Lions Restructure Contract of Safety Glover Quin

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The Detroit Lions are one of the teams that I discussed being in desperate need for cap room, so it should come as no surprise that they have reworked the contract of one of their players for salary cap relief.

Safety Glover Quin converted $2.77 million of his base salary into a signing bonus that will be spread out over the remaining years of his contract. The move created about $2.08 million in much needed cap room for Detroit, who should have in the ballpark of $3.6 million in cap space for the start of the NFL season, which is still tight but reasonable.

The move will add salary cap charges of $692,500 to each remaining year of Quin’s contract. This restructure should effectively guarantee his roter status next season as his ead cap charge rises from $3.15 to $5.23 million, leaving the June 1 cut as the only realistic option if they needed to release him.

View Glover Quin’s Contract and Salary Cap Page

Kamerion Wimbley Renegotiated Contract Breakdown

Yesterday Titans DE/LB Kamerion Wimbley agreed to a massive paycut to remain a member of the Tennessee Titans.  Wimbley, scheduled to earn $6 million in 2014, slashed his 2014 salary to $3 million and in return received $1.25 million in guarantees, paid out as a $500,000 roster bonus and $750,000 base salary guarantee. Wimbley is also eligible for a $250,000 offseason workout bonus so realistically the guarantee on the contract is $1.5 million.

In 2015 Wimbley can now earn $2.75 million, $900,000 of which is a roster bonus. This represents a reduction in salary of $3.75 million. In 2016 Wimbley can earn $3.25 million, down from his original $7 million total.

In summary Wimbley’s new deal is for $9 million which is a $10.5 million salary cut from his original contract. Because no signing bonus was paid Wimbley’s potential dead money charges remain the same. In 2015 his cap figure will be $950,000 higher than the cost of cutting him, which is probably enough to not make him safe in 2015 unless his performance improves.

Recapping Thursdays NFL Roster Moves

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Well things were not as active today around the League, but enough moves to discuss, so let’s jump into it.

The biggest news really came late Wednesday night when the Denver Broncos released longtime CB Champ Bailey and saved themselves $10 million in the process. Bailey was in the final year of his contract and battled injuries for most of 2014. The Broncos made no pretense about it and simply said it was time to move on and never looked to renegotiate his contract. Bailey was pretty much the standard bearer for the position between the retirement of Deion Sanders and eventual emergence of Darrelle Revis in 2009. Bailey’s last impactful games came at the end of the 2012 playoffs when the Ravens exposed his age and inability to keep up with young speed down the sidelines. He says he wants to keep playing but at 36 years old I’m not sure how big the market will be. Denver now has enough money to be a player in free agency if they would like to upgrade the defense in 2014 as they gear up for what may be Peyton Manning’s final run.

The Colts made two splashes today. The first was the signing of LB D’Qwell Jackson for $22 million over four years.  We don’t have the particulars but early reports were that he would end up earning more than he would have from the Browns who released him a few days ago. It seems as if those reports may have been somewhat erroneous but this would seem to be another one of those overpriced deals signed by the Colts. They have the cap flexibility to sign these deals since they gutted the roster in 2012 but it is hard to imagine agents not approaching the Colts about clients at every step.

Following the signing of Jackson they released C Samson Satele to save $4 million. Satele was the starter and for a team with plenty of cap space this is usually the kind of move that is made after free agency or the draft. The Colts must have a free agent target in mind or trade possibility to make the move. With well over $40 million in cap room we know money will stand in the way of upgrading the position.

Minnesota made two releases in DT Letroy Guion and WR Greg Childs. Guion saves the team $4 million in cap space while Childs saves the team around $600,000. Neither move should come as much of a surprise. The Vikings now have about $41 million in cap room for next season.

I got the breakdown of S Aaron Williams now on the books for the Bills. It places him right around the top 10 at the position. He’ll have relatively low cap charges over the first two years of the contract if the team exercises his option next year. After the extension Buffalo has around $23 million in cap space to spend.

There were strong rumors that DT BJ Raji was leaning towards taking a one year $4 million deal to stay with the Packers. I got a number of question about this and basically I think this is a case where Raji overestimated his worth based on ancient history and former draft status and realized this was the best he was going to do. Nobody can deny the talent Raji has but he’s made minimal impact the last two years and anyone considering him on a long term deal needs to be worried. Im sure coming out of the Combine his side knew there was little market for him, at least at the numbers he wanted.

It is a crowded field of DT’s this year which just makes him stand out even less. I don’t think his signing has any bearing on the market as a whole since taking this is more of a futures decision than a referendum on a cheap market for the defensive tackle.

The Bears re-signed DT Jay Ratliff to a two year, $4 million contract. We’ll hopefully get the details of that in the next few days….the Jaguars re-signed a few players and the Jets re-signed two cornerbacks…Kansas City released two players neither of whom will have any impact on the cap (and one of whom I didn’t even know was under contract/tender to the club)…

We’ll try to keep things going over the weekend and if there are enough items in the news we’ll update again tomorrow. I’ll be discussing these deals and free agency in the podcast this week, but feel free to ask any specific questions before that. I’ll be recording either Friday night or sometime Saturday.

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Riley Cooper’s Contract Draws Back on Second Target Market

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I think most are aware by now of the particulars of Riley Cooper’s $22.5 million extension with the Eagles. Cooper received a $4 million signing bonus, a fully guaranteed $1 million salary in 2014, and $3 million of fully guaranteed salary in 2015. He can earn an additional $1 million in fully guaranteed salary in 2015 and in 2016 by being on the roster the 5th day of each respective League Year. He can also earn up to $2.5 million in escalators based on performance.

To me what is more interesting about the deal is what this might say about the receiver market. The contract itself is very team friendly. In essence this is a two year $9 million contract where Cooper has to prove he belongs as a secondary target. In terms of annual value Cooper ranks well behind Brian Hartline ($6 million) and Danny Amendola ($5.7 million) the two who seemed to be the standard bearers for the secondary WR’s last year. His guarantees are about what Amendola received.

There is little upside in the contract for Cooper outside of avoiding the uncertainty of free agency. If he develops into a better receiver he will be locked into tier two money for the next five years. If this is the type of contract that the Eagles are offering Jeremy Maclin it would explain why Maclin would prefer taking a prove it type of contract from Philadelphia or another team.

For players such as Golden Tate and Emmanuel Sanders, who are free agents this year, the Cooper contract does little to give confidence that they can move past Hartline in terms of contract value in free agency. Despite the rumored increase in cap room he came towards the lower end of the WR2 marketplace. Odds are that’s a sign of how most teams will be viewing these players when free agency begins.

View Riley Cooper’s Salary Cap Breakdown

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Details of Jason Peters Contract with Eagles

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Via a league source we now have the information on Jason Peters new contract with the Eagles. The contract is a 4 year extension worth a base value of $38.3 million. The contract contains a total guarantee, as reported, of $19.55 million, however just $15.75 million is fully guaranteed upon signing.

Peters received a $5 signing bonus, a $5 million roster bonus, and a fully guaranteed base salary of $1.75 million in 2014.  $4 million of Peters’ 2015 $6.8 million base salary is fully guaranteed. If Peters is on the roster the 5th day of the 2015 League Year the balance of his 2015 salary will become fully guaranteed. $1 million of his 2016 base salary is also guaranteed for injury only and will become fully guaranteed if on the roster in 2016.

Peters can earn $250,000 in workout bonuses each year and has $500,000 roster bonuses in 2015 and 2016 that are earned for each game active. He can earn an additional $3 million in escalators based on Pro Bowl and All Pro selections.

Peters cap charge in 2014 dropped by $2 million to $8,292,000.

Click here for the full salary cap breakdown of Peters contract. 

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Panthers Restructure Three Contracts to Gain Cap Space

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The Carolina Panthers began the process of attempting to navigate a poor salary cap situation by restructuring the contracts of RB Jonathan Stewart, C Ryan Kalil, and LB Thomas Davis. The Panthers are following a similar model with their players at this stage using the voidable contract year for the sake of short term cap compliance. It’s a similar method used (or maybe abused is the better word) by the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and, in the past, the Oakland Raiders. The Panthers will need to bank on large salary cap increases in the future to offset the additional dead money or lack of contract leverage they will have with these players.

Stewart was restructured for the second time in two years. He converted $715,000 of base salary to go along with a $6.875 million bonus that was already in his contract. To reduce his cap charge they added a voidable season in 2018 to allow the bonus to prorate over five rather than four years. The team saved just over $900,000 in the restructure.

Restructuring Kalil is also an annual endeavor for the Panthers as he takes a big prorated bonus in lieu of salary for the second time in two years. Kalil already had one voidable season in his contract and now they added a second one to allow for longer proration of salaries. It saves the Panthers just over $3.1 million in 2014, but increases his cap in 2015 to nearly $11.8 million. With over $12 million in dead money in the contract next year the Panthers have basically assured Kalil of a lucrative contract extension in 2015. The Center market had pulled back considerably since the Panthers signed Kalil to the top contract at the position but he will likely set the market again because of the leverage he holds with Carolina.

Davis’ restructure might be the most controversial of the three. Davis has battled injuries in the past and the Panthers added three voidable years to his contract. The team had the right to pay him a $2.5 million bonus to extend his contract this year, which would have been prorated over two seasons, but instead they converted salary into a bonus on top of the option and prorated it over five seasons. He receives a $5 million bonus and that reduced his cap charge by $2.25 million. However his 2015 cap now jumps to just over $10 million with his dead money increasing to $5.57 million.

The Panthers find themselves in a difficult spot because the contracts that were signed by the prior General Manager were very player friendly, but the team also exceeded expectations in 2013, making it more difficult to consider eating a year for cap purposes in 2014.

Carolina arguably has the worst salary cap outlook of any team in the NFL moving forward. The team has around $102 million committed to the 2015 salary cap with just 29 players under contract. Those players do not include QB Cam Newton or DE Greg Hardy, two mega ticket items. Newton will either be playing on the transition tag number or on a contract that pays in the $16-$18 million a year vicinity. Hardy will be one of the highest paid defensive ends in the NFL. So this restructuring of deals is a juggling act the team will likely have to continue to do next season if they keep both players.

If the cap is $130 million this year the Panthers should have $18 million or so in cap to work with.  That is enough to franchise tag Hardy around $13 million and try to work out a contract extension. I have seen the reports about Carolina being nearly $29 million under the salary cap but at this time none of my estimates have the number that high. I’ll see if I can find out if any other changes occurred to the Panthers cap in the last few days to push it that high.

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