Over the Cap http://overthecap.com NFL Salary Cap, Player Contracts, and Related News and Analysis Fri, 22 Aug 2014 01:35:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Looking at a Possible Contract for 49ers WR Michael Crabtree via SNhttp://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2014-08-21/michael-crabtree-contract-49ers-negotiations-colin-kaepernick-fantasy-stats-receiver-market http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2014-08-21/michael-crabtree-contract-49ers-negotiations-colin-kaepernick-fantasy-stats-receiver-market#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 01:35:21 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=7927 In this weeks piece for the Sporting News I go over Michael Crabtrees contract in San Francisco. Click on the title to read the article.… Read the rest

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In this weeks piece for the Sporting News I go over Michael Crabtrees contract in San Francisco. Click on the title to read the article.

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A Closer Look at Marcus Gilbert’s Contract Extensionhttp://overthecap.com/closer-look-marcus-gilberts-contract-extension/ http://overthecap.com/closer-look-marcus-gilberts-contract-extension/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 01:25:39 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=7921 I usually try to take a little deeper look at the contracts on the site and wanted to do the same with the contract of Steelers tackle Marcus Gilbert since I had a few questions about him. I think the prevailing analysis is that he received $6 million a year in new money which places him in a logjam for fourth highest compensated right tackle in the NFL. But when you look closer at the numbers I think a strong case can be made that in a true contract valuation Gilbert is going to be the highest paid right tackle … Read the rest

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I usually try to take a little deeper look at the contracts on the site and wanted to do the same with the contract of Steelers tackle Marcus Gilbert since I had a few questions about him. I think the prevailing analysis is that he received $6 million a year in new money which places him in a logjam for fourth highest compensated right tackle in the NFL. But when you look closer at the numbers I think a strong case can be made that in a true contract valuation Gilbert is going to be the highest paid right tackle in the league.

There are two considerations that should come into valuing a contract. The first is the yearly cash flow component that shows the was that the salary is actually distributed. Is it a heavily front loaded contract?  Is it backloaded?  Is it a steady stream of salary?

The following table provides the cumulative money that each player will earn over the course of his contract. Each cell is color coded to indicate the likelihood of the money being earned. Green means its essentially guaranteed, yellow is a year where it is probably 50/50 that it is earned, and red means don’t start counting that money until you get that far into the contract.

Right Tackle Market

The first thing that jumps out to me is how strong the frontside of Gilbert’s contract is. Only Cherilus will earn more in year one, but over the first two and three years of the contract no player will earn more than Gilbert, despite the fact that Cherilus, Loadholt, and Davis all earn more on an annual basis.

Gilbert actually received a higher signing bonus than everyone on the list except Cherilus, though Loadholt’s signing bonus is effectively more since he signed for four years rather than five. Because of that his contract is as well protected as almost anyone else on the list.  The exceptions are Cherilus and Howard, and in both cases the protections they received may have been a team error. In the case of the Oakland Raiders it was clearly an error (they paid Howard a roster bonus too soon which turned it into a signing bonus). The Colts got hit with a little known rule called the 50% rule that turned Cherilus’ signing bonus from $10 million to $14.5 million for accounting purposes. I tend to think Indianapolis simply did not pay attention to the rule but that is just a baseless opinion.

All things considered I think you can make a strong case that Gilbert received either the best or second best contract at the position based on expected earnings. Does that make it a bad contract for the team?  I guess it depends on your perspective. Gilbert is the second youngest of the group to sign so there is a greater upside for him to perform well.  His deal also reflects the large cap increase that was not in play when Cherilus, Davis, and Loadholt signed.

Negatively the contract did not offer anywhere near the protections that the 49ers insisted on received from Davis.  It did not have the no bonus provision of the Collins contract, which was also supposed to be the structure of the Howard contract.  So I do think it’s fair to say the Steelers could have asked for more concessions considering he and Davis are the only players under a true extension where the teams held contractual leverage over the player at the time of signing.

I don’t think that the $6 million a year figure is necessarily too high, which is something I have read in a few spots. While he doesn’t have a huge track record and has never stood out in Pro Football Focus the way others have, he is a logical comparison to other limited sample players like Collins and Howard who both earned $6 million a year as free agents. As a 2nd rounder he also carries much more cache than the other two which will play a role.

The Steelers were not going to be able to lowball him into a $4 million  per year contract. For that to eventually happen they would have had to wait out the year, a portion of free agency, and kept crossing their fingers that nobody bites. Again seeing what Howard received on the market it’s unrealistic to think he could have gotten that much less.  So while they may have been able to work within the $6 million per year parameters more effectively coming in far under that dollar figure was never going to happen.


 

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Breaking Down Marcus Gilbert’s $30 Million Contract with the Steelershttp://overthecap.com/player/marcus-gilbert/1619/ http://overthecap.com/player/marcus-gilbert/1619/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:19:31 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=7919 Read the rest

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Fantasy Football Outlook: Running Backshttp://overthecap.com/fantasy-football-outlook-running-backs/ http://overthecap.com/fantasy-football-outlook-running-backs/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:13:25 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=7914 Last week I looked at production for NFL Quarterbacks and this week I will turn my attention to the Running Back position. All scoring and pricing that we discuss is based on FanDuel’s scoring and salary system used in their weekly fantasy games. In case you were unaware we are running a promotion with FanDuel where you can receive a deposit bonus if you use OTC100 as your promo code when signing up.

Week One

High priced backs look to be the most consistent performers in the first week of the season. For players who have played at least … Read the rest

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Last week I looked at production for NFL Quarterbacks and this week I will turn my attention to the Running Back position. All scoring and pricing that we discuss is based on FanDuel’s scoring and salary system used in their weekly fantasy games. In case you were unaware we are running a promotion with FanDuel where you can receive a deposit bonus if you use OTC100 as your promo code when signing up.

Week One

High priced backs look to be the most consistent performers in the first week of the season. For players who have played at least two openers in the last two years the top five average scorers are Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson, Reggie Bush, and Matt Forte all averaging over 20 points in the first week of the season. Luckily Rice is not an option since I have a hard time believing he can again be strong in week 1, but that may be something to keep in mind as a high risk/reward play when he returns.

I definitely do not want to fool around with the RB position and I need at least one of these players on my roster week 1, despite the larger price tags. Bush is the lowest cost player ($7,800- $1,600 less than McCoy) so if you want potential top RB1 performance at an affordable rate he is the player I would lean on. Forte I think will offer the most consistency and should have a very favorable matchup against the Bills while Peterson has the bigger potential. Peterson matches up against a Rams defense that has not been that strong versus the run, but there is more variance in Peterson’s game.

For RB2 I would probably look for a decent mid tier option that I believe will give me points rather than a complete shot in the dark and keeping my fingers crossed to find the Mike Tolbert 2011 3 TD shock performer of the week. A surprisingly good week 1 player has been Darren McFadden of the Raiders. There is almost nothing I like about McFadden, but he has been no lower than 14 points in the first game of the year, putting all three of his games in the top 45 game openers of the last three years. For $6,200 I would give him strong consideration even against the Jets. The Jets wont score, giving the Raiders every opportunity to run, and I’d take the chance about the defense, which has given up at least 14 to every starter in the opener.

I’m not sure right now which Patriots running back will have the big game but one of them is a solid value play. In the last two years their top back scored around 20, but picking the guy isn’t easy. Ridley probably has the inside track but he could also fumble his way to the bench. Both he and Vereen are reasonable cost players.

If you are considering based on team situation/opponent go with someone from the Rams rather than Broncos. Broncos have not produced big rushing scores in week 1 under Fox. The Rams have an incredibly easy matchup against the Vikings, who have gotten slaughtered in two of the last three years.

I’d stay away from name players like Chris Johnson (7.7 pts), Marshawn Lynch (7.5 pts), and Trent Richardson (6.8 pts).

Here is the average performance level of all players who have played in at least two opening games over the last three years.

PlayerAvg. Week 1 Score
Ray Rice22.9
LeSean McCoy22.9
Adrian Peterson21.2
Reggie Bush20.5
Matt Forte20.3
Darren McFadden16.2
C.J. Spiller14.3
Jamaal Charles13.7
Frank Gore13.5
Steven Jackson12.2
Mike Tolbert11.7
BenJarvus Green-Ellis11.6
DeMarco Murray11.1
Ahmad Bradshaw10.7
Maurice Jones-Drew10.4
Ben Tate9.7
Fred Jackson8.8
Chris Johnson7.7
Marshawn Lynch7.5
Knowshon Moreno7.3
Shonn Greene7.0
Michael Bush6.9
Pierre Thomas6.7
DeAngelo Williams5.5
LaRod Stephens-Howling4.3
Ronnie Brown4.1
Jacquizz Rodgers3.3
Isaac Redman2.5
Kendall Hunter2.3
Mark Ingram2.2
Roy Helu2.2
LeGarrette Blount1.5
Alfred Morris16.8
Arian Foster16.0
Joique Bell14.9
Doug Martin13.6
Stevan Ridley13.4
Ryan Mathews12.9
Darren Sproles12.9
Cedric Benson10.3
Beanie Wells9.8
Michael Turner9.4
Peyton Hillis7.8
Daryl Richardson7.1
Marcel Reece7.0
Trent Richardson6.8
Daniel Thomas6.6
Willis McGahee6.2
Bilal Powell5.8
Rashard Mendenhall5.7
Danny Woodhead5.0
Jackie Battle4.6
John Kuhn4.3
Justin Forsett3.8
Jason Snelling3.6
Vick Ballard3.5
Brian Leonard3.0
Jamie Harper2.6
Robert Turbin2.6
Toby Gerhart2.4
Rashad Jennings2.4
Le’Ron McClain2.1
Bernard Pierce2.1
Bryce Brown1.4
David Wilson1.2
Tashard Choice0.9
Stefan Logan0.2

 

Seasonal Outlook

I’m a bit down on McCoy this year. I think regression is natural but moreso than that, the Eagles will likely be looking to rework his contract down to more reasonable figures next season. With the presence of Darren Sproles I think they will be looking to be less reliant on McCoy in part because of the contract.

Arian Foster looks to be done in Houston after the season and it almost sounds, at times, as if he is mentally checking out of the situation. This could go one of two ways. The Texans could run him into the ground knowing that his future isn’t with this team or they could just play for the future and use Foster in a diminishing role. Given the lack of general interest in running backs as free agents, I think Foster knows 1,000 yards or 700 yards is probably getting him the same deal next season. I’d prefer to look elsewhere for a player I am tied to for the whole year.

CJ Spiller is probably one of the worst teases every season. This is officially his walk year and the Bills have shown little interest so he’ll be looking to impress. Will that force the Bills to play him?  He could pay off late in the year if that happens, but if not you want to be able to pick your matchups with him as he could be one of a rotating group of three players if you don’t get the big name players at the position.

Mark Ingram has been waiting and waiting for more chances and it looks like he will get that. He did not get his option picked up and a big year will probably lead to a contract worth around $4 million a season next year.  Ryan Mathews is in a similar spot but with a more crowded backfield and less potent offense in San Diego, but Id expect him to make the most of the situation if he can remain healthy.

Next go around I’ll look at the receivers.

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Details of Glenn Dorsey’s Two Year Contract Extension with the 49ershttp://overthecap.com/player/glenn-dorsey/78/ http://overthecap.com/player/glenn-dorsey/78/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:04:58 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=7910 Read the rest

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The Falcons, Sam Baker, and Working With Bad Contracts…http://overthecap.com/falcons-sam-baker-working-bad-contracts/ http://overthecap.com/falcons-sam-baker-working-bad-contracts/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:40:58 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=7908

I came across a topic on the Atlanta Falcons message board discussing options for Falc0ns injured tackle Sam Baker and thought  it would make for a decent topic about how to handle bad contracts.

The Baker contract was never a good one and also illustrates some of the shortcomings of the Falcons way of doing business in which they use multiple tiered prorated bonuses on big ticket players. When those players bust the fall is difficult. Though Baker does not have any guaranteed money left after this season, a standard release would cost the Falcons $1.9 million in cap room, … Read the rest

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I came across a topic on the Atlanta Falcons message board discussing options for Falc0ns injured tackle Sam Baker and thought  it would make for a decent topic about how to handle bad contracts.

The Baker contract was never a good one and also illustrates some of the shortcomings of the Falcons way of doing business in which they use multiple tiered prorated bonuses on big ticket players. When those players bust the fall is difficult. Though Baker does not have any guaranteed money left after this season, a standard release would cost the Falcons $1.9 million in cap room, with Baker’s cap number jumping from $7.3 to $9.2 million. That’s the danger of these deals as even though there is no guarantee there is limited benefit to release.  It is what we call a virtual or effective guarantee. When such players are encountered teams have limited options if their salary cap situation is tight enough that they can not absorb large amounts of dead money.

The option most would consider is the June 1 cut. The June 1 cut allows a team to release a player at the start of the League Year, but have the release treated as if he was cut after June for cap purposes. In this scenario Baker’s cap charge from March through June 1 would be $7.3 million, the same as if he is on the roster, and then on June 2 it drops to $2.8 million. Atlanta would then carry a $6.4 million cap charge in 2016.  They could also accomplish this by simply waiting until June to release him.

The problem with that scenario is that no salary cap benefit is realized until June. Though it may not be as popular an option, the better option is to approach Baker with a deep paycut that contains no guarantees.  Baker’s options at finding a job in the NFL again would be limited so he would have little choice but to accept unless he was convinced that he would not pass a physical and thus qualify for injury protection under the CBAif released (that amount is $1.1 million) .

What the team would do is reduce Baker’s salary to something like $1 million and give him a chance to earn another $1 million in roster bonuses for games active and perhaps another $500,000+ for playing time. Because Baker did not play in 2014 the only number that would count towards the cap is the $1 million base, a savings of $3.5 million in immediate cap room.

The other benefit to this contract is because you guaranteed nothing you can still release him and have the same cap charges that you would with the June 1 cut, except here you get the benefit of immediate cap space and seeing if he can still benefit your team in any manner on the field. Here is how the scenarios would play out:

DateJune 1 CutReworked ContractReworked/August Release
March Cap$7,300,000$3,800,000$3,800,000
June 2 Cap$2,800,000$3,800,000$3,800,000
August 1 Cap$2,800,000$3,800,000$2,800,000
2016 Cap$6,400,000$6,400,000$6,400,000

There is virtually no downside to the reworked contract. You may get something positive out of the player and if you don’t the most it will cost you is somewhere between $1 and $2 million in cap room (the figures depends on games he is active for).  The 2016 season remains the same in any scenario and you gain immediate cap flexibility in 2015.  So while it is early to be discussing next years roster moves, actual teams should already be looking ahead as many of their biggest moves for 2014 are already complete.


 

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An Introduction to being an NFL Agent: Part 2http://overthecap.com/introduction-nfl-agent-part-2/ http://overthecap.com/introduction-nfl-agent-part-2/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:00:44 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=7905 A couple weeks ago, I started developing a “process” for myself, for the last few years, I’ve known what I want to accomplish, but I knew I needed to write down my process and refocus myself. First, I want to tell you about the man behind the process.

My mentor during my college years was a great friend by the name of Dr. Kevin Elko. He is currently the “head” coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Florida State Seminoles, so he has been a part of four of the last five national championships. He’s won Super Bowls with … Read the rest

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A couple weeks ago, I started developing a “process” for myself, for the last few years, I’ve known what I want to accomplish, but I knew I needed to write down my process and refocus myself. First, I want to tell you about the man behind the process.

My mentor during my college years was a great friend by the name of Dr. Kevin Elko. He is currently the “head” coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Florida State Seminoles, so he has been a part of four of the last five national championships. He’s won Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints. He’s also won national championships with LSU (2004), Miami, and the North Carolina basketball team.

Dr. Elko is the best in the business in terms of mental performance and motivational speaking. I’ve never heard him speak to a team, but friends of mine who have listened to him at Alabama, Florida State, as well as Rutgers and Pittsburgh in the 2000s discuss how he always got the team feeling that level of supreme confidence that they would win. Many of you have seen Elko’s work first hand, he is the man behind “The Chop” at Rutgers Football during the Schiano years.

Elko is someone whom we will come back to discuss later this week, if you’re interested in him, check him out at DrElko.com.

Anyway, I began developing my process because to become a great NFL agent, you’re going to have a lot of different stuff going on and I need to keep my eyes on my life goals.

As followed is a list of what I’m currently involved in as well as the relationships I’m building with businesses that will be major assets for our clients and Athlete Advocates. Of course, in turn, we believe that we will also be a major asset to the people we do business with, every business relationship should have mutual gain.

.ads in wordpress

• Like I’ve previously said, I’m an MBA student at Rutgers. I have a concentration in marketing and entrepreneurship, you’ll see why over the course of this series.

• I own a small business in AllAmericanHustle.com. Currently, we simply sell “Be American” apparel, but we’re going to pivot as I become a certified NFL agent and gain clients as we can turn it into a retail site for the products and companies that our clients are involved with. As I’ll discuss on here, we have brand management strategies that include content creation, marketing, endorsements, entrepreneurship, charities, and other business dealings.

• Over the first half of this year, I wrote a business plan with my entrepreneurship teacher to start an “Amazon style online retailer for American made goods,” but I found out that AmericanCertified.com launched during the time I was writing my plan. American Certified launched in May after 18 months of preparation as well as investing over $500,000, so I decided I should join forces with them, rather than compete.

I contacted their CEO Marvin Weinberger and have begun working with them as an intern. They like my marketing strategies that I’ve presented them with as well as my strategies of endorsements through athletes, celebrities, and content creators. American Certified will be a major asset for my clients for endorsement deals from American manufacturers and my clients will be an asset for these businesses and American Certified. This is something I will go into in a business blog this week.

• I sell Onnit products on my website and I’m always and I’m always trying to stay abreast with everything happening with them. I discovered them on the Joe Rogan Experience, which opened my eyes to marketing strategies that we will be using with our athletes. They are also a part of the future plans of our agency as we see the potential for endorsement deals for our clients along with supplements. (Onnit)

• Off of the lessons I’ve learned from Joe Rogan and Onnit, I should mention our content creation strategies that we hope to implement with our players. If you’ve followed MMQB.SI.com, then you’ve seen some great guest articles from players like Russell Wilson, Vernon Davis and many other players. The NFL is full of highly intelligent guys and our firm intends on helping our clients take advantage of their unique life experience and build their brands.

As we’ve seen, many players enter into post-football careers in jobs on radio, TV, podcasting, writing among other media outlets. When I was a kid, I knew I wanted to be a professional football, basketball and baseball player, then I wanted to host SportsCenter after my career. Which red-blooded American boy didn’t have those kinds of dreams?

Instead, with the Internet, we can have so much more fun creating our own content in our own voice and Athlete Advocates will help players create their own content. There is such a large market of NFL fans out there just begging for more football content for them to consume all year round. The NFL has become the biggest sport in the country because of crazy people like us! We’re always looking for content to learn about the game, learn about the business of the game or just learn about fantasy football.

(As a side note, I do a podcast myself and I would love to have some guests on in the near future, if you know anyone who might be interested in coming on a podcast that discusses the NFL, current events, economics, business, political issues, entrepreneurship, American manufacturing or anything else of that nature, please e-mail me at PresidentMoore@AllAmericanHustle.com. I have a lot of different passions and I want to make my podcast a sort of Joe Rogan Experience on the east coast with a football flavor to it as well rather than the MMA.)

• Of course, DeFranco’s Gym is a major part of our business plan, so continuing to build our relationship with my friend Joe DeFranco is key to our success. Again, like I said yesterday, Joe D. is the best in the world at what he does and he’s a better person. At Athlete Advocate’s we couldn’t be more blessed to work with a guy like Joe. It’s an honor to be surrounded by so many high quality people, it motivates you to let you know that you can accomplish great things. (www.defrancostraining.com)

• And of course, writing here at OverTheCap.com. This is an opportunity for me to not only build my own personal brand as a writer and agent, but, more importantly, it’s a chance for me to learn about the most important aspect of being an agent: player contracts. By learning from Jason and the rest of the staff here, if I just keep plugging away reading and learning about contracts, I’ll be able to understand player values, market values, free agency, and all salary cap issues. Your job as an agent is to get your player a fair value for his worth and this opportunity will help me improve my knowledge in this field and, thus, help me with negotiations in the future.

Going back to what I started this article off with, I’ve been developing my process for my goals and at the top of that sheet I have this in big bold letters:

How do I become the best me that I can be? How can I become the best NFL agent of all time? What activities will help me get to where I want to go? What do I have to know?

Below that, at the top of my list, my goal is to be the first NFL agent inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. Obviously, guys like Leigh Steinberg, Tom Condon, Jimmy Sexton, Drew Rosenhaus or even Happy Walters (the inspiration for Happy Gilmore and an overall cool guy, check out his story) might beat me there first, but that’s the attitude I want to have going into this business.

When I focus on that one goal of being the best agent of all time, everything else falls into place. If you’re a young aspiring NFL agent, this is exactly how you should think.

When I was going to the Sports Law Symposiums this winter, I met a lot of nice kids, a lot of kids thinking about getting into being an agent and a lot of kids who knew they wanted to be in the business.

What struck me most was that many of these kids were in law school, but they didn’t have a plan for how they were going to be an agent, start their firm or get a job with one of the big firms (a very difficult task and a route I personally did not want to take as I want to create my own thing rather than be a cog in a huge machine). One thing I learned in starting my own small business already is that you have to have a plan. My idea with All American Hustle was simple, but I had no plan other than just start selling t-shirts, that is why I have made my fair share of poor decisions.

Granted, those lessons I learned at a cheap cost, all things considered, will help me greatly in the long run. I started AAH in 2011 when I had very little formal education in business or even just through reading. Over the last year, since I started at Rutgers, I’ve begun just consuming as much information as possible in the fields I’m interested in, things I know I’ll need to understand to be a great agent. This is critical. Understand as much as you can about an industry before you put the money up to dive into it.

A t-shirt business is the simplest form of business ever, so it’s been a great learning tool. I’ve gotten the lessons that I’ll be able to put into my future ventures and I’ve been able to form an LLC, secure a domain and get some other finances out of the way.

Another piece of advice to anyone trying to get into this industry, which is something I heard reiterated by Leigh Steinberg was to make yourself stand out to potential employers. Like I said yesterday, I got my job with Athlete Advocates because I began discussing my business plan with Ryan during last fall and I eventually sent him the completed version of it and let him know I’d love to work with him. I later met Jeff Dobin and was really excited to see that we had another great agent on our team. Ryan was more than open to the idea of me working for them and after a few months of going back and forth with him on some projects, he let me know that he’d love to bring me on as a partner.

Do you understand how many kids must ask agents how to break into the industry? Do you understand how many times they give kids advice that they know probably isn’t being followed up on? Never before have so many people been competing to get into this industry as, like entrepreneurship, being an agent has gotten a lot of great publicity over the last few years as the industry has grown and many kids see it as an avenue to follow their passion for sports in an exciting way. What are you doing to make yourself stand out? Over the last eight months, I’ve gotten involved with three businesses I’m very passionate about in Athlete Advocate’s, American Certified and Over The Cap and not a single one of them asked me for my resume. They saw the work I had put in already. I had written a business plan for the first two businesses and Jason had seen some of my previous writing on my personal blog and we had communicated about some salary cap issues through Twitter and e-mail.

If any of that sounds like too much work, then you’re not passionate enough about the business you think you want to get into. You’ll never work a day in your life if it’s something you would be willing to do for free. That’s what a dream job is, your dream should be to get paid for doing something you love.

Like I said above, develop your process. Dr. Elko states in Touchdown, that “the first step in implementing your vision is developing a process, a step-by-step plan you use consistently everyday to get to the desired outcome.”

Right, so you want to be an NFL agent, how are you going to get there? What do you have to know? Where can you find information that will help you get there? Look at the industry and ask yourself questions about it that you then have to answer.

At some point, I will probably share with you guys the questions I’ve been asking myself over the last few months as a way of making sure I stay on task and learn the things that I need to learn to become a better agent.

So, moving forward this week, I’m going to break down the various services an agent needs to provide for their clients and I’m going to detail how everything I’ve detailed above fits into these categories of services.

As always, #BeAmerican out there my friends.

Zack Moore
@ZackMooreNFL
www.AllAmericanHustle.com
Supplements: Onnit

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The NFL Salary Cap and Super Bowl Champions, Part Ihttp://overthecap.com/nfl-salary-cap-super-bowl-champions-part/ http://overthecap.com/nfl-salary-cap-super-bowl-champions-part/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 22:19:28 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=7882 Salary cap research, at least outside of an NFL organization, is pretty much an empty field. It’s understandable as salary cap numbers were always something that would be briefly mentioned in an article about a team and were not exactly public knowledge. There were more resources when various salary cap sites doing their best to track their favorite teams began springing up. I believe Miguel’s Patscap.com was the first site. Ian Whetstone, who contributes to OTC from time to time, kept (and still keeps) these great word docs and spreadsheets detailing salary cap reports from various sources. And with sites … Read the rest

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Salary cap research, at least outside of an NFL organization, is pretty much an empty field. It’s understandable as salary cap numbers were always something that would be briefly mentioned in an article about a team and were not exactly public knowledge. There were more resources when various salary cap sites doing their best to track their favorite teams began springing up. I believe Miguel’s Patscap.com was the first site. Ian Whetstone, who contributes to OTC from time to time, kept (and still keeps) these great word docs and spreadsheets detailing salary cap reports from various sources. And with sites such as OTC now there is more ability to do research on current trends. But historical data is still a tough subject to come by.

For this series of posts I wanted to get together as much accurate historical data as I could and start looking at just how Super Bowl champions spend their salary cap dollars in building a championship team. So for this series we will go all the way back to 1994 and look at how each Super Bowl team was built. My focus is on top of the roster spending because that is the area that eats up essentially half a teams’ budget and is what we discuss the most on the site.

In part  1, which is today’s entry,  we are going to look at the percentage of adjusted salary cap spent on the top player, top 3 players, top 5 players, and top 10 players on a roster. In part 2 we will look at the positional allocations among the teams. Finally in part 3 we’ll take a look at these trends and apply them to today’s NFL and see which teams most closely resemble the salary cap construction of Super Bowl champions.

There are a few things to keep in mind about the numbers. One is that the 2010 Green Bay Packers are not included because the year had no salary cap and thus there is no basis to rate their salary cap spending. The second is that, when discussing the spending I will be eliminating the 1997 and 1998 Denver Broncos from the discussion. I’ll include a separate section to explain that later in this post..

 

Top Player Salary Cap Spending

Average Spend:  9.5%

Largest Spender: 13.1% (Steve Young- 1994 49ers)

Lowest Spender: 6.7% (Jon Ogden-  2000 Ravens)

Just 7 of the 17 Super Bowl Champions of the salary cap era spent more than 10% of their entire salary cap on their highest priced player, with four of those teams coming between the 2001 and 2006 seasons (all three Patriots champions and the 2006 Colts). In general the trend has been towards less spending in recent years with 6 of the lowest spenders having come post 2005. I would tend to think that this could be due to teams putting more of an emphasis on drafting than veteran free agent starters, though it could also be teams being more effective for one year manipulation of the salary cap.

Top Spending Salary Cap

 

Top 3 Salary Cap Spending

Average Spend:  22.4%

Largest Spender: 27.8% (Warren Sapp, Brad Johnson, & Simeon Rice- 2002 Buccaneers)

Lowest Spender: 17.4% (Ogden, Ray Lewis, & Michael McCrary- 2000 Ravens)

I was a bit surprised to see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers team rank so high since everyone associates Brad Johnson with journeyman QB, but he was highly enough compensated along with two defensive stars to push

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them to the top of the list. Not surprisingly the Ravens were at the bottom as Trent Dilfer was paid more like a journeyman with just a $1 million cap hit.  We have a nice spread of data here with some current teams over the average and some under the average.

I think two of the surprises are the Patriots’ 2001 and 2004 teams. These are squads that are associated with reasonable priced QB play, but all the Patriots teams had big money invested in Ty Law and the two teams had money invested in QB- by 2004 Brady had signed a pricier extension and in 2001 Drew Bledsoe was a big earner. NE overcame a lot of salary cap waste those years to win their Super Bowls. In 2001 Bledsoe was injured and replaced and in 2004 Law only played in 7 games while their third highest cap charge came from Lawyer Milloy, a player who was released a few days before the season began.

Top Three Cap Spending

 

Top 5 Salary Cap Spending

Average Spend:  32.5%

Largest Spender: 38.4% (Sapp, Johnson, Rice, Derrick Brooks & Jeff Christy- 2002 Buccaneers)

Lowest Spender: 27.0% (Ogden, Lewis, McCrary, Rod Woodson, & Peter Boulware- 2000 Ravens)

On average teams allocated about 33% of the entire salary cap to just 5 players. Our two most recent NFL champions both rated above the average which was a slight jump for both teams indicating that their GMs believed in continuous spending rather than drop-offs after the top few players. In light of the last category it is not surprising to see the Bucs and Ravens rate highest and lowest. The Bucs were a veteran laden team that was near the end of their run with Jon Gruden being brought in as a replacement for Tony Dungy. The team would win just 12 games in the next two years and has been the worst futures performing Super Bowl champion, though the Giants look poised to take that title this year if they fail to advance to the playoffs.  The Ravens were the very young group with a number of contributing top draft picks on the team and made the playoffs in two of the next three years, so they did better than the Bucs, but were actually towards the bottom of the list in future playoff success as well.

Cap Spending Top 5

 

Top 10 Salary Cap Spending

Average Spend:  50.0%

Largest Spender: 56.0% (2002 Buccaneers)

Lowest Spender: 44.4% (2000 Ravens)

It certainly pays to be considered a good player, as Super Bowls champions invest half of their budget on less than 20% of the players on the team.  One of the interesting takeaways here is that the Seahawks ranked 2nd out of 17 teams with 55% of the cap being allocated on 10 players. I think this actually goes against the popular thought about the way the team was constructed. Because the Seahawks get so much mileage out of their young talent people but this was a team that spent on veteran talent. It shows the impact of the draft on a team as they received little from Zach Miller, Sidney Rice, and Percy Harvin and others were released this season for cap considerations.

In general the more recent trends have pushed towards lower spending on the top player on the roster with increased spending on the “above average” talent base. Since 2006 only the 2009 Saints spent less than 48.9% on their top 10 players. Perhaps the most interesting teams were the Patriots dynasty teams that were big spenders up to the top 3 players, but ended up among the bottom 6 in the top 10 category.

Top 10 Cap Spending

Overall Spending Breakdowns

I just wanted to take a small sampling of the teams to see how the league spends so much on so few players.  Though there will be some differences in how teams are built, once you extend rosters out to 60+ players (these include terminated contracts obviously) we can see that about 75% of funding is spent on just 25 players and 80% of all funding on just 30 players.  That is essentially our starting roster and it is why I often talk about roster turnover every year and how almost nobody is safe. If you are not an entrenched starter you either need to show potential to be one or bring value added services (special teams, multiple positions, specialized packages) to keep from getting your number called in the final days of the preseason.

Complete Salary Cap Spending

 

So Why No Broncos?

The 1997 and 1998 Broncos are one of the more well remembered champions of recent NFL history primarily because of the storybook ending to the career of John Elway. But this was still the earliest days of the salary cap and certain teams in the NFL were always finding ways to try to cheat the salary cap. Some violated the spirit of the CBA (I think every early CBA seemed to have some type of prior Dallas Cowboys loophole closed), but the Broncos remain were found in violation of the salary cap and were fined years later for these violations.

The general nature of the violations, which were found to run from 1996 to 1998, surrounded deferring large payments for star players like Elway. There were other types of guaranteed bonuses being promised to players  to avoid proration treatment of the bonuses. Denver claimed that these maneuvers were simply done because they were having cash flow problems and that no benefit was gained despite the league penalties.

When tabulating the data it just felt wrong to agree with that assessment. The 5.5 and 5.3% that was spent on their top player was at least 1.2% less than the next closest teams. Their top 10 spending in 1997 was just 40.2%, 4% less than the 2000 Ravens. What those numbers are not so ridiculous, to expect a team with a Hall of Fame veteran QB to be playing for pennies is.

Elway’s cap charges in the Super Bowl seasons were just $2.1 and $2.6 million respectively. By comparison Dan Marino, who would be the most logical comparison, had cap charges of $4.3 and $7.6 million. Troy Aikman’s cap charges were both over $5 million in those seasons. Some may argue that Steve Young had low cap charges ($3.5 million), but that was also a team found in violation of the cap. So for the purposes of this study it just did not seem relevant to include this group as a reasonable way to look at building a team especially in light of the violations they were found guilty of.

Future Success

I wanted to also look at how the team performed in the three year period following the Super Bowl. Ranking them was solely based on playoff success with a team being awarded 10 points for winning a Super Bowl, 8 points for losing a Super Bowl, 6 points for the conference championship, and so on. Since we are going in a three year period we have limited our pool by three more teams.

The average score was 10.85 with a median of 10. The teams who invested heavily in one player were the teams who had the most success  in the future. The 49ers, Patriots dynasty, and Manning Colts all were big playoff successes in the future. That slowly begins to shift as we move to top 10 spending as you get three of the lowest five in the top 6 of spending and four of the best teams in the bottom 6.

The following chart shows the salary cap spending for each of the teams discussed including the Denver Broncos. Clicking on the headers should allow you to change the sorting method. In our next part of the series we’ll see exactly where this money was spent.

YearTeamTop 1Top 3Top 5Top 10
199449ers13.1%27.4%37.5%54.0%
2004Patriots12.7%24.0%32.5%46.4%
2003Patriots11.8%21.2%29.4%45.0%
2011Giants11.4%23.6%32.0%50.9%
2001Patriots10.5%24.7%34.6%48.0%
2006Colts10.3%23.7%34.9%54.0%
1996Packers10.2%23.4%31.6%48.5%
2002Buccaneers9.8%27.8%38.4%56.0%
1995Cowboys9.2%22.0%33.3%53.2%
2007Giants9.1%20.2%29.2%48.9%
2012Ravens9.0%23.7%35.9%53.4%
2013Seahawks8.0%22.0%34.2%55.0%
2009Saints7.6%21.8%30.4%46.3%
1999Rams7.5%19.5%30.7%48.5%
2008Steelers6.9%18.9%30.5%50.8%
2005Steelers6.9%19.3%29.7%46.2%
2000Ravens6.7%17.4%27.0%44.4%
1997Broncos5.5%16.2%24.3%40.2%
1998Broncos5.3%15.6%25.3%44.1%
Average (w/o Den)9.5%22.4%32.5%50.0%
Average (w/Den)9.0%21.7%31.7%49.1%

 


 

 

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Details of Stephen Bowen’s Restructured Contract With the Redskinshttp://overthecap.com/player/stephen-bowen/1464/ http://overthecap.com/player/stephen-bowen/1464/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 20:00:47 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=7880 Click through to read about Stephen Bowen’s pay cut with the Redskins… Read the rest

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Click through to read about Stephen Bowen’s pay cut with the Redskins

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An Introduction to Being an NFL Agenthttp://overthecap.com/introduction-nfl-agent/ http://overthecap.com/introduction-nfl-agent/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 04:18:59 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=7875 I want to introduce myself to the Over The Cap reader, so that I can give you an idea of the perspective I hope to bring to this website. I also want to open myself up to topics brought forth by the reader and I’m always open to exploring an idea that you guys bring up in the comment section or through contacting me through Twitter or e-mail.

There’s so much to learn and explore in the game of football and so often, across all fields, we get zoned into our own way of thinking and don’t look at things … Read the rest

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I want to introduce myself to the Over The Cap reader, so that I can give you an idea of the perspective I hope to bring to this website. I also want to open myself up to topics brought forth by the reader and I’m always open to exploring an idea that you guys bring up in the comment section or through contacting me through Twitter or e-mail.

There’s so much to learn and explore in the game of football and so often, across all fields, we get zoned into our own way of thinking and don’t look at things from a fresh, new perspective. This is why a guy like Mike Leach transformed the game of football with the spread offense after coming from a background as a lawyer.

In marketing, I’ve learned of a concept called “the curse of knowledge,” which is a cognitive bias that leads better-informed parties to find it extremely difficult to think about problems from the perspective of lesser-informed parties.

It’s a great concept when you think from an entrepreneurial or business perspective. Sometimes, the big corporations are so caught up in doing what’s always worked for them, that they become blind to new opportunities in their industry. Think about the old cable companies that are missing out on the wave of new technologies that will eventually overtake cable. Companies like Netflix and Hulu have capitalized on the areas that the cable company left open. NFL teams have capitalized by doing things in a way that hadn’t been done before as well. Without people approaching football from a different perspective, we’d still be playing the same game we played in the early days of the NFL.

Point being, you all have something to offer those of us who write for Over The Cap and I’d love to hear from you in the comment section for concepts you’d like to see explored or questions you want answered.

Anyway, to give you an idea of what I want to bring to Over The Cap…

I’m currently an MBA student at Rutgers and upon graduation, I’m going to become a partner at Athlete Advocates with Ryan Scarpa and Jeffrey Dobin, two certified NFL agents. I met Scarpa through his representation my good friend and teammate, Matt Hansen from the University of Rhode Island.

Matt Hansen was an undrafted free agent in 2011 and was signed to the Atlanta Falcons practice squad late in the 2011 season and looked like he was on his way to making the 53-man roster in 2012 after a great performance in OTAs. Unfortunately, he tore his patella tendon during that summer and hasn’t been able to make it back into the NFL since.

One thing that always stuck out in my mind was that, throughout the process, was that Matt was always happy with his agents. Many players get frustrated with their agent when they aren’t getting an opportunity to play, they feel like their agent is letting them down, but through it all, Matt knew his agents were doing their best. The kind of loyalty that Ryan displayed to Matt really stuck out to me and was what drew me to working with Athlete Advocates. Even when it began to look like Matt wouldn’t give them the kind of return on investment they had hoped to have, Ryan was always available and positive in his communication with Matt.

So, last fall, during my first semester at Rutgers, I wrote a business plan in my entrepreneurship class for “All American Hustle Sports,” which would be attached to my retail website AllAmericanHustle.com that I’ve had hopes of expanding, something we’ll discuss in later blogs.

During the fall semester, I would spend a lot of time discussing the business plan with my former trainer from when I was playing college football and entrepreneurial mentor, Joe DeFranco of DeFranco’s Gym. We would talk business as he trained my friends Matt Hansen and Jason Foster, who were both staying at my house in hopes of returning to the NFL. While Matt hasn’t been able to get back into the league, Jason found his home playing guard for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

During this time, Joe would tell me how he thinks Ryan is going to be a very successful agent and, seeing how much I already knew about Ryan, I decided to try and join forces with Athlete Advocates rather than start my own firm. So once I finished my business plan, I sent it over to Ryan.

He was impressed by my business plan and realized that I could be an asset to Athlete Advocates. Ever since then, we’ve all been discussing strategies and the future of our business together. Currently, we’re representing Darren Woodard of the St. Louis Rams and Lew Toler of the Pittsburgh Steelers, we also handle some of the marketing deals that Kyle Arrington of the New England Patriots has. We’re a young firm, but I’m confident that we are building a team that will be able to compete with the big boys.

I became intrigued with the prospect of being an NFL agent because my quarterback from Ramapo High School, Andrew Weiss’s father, Art Weiss, was Wayne Cherbet’s agent. Art has been one of the best in the business at finding D1AA talent and getting them an opportunity in the NFL. He’s currently representing Chris Hogan of “7-Eleven” Hard Knock’s fame who also went to Ramapo.

I decided that I wanted to be an NFL agent when I was playing at URI. I saw my good friends Victor Adesanya and Matt Hansen finish playing at URI and try to take their game to the next level after my junior season.

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Going into that season, I had just earned a scholarship, which had stoked my aspirations of maybe playing in Canada once I graduated, but an ankle injury had rendered me basically useless during my junior year as I couldn’t cut on the ligaments and tendons that I had torn during spring ball, but had gone undiagnosed and untreated due to our shoddy training staff at URI. I got a surgery after the season, so I was rehabbing while I was watching my friends try to go to the NFL and it made me realize that I could get involved in a career path that would still keep me involved in football.

And that’s led me to where I am now.

(I want to make a quick comment on the training staff at URI. I had three undiagnosed injuries during my time at URI. I tore ligaments in my ankle, to which their medical advice was to ice and stretch it. After I herniated two disks in a spring game, something I wouldn’t find out until an MRI years later because their only advice was to stretch my neck…seriously, that’s all they told me to do on a neck injury. Then, I had a broken bone in the ball of my foot for the entirety of my college football career, which instead of getting an MRI or x-ray on, we just put padding in my cleat. I say this because this is a major issue across the country, we have college training staffs that do not take care of players to the best of their ability because they are either uninspired and/or incompetent or they do not have the funding to do their jobs correctly. As an agent, this is an issue that I will focus on and campaign for. There are hundreds of kids being untreated with far more debilitating issues than mine and the NCAA owes it to these kids to make sure they’re taken care of. I’m in favor of some kind of medical fund that allows former athletes to treat college injuries, but that’s an issue for another day.)

I tell you all this because I find a lot of other young people trying to break into this industry and I hope to impart some of the things I’ve learned so far and continue to share more knowledge as we go along.

Personally, I decided to get an MBA because I saw an opportunity in the industry as most agents have law degrees and player representation is changing, in football specifically. This was confirmed to me at the three Sports Law Symposiums I went to this spring as guys like Darren Heitner from the Sports Agent Blog noted that the future of representation is going to be in marketing, endorsements and business deals.

This is largely because of the rookie wage scale put forth in the 2011 CBA, which makes agents less valuable because of the lack of negotiations. Where an agent now needs to prove his worth is in providing players with good training facilities to prepare for the NFL combine and everything that goes along with that, endorsement deals, business experience and entrepreneurial expertise, knowledge of the NFL marketplace and player value, marketing opportunities and brand management. The player needs an agent for his negotiating skills in later contracts as well.

When I decided upon getting my MBA, I also knew that my good friend, Will Gattoni (an avid Over The Cap reader), would be getting his law degree from St. John’s and we’ve always spoken about working together, something we still hope to do, but my attitude was, I’ll become the best business minded agent I can be and find partners with law degrees. Thankfully, that’s worked out well.

Over the last year, I’ve been putting together the things I need to be the best agent in the NFL. I don’t say that out of arrogance, I say that because this is simply too fun to half ass and you’ll get eaten alive if you’re not trying to be the best. This industry is in the stage of consolidation, everyone is merging into a few big firms like CAA, Rosenhaus Sports, and Relativity Sports, so if you want to compete, you have to find your niche, build your network and work your ass off.

So, to give other young agents out there an idea of how to get into this business and everything it entails, I am going to go into detail this week on how I’ve approached it and what we’re going to do over at Athlete Advocates.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more information coming this week. As always, feel free to tweet me if you have any questions or comments.

Zack Moore
@ZackMooreNFL
www.AllAmericanHustle.com
Supplements: Onnit

 


 

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