Over the Cap http://overthecap.com NFL Salary Cap, Player Contracts, and Related News and Analysis Sat, 20 Sep 2014 15:45:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Podcast: Goodell and the Ravens, Bucs Disaster, and NFL Picks for Week 3http://overthecap.com/podcast-goodell-ravens-bucs-disaster-nfl-picks-week-3/ http://overthecap.com/podcast-goodell-ravens-bucs-disaster-nfl-picks-week-3/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 15:45:53 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=8097

In our second (!) podcast of the week I discuss my thoughts on the Goodell press conference and the Ravens role in the Ray Rice suspension; I go over the way the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were built and the poor planning that went into building the team; and finally I give my predictions for every game in week 3.

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In our second (!) podcast of the week I discuss my thoughts on the Goodell press conference and the Ravens role in the Ray Rice suspension; I go over the way the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were built and the poor planning that went into building the team; and finally I give my predictions for every game in week 3.

View in iTunes

 

Listen via Stitcher

 

Subscribe to the OTC Podcast

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NFL Predictions 2014: Week 3http://overthecap.com/nfl-predictions-2014-week-3/ http://overthecap.com/nfl-predictions-2014-week-3/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 12:18:37 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=8095 Well I had another week of a 10-6 SU record which is not great but did improve to 11-5 ATS which is a big improvement after last weeks disaster. I did win the Falcons game so including that my yearly records are now 21-12 SU and 18-14-1 ATS.  Lets jump into the rest of week 3…

Chargers (+2.5) over BILLS- I could see the Chargers being impacted by the east coast trip and the potential letdown over the Seahawks, but I just think Rivers will push the issue and force the Bills offense to do more than they have … Read the rest

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Well I had another week of a 10-6 SU record which is not great but did improve to 11-5 ATS which is a big improvement after last weeks disaster. I did win the Falcons game so including that my yearly records are now 21-12 SU and 18-14-1 ATS.  Lets jump into the rest of week 3…

Chargers (+2.5) over BILLS- I could see the Chargers being impacted by the east coast trip and the potential letdown over the Seahawks, but I just think Rivers will push the issue and force the Bills offense to do more than they have been asked to do so far. Chargers 20 Bills 17

Cowboys (-1) over RAMS- I’m still a bit surprised the Rams won last week, though after seeing the Bucs performance Thursday maybe I should not be. If Dallas can establish the run early in this game they should win going away. Rams lack of offense is a major problem. Cowboys 24 Rams 13

Redskins (+5.5) over EAGLES- While I think the Eagles will win the game I think the combination of this being a divisional game and the short week of rest will make the points too much to pass up. Ill be interested to see the Redskins defense here as its their first real test of the season. Eagles 24 Redskins 21

GIANTS (E) over Texans- I almost feel guilty taking the Giants as it’s hard to make a logical case for it, but I simply can not see the Texans getting to 3-0.  If the Giants stopped shooting themselves in the foot they wouldn’t be so bad, but we’ve been saying that for at least two years now. Ugly on both sides this week. Giants 17 Texans 13

SAINTS (-10) over Vikings- Saints are off to a bad start but they haven’t had a home game yet and there are few better opponents right now than the Vikings. This should be a party in New Orleans from the opening snap. Saints 37 Vikings 10

BENGALS (-7) over Titans- The Bengals pass game might hit a bump right now but Giovani Bernard is playing great and as we saw last week that’s all you need to beat the Titans. Bengals 23 Titans 14

Ravens (-1.5) over BROWNS- Baltimore has had a long time to plan for this game and looked great last week against the Steelers. That’s not to say the Browns didn’t look good as well, but I felt their win wa more about the Saints losing the game than the Browns winning it. I do think they will be in this until the end though. Ravens 23 Browns 20

Packers (+2.5) over LIONS- This has potential to be the fantasy game of the week. Bigger game for Detroit who needs to show that last week was an aberration rather than the real thing. Rodgers should be the difference maker and help his team pull away late. Packers 35 Lions 27

Colts (-7) over JAGUARS- The Jaguars look so terrible and I can’t imagine them stopping the Colts offense at all. Blowout game. Colts 31 Jaguars 10

PATRIOTS (-14) over Raiders- After watching the Falcons dismantling of the Buccaneers I think the Patriots will have something to shoot for this week. Will they get there?  Probably not, but it might be close. Patriots 45 Raiders 7

49ers (-3) over CARDINALS- The 49ers blew it last week while the Cardinals stole one in New York. San Francisco is the better of the two teams while the bad news for Arizona just seems to pile up. 49ers 20 Cardinals 16

SEAHAWKS (-5) over Broncos- I think the home crowd is going to make life very difficult for Peyton Manning and if that team loses their timing they lose their impressive offense. Big week for Russell Wilson and his receivers. Seahawks 26 Broncos 19

DOLPHINS (-3.5) over Chiefs- Kansas City needs this win in the worst way but Miami can be a difficult place to play in the early part of the season. Miami came up with a terrible effort in Buffalo where things spiraled out of control but Id expect a far better showing at home. Dolphins 20 Chiefs 16

Steelers (+3) over PANTHERS- Carolina has played better than the Steelers, outside of the first half of game one for Pittsburgh, but I am still high on Pittsburgh and think they should match up well against a team like Carolina. I wouldn’t expect a lot of scoring and would probably start to change my opinion on Carolina if they worked out a win here. Steelers 16 Panthers 14

Bears (+3) over JETS- If the Jets get consistent pressure on Jay Cutler they will force enough turnovers to win the game, but if they don’t I expect the Bears receivers to manhandle the Jets secondary. Forte in the passing game may also be a matchup problem. Bears 28 Jets 20

 

 

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Heavy Investments in Free Agencyhttp://overthecap.com/the-tampa-bay-buccaneers-heavy-investments-in-free-agency-revis-mccown-mankins-jackson/ http://overthecap.com/the-tampa-bay-buccaneers-heavy-investments-in-free-agency-revis-mccown-mankins-jackson/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 18:22:32 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=8093 Thursday night the Tampa Bay Buccaneers put up one of the worst performances in the history of the NFL, falling behind the Atlanta Falcons 56-0 before the Falcons mercifully called off the dogs late in the 3rd quarter. The Buccaneers at 0-3 look to be finished for the season and may soon be a lesson in roster building for the rest of the NFL.

There may be no team in the NFL that was built more via outside organizations than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The philosophy is now funneling through two regimes. Last season the Buccaneers fired head coach … Read the rest

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Thursday night the Tampa Bay Buccaneers put up one of the worst performances in the history of the NFL, falling behind the Atlanta Falcons 56-0 before the Falcons mercifully called off the dogs late in the 3rd quarter. The Buccaneers at 0-3 look to be finished for the season and may soon be a lesson in roster building for the rest of the NFL.

There may be no team in the NFL that was built more via outside organizations than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The philosophy is now funneling through two regimes. Last season the Buccaneers fired head coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik for the failures of the 2013 season. But somewhere in the organization there must have been a feeling that the team was on the right path because they continued to pursue free agents in a “win now” style and brought in veteran head coach Lovie Smith to make the project work.  Thus far it’s been a colossal failure.

The Buccaneers use a very different contract and salary cap management system than almost anyone else in the NFL. Their philosophy primarily is based on an “all cash” method of management in which the team maintains strong up front cash flow controls by forgoing the use of the traditional signing bonus. This not only avoids those big first year cash payments but also keeps contracts from containing dead money at the back end that might cause a team to keep a player past his shelf life. In theory players can be traded at will and released as soon as the projected skill declines occur.

There is, however, a downside to this system. As a tradeoff to the lack of up front money and dead money protection in a contract the Buccaneers are often agreeing to contracts that are at an extremely high salary level on a per year basis. In addition to ensure that they earn what they would earn from a team that uses large signing bonuses the team is often placed in a position where they over-guarantee the contract, which limits the flexibility they have. For the system to really work properly the team needs to have a very strict conviction to not go back and begin to prorate money, a conviction that the Buccaneers failed to show in 2012.

The manner in which the Bucs have been built is almost scary. Of their top 15 contracts, valued in terms of annual value, only four are held by homegrown players. Those players are Gerald McCoy, Mike Evans, Mark Barron, and Adrian Clayborn. Of those players only McCoy ranks in the top 8.

That list also does not include all the misses that the team has made and walked away from, perhaps none bigger than the disaster that turned out to be the trade for Darrelle Revis.  The Buccaneers pursuit of Revis really began at the end of the 2012 season when the Bucs front office hastily reworked the contracts of wide receiver Vincent Jackson and guard Carl Nicks late in the season to lead to massive reductions in their 2013 cap charges and open up the cap space needed to make a run at a big player. Tampa would eventually surrender a first round pick to the New York Jets for Revis, who was coming off an ACL injury. Revis was signed for $16 million in 2013. He was subsequently released in  2014 due to his high salary.

Here is the list of recent contract moves made by the Buccaneers in their construction of their team.

 

PlayerPositionYear SignedHow AcquiredAnnual Value
Darrelle RevisCB2013Trade$16,000,000
Vincent JacksonWR2012Free Agent$11,111,111
Carl NicksG2012Free Agent$9,500,000
Michael JohnsonDE2014Free Agent$8,750,000
Dashon GoldsonS2013Free Agent$8,250,000
Logan MankinsG2014Trade$8,250,000
Mike WilliamsWR2013Extension$7,924,000
Davin JosephG2011Extension$7,500,000
Alterraun VernerCB2014Free Agent$6,375,000
Anthony CollinsT2014Free Agent$6,000,000
Josh McCownQB2014Free Agent$5,000,000
Evan Dietrich-SmithC2014Free Agent$3,562,500
Michael KoenenP2011Free Agent$3,250,000
Clinton McDonaldDT2014Free Agent$3,000,000
Brandon MyersTE2014Free Agent$2,125,000

On that list Revis, Nicks, Williams, and Joseph are all off the team. Revis and Williams lasted one year, Nicks two years, and Joseph three years. Williams and Joseph were the only two on the list whose careers were in Tampa from the start. Many of those players on the top of the list were among the top of their positions when they signed the deals.  Since 2011 the Bucs have won just 15 games. That’s a lot of coin to spend for 15 wins over a 51 game stretch.

I think at this point the Buccaneers really need to begin a hard evaluation process of what they have on this roster moving forward. Clearly the free agent/big contract route has not worked and it may be time to re-tool their whole approach to roster building.

The evaluation has to begin at the QB position. The signing of McCown, who has been little else than a journeyman in the past, was strictly done because the front office felt a competent veteran was a perfect fit for the team. It wasn’t. With a high draft pick looking like a certainty the team must turn the reigns over to Mike Glennon and see if there is anything there moving forward. He was not terrible last season and he could be a decent option, if not as a starter than as a long term backup solution.

Since most of these contracts contain little prorated money they should begin dismantling most of the team and seeing if there is any value around the NFL in some of their pieces to begin the process of rebuilding through the draft. Mankins, McCown, Dietrich-Smith, Koenen, McDonald, and Myers could all have salaries reduced or be released next season since they can move away from those contracts with minimal cap implications. Goldson and Jackson would be some residuals but their contracts would not be safe. Both of those players, who are on the wrong side of 30, probably have trade value to a contending team, perhaps even this season.

Tampa Bay already has a great deal of cap space in 2015, but there is nothing that is forcing them to spend it. Other than McCoy I don’t believe they have any mega free agents to re-sign next season and that money is best carried over to the future when they do have the talent that justifies the expenses.

There is certainly a time and place for big spending in free agency. But I believe that the time for that often comes when you already have a young core that was built through at least two draft classes in place before you make that move. Preferably that young talent lies in some of the higher priced positions (QB, LT, WR, DE, CB). The Buccaneers big spending binge really began in 2012 and at that point their young core was really McCoy and Williams, both from the 2010 draft, and Josh Freeman from the 2009 draft. McCoy was coming off two injury plagued seasons and Freeman completely unproven. It was not the best of times to begin a free agent invasion of the team. The end result was the product that the team put on the field against Atlanta.

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Zack’s Thurday Night Pickhttp://overthecap.com/zacks-thurday-night-pick/ http://overthecap.com/zacks-thurday-night-pick/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 00:17:40 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=8090 So, I’ve improved to 9-10-1 this year in my picks, but it feels like .500 because the Jets game against the Raiders felt like a blowout, not a 5-point push.

Anyway, on to tonight’s pick…

I’m enticed by the over tonight at 47 points. Vincent Jackson GOES OFF against the Falcons and I think the Bucs do well tonight against a bad defense on a fast surface. I do think the Falcons win this game because their offense will be too good for the Bucs defense, so I think the over is safe in this situation because of my initial … Read the rest

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So, I’ve improved to 9-10-1 this year in my picks, but it feels like .500 because the Jets game against the Raiders felt like a blowout, not a 5-point push.

Anyway, on to tonight’s pick…

I’m enticed by the over tonight at 47 points. Vincent Jackson GOES OFF against the Falcons and I think the Bucs do well tonight against a bad defense on a fast surface. I do think the Falcons win this game because their offense will be too good for the Bucs defense, so I think the over is safe in this situation because of my initial reaction to this point total: the Falcons offense is great, but their defense is horrible. Their defense has given up 472 yards a game and I think their offense is better than what we saw last week against the Bengals.

After last week, I was reminded that I don’t like to bet on Thursday Night games, but I feel good about this one. I love what we saw out of Matt Ryan and the offense at home last week and I think we’ll see it again this week. I see this one as a blowout, with the Falcons winning with a score like 35-21.

 

OVER: 47

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NFL Predictions Week 3: Thursday Night Footballhttp://overthecap.com/nfl-predictions-week-3-thursday-night-football-falcons-buccaneers/ http://overthecap.com/nfl-predictions-week-3-thursday-night-football-falcons-buccaneers/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 20:17:35 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=8088

Well I had another week of a 10-6 SU record which is not great but did improve to 11-5 ATS which is a big improvement after last weeks disaster. Yearly records are now 20-12 SU and 17-14-1 ATS.  I’ll be back Saturday with the rest of the picks for the week.

FALCONS (-6.5) over Buccaneers- This is kind of a big game for both teams, but certainly much bigger for Tampa Bay who is already 0-2 on the season with both losses at home. The Bucs have looked inept on offense and if they can not turn it around … Read the rest

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Well I had another week of a 10-6 SU record which is not great but did improve to 11-5 ATS which is a big improvement after last weeks disaster. Yearly records are now 20-12 SU and 17-14-1 ATS.  I’ll be back Saturday with the rest of the picks for the week.

FALCONS (-6.5) over Buccaneers- This is kind of a big game for both teams, but certainly much bigger for Tampa Bay who is already 0-2 on the season with both losses at home. The Bucs have looked inept on offense and if they can not turn it around against the Falcons non-existent defense then its likely they won’t turn it around at any point this year. Thus far having QB Josh McCown out there has more or less limited the benefits that the team had with their big receivers and that is supposed to be the driving force of the offense. Atlanta was stymied against the Bengals but they can redeem themselves with a big performance against the Bucs defense that is not flashy but should be good even with all the injuries they have suffered. I think this will be a big game for Matt Ryan who will get back on track and lead his team to a pretty convincing win. Falcons 26 Buccaneers 14

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Looking at the Exempt Status of Adrian Peterson and the Vikings Options Moving Forward via SNhttp://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2014-09-17/adrian-peterson-exempt-list-trade-partners-teams-minnesota-vikings-running-back-child-abuse-options-future http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2014-09-17/adrian-peterson-exempt-list-trade-partners-teams-minnesota-vikings-running-back-child-abuse-options-future#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:10:18 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=8086 In this weeks post for the Sporting News I look at just waht exactly the Exempt list is and what the Vikings can do moving forward with Adrian Peterson. Click the title to check out the full article…… Read the rest

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In this weeks post for the Sporting News I look at just waht exactly the Exempt list is and what the Vikings can do moving forward with Adrian Peterson. Click the title to check out the full article…

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Podcast: Peterson’s Exempt Status and a Look Back at the NFL in Week 2http://overthecap.com/podcast-petersons-exempt-status-look-back-nfl-week-2/ http://overthecap.com/podcast-petersons-exempt-status-look-back-nfl-week-2/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:05:26 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=8083

In our early podcast for the week I go over Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy being placed on the Exempt list, why its such a cop out by the NFL, and my thoughts on the the whole ordeal currently being faced by the league and their poor job of handling it. Plus I give my brief thoughts on all of last weeks games. Hopefully I’ll be back later in the week with predictions…

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In our early podcast for the week I go over Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy being placed on the Exempt list, why its such a cop out by the NFL, and my thoughts on the the whole ordeal currently being faced by the league and their poor job of handling it. Plus I give my brief thoughts on all of last weeks games. Hopefully I’ll be back later in the week with predictions…

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Listen via Stitcher

 

Subscribe to the OTC Podcast

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Thoughts on Robert Quinn’s Contract Extension with the Ramshttp://overthecap.com/thoughts-on-robert-quinns-contract-extension-with-the-rams-salary-contract-cap/ http://overthecap.com/thoughts-on-robert-quinns-contract-extension-with-the-rams-salary-contract-cap/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:48:19 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=8079 The numbers are now in for the Rams star Defensive End Robert Quinn and it’s a very interesting contract that I think benefits both sides. First let us go over the particulars of the contract. Quinn receives a signing bonus worth $4,776,774 to go along with a guaranteed base salary of $608,608 (prorated from a base rate of $646,646) and a guaranteed roster bonus in 2015 of $10,233,201.  That brings Quinn’s full guarantee to $15,618,583.  The reason for the small bonus and salary in 2014 is likely to maintain a near identical salary cap charge as the Rams are right … Read the rest

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The numbers are now in for the Rams star Defensive End Robert Quinn and it’s a very interesting contract that I think benefits both sides. First let us go over the particulars of the contract. Quinn receives a signing bonus worth $4,776,774 to go along with a guaranteed base salary of $608,608 (prorated from a base rate of $646,646) and a guaranteed roster bonus in 2015 of $10,233,201.  That brings Quinn’s full guarantee to $15,618,583.  The reason for the small bonus and salary in 2014 is likely to maintain a near identical salary cap charge as the Rams are right up against the salary cap this year, though in general the Rams are not a team big on the signing bonus.

In 2015 Quinn has a base salary that will become fully guaranteed that is worth $5,555,555 (yes in case you were wondering the Rams made sure to get every palindrome reference possible in this contract). For all realistic purposes this is guaranteed. In 2016 and 2017 his base salaries are $7,777,777 and $6,161,616 and can become guaranteed if on the roster at the start of that League Year. There are also roster bonuses of $2,424,242 and $3,633,363 that will also be guaranteed. His cash salary in 2018 and 2019 is $11,444,412 and $12,932,332.

The contract is closer to what I believed JJ Watt would have signed with the Texans in that the player is probably undervalued in terms of production but the window is open for another mega-contract in a few years which comes with the shorter term extension. The guarantee package for Quinn is decent with the early vesting roster bonuses helping protect his salary. I think these are all benefits for the player. The Rams get Quinn essentially on their terms (minimal signing bonus, vesting guarantees, contract flexibility) and I think at a bargain price, all things considered.

In the following chart I compare the new money in Quinn’s contract to that received by other players who signed extensions this year. Those players are JJ Watt, Patrick Peterson, Richard Sherman, and Joe Haden. Since Quinn’s contract is 4 years I just want to look at the 4 year values to compare apples to apples.  For players with two years remaining under contract, such as Quinn, I consider the first two years as year -1 and year 0 of the contract. Year 1 is when the extension kicks in. The colors represent the likelihood of earning the salary with a green essentially meaning it’s a virtual certainty, yellow meaning the player has to maintain a solid level of play, and red meaning the player will need to be at a high level to continue the contract.

Robert Quinn Salary

You can see the favorable structure, from the Rams perspective, of the deal with Quinn compared to some of the other players. Despite the higher annual value on the contract Quinn will trail all but Sherman in terms of new money made during the original contract years and in the first year of the contract. By year 2 Quinn will trail all of the newly signed cornerbacks in earnings, a trend that continues through year 3. By year 4 he will pull ahead of Sherman and barely ahead of Haden.

Because of the low signing bonus in the contract Id would consider Quinn’s earning potential to be less than the corners just based on contract structure. That does not mean he will not get there, but he will basically have each year of his contract tied solely to his performance on the field. Though the early vesting roster bonus is a nice addition for Quinn the Rams have already set a precedent through the release of Cortland Finnegan that the bonus will not be a barrier to release.

For the other pass rushers looking for new contracts Quinn’s deal is probably a major disappointment Once teams get past the annual value of the contract, there is not much there besides potential guarantees on a relatively short term extension. The contract by no means built on the Watt contract that way the cornerback contracts, which all shattered the existing market, built upon each other. More importantly it also did not advance the market beyond what already existed.

Why do I say that?  Lets look at this contract compared to the extension signed by Clay Matthews in 2013 (he had one year remaining) and new contract signed by Charles Johnson in 2011. Both were signed at a time when the salary cap was significantly lower and neither as productive as Quinn.

Quinn Pass Rushers 2

Granted these players had varying degrees of leverage (Quinn by far had the least), but the effective impact is that his contract is not all that different than what already existed in the NFL. I do think that brings up the major question of if it is truly beneficial for the player to be looking for a contract extension so quickly when the team holds all the leverage. That was another point I discussed in the Watt contract that a player is going to give a discount in these spots, the question is just how much. Johnson gave up none because he was going to be a free agent. Matthews had one year left. Quinn had two.

Matthews does have $500,000 per year tied to games active which Quinn does not which does make Quinn’s contract structure more player friendly, but overall Matthews seemed to get the stronger and more secure contract. It just does not have the upside value, if all things are equal and the players continue to be strong. I have to think if Quinn gets through the 15 remaining games his contract would have shattered the Matthews one.

I’d say that this also sends the message to the other rushers (and rookie contract guys too) that the Watt contract may be looked at as an aberration. The Texans did not do much to utilize their leverage in that case and seemed to give in on a number of key parameters. Maybe that did not do as much to change the market as I had thought.

The Rams were likely not coming close to the Mario Williams/Watt numbers which is probably what helped lead to this contract.  It’s the same approach I thought would happen in Houston where the compromise would be a high valued contract but for a shorter term. In that respect this is a very good contract for the player. Johnson and Matthews do give up years of free agency for those big initial cash flows. Quinn does not and if he maintains exceptional levels of play he will cash in again and likely get close to Watts numbers over the same time period, especially if the salary cap keeps inflating. The other two are stuck at figures agreed upon years before.

For that reason I’d classify the contract as a good deal for both sides, but by no means is this a game changer. It’s really just opening a door for large cash flows on the front end of a short term contract rather than forcing a player into a longer term deal, which backend years are rarely seen from a practical perspective but could hinder a player if he maintains high levels of play for his career.

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The NFL’s Best and Worst Values on Defense: Week 2http://overthecap.com/nfls-best-worst-values-defense-week-2/ http://overthecap.com/nfls-best-worst-values-defense-week-2/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:31:10 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=8077 As a new feature I thought that every Tuesday or Wednesday during the season I’ll take a look back at the prior weeks games and pick out the best and worst values each week. To gauge values we’ll be looking at a players salary cap charge for the week and comparing that to Pro Football Focus’ grade for a player. I’ll alternate each week between offense and defense, with offense in week 1 and then turning our attention to defense in week 2. Feel free to leave any feedback in the comments or by email.

Defensive End

Best Value: Read the rest

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As a new feature I thought that every Tuesday or Wednesday during the season I’ll take a look back at the prior weeks games and pick out the best and worst values each week. To gauge values we’ll be looking at a players salary cap charge for the week and comparing that to Pro Football Focus’ grade for a player. I’ll alternate each week between offense and defense, with offense in week 1 and then turning our attention to defense in week 2. Feel free to leave any feedback in the comments or by email.

Defensive End

Best Value: Mike Daniels ($645.1K cap charge; +5.1 PFF grade)- Daniels had a terrific all around game against the Jets on Sunday racking up 4 pressures, 1 sack, and 4 tackles for stops. The Packers desperately needed a performance like this to settle the game down and eventually take over for the win.

Worst Value: Mario Williams ($18.8M cap charge; -2.5 PFF grade)- Despite the blowout win by the Bills, their star defensive end did not grade out that well, despite the fact that he notched a QB sack on the day. With this type of salary cap charge almost any negative grade will make him the worst value of the week.

Defensive Tackle

Best Value: Aaron Donald ($1.9M Cap charge; +4.1 PFF grade)- A strong performance from the young Donald who put together a strong effort in both phases of the game, notching a sack as a rusher and 2.5 tackles against the run. It would be nice to see a little more playing time but his prime competition this week for the distinction was Henry Melton who was not a huge snap player either.

Worst Value: Linval Joseph ($6.6M Cap charge; -3.5 PFF grade)- This was a close decision between Joseph and Ahtyba Rubin of the Browns who was slightly better but earns slightly more, but Rubin’s grade hinged more on penalties than performance and Ill always weight performance higher. Joseph has the 7th highest cap hit at the position in 2014 and ranked dead last this week, basically doing nothing as his team was steamrolled by the Patriots.

Outside Linebacker

Best Value: Chandler Jones ($2.2M Cap charge; +8.1 PFF grade)- Just a dominant performance by Jones, with 5 pressures, 2 sacks, and 5 stops on defense plus a special teams play that is not even included in his grade. This is one of those career performances that you make sure to keep the tape of.

Worst Value: Kroy Biermann ($4.1M Cap charge, -3.6 PFF grade)- Just a bad day overall for Biermann who graded negatively in all four categories that PFF looks at when grading a player. The pass rush was non-existent and only half of his tackles were considered wins for the defense. He also gave up a catch. A player who must improve.

Inside Linebacker

Best Value: Demario Davis ($764.5K Cap charge, +2.2 PFF grade)- Davis had a terrific game against the Green Bay Packers where he did a little of everything. Davis was solid against the run, posting 4 tackles for the Jets, decent in coverage, and was used in packages that saw him take down Aaron Rodgers one time on the day.

Worst Value: Paul Posluszny ($9.5M Cap charge, -4.3 PFF grade)- Longtime readers of my site know that I feel strongly that Posluszny is one of the worst value players in the NFL, and for this week the tape backs that up. Poslusnzy rated second worst at the position, missing three tackles and giving up 50 receiving yards. His cap figure is 3rd highest in the NFL.

Cornerback

Best Value: Bene Benwikere ($469.8K Cap charge; +2.2 PFF grade)- There were two other strong contenders for this award- David Amerson of the Redskins and Sterling Moore of the Cowboys. I could easily see making a case for Amerson who had the strongest coverage grade, but the ultra low cost of Benwikere gave him the advantage. Benwikere only allowed 20% of his targets to catch a pass and it was essentially an at the line pass. He also was credited with a pressure on the day.

Worst Value: Jerraud Powers ($4.8M Cap charge; -5.2 PFF grade)- A pretty awful day for Powers as there was pretty much no other option for this distinction. Powers gave up 5 receptions for 80 yards and it would have been far worse if Victor Cruz could hold onto the football when it hits him in his hands. Powers had a great first week so hopefully for the Cardinals this will be an aberration.

Safety

Tashaun Gipson ($570.5 Cap charge; +4.6 PFF grade)- The Browns had a great day against the Saints on Sunday and Gipson had the best day among safeties. PFF credited Gipson with 4 tackles, 2 stops, an interception, and just 4 yards in coverage. You wont have many days better than that especially from a player on one of the lowest priced contracts in the NFL.

Michael Griffin ($8M Cap charge; -2.4 PFF grade)- It was a bad day for some big priced safeties, but none gave worse value than Griffin, who rated 3rd worst overall despite the 5th highest cap charge at the position. Griffin missed 4 tackles against the run, one of the prime reasons the Cowboys chewed up so many yards on the ground.

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Zack’s MNF Pickhttp://overthecap.com/zacks-mnf-pick/ http://overthecap.com/zacks-mnf-pick/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:13:40 +0000 http://overthecap.com/?p=8073 This is why you don’t bet heavy in the first few weeks of the season, none of us really have any idea how the season’s going to shake out, let alone early in the NFL season.

I don’t think anyone predicted…

…that the Saints would lose to the Browns who didn’t have Ben Tate, Jordan Cameron or the still suspended Josh Gordon to go to 0-2 on the season.

…that Kirk Cousins would come in for an injured RG3 and essentially “Wally Pipp” him with a commanding performance as the Redskins offense exploded for 41 points under his leadership.

…that … Read the rest

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This is why you don’t bet heavy in the first few weeks of the season, none of us really have any idea how the season’s going to shake out, let alone early in the NFL season.

I don’t think anyone predicted…

…that the Saints would lose to the Browns who didn’t have Ben Tate, Jordan Cameron or the still suspended Josh Gordon to go to 0-2 on the season.

…that Kirk Cousins would come in for an injured RG3 and essentially “Wally Pipp” him with a commanding performance as the Redskins offense exploded for 41 points under his leadership.

…that the Falcons would be held to 10 points we week after they exploded for 37 points and 448 passing yards against, what should be, a good Saints defense. Not only did they get held to 10 points, but Matt Ryan had about 100 passing yards after three quarters in Cincinnati and finished the game with three interceptions. So while I expected the Bengals to win, I didn’t expect it to be low scoring.

…that the Bears would be able to go into the brand new Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco and beat the 49ers in come from behind fashion with the Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery banged up. Who predicted that Marshall would play, let alone have THREE touchdowns?

Did anyone think the Chargers were going to handily beat the defending Super Bowl Champion Seahawks?

I know Phillip Rivers has revitalized his career with a new coaching staff, but many of us were grumbling that Antonio Gates might start taking a back seat to Ladarius Green this year. Oh no, three TDs for Mr. Gates and a beat down of the Seahawks.

 

Anyway, I’m currently 8-10-1 on my picks here for the season, but whatever, it’s a long season. On to tonight’s game…

I really like both of these offenses, so I’ve gotta hammer the over tonight. I don’t care that it’s at 53.54 points, I love what we saw out of both of these offenses in the second half of their games last week and I think they’ll keep it rolling into this Monday Night match up in the dome in Indy.

I think that Philadelphia’s defense is better than the D in Indy, but with the home field advantage going to the Colts, so I’m not sure who’s going to win, but I do think that Luck and Foles get into a shoot out.

Who knows, I’ll probably be wrong again and the game will end 27-24 just to tease me and let me down, but the over is your best bet tonight in this early season match up.

Check out the Linesmakers from Sporting News for some interesting stats regarding tonight’s game. The most interesting one to me is that the over has hit in 7 of their last 8 games versus winning teams, which I think is due to their defense being subpar, thus being unable to keep up with the better teams.

Pick: OVER 53.5

Zack Moore

@ZackMooreNFL

Total Human Optimization: Onnit

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