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

Using Salary Data to Better Value NFL Draft Picks

Every now and then around draft time I try to do some type of look at the NFL draft and value of the players selected through some financial means and I decided to go back and do that again this year. This time around I wanted to look back at the first five years of the current CBA, which introduced the rookie wage scale, and look at some summary data that may help us place a better value on a draft pick. (more…)

The Cap Space Required to Sign Draft Picks

For whatever reason there seems to be a ton of confusion about the amount of cap room actually required to sign rookies following the draft so I wanted to put something together pretty quickly to maybe help clear that confusion. (more…)

New OTC Feature: Contract History Comparisons

As many of you have probably noticed, we had over the last year begun to add contract history sections to the player pages. While we are still working through these we wanted to introduce a new feature for the start of free agency that allows you to view how all these contracts throughout the salary cap era compare with each other in terms of value and guarantees and more importantly a new concept of an inflated APY (IAPY) of inflated total guarantee (ITG).

The inflated APY and guarantee gives us the ability to better compare contracts across eras by adjusting the contract’s value from the time in was signed to today’s $188.2 million salary cap by determining the value as a percentage of the salary cap in the year it was signed and then converting that to the IAPY and ITG. This can help identify trends that have occured in the sport such as how guarantees have generally gotten larger while APYs may have been reduced or what positions have historically been considered more valuable than they are now.

To view the tables simply select a position and it will take you to the big list of players with some contract metrics in which you can rank the contract. The default order is the IAPY but you can click on a column to sort by any of the valuation metrics listed. Active players will have their rows shaded green to quickly identify a current from a historical contract. I personally think this should be a great tool for free agency and for those trying to negotiate contracts for players when trying to best put the value of the player in the context of the growing salary cap.

These lists are certainly by no means complete so if you see a player you would like to see a history for or notice a major mistake just let us know and well look to update. At the moment you can access the page from our other features section or you can just bookmark the page for quick reference.  If you have any other thoughts for OTC or how to improve on this please share as well.

Go to the OTC Contract History Page

Why the Cardinals Should Draft a Quarterback

One of the biggest points of discussion during the NFL combine was whether or not the Cardinals would draft Kyler Murray with the number one pick. The main argument for why they should not do this is because last year the Cardinals traded the 79th and 152nd pick in the NFL draft to move up five spots and select Josh Rosen at number 10 in the 2018 draft. Rosen struggled last season, but that isn’t uncommon for rookies especially ones on a team as poorly constructed as the current Cardinals. So since they have a player already on the team at the position that they are developing why select another? This is a topic I’ve touched on before and I think it is one worth discussing again since its more of a real topic at this point in time. (more…)

Projecting 2019 NFL Spending

Every year we look at salary cap space as the barometer for who is expected to be the big spenders in free agency but today I wanted to take a different look at things and instead look at cash budgeting. While cap space certainly makes it easier to fit contracts under the salary cap under team friendly structures it is nothing more than an accounting tool. For the most part anyone can make the salary cap dance in a given year or two to fit players in, but actual cash is generally tighter and what should drive spending in the NFL. (more…)

2019 Potential Cuts: Defensive Tackle

Malik Jackson, Jaguars
Cap Saved: $11M; Cash Saved: $13M; Dead Money: $4M

Jackson saw his role diminish as the year went on finish the year with 61% playtime and just 10 starts. Jackson finished with his lowest sack total since 2014 and tackles and tackles for loss since 2012. Jaguars are starving for cap space and this should be a place they can find it. I wouldn’t expect Jackson to be a free agent for long if he is cut unless he has outrageous contract demands.

Corey Liuget, Chargers
Cap Saved: $8M; Cash Saved: $8M; Dead Money: $1.5M

Liuget took a pretty major pay cut to keep his roster spot last year but appeared in just 6 games due to his suspension and then a torn quad which put him on IR. Technically this will be a declined option and the decision date I believe is February 12.

Timmy Jernigan, Eagles
Cap Saved: $7M; Cash Saved: $11M; Dead Money: $6M

Jernigan missed most of last season with a non football injury that was serious enough that he agreed to waive his future guarantees in order to keep his spot last year. This was always a very bullish type of contract and given the Eagles cap situation Jernigan should be a prime candidate for release or at the very least a reduced contract.

Marcel Dareus, Jaguars
Cap Saved: $10.59M; Cash Saved: $10.59M; Dead Money: $0

One of the all time great players contracts of all time Dareus has basically cashed in at elite interior pass rusher levels despite really not standing out as a rusher. Dareus actually played well for the Jaguars as a run stopper but even elite level run stoppers earn closer to $6 or 7M. I wouldn’t eliminate a new deal for less money but the Jaguars need to save money here.

Stacy McGee, Redskins
Cap Saved: $2.28M; Cash Saved: $4M; Dead Money: $2.4M

The Redskins signed McGee in 2017 to a pretty surprising $5 million per year contract.  Last year he began the season on the PUP list and finished with 9 tackles and 1 sack in 8 games. It isn’t a lot of cap savings but every little bit should help for Washington.

Gerald McCoy, Buccaneers
Cap Saved: $13M; Cash Saved: $13M; Dead Money: $0

This has been rumored since seasons end so I am including him here even though McCoy is still a really good player. Moving him seems to be more about saving money than anything else. With three years left on his contract at around $13M per year McCoy should have trade value if the Bucs are patient and wait for a bit. Hes a shade older than Geno Atkins and Jurrell Casey but Id think a new deal would fall between those two and they are over $15M a year so a trade makes sense.

2019 Potential Cuts: Edge Rusher

Olivier Vernon, Giants
Cap Saved: $11.5M; Cash Saved: $15.5M; Dead Money: $8M

Vernon was the biggest signing in the Giants 2016 spending spree and hasn’t been healthy enough to really justify the contract. Vernon is still a capable player and will likely land a $10 million a year type contract when released, but it makes more sense for the Giants to move on and allow him to get a fresh start elsewhere rather than try to bring his salary down for the season.

William Gholston, Buccaneers
Cap Saved: $3.75M; Cash Saved: $3.75M; Dead Money: $0

Not sure what the Bucs expected out of Gholston when they signed him but Im sure it was more than 40% playtime, 1 sack, and 5 tackles for loss in two seasons.

Vinny Curry, Buccaneers
Cap Saved: $8M; Cash Saved: $8M; Dead Money: $0

Curry signing with the Bucs last season at this price was one of the more surprising moves. Outside of one season the sack production has never been there with Curry and really his best time is when he is playing far less snaps. You don’t pay $8 million for someone who is probably a 30% playtime, 3 sack player, especially if you are a team that needs to create cap space.

Andre Branch, Dolphins
Cap Saved: $7M; Cash Saved: $7M; Dead Money: $2M

This contract was a bit of a stretch the minute it was signed and a classic example of putting far too much stock in one season. Branch played in less than 50% of the snaps last year and finished with just 1.5 sacks.

Robert Quinn, Dolphins
Cap Saved: $12.9M; Cash Saved: $12.9M; Dead Money: $0

If Miami is serious about taking a step back this year then Quinn should not be in their plans. Quinn has tailed off from his peak years as a pass rusher but can still be effective as a starter, but he probably doesn’t have trade value at this salary unless a team is able to reach terms on an extension.

Justin Houston, Chiefs
Cap Saved: $14M; Cash Saved: $15.5M; Dead Money: $7.1M

Even though Houston has not produced at an elite level after signing this contract this was a pretty solid deal, all things considered. Houston is similar to Vernon in that there are injury considerations here, a massive cap figure, and over priced salary while also having a market if cut. Unlike with Vernon where the sides are probably better apart I think here the sides agree on a new contract that brings Houston’s cap and cash number down by a few million.