts that had team options in them. The three players that could potentially raise question marks for the 2016 are the following:

The spirit of the compensatory draft pick formula is to compensate teams who lost players against their will. In general, if there’s a way that a team can retain a player without that player’s consent (not cutting the player and placing a tender the most common), that player will not qualify for the formula it the team makes the active decision to part ways with that player. He will qualify if his contract naturally expires, or if it automatically voids “phony” years primarily used for salary cap maintenance.

By that spirit, on the surface a team option, where a team has an active choice to retain a player, may suggest that such a player wouldn’t qualify for the formula. But in these cases it isn’t nearly as clear cut. In the case of the 2011 first rounders the formula could very well construe the fifth-year options as more of a contract extension on a standard rookie four year contract than a direct declining of a more established fifth year. With the three veteran contracts, it hasn’t been common for team options to have deadlines soon before free agency. As a result, it has proven more difficult to research for previous examples from the past than I imagined.

Because OTC currently lists Melton and the 2011 first rounders as UFAs, I will count them as qualifying players for the 2016 projection. But since we are headed into uncharted waters on both of these fronts, in the future I’ll be sure to include scenarios in case they don’t qualify, provided that they are relevant to the end result. In the meantime, for the veterans I’d appreciate it if anyone out there knows of any players in the past that had similar team options declined on their contracts. You need not know anything about the compensatory pick process—once I have the names I can do the dirty work on that myself. If you have any examples, please post them in the comments section of this post.

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Seahawks 2015 Salary Cap Outlookhttp://overthecap.com/seahawks-2015-salary-cap-outlook/ http://overthecap.com/seahawks-2015-salary-cap-outlook/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:58:48 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=9276 Estimated 2015 Cap Space: $24.0M ($143M cap limit)

Roster Overview

Players Under Contract: 64
Pro Bowlers: 5
Unrestricted Free Agents: 16(2 with 50%+ playtime)
Draft Selection: 31

Salary Cap Breakdown

Seahawks 2015 Salary Cap

Seahwks Offensive Spending

Seahawks Defensive Spending

Free Agents to Re-sign

I don’t believe that Seattle needs to make a major push for any of their unrestricted free agents. If Kevin Williams looks to continue playing in the NFL he should be an affordable rotation guy to keep for another season on a one year deal. Similarly if O’Brien Schofield doesn’t test the market and will come back on another minimum type contract he will be a … Read the rest

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Estimated 2015 Cap Space: $24.0M ($143M cap limit)

Roster Overview

Players Under Contract: 64
Pro Bowlers: 5
Unrestricted Free Agents: 16(2 with 50%+ playtime)
Draft Selection: 31

Salary Cap Breakdown

Seahawks 2015 Salary Cap

Seahwks Offensive Spending

Seahawks Defensive Spending

Free Agents to Re-sign

I don’t believe that Seattle needs to make a major push for any of their unrestricted free agents. If Kevin Williams looks to continue playing in the NFL he should be an affordable rotation guy to keep for another season on a one year deal. Similarly if O’Brien Schofield doesn’t test the market and will come back on another minimum type contract he will be a reasonable payer to keep in the rotation.

Free Agents to Let Walk

With heavy commitments to Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and Earl Thomas I am not sure how wise it would be to also sign Byron Maxwell to a lucrative contract extension. Because of the limited options at the positions in free agency Maxwell will likely command a premium on the market which will probably exceed his true value…The team passed on the expensive option for James Carpenter last season and I would not expect him to be a priority as they prepare for free agency. I don’t discount that he may be back, but it should be after they make a run at others at the position.

Contracts to Modify

Extensions should be the name of the game for the Seahawks this offseason. Obviously the big question here is what dollar figure will make Marshawn Lynch happy to not cause a distraction during training camp or consider retirement. While it is rare that a team needs to overcompensate at this particular position I don’t think there is any possible way to claim that Lynch is replaceable at this point. His running style and ability to carry the ball so many times is simply not a trait you see any more in the NFL and the Seahawks need to run him until he simply shows he can’t run anymore…While it may take some work to accomplish the best thing the Seahawks can do for their long term salary cap situation is to sign Russell Wilson to an extension now to better spread out the cap charges over the next few seasons. There are many ways to go with that contract, but eventually he will, by some metric, be the highest paid QB in the NFL…Bobby Wagner is also up for an extension and given the history of their extensions with the players in the secondary it would see as if he will be re-signed this offseason…Russell Okung may also be in the discussion for an extension since this is the final year of his contract, but he may opt to play the year out in hopes of increasing his value.

Players to Consider Releasing

Releasing Brandon Mebane saves the team $5 million. He will be 30 this season and coming off injury the team will likely see more benefits to cycling that money into other players…Tony McDaniel is in the final season of his contract and the team saves $3 million by releasing him. McDaniel is a solid enough pro, but again I think the consideration will be that there are players that can replace him. This is a good group of free agents for the interior of the defensive line. McDaniel could be a player that is released and then re-signed if they fail to find an upgrade in free agency…Zach Miller missed pretty much the entire year and releasing him creates $2.4 million in cap room. Again this is a player that could be released and brought back on a lower cost deal, but they should look at free agency before deciding Miller is the guy.

Offseason Plan

Too much has been made of the Seahawks pending “salary cap doom” that will occur when Wilson is re-signed. Seattle did what they had to do last season by releasing a number of veterans and trading malcontent Percy Harvin and his bloated salary off the team to ensure that at least the next two seasons will be ok in terms of cap constraints. Other than Maxwell there are really no home grown free agents that can really change their flexibility either.

Seattle can definitely use another wide receiver or athletic tight end to add to the mix. Seattle is going to want explosive players and guys capable of making those big plays when the ball is thrown their way. I think Jordan Cameron is a natural fit for the team and worth the risk unless the costs get excessive. He can complement the players they already have on the team.

I know most people do not feel as if the team will be in play for a big wide receiver, but they had allocated millions of dollars to Harvin just two years ago and planned on him being an important part of the mix this season. Both Jeremy Maclin and Torrey Smith would be two free agents that would fit the bill.  Smith doesn’t have the best of hands, but he would lighten the load for Doug Baldwin and make the overall group more effective.

Defensively they should be able to find a moderate cost defensive tackle this year. Names like Melton, Paea, Peters, Knighton, etc… are all available and come at a cost lower than the savings realized on releasing Mebane and McDaniel. They should be able to find an all around performer that aids in run and pass.

When it comes to the draft I would anticipate the process of adding to the offensive line and finding some young guys to potentially replace some of the players who may be gone in the coming seasons. I would not discount the possibility of using free agency to find a player, as there are some good interior lineman and right tackles out there, but I think the draft is the best way to go for the long term. They should be able to find some defensive lineman to groom behind the starters as well.

If you are not a fan of the Seahawks it is scary to see how the team is positioned. In a salary cap era this looks to be one of the rare teams that really has the ability to keep an extensive core of players together for a 3 or 4 year window. While other teams have been successful, names the Patriots, those teams are few and far between. Though the Super Bowl was lost in a heartbreaking fashion the Seahawks should remain one of the top teams in the NFL for the foreseeable future.

Seahawks Links

Seahawks Salary Cap Pages

Seahawks Free Agents

Seahawks Contracts

Seahawks GM Salary Cap Calculator

Other Offseason Salary Cap Reports

Seahawks Free Agent Simulator

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General Manager League UPDATE: SD availablehttp://overthecap.com/general-manager-league-offseason-roster-adventure/ http://overthecap.com/general-manager-league-offseason-roster-adventure/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 23:30:03 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=8832 Just a quick update for those who didn’t make it the first time, the Chargers are available.

For those of us wishing we had a bit more control over what our favourite teams do, or simply just love the roster gymnastics of the offseason, I’d like to introduce and invite you to the General Manager League.

Essentially you are taking over a team and running them through the NFL offseason from a certain point in time forward against other human players. If you’ve followed your favourite team during the offseason, or played Madden’s franchise mode, you know the process. There … Read the rest

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Just a quick update for those who didn’t make it the first time, the Chargers are available.

For those of us wishing we had a bit more control over what our favourite teams do, or simply just love the roster gymnastics of the offseason, I’d like to introduce and invite you to the General Manager League.

Essentially you are taking over a team and running them through the NFL offseason from a certain point in time forward against other human players. If you’ve followed your favourite team during the offseason, or played Madden’s franchise mode, you know the process. There are some tweaks as it’s a one year league, but the general idea remains the same. The numbers, of course come from right here at OverTheCap.

The basics can be found at ’15 GML Rules, Info, & Timeline and any questions will happily be answered!

To register please use this link to sign up

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Packers 2015 Salary Cap Outlookhttp://overthecap.com/packers-2015-salary-cap-outlook/ http://overthecap.com/packers-2015-salary-cap-outlook/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 21:17:43 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=9261 Estimated 2015 Cap Space: $32.8M ($143M cap limit)

Roster Overview

Players Under Contract: 53
Pro Bowlers: 5
Unrestricted Free Agents: 11(4 with 50%+ playtime)
Draft Selection: 30

Salary Cap Breakdown

Packers 2015 Salary Cap

Packers Offensive Spending

Packers Defensive Spending

Free Agents to Re-sign

The situation with Randall Cobb is interesting. I am certain the Packer would like him back, but at what price?  They have already seemingly set their max limit with Jordy Nelson at $9.7 million a year plus Cobb’s role is generally paid in the $8.5 to $9 million a year range. However with the large number of teams with a great deal of cap room this … Read the rest

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Estimated 2015 Cap Space: $32.8M ($143M cap limit)

Roster Overview

Players Under Contract: 53
Pro Bowlers: 5
Unrestricted Free Agents: 11(4 with 50%+ playtime)
Draft Selection: 30

Salary Cap Breakdown

Packers 2015 Salary Cap

Packers Offensive Spending

Packers Defensive Spending

Free Agents to Re-sign

The situation with Randall Cobb is interesting. I am certain the Packer would like him back, but at what price?  They have already seemingly set their max limit with Jordy Nelson at $9.7 million a year plus Cobb’s role is generally paid in the $8.5 to $9 million a year range. However with the large number of teams with a great deal of cap room this offseason Cobb may feel as if he can earn more on the open market. The team can use the franchise tag to virtually block him from free agency but that seems like a very high price for Cobb. In the end I think he will be back in Green Bay….Bryan Bulaga stayed healthy this season and is one of the better players at the position. I would expect the two sides to come to an agreement using a similar contract model to the one Sebastian Vollmer has with the Patriots where large amounts of money are tied to health.

Free Agents to Let Walk

At 32 years of age, Tramon Williams time with the Packers may be over. The team already has a large commitment to Sam Shields and will likely soon enter negotiations with Casey Hayward which may leave Williams as the odd man out. I would guess for him to stay in Green Bay he would be leaving money on the table that may exist elsewhere…BJ Raji’s play had declined so much the last few years that he had to settle for a one year contract with Green Bay last year. He was hurt all season and there is no reason for the team to bring him back…Letroy Guion’s legal troubles might make him expendable.

Contracts to Modify

Julius Peppers was effective last season, but he is not $9.5 million effective. Peppers will need to take a reasonable pay cut this season to remain a Packer…Extending Hayward a year before free agency should allow them to lock down their third corner to favorable terms over the long haul…

Players to Consider Releasing

If Peppers is not receptive to a pay cut look for the Packers to move on. Peppers costs $12 million against the cap in addition to the large salary discussed above. Releasing him saves $7 million in cap room…The team already made their other two big moves by releasing linebackers AJ Hawk and Brad Jones.

Offseason Plan

Despite not making it to the Super Bowl last year I think many would say that the Packers were the best team in the NFL. Their collapse at the end of the NFC Championship game was unreal and the perhaps the biggest challenge for the team this season is to make sure that there is no lingering impact that causes a hangover in 2015.

Green Bay traditionally does not enter free agency looking to improve their team. They may pick up a few small pieces here and there who were released from their contracts, but the addition of an expensive player like Peppers (who was also released) is not exactly the norm for the team.  That doesn’t mean it wont happen, but it would have to be the right player willing to sign the right contract.

Most of the Packers offseason should focus on the defensive side of the ball as their offense, if they re-sign Cobb and Bulaga, has few needs. Clearly the team will be in the market for linebackers and more help on the interior of their defensive line. Drafting a cornerback if Williams is not kept would also be an option high in the draft.

The team will likely watch the releases around the NFL to see if there are any reasonable options they can consider. A few years ago the Packers did host a restricted free agent offered a low tender so maybe they would consider such players where it is only a right of first refusal rather than draft pick compensation if they feel the fit is right.

Regardless of what the team does or does not do in free agency and the draft it would be hard to picture them not in the playoff race next year unless the quarterback gets injured or there is a serious hangover from last season where nothing breaks their way. For the most part any upgrade they happen to find should only separate the gap between they and the rest of the teams in the NFC North that much more.

Packers Links

Packers Salary Cap Pages

Packers Free Agents

Packers Contracts

Packers GM Salary Cap Calculator

Other Offseason Salary Cap Reports

Packers Free Agent Simulator

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Colts 2015 Salary Cap Outlookhttp://overthecap.com/colts-2015-salary-cap-outlook/ http://overthecap.com/colts-2015-salary-cap-outlook/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:32:28 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=9252 Estimated 2015 Cap Space: $27.7M ($143M cap limit)

Roster Overview

Players Under Contract: 54
Pro Bowlers: 5
Unrestricted Free Agents: 12(6 with 50%+ playtime)
Draft Selection: 29

Salary Cap Breakdown

Colts 2015 Salary Cap

Colts 2015 Offensive Spending

Colts 2015 Defensive Spending

Free Agents to Re-sign

Veteran safety Mike Adams ended up being an important addition to the Colts defense last season on a one year minimum salary contract. He will probably get a bit more than this this time and finish his career in Indianapolis…The Colts may need to convince Cory Redding to continue playing football as he is still very effective even at 34 years of age…Darius Butler provides a … Read the rest

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Estimated 2015 Cap Space: $27.7M ($143M cap limit)

Roster Overview

Players Under Contract: 54
Pro Bowlers: 5
Unrestricted Free Agents: 12(6 with 50%+ playtime)
Draft Selection: 29

Salary Cap Breakdown

Colts 2015 Salary Cap

Colts 2015 Offensive Spending

Colts 2015 Defensive Spending

Free Agents to Re-sign

Veteran safety Mike Adams ended up being an important addition to the Colts defense last season on a one year minimum salary contract. He will probably get a bit more than this this time and finish his career in Indianapolis…The Colts may need to convince Cory Redding to continue playing football as he is still very effective even at 34 years of age…Darius Butler provides a reasonable option covering the slot and should fit in that $3.5-$4.5 million salary range that is typical for players at the position…The team already released LaRon Landry which likely means that Sergio Brown will be back and given the full time job as starter.

Free Agents to Let Walk

With Reggie Wayne recovering from another injury it sounds as if retirement may be in the books for Wayne. I think this is something where the two sides need to talk this over to make sure he retires before going through the free agency process, unless the goal is to simply bring him back to set some records and phase him out…Ahmad Bradshaw is a terrific player, but he can never stay healthy and the Colts can not rely on him for a few games only to see him end the season on IR. The team has too much cap room and there are too many available options for them to bring him back…Hakeem Nicks came in on a one year “prove it” type of contract and he proved he is a third or fourth option. He should not come back.

Contracts to Modify

The team will wait until picking up Andrew Luck’s option before they actually extend him, but it is hard to imagine them not extending him this year. All signs point to the Colts signing Luck to a record setting contract and once free agency is over they should use most of their remaining cap space on him this season to keep him as affordable as possible against the cap in the future…The Colts should also consider an extension for tackle Anthony Castonzo who is in the final year of his rookie contract.

Players to Consider Releasing

We’re a little late to the party here, but there are still plenty of players that might be released on the team.  The most interesting name will be Trent Richardson, who the team suspended in the playoffs. Richardson’s salary had been fully guaranteed by I (as had others) speculated that the suspension was done to void those guarantees and allow the team to release him. Richardson is a non-factor for the team. The Colts could try to hold onto him to potentially include in a trade, but probably won’t cut him until they clarify if his guarantee is void…Donald Thomas has been unable to see the field since being signed in 2013 so it would make sense for the team to give up on him and pocket the $3.25 million…Both Greg Toler and Erik Walden could be in some danger of release, but I believe these would not occur until the players were replaced. They could also be asked to take pay cuts. Cutting Toler saves $5.5 million and Walden $3.75 million.

Offseason Plan

Of the “good” teams in the NFL, the Colts are probably the team that needs to do the most if they want to take that next step. They have benefitted greatly from playing in the worst division in the NFL for the last few years helping them inflate their record far beyond the actual performance level. Most of the time when they step up in class they have great difficulties. While Andrew Luck may be a bit of a polarizing figure in terms of just how good he is, I think most universally agree the team around him is not as good as Luck.

The Colts have built up a huge cap surplus and expect them to use it in an attempt to get to the Super Bowl. This team has been built up through free agency, specifically on defense, and there is no reason to believe that will change. Of 22 players who started at least 8 games for the team last season, 10 came from outside the Colts organization. The expected free agent contribution list was even greater than that but players like Landry and Nicks and Arthur Jones were either injured or ineffective to qualify. Most of the players are overpaid and this will likely be one of the first teams agents call on March 7 to try to up the bidding for the players they represent.

On the offensive side of the ball I think it is clear the team will want to build a running game. I would picture them being linked to trading for Adrian Peterson (perhaps including Richardson as a throw in), signing DeMarco Murray, or any of the name players that will be available. That will be followed by working on revamping the interior of the offensive line where there will also be good players. The Colts essentially set the market for right tackles two years ago and it would not be a stunner if they did the same for one of the guard spots. The team will also be linked to a number of receivers and it would not be stunning if they made they called up Miami about Mike Wallace.

I think everyone believes that this is the likely destination for Pernell McPhee to be their next pass rusher. If Haloti Ngata is released this would be a likely spot for him. Regardless of who they sign they will certainly be focusing on the defensive line and pass rush, especially if Redding retires.

The draft will likely focus on the positions that the team doesn’t upgrade in free agency. Given the lack of available players in the secondary finding another cornerback and/or safety may come in the draft. Finding younger defensive linemen should occur even if they make some signings. But I feel safe saying that the draft will supplement their run at free agency.

Thus far the team has had a number of misses when going outside the team for help so they need to find more Vontae Davis’ this season than Richardson’s if they want to be a legit contender for the AFC crown. But come March 10 expect to hear the name Colts very often.

Colts Links

Colts Salary Cap Pages

Colts Free Agents

Colts Contracts

Colts GM Salary Cap Calculator

Other Offseason Salary Cap Reports

Colts Free Agent Simulator

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Updates To OTC’s Free Agency Pagehttp://overthecap.com/updates-otcs-free-agency-page/ http://overthecap.com/updates-otcs-free-agency-page/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 20:52:53 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=9243 With free agency only ten days away I felt that it would be prudent to add a couple features to our respective page to increase its value to our readers.  The two major changes you will see are as follows:

  • If a free agent changes teams, his old and new team will now be displayed. Now, if you filter by a team, you will see both its free agents that it lost and gained.  For 2015, most of the new team entries are obviously blank, but that will of course rapidly change after March 10.
  • The data now loads one

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With free agency only ten days away I felt that it would be prudent to add a couple features to our respective page to increase its value to our readers.  The two major changes you will see are as follows:

  • If a free agent changes teams, his old and new team will now be displayed. Now, if you filter by a team, you will see both its free agents that it lost and gained.  For 2015, most of the new team entries are obviously blank, but that will of course rapidly change after March 10.
  • The data now loads one year at a time as you click on a tab, with the current year loading upon the page visit.  This is needed to reduce load times and prevent the page from timing out.

If you do not immediately see the changes that have taken place, it is likely a caching issue that in most cases can be resolved by clearing the page’s cache from your browser.  As always, if you have any questions or see any bugs, let me know by commenting in this post.  In particular, be sure to alert me if you find that the table isn’t displaying, and the preloader icon won’t go away.

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Broncos 2015 Salary Cap Outlookhttp://overthecap.com/broncos-2015-salary-cap-outlook/ http://overthecap.com/broncos-2015-salary-cap-outlook/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 17:23:31 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=9236 Estimated 2015 Cap Space: $27.7M ($143M cap limit)

Roster Overview

Players Under Contract: 58
Pro Bowlers: 9
Unrestricted Free Agents: 12(7 with 50%+ playtime)
Draft Selection: 28

Salary Cap Breakdown

Broncos 2015 Salary Cap

Broncos Offenive Spending

Broncos Defensive Spending

Free Agents to Re-sign

Demaryius Thomas is more or less an irreplaceable player and needs to be signed long term.  He is a top 5 player at the position and can make plays anywhere on the field. The Broncos will likely use the franchise tag on him but it is in the best interests of both sides to get him locked up long term…Orlando Franklin’s versatility along the offensive line … Read the rest

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Estimated 2015 Cap Space: $27.7M ($143M cap limit)

Roster Overview

Players Under Contract: 58
Pro Bowlers: 9
Unrestricted Free Agents: 12(7 with 50%+ playtime)
Draft Selection: 28

Salary Cap Breakdown

Broncos 2015 Salary Cap

Broncos Offenive Spending

Broncos Defensive Spending

Free Agents to Re-sign

Demaryius Thomas is more or less an irreplaceable player and needs to be signed long term.  He is a top 5 player at the position and can make plays anywhere on the field. The Broncos will likely use the franchise tag on him but it is in the best interests of both sides to get him locked up long term…Orlando Franklin’s versatility along the offensive line makes him a valuable asset. With the Broncos likely becoming a more balanced offense and Peyton Manning possibly heading off into retirement in the next year or two, having a player like Franklin gives the team a core to work with in the development of a younger player…This looks to be a weak group of safeties in free agency so re-signing Rahim Moore is probably the right move given the landscape…Virgil Green can play the role of blocking tight end and won’t cost much to keep….Will Montgomery brings a veteran presence and won’t cost much to keep around for another season.

Free Agents to Let Walk

Julius Thomas is looking for big money and there is really little reason to justify it. While he has been a great touchdown player, his overall numbers are not impressive and he is constantly injured. With the team eventually needing to re-sign Von Miller to a high priced contract, I can’t see allocating premier money into a position like tight end…Terrance Knighton really is not a great fit for the defense they will run in Denver and that relationship seems strained anyway since they refused to rework his contract last season. This is best to be a mutual split….I can understand bringing back Wes Welker is the cost is right, and he won’t get much interest around the league, but I’d be worried about his health and the possibility of having to watch him have his career ended on a hard hit. They will need to replace his snaps if he is released, but they may be able to find a younger option to do that.

Contracts to Modify

I do not believe that there is any reason for the Broncos to be restructuring Manning’s contract or asking him to take a pay cut, but clearly there is something there right now. Recently PFT had a report that they were close on a restructure which sounded as if they were attempting to find a way to spread out the timeframe in which they paid him his salary. Manning has a $21.5 million cap number which can be brought down significantly if they “extend” him and add on some cap holders at the end of the contract…Brandon Marshall should be an exclusive rights player, which means he will be back for pennies on the dollar, so he should be open to a pretty reasonable extension. This might be the time for both sides to make a deal…Von Miller counts for nearly $10 million against the salary cap and working out an extension, more likely after free agency is complete, should make their in season management more workable…It is possible the Broncos could consider releasing Manny Ramirez, but they may be better off guaranteeing a small portion of his salary and in return having him remove a playing time incentive from his contract that currently counts for $1.6 million against the salary cap.

Players to Consider Releasing

Releasing Andre Caldwell saves $1.35 million. He is a bit part of the offense and expendable…Unless there are significant losses along the line I would expect Chris Clark to be released, saving the team $1.4 million against the cap.

Offseason Plan

Manning’s three years in Denver have led to three disappointing finishes, and the most recent one led to the replacement of the coaching staff and talk that maybe Manning’s time in Denver was finished. It is rare to see a team with a Hall of Fame quality quarterback that has won their division three years in a row undergo such a facelift, but that seems to be what is happening in Denver as they retool the defensive schemes and offensive approach.

Last season the team went out and spent in free agency to give Manning the defense he needed to lessen the burden on the veteran quarterback, signing DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, and TJ Ward. But as Manning’s health declined so did the team’s play and the overall impact was minimal. Normally I would expect a team to be gun shy about going back into free agency, but the front office I believe put the blame on the coaching staff making it less of a concern.

Still I would not expect the team to make a major splash in free agency. I think they will look for a cheaper option as replacement for Thomas, perhaps being linked with Owen Daniels as a short term contract while developing a younger player. I would guess they will look for depth along the defensive line and possibly linebacker, where the costs won’t be so high. If the Raiders release Antonio Smith he would be a natural fit in Denver, essentially a swap of Knighton for Smith, who should be very familiar with the team’s new staff. This is a good free agent group of right tackles and I could see that being an option as well.

In the draft it should be all about bringing youth onto the defense and bringing in a young receiver or tight end. The team can’t fal into the trap of getting old chasing a ring and then wake up post Manning with a roster of 30 year olds and no young players with experience to take over. Right now the window for many of the players on the team is an extra two years, at most, of peak performance. This is the time to begin the process of identifying the veterans that you can replace in 2016 and 2017 with younger, cheaper, and better options to help transition the Broncos into the post Manning era.

Broncos Links

Broncos Salary Cap Pages

Broncos Free Agents

Broncos Contracts

Broncos GM Salary Cap Calculator

Other Offseason Salary Cap Reports

Broncos Free Agent Simulator

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OTC Podcast 2/27: NFL Cuts Underway, Structuring Contracts, Free Agents and More…http://overthecap.com/otc-podcast-227-nfl-cuts-underway-structuring-contracts-free-agents/ http://overthecap.com/otc-podcast-227-nfl-cuts-underway-structuring-contracts-free-agents/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 14:45:26 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=9233 In this week’s OTC Podcast:

– I go over the most recent roster cuts and impact it has on the tems salary cap

– The difference between cash and cap spending

– How to try to find the best value fit of a player in free agency

– Retirements and how they work on the cap

– Frontloading of contracts and the benefits for the player

-The Bills QB Situation

-Amateur Capologists

Plus lots more….

View in iTunes

Listen via Stitcher

Subscribe to the OTC Podcast

Read the rest

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In this week’s OTC Podcast:

– I go over the most recent roster cuts and impact it has on the tems salary cap

– The difference between cash and cap spending

– How to try to find the best value fit of a player in free agency

– Retirements and how they work on the cap

– Frontloading of contracts and the benefits for the player

-The Bills QB Situation

-Amateur Capologists

Plus lots more….

View in iTunes

Listen via Stitcher

Subscribe to the OTC Podcast

The post OTC Podcast 2/27: NFL Cuts Underway, Structuring Contracts, Free Agents and More… appeared first on Over the Cap.

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