Jason Fitzgerald

Jason is the founder of overthecap.com. Jason is considered an expert in NFL salary cap and contracts analysis and has consulted on many projects in the field of NFL contracts. He is a contributor to the Sporting News and has been interviewed by many news outlets to discuss contract related issues for specific teams and players.

Recent Posts by Jason

Thoughts on Calvin Johnson’s Bonus Forfeiture

A little tidbit came out this week that the Lions made Calvin Johnson repay the team $320,000 due to his retirement. That news was met with a number of reactions with some thinking that it was petty of the Lions to do this and others taking the stance that Johnson quit on the team. So I wanted to share my own thoughts on the topic since salary forfeiture is something I discuss from time to time when talking about contracts. (more…)

The 30 Worst Signings of 2016

Last Thursday the Steelers cut tight end Ladarius Green after just one season, incurring a $3.56M  dead money charge after paying Green $6 million in 2016. It was hailed as the worst contract in Steelers history (which actually says a lot for how good the Steelers have been with their contracts) since he barely played last year. It’s true that he was bad, but was he alone? Absolutely not. Was it the worst contract of 2016? Nope. In fact it’s probably not even the top 10 despite all the attention the release received. (more…)

Brandon Graham’s Contract with the Eagles

Last week it was mentioned in many outlets that Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham could potentially not participate in any OTAs because he would like a new contract. Graham is currently in the third year of a four year contract that he signed in 2015 and will earn $6.5 million this year. He is currently the 39th ranked contract by APY among defensive ends and pass rushing linebackers. So let’s look a little at his situation and see if he has any realistic hope of getting anything significant. (more…)

Swiped Contract of the Week

Last week I decided to not do the Swipe of the Week to see if a little bit of public shaming helped out but apparently it did not so we are back to the drawing board here. This week we will look at the contract for Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short. For whatever reason despite the fact that this was a big contract the only place that had a full breakdown of the contract was OTC until just the other day when it finally popped up on Spotrac. Here are the side by sides

So once again it all matches up, which is great, except only one of us knows that there are some inconsistencies in the contract.  I decided to shift $500,000 from Short’s base salary into his roster bonuses just to identify if we had any people scraping the data. Needless to say once again Spotrac has the same exact mistake that is listed on OTC. The offseason bonuses in this case should be $1M and $1.5M with $12.5M bases rather than the $1.5 and $2M with $12M bases now listed on both sites.

Normally we are lumped in as a “verified report” but Spotrac did indeed cite a source this time, Josh Edwards of Pro Football Talk. Unfortunately the link only takes you back to Spotrac’s contract page for Short so I couldn’t track it that way to see if they were the culprit. I don’t know of any Josh Edwards writing for PFT and didn’t come up with anything on an internet search, but maybe he meant Josh Alper? I couldn’t find anything with him either breaking down the Short deal but I cant picture them grabbing numbers from OTC and passing it off but if they did so I hope that at least correct that in the future so others like Spotrac can at least attribute it to the correct source.

Patriots Tender RB LeGarrette Blount

Yesterday was decision day in the NFL on the use of the “May 9 tender” for all remaining unrestricted free agents. For those unfamiliar with this tender, which was commonly known as the June 1 tender, basically it is an offer that can be extended to a veteran free agent who has yet to sign a contract with a new team. When the offer is made the team maintains some level of control of the free agent as well as rights to a compensatory draft or blocking someone from gaining a comp pick by waiting to sign a free agent. (more…)

Should La’El Collins Move to Right Tackle?

The Cowboys are reportedly hoping that La’El Collins, who had played guard the last two seasons, will win the right tackle job and replace the retired Doug Free according to Bryant Crews of the Cowboys Wire. It makes sense that Dallas would consider the move, but if I was Collins and my option was guard or right tackle I think I would prefer to remain at guard and “lose” the right tackle competition due to the financial implications.

The way the NFL market values linemen generally goes in the order of left tackle, right guard, left guard, center and then right tackle. Here is the average salary for the top 10 players at each position:

Left Tackle$12,260,000
Right Guard$8,498,231
Left Guard$7,985,695
Center$7,908,016
Right Tackle$6,782,500

Looking at those numbers I am not sure why any player would voluntarily aim to play right tackle if he can play, and play well, at any of the other positions on the offensive line. The NFL looks at the RT position as inferior to pretty much anyone else on the line (one could make an argument about center as its a top heavy position) and year after year that continues to manifest itself in free agency.

Last season the best right tackle (Ricky Wagner)  scored a $9.5 million per year contract and he is the only player above $8 million a season. The best available (Mitchell Schwartz) the year before earned $6.6 million a year and extensions last year for the best players were just above $6 million a year.

On the other hand Ronald Leary, who played with the Cowboys last year, landed a $9 million a year contract in free agency and while he may have been best available he was not the best in the game. A few extensions have topped $10 million a year and a top 10 guard is probably going to earn $8 million a season and a top 20 player is going to earn at least $6 million. Those are the numbers for the top right tackles in the NFL. So I’m not sure the benefit that exists for Collins if he indeed could be the starting guard for the team.

Collins will be a restricted free agent after the season and is already eligible for an extension, but if he can play guard he should make certain that Dallas treats him as such when an extension talk comes up. There are a handful of players (Lane Johnson and Kelechi Osemele) that have been able to leverage their ability to play other positions (in both cases left tackle) into getting contracts that paid them as if they played a different position. Collins needs to make sure he falls in that same category.