Excerpt from Caponomics and The Mastery of the Patriots and Ravens

What follows is a first draft that I wrote today of an excerpt from the theories section of #Caponomics: Understanding NFL Roster Building through Super Bowl Champion Salary Cap Analysis. After posting this other excerpt, I realized I had to rethink how I approached the section as much of what I would be writing in that format would have crossover. I’ve since restructured the theories section into Front Office, QB Spending and Spending Patterns as those are the three major categories that I can fit almost everything I’ve come up with into. Continue reading Excerpt from Caponomics and The Mastery of the Patriots and Ravens »

Stock Up: Week 16

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Every Monday during the season we will take a look back at three players who are entering important stages of their contract that may have helped their stock in upcoming negotiations with their play on Sunday. In addition we will also look at one player signed in the offseason to a new contract that exceeded all expectations and provided exceptional value to his team.

Stock Up

Greg Hardy– Hardy registered 3 sacks against the Saints and had Drew Brees showing the look of fear on more plays than not. Hardy has 11 sacks on the season and with a great crop of young pass rushers all eligible for new contracts its going to be a race to see who gets the most money in the new pass rushing marketplace. The Panthers don’t really have the cap space to franchise him and carry him on that tag for any period of time and he has a teammate already making wild money that he will use as a starting point in negotiations. With the playoffs coming up he has a chance to earn some big money.

Robert Quinn– Another 3 sack game for Quinn, who now has five multi-sack games on the season and three games with three sacks. He has 18 sacks on the season, dominates the competition, and seems to make this list every week. The one thing he does not have going for him that Hardy does is the fact that he is not a free agent next season, while Hardy is. Quinn is extension eligible which gives a bit more leverage to the Rams when working out a contract with him. Still this is going to be a race to crown the highest paid player and one likely playing leapfrog over the other.

Andy Dalton– I’ve given up trying to figure Dalton out. He is all over the map this season but he sure did tear it up against the Vikings. Dalton threw for 4 touchdowns and 366 yards on the day. I don’t know what the Bengals really do here. The team is good enough to win it all, perhaps even this season, which could leave Dalton getting a Joe Flacco like contract. Of course the bad Dalton is going to leave you stuck with a Matt Schaub type contract if you extend early. Big decision is looming for the Bengals here.

 

New Contract Player Of The Week

Julian Edelman– Edelman could really go in either category since his contract was just a one year deal, but imagine where the Patriots offense would be without him?  In a season of injuries and turnover at the position, Edelman has been the lone steady force out there. On Sunday he racked up another 7 receptions for 77 yards and he is going to surpass 1,000 yards on the season. Not too bad for a player with incentives for just low level of catches since nobody expected much from him. I’m not sure if the Patriot “system” has watered down the value of their players following flops of players like Deion Branch, Randy Moss, and David Givens over the past decade once they left the Patriots, but Edelman is one of the best values at his position this year and will likely earn a low level number 2 type deal next season.

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Stock Up: Week 4

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Every Monday during the season we will take a look back at three players who are entering important stages of their contract that may have helped their stock in upcoming negotiations with their play on Sunday. In addition we will also look at one player signed in the offseason to a new contract that exceeded all expectations and provided exceptional value to his team.

Stock Up

Patrick Peterson– Though many who grade players at the position will point out the flaws with Peterson, the fact is he does the things in the NFL that get a player paid mega dollars at the position. His two interception performance stole the game from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday and it cements his reputation as one of the biggest playmakers in the NFL. While being a solid corner is always appreciated players who have made impact plays often stand out when it comes to signing deals, such as Cortland Finnegan’s seemingly absurd contract in St Louis. Following the game he was getting the same praise from his coach that Rex Ryan used to throw on Darrelle Revis which helped give Revis all kinds of ammunition to force a contract. With Peterson capable of being extended after the season is over expect he and Seahawks corner Richard Sherman to reset the non-Revis portion of the cornerback market.

Tamba HaliThis is actually a bit of an off the wall selection, not because of how he is playing, but because of his contract status. Hali actually has two years left on his contract after this season with the Chiefs and he will be set to earn $8.5 million in salary next year on a cap figure of $11 million. With the Chiefs cap situation being so tight I don’t think they can go another year with him in double digit cap totals. Hali is putting together a monster season across from Justin Houston, another player who is going to command huge dollars from the Chiefs, and yesterday Hali absolutely destroyed the Giants. He had 2 sacks and caused another 8 hurried throws by Eli Manning, which puts his total at 24 for the season according to stats maintained by Pro Football Focus. Hali is going to be 31 next season which is going to make this the last time he may be able to expect a big contract and he should push the Chiefs for one rather than any restructure for cap relief if this type of performance keeps up. I think this is going to be a pretty interesting year for Hali even though his contract may not be on the radar like some others.

Julian Edelman– I’m not sure that there were many expectations for Edelman when he re-signed with the Patriots for the season. There were questions about his ability to remain healthy and he was low on the depth charts. At one point he had a workout bonus converted into a bonus that would only be paid if he made the roster in week 1, often a sign that the player is on the fringe. A few injuries later and he has become an integral part of the offense and it is hard to imagine that New England would consider not playing him. Since becoming a starter in week 2 Edelman has caught 75% of the passes that have been fired his way and he is averaging just under 92 yards a game. Against Atlanta he had a career high 118 yards on 7 receptions, which allowed him to earn his first small bonus of the season. But the big bonus comes after this year when he is scheduled to become a free agent and he is going to make a push to make the same kind of money the Patriots paid Danny Amendola. Nobody would have thought that before the season, but his stock is going to keep rising, especially to a team with a quality QB situation.

New Contract Player Of The Week

Brian Hoyer– In two weeks Hoyer has led the seemingly hopeless Browns to two wins and made a bunch of receivers nobody felt were very good look like real top quality NFL players. Hoyer dominated the Bengals and easily outplayed Andy Dalton as he threw for nearly 270 yards and kept the ball from the hands of the Bengals. Hoyer’s rise is pretty shocking. Hoyer was undrafted in 2009 but made the Patriots as  a backup to Tom Brady, a role he kept until being released in 2012. Hoyer then bounced around the NFL signing with the Steelers for a few weeks and then subsequently claimed by the Cardinals where he started two pretty non-descript games at the end of the season. Due to spending so many weeks out of the NFL in 2012 Hoyer maintained RFA status and was tendered by the Cardinals who ended up releasing him after they traded for Carson Palmer, which led him to signing with the Browns. While nobody knows how the story will end for Hoyer, and most times they don’t end well, he’s providing the Browns with a spark and giving them an opportunity to compete for a division title. At a salary of $715,000 he is quite the bargain.

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