Suh’s Contract Cripples the Dolphins

From a salary cap perspective, this is the kind of stuff that really has interested me as someone who is striving to become an NFL agent. You have a client like Ndamukong Suh, granted there aren’t many like him, and he’s offered a contract of historical proportions, a six-year deal worth $114,375,000 with $59,995,000 fully guaranteed upon signing, but you have to have be able to advise him in a manner that is not only in his best interests financially, but you want him to be happy. If winning a Super Bowl is a player’s number one priority, then you need to help him construct a contract that gives him the best chance to do that.

Many of us have heard the study regarding the discovery that at around $75,000, your happiness level evens out and making more money doesn’t correlate to being happier. Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@ZackMooreNFL), know I love my comedian podcasts and guys like Joe Rogan talk about his first big money deal feeling like a weight was off his shoulders in that he knew he didn’t have to worry about where he was going to get money for his bills this month. It’s none of my business to tell another man (or woman) when they’ve made enough money, the market determines someone’s worth and that’s a beautiful thing. In the NFL marketplace, it’s up to an agent to understand his client and help him achieve his goals.

Now, no matter where Suh went, he was going to sign one of the richest defensive contracts in NFL history, but as his agent, what’s best for his happiness and in the long-term, does winning a Super Bowl increase the amount of money he can make? Is winning a Super Bowl and potentially being a part of a dynasty more important than an extra $15 million, when you’re already slated to make $100 million and you’ve already made about $65 million? I must say, I’ve never been put in that position, so who knows?

In my article comparing Manning and Brady (here), where I stated that Jason and I agreed that Manning and the Broncos should agree on a contract somewhere around $14 million, so he had a better chance at one more ring. With the cap going all the way up to $143.28 million, Manning dropped his cap number to $16 million which was a $4 million pay cut from what he was slated to make with the opportunity to earn it back through incentives, winning the AFC Championship and the Super Bowl.

I discussed in that article how winning one more Super Bowl would be worth more financially to Manning long-term than the extra money he would make in 2015 and at some point, I think that Suh and all players have to think about that.

Logan Mankins went from the eventual Super Bowl champion to the worst team in the NFL because he wouldn’t take a pay cut this season, part of your job as an agent is to make sure that you advice your client so that he will be happy with his career. I don’t know how Mankins feels about moving from the Pats to Bucs, but it’s up to an agent to know your client well enough to help him make the best financial and life choices.

I just got done writing about the 2014 Lions for my first completed part of the 2014 section of my coming e-book, Caponomics: Understanding NFL Roster Building through Super Bowl Champion Analysis. My main focus was on that Big 3 they had of Suh, Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson because they took up an absolutely mind-boggling 38.56% of their cap, which is 16.56% higher than the Super Bowl average for the Top 3. They’re so out of whack with the normal figures, that they are 10.73% higher than the 2002 Bucs who spent the most ever on their Top 3 at 27.83% on Warren Sapp, Brad Johnson, and Simeon Rice.

This is mainly due to Suh costing 3.77% more than Steve Young’s 1994 cap hit of 13.08%, which is the highest of the cap era. The average number one cap hit for a Super Bowl champion is 9.23%, so Suh is way off the average. Generally speaking, the quarterback is the most important position on the field, he has the most impact on the game, he touches the ball every play, so it’s very hard for me to comprehend how Suh could provide 129% of the value that Young provided during the best season of his career.

In terms of defensive tackles, Suh costs 7.03% more than the Sapp’s 9.82% hit in 2002. When you analyze the top DT cap charges for the last 21 champions, Suh costs 12.89% more than the average, an insane rate.

Figure 1: Average Cap Hit for Highest Paid Defensive Tackle on Super Bowl Champions

Top Cap Hit Super Bowl DT

Something that is very interesting to me is that since the new CBA was signed, and even back to 2008, Super Bowl champions have all had a high paid defensive tackle. My theory, which I dig into a little bit in the book is that even though we’re in an age of passing and defensive tackles are primarily what I would call a run-game position, there are so few great defensive tackles, that maybe they’ve become a more important piece of success? Even so, the last four champs have had good pass rushers like Jason Pierre-Paul, Terrell Suggs, Michael Bennett and Rob Ninkovich.

Even when you account for the higher cost of DTs on recent champs, Suh still costs 10.71% more than the last four championship DTs. Simply put, Suh’s contract last year was so out of whack that it makes it almost impossible to win a championship. Compound that issue with the fact that Matt Stafford had a cap hit higher than every Super Bowl winning quarterback except Steve Young and that Calvin Johnson’s cap hit was 1.26% higher than the greatest receiver of all-time, Jerry Rice, and you realize that the Lions literally gave themselves no chance at the Super Bowl.

So now, Suh has taken his talents to South Beach and with him, he’s brought the curse of being a great player with a contract that cripples a team’s roster. As Jason said in this awesome interview with one of the greatest NFL media men of all-time Peter King, this year, Suh will “count for only $6 million against the cap, despite the annual contract value of $19.1 million. That leaves Suh with an average cap charge for the 2016-2018 seasons of $21.9 million. Quite honestly I am not sure how you compete in the NFL for a championship with those figures, especially for a defensive tackle.”

Jason then details some of the stuff I just talked about and estimates if the cap continues to rise at a rate of $10 million a season, then Suh’s cap situation isn’t going to get much easier. With a $28.6 million cap charge in 2016, Suh would take up 18.69% of a $153 million cap, which is more than double the 9.23% average for those number one cap hits. As Jason says, this is similar to the contract structure they used for Mike Wallace, which is something we all saw as an issue already.

In 2014, Mike Wallace took up 12.97% of the cap, 4.41% higher than Jerry Rice in 1994. Is Mike Wallace ever going to give you 152% of the value that Jerry Rice provided in his prime?

As Jason says, the only years that Suh’s cap number is acceptable are 2015, 2017 and 2020 if you estimate the cap to increase by $10 million each year and with a cap hit of 4.26% this season, they have a real advantage and could compete for a Super Bowl. It’s worth noting that the jump between 2013, 2014 and 2015 are the only three times that the cap has jumped about $10 million, I know that’s probably indicative of new revenue trends in the NFL. Below are the percentages of the cap that Jason and I project he will take up with this contract using that $10 million increase per year.

Figure 2: Suh’s Projected Cap Hit

Suh Projected Cap Hit

This talk about Suh isn’t about how good Jason or I think a player is, I think the world of so many of these guys in the NFL, they’re immensely talented and more of them are good people than the media let on during the 2014 season (check out what Jared Allen is doing below Jason’s interview).

Having started a small business during my senior year of college in 2011 and having made a ton of mistakes to learn from, I’ve learned that everything in business comes down to the numbers, the financials. That’s largely what really drew me to caponomics and stoked a passion for it in me. We all want to grow up to be a General Manager or an owner of a team right? What better way to learn than through the cap.

And as an agent, you want your client to make his money, but you probably don’t want them to have a contract that they can never live up to and that ruins their team’s chances for a Super Bowl.

The Lions are probably better off with Haloti Ngata anyway. They’re still getting one of the three best interior defensive linemen in the NFL and considering that he’s a little older, if they get him to sign an extension, they’re going to get him for cheaper than what Suh would have cost them. Through my research for Caponomics, I’ve realized that strength based positions can have longer careers because they rely more on strength than speed. As a wide receiver enters his thirties, he typically begins to slow down a little bit, which is why the receivers who tend to elongate their careers seem to be the cerebral types, Jerry Rice, Reggie Wayne and so on.

As Joe DeFranco said in his Industrial Strength Podcast last week, the closer you are to the football, the stronger you have to be. At defensive tackle, it’s primarily strength, which can tend to almost naturally increase a bit when a player is heading into his thirties. For instance, even as a wide receiver, if I kept lifting like I was when I played football in college, I would continue to get stronger, my weight room numbers would continue to increase, etc. I believe that a run stopper like Ngata, if he stays healthy, could be very productive at the age of say 35 years old, he just turned 31 in January.

If you want to purchase The First Annual Caponomics: Understanding NFL Roster Building through Super Bowl Champion Salary Cap Analysis, please e-mail me at, so that I can put you on our e-mail list for people interested in purchasing the book. If you join our e-mail list, I will send you the first chapter on the 2014 Lions and then the 2014 Patriots once it’s completed. I might even throw in a bonus Super Bowl champ in. 


I’m currently in the process of getting some legal stuff handled for the book and then I can put the pre-order up on Amazon, otherwise, it would already be up there. Thanks for your support and feel free to send me any questions or ideas to that e-mail address.

  • Drew Domalick

    It absolutely is our business to talk about how much other people are making. How can you say it’s not? What one person makes has a huge impact on other people. There are people that are literally freezing to death in the winter because they are homeless and starving to death on the street because they don’t have enough to eat. How dare you say we can’t question whether a guy like Suh should be making as much as he is! Who are you to tell me that? I will question the hell out of it. Why, as the richest society on the planet, do we have homeless and starving people? With all due respect, sir, how dare you.

    • I forgot, all the money that NFL teams don’t spend on their salary cap goes to feeding the homeless. Thanks for reminding me.

      • Drew Domalick

        That is a complete Strawman argument and you know it. You made this comment: ” Contrary to the current climate in this country, it’s none of our business to tell another man (or woman) when they’ve made enough money, the market determines someone’s worth and that’s a beautiful thing.”

        That is an ethical and moral comment. It hits at the very nature of how we should redistribute resources. Money doesn’t need to exist. It is created by the government. It’s not backed by anything but trust given by other parts of the world. The only reason money has value is because we say it does because practically it doesn’t have much of a use.

        We choose to let “the market” dictate how much people deserve to make. I object very strongly to how we do this because we give some people billions while we give others literally not enough to live on. That makes it my right to question how much another man (or woman) makes. I also have a problem with how money makes money. The richest people often offer very little to society because they don’t gather resources, they don’t innovate, etc. Billionaire sharks buy success with money they often inherited, and they buy the experts (the ones that are actually knowledgeable) or they invest in companies (the ones that are actually doing things like collecting resources) that improve the quality of our lives, and they make more money than anybody. That’s not right, and you shouldn’t say that we don’t have a right to question how much they make.

        Suh falls into the category of entertainer. Entertainment is not very high on the priority list as it happens naturally. The important things are having hard resources, inventing new technology, or discovering new things about the world. So why do we pay so much for entertainment and so little for those putting in hard labor?

        I suggest you stick to contracts and stop talking about ethics because you don’t have a clue when it comes to that area.

        • It wasn’t a straw man argument because I don’t argue with ideologues. Especially not ideologues who argue over a simple comment on an article about football. This is America, we don’t tell people when they’ve made enough money because we’re a country that doesn’t judge other people’s success as if it’s something we should be envious or take something away from.

          That’s the problem with America today, THE MARKET determines someones worth, not the government, and not some kid who has commented 843 times on Disqus and has turned a football article into ideological nonsense.

          Nothing you say makes sense, “the riches people often offer very little to society”? Marc Cuban? Mark Zuckerberg? The people who invented Twitter? Steve Jobs?

          “We give some people billions while we give others literally not enough to live on.” Are you even in reality? Did we just give Steve Jobs all his money or did he earn it? What’s the guy who “we give nothing” earn?

          “Money doesn’t need to exist. It is created by the government. It’s not backed by anything but trust given by other parts of the world. The only reason money has value is because we say it does because practically it doesn’t have much of a use.” Good luck trading goats down at the local market.

          You sound like the kind of kid who smoked weed, but never actually did his research on things after the fact. It’s great to smoke weed and explore things, but jesus, your talking points are tired which are indicative of someone who has these moral judgements, yet has no real reality based experience or has ever actually tested their theories.

          • And we pay so little for people putting in hard labor because it doesn’t take much education. It sucks because it’s hard work, but yes, if an 18 year old can do it, then it’s going to make very little money.

            Also, I made that comment about not telling people when they’ve made enough money because I was having an intellectual debate on the decision making process on how much a player should make if he wants to win a championship.

            Man, you’re really dumb. I’m gonna do something productive.

          • AK

            FWIW, I loved that comment, Zack. Couldn’t agree more.

          • Drew Domalick

            “And we pay so little for people putting in hard labor because it doesn’t take much education.”

            First, I disagree that it doesn’t take an education to do manual labor. I also disagree with only valuing things based on education level. This is an interesting comment as well coming from a wannabe football agent since football doesn’t exactly take much of an education. Thurman Thomas couldn’t sign his own name IIRC.

            “Also, I made that comment about not telling people when they’ve made enough money because I was having an intellectual debate on the decision making process on how much a player should make if he wants to win a championship.”

            And that conversation is fine to have, but you also made some comments about what we are and aren’t allowed to question, which is what I took issue with.

          • Tyler Ferree

            It is kinda sad how many people use the arguement against the Pro-Sports players being paid and don’t even think “what happens with the money if it doesn’t go to the players?”. At base the argument against is a Red Herring. Glad to know I’m not crazy for trying to make that point.

            And he’s more wannabe Marxist Communist than anything.

          • mrparabolic

            “what happens with the money if it doesn’t go to the players?”
            It gets rolled over onto the following year’s salary cap. It will eventually go to players one way or another.

          • Drew Domalick

            I’m not Marxist or Communist. I don’t want the government to own everything. It’s pretty sad that you have to resort to these tactics in order to try to discredit me rather than actually attempt to counter my arguments. This is becoming a common theme.

            I am also glad you brought up the point about where money goes if it doesn’t go to the players, because a large part of my point was about where that money can go if it doesn’t go to the players.

            A lot of people are trying to make me sound like I’m against players getting money. That is not really what my argument is about. My argument is more about the system as a whole and how people originally obtain money and why they obtain that money.

          • mrparabolic

            As far as I can tell, you haven’t made an argument. You haven’t argued for or against anything. You’re just typing puerile nonsense into a sports blog.

          • Drew Domalick

            I’d like to highlight the “as far as I can tell” part of your comment. I have made an argument. HINT: It has something to do with people having the right to question what others make in order to consider if we have proper resource distribution systems in place and in order to make ethical judgments. There is an opportunity cost to every $1 given to someone, and right now that opportunity cost means that people die because they don’t have enough to eat or shelter to protect them from harsh winters.

          • mrparabolic

            An argument requires two sides. You’re yelling into the wind. No one has said that you have no right to question what others make. You have confused the phrase “it’s none of my business” with “no has any right to question it.” You switch context constantly from complaining about how dollars are distributed to complaining that dollars even exist. Yet, you don’t offer any alternatives. These aren’t arguments. This is your personal confusion in print.

          • Drew Domalick

            “An argument requires two sides.”

            Not in the way that you think. Think about a criminal trial. The defendant is put on trial and there is a “guilty” and “not-guilty” argument. “Innocent” is not a part of the case at all. That would be another dichotomy of “innocent” and “not-innocent”.

            “No one has said that you have no right to question what others make.”

            Quote from Zack, “Contrary to the current climate in this country, it’s none of our business to tell another man (or woman) when they’ve made enough money, the market determines someone’s worth and that’s a beautiful thing.”

          • Tyler Ferree

            This arguments shows you know nothing. “Where the money could go”, Red Herring, we know it won’t. these conditions have exsisted historically, go back 20 years in the NFL, 40 in the MLB, you enter into Pre-Free Agency conditions where the owners saw essentially the entire income, guess what, it didn’t go anywhere but their bank accounts.

            Also you refute my accusations by showing 0 understanding of them. This is evidenced by you seperating Marxism and Communism, true communism IS Marxism, what has been widely referred to as communism is really closer to Facism with Socialist influences. You further down postulate “Why is money necessary”, that is at the heart of Marxism, I’m not going to get into the whole lecture since its not worth my time.

          • Drew Domalick

            Basically what you are doing is using circular logic here, and although you say my argument is a red herring, it’s not. I’m talking about questioning the system we have itself, and in order to do that, we need to question what people make. So it is our business and we do have the right to question what others make, which is contrary to what the article states.

            You also quoted me talking about where the money will go and say that we know it won’t. We know it won’t what? Go elsewhere? Sure it will.

            “these conditions have exsisted historically, go back 20 years in the NFL, 40 in the MLB, you enter into Pre-Free Agency conditions where the owners saw essentially the entire income, guess what, it didn’t go anywhere but their bank accounts.”

            I’m confused because you are not being very concise. Are you talking about giving the money to the homeless? I mean, the fact that you say that when players made less money owners kept more of it only goes to show that the money went elsewhere. It went to the owners instead of the players. When talking about the economic structure as a whole, having so much of the money go to such few people in society is unethical, and we need to design a system that spreads money out better than that. In order to question the system, however, we need to see how it operates and question why the money is going where it goes.

            “You further down postulate “Why is money necessary”, that is at the heart of Marxism, I’m not going to get into the whole lecture since its not worth my time.”

            I was trying to get the point across that the system can be changed. In the past, a system without money existed. I actually have specifically stated that I’m not for a barter system, though. I’m for changing the monetary economic system that we have to distribute money in a way that is more ethical. Right now, one opportunity cost of giving a few people so much money is giving a homeless person enough money to get some shelter and food, which can save their life.

            Lets really think about the foundation, because when we do, it’s easy to see how unethical it is. We have set up a system where money is what is used to buy stuff. In order to get that money, people need to work for a business or be the business owner themselves for the most part. Then we give out money based on a value given for various reasons. If someone makes less than their bills cost, they lose their place and with that their job most likely. If someone doesn’t have a job at all, they have no ability to pay their bills (outside of gov’t assistance which people complain about and isn’t given to everybody, even if they need it). These people literally do not have a right to shelter or life at this point. To make it worse, we say that these people are such a bane to society that we make it illegal to be homeless. And we also make it illegal to feed the homeless on the street. And the argument a lot of people make is that the homeless are lazy or don’t contribute, but they could if society would let them. In fact, many of the homeless actually have contributed to society in the past.

            There is obviously a lot to this and I’m trying to offer a basic concept of what is unethical, but people have to go through some serious mental gymnastics to justify some people having millions and billions while others don’t even have enough to eat and survive.

          • Drew Domalick

            Give me a break. Everybody is an ideologue to some extent. You telling us that we don’t have the right to question how much others make is ideology itself. In fact, telling someone you don’t argue with ideologues is yourself being an ideologue. lol

            And do you really not understand that your argument was a straw man? I never said anything about all the unused salary cap going to feeding the homeless. You are a smart guy and you are better than that.

            You said this; “This is America, we don’t tell people when they’ve made enough money because we’re a country that doesn’t judge other people’s success as if it’s something we should be envious or take something away from.”

            Flat out, this is why you should stick to contracts. You don’t understand ethics or even economic systems. What defines “success”? What defines “worth”? What defines “value”? You start with these already established rules that is basically begging the question. The point is that we shouldn’t have a system where people literally have billions times more than they need while other people die on the streets from starvation and freezing. We shouldn’t have a system that rewards entertainment more than it rewards the things that actually keep society running such as resources gathering and innovation. And I would argue that my critical thinking to say that we should improve our system is much more American than you saying we should keep the same flaws we have always had. Look at how we broke away from England because we realized that living under a king and queen was flawed. What I’m saying is very American.

            You said this: “That’s the problem with America today, THE MARKET determines someones worth, not the government, and not some kid who has commented 843 times on Disqus and has turned a football article into ideological nonsense.”

            I’m going to get past the ad hominem attack and get to the spirit of what you are saying here. I’ll just say that there is a reason I have 843 comments on Disqus and leave it at that.

            So about “the market”, who decides that we use this market system? The government. The system is completely built around money, which is printed by the gov’t, backed up with the reputation of the gov’t, and enforced by the gov’t. There are alternatives to working a market than what we use, and I would argue that we can do better than our current system.

            You said this: “Nothing you say makes sense, “the riches people often offer very little to society”? Marc Cuban? Mark Zuckerberg? The people who invented Twitter? Steve Jobs?”

            But what are these guys doing now? They are making money with their money. I love how you use the people who invented Twitter. That’s not exactly an elite addition to our society. There are some people that innovate, but most people who design new things don’t actually make as much as you think. They get bought out by the billionaires and sure they get a good chunk of change, but they typically don’t make as much as the people with the money that are funding them. After a few years their idea gets ripped off and they tend to use the money they made to start making the real money which is in investing. I don’t think you and I are as far off as it sounds, but you start by working within the system we already have for a market without thinking about if our market is designed properly in the first place. I go back one step further and question whether our market is designed properly. I also don’t think you can talk about the economy or gov/t without talking about the other. They are completely intertwined.

            You said this: “You sound like the kind of kid who smoked weed,”

            I have never smoked weed or even a cigarette. I don’t appreciate you attacking my character like this. Take on my arguments instead of trying to undercut them by attacking me. Again, this is an ad hominem attack. You misjudged my character and I recommend not doubling down on it because it will only make you twice as wrong as you currently are. I’ve never even smoked a cigarette btw.

            You go on to talk about how my arguments are tired which only makes me wonder why you have to resort to logical fallacies instead of having the proper established responses that hard counter my “tired” arguments.

        • bigkick85

          Drew you are a lunatic. Try thinking about this…. If your salary was $50,000 per year, how you would feel If I forced you do pay $40,000 of that to Government because as you as you say, “it’s for the common good” Would you feel ok with that? What you are talking about is theft, plan and simple. You don’t get to make the decisions for other people, just like I don’t get to make yours.

          • Drew Domalick

            You said this: “If your salary was $50,000 per year”

            I already have a problem with what you are saying. There is no inherent value to what people do. In fact, there is no inherent value to money. It is the choice of the system to distribute and value money as we do. Lets see where you take this from here. (I’m commenting as I read your comment for the first time.)

            You said this: “how you would feel If I forced you do pay $40,000 of that to Government because as you as you say, “it’s for the common good””

            No, no, no. You have everything so backwards. It’s the government, along with the trust of other systems worldwide, that say I’m worth $50,000 in the first place. We have implemented a system that has valued entertainment more than things that actually matter much more. (Would you rather have food or entertainment?) We don’t have to have the US dollar as the standard. (Russia has actually tried to create an alternative and crash the dollar by buying up stock and selling all of it at once with China but China refused.) We could easily say that food was worth twice as much as entertainment was worth half as much as customers as well, or we could easily destroy the whole system and start up a new one that actually rewards those who give to society the most. In fact, the economy as we know it is sinking and unsustainable and in about 50 years we are in for some severe changes.

            You said this: “What you are talking about is theft, plan and simple.”

            Lets stay away from language with emotional baggage like “theft”, because it takes away from the real conversation that is to be had. I’m talking about questioning how we value people and work in society, and I’m sticking up for the very right to have discussions about this kind of stuff, which Zack is trying to shut down by saying we have no right to question when someone has made enough money. We have every to question that.

            You said this: “You don’t get to make the decisions for other people, just like I don’t get to make yours.”

            So then what right does Zack have to tell us that we don’t have the right to question when someone has made enough money? I’m not making decisions for anybody.

          • bigkick85

            All you are doing is spewing your own ideology about how you perceive the world. None of it is applicable to reality. Quit trying to bash other people based on the jealousy and hatred that you have for their successes.

            If you don’t believe that money is real, the go live in the woods and sell pinecones for the rest of your life. Otherwise, you can sit there a wallow in your own misery.

            Do everyone a favor, quit worrying about what other people are doing and worry about yourself.

          • Drew Domalick

            I don’t hate people for being successful, and I’m certainly not jealous. But what is success? Is success defined by how much money a person makes? Is it defined by how happy a person is? Is it defined by who accomplished the most (however you measure that)? For instance, is someone who makes $50,000/year or someone who makes $40,000/year and feeds the homeless more successful? Or is a farmer who makes $30,000/year but adds stability to the country by growing food more successful? Or is a millionaire who inherited a bunch of money and used that money to make money more successful?

            “If you don’t believe that money is real, the go live in the woods and sell pinecones for the rest of your life. Otherwise, you can sit there a wallow in your own misery.”

            Another straw man. Of course I think money is real. But the value of money is a social construct. Clearly you have never heard of a barter system. You don’t need money in a barter system. My point isn’t to say we should go back to a barter system, it’s to show that there are alternatives to money.

          • Derek

            Dude, just stop. You’re embarrassing yourself.

          • I stopped reading Drew’s comments because I don’t want to tear my eyes out today because that’s very painful, but glad so many people jumped in. I appreciate restoring some sanity here after a completely benign and applicable comment I made above. Of course, it was a dig at the rhetoric used in our current climate, but it was applicable to the article and something I would use in my own voice as a writer.

            I was making a comment on how much Suh should make and as a man, I should never tell another man how much money he should make, BUT as his agent, I might advise him against taking more money if I think he has a better chance at a Super Bowl if that’s what is most important to him. I think it’s a very important trait for an agent to have.

            I didn’t expect this to turn into some political debate where someone tells us how much money we “give” to billionaires who apparently contribute nothing like Marc Cuban, Steve Jobs and others. These top NFL players make a ton of money because of US, because WE spend money on the game, we watch the games, etc. But as someone who understands the salary structure a bit, I see that the lower level guys don’t make enough money. That needs to change. I know practice squad guys who bounce between teams and never make more than $50-100,000 and that’s wrong. They spent their whole lives training to get here and never get that shot at some money. BUT everything comes down to someone’s worth within their marketplace, I’m glad that OTC gives us a place where we can learn and educate ourselves on this thanks to Jason.

          • Derek

            I read a few lines and stopped, realizing it’s the old “players make too much money” argument that simply doesn’t hold up under any sort of logical scrutiny. If you limit the amount of money players make, the excess money goes to the owners, who are already the richest people in the NFL system. The end, argument over. People like Drew will come back and say you have to limit the amount of money the NFL makes. Well then it’s just the media conglomerations that pay for broadcast rights who make more money, and the people who own those are even richer than the NFL owners. Anytime you try to limit wages, you just push more money into the elite and create poverty. Anyone who’s visited a communist country can tell you that.

          • Drew Domalick

            I never said players make too much money. Another Strawman. I think the fact that you guys can only respond with fallacious comments i very telling and shows how weak your counter-arguments are. It’s interesting how you also say what people like me will argue in the future but didn’t actually argue yet, and then you tear that down. Why not tear down what I actually did argue?

          • Derek

            “How dare you say we can’t question whether a guy like Suh should be making as much as he is! Who are you to tell me that? I will question the hell out of it.”
            -Drew Domalick, 2015


          • Drew Domalick

            So where did I say that Suh was making too much money? That is me saying that we have the right to question how much Suh makes. It’s not the same.

          • Derek

            So your answer to the question is that Suh is, in fact, not making too much money? Great, you’re in agreement with us. Argument over. Or you can answer that he is making too much money, in which case you lost the argument and its still over. Either way, this is done. I’d say “have a nice life”, but I know you won’t (lol). Bye.

          • Drew Domalick

            Re-read what I said. I’m arguing for the right to question assumptions that most people never question about how much people make and why they make that money.

          • Drew Domalick

            Another Strawman Zack. I never said billionaires contribute nothing. I was talking about billionaires who use money to make money and you have not been able to deal with that argument. In fact, you haven’t been able to deal with any of my arguments. All you do is insult me, use fallacious arguments, and talk to the “yes Zack” sheeples that agree with you. I retract my previous comment that you are intelligent because you have a complete inability to challenge the assumptions we take for granted. And yes, we have every right to challenge how much another man makes.

        • bigkick85

          And to quote Barack Obama, “You didn’t build that.”

        • mike jones

          Listen, Drew, MONEY, that is bones, clams, that is, fiat money, that is salt, that is gold, that is bitcoins, that is computer chips, or ingots of copper, that is currency, absolutely has to exist. it is the greatest invention in the entire history of humanity. no rational human being even argues this. you’d be insane to argue otherwise. this is not the place, and definitely not the time, but you are way way way, out on a tiny limb all alone with a handful of insane people – and that limb is cracking.

          listen, If I just killed a deer, and I can’t eat it all, and it will go bad in two days even if I smoke it because of the climate we live in. and you know about a store of grain, an obviously non perishable item, that your brother has, two weeks away, but you don’t have anything of value on you…listen its way too late at night to give you the basics of an education but…

          • Drew Domalick

            Let me ask you something: Why does the world use the American Dollar over the Russian Ruble as the standard?

    • eddiea

      Why, even though it’s okay, are you worried about what others make? Since those that do seem to really envy/hate what they make. Yes, there are homeless/starving ppl but I/me am going to make sure me/mine aren’t before I think of others. Selfish yes, but you can’t help if you’re in “trouble” too.

      • Drew Domalick

        I’m worried more about how the system decides to distribute money, which is limited. $1 given to one person is $1 that can’t be given to another. We should all care about how much we make, how much others make, how much the less fortunate make, how much the more fortunate make, etc. Don’t you care about what society decides to value you at? If so, then you should question what others are making in order to determine if you should get more and they should get less or not. It’s not so much about the individual, though, as it is about the entire system.

        • mrparabolic

          Society doesn’t value anything. Society isn’t real. It’s an imaginary construct. If you want a dollar you need to steal it or convince a real person to give it to you, either freely or in exchange for something. Society can’t give you a dollar.

          • Drew Domalick

            Society are the people and systems that determine how those people operate. It might be a social construct, but it is far from imaginary.

            “If you want a dollar you need to steal it or convince a real person to give it to you”

            This is what is called a False Dilemma fallacy. You are telling me that either I can steal money or convince a real person to give it to me. There are other options, and you are starting in the middle of the process rather than the beginning. We can change how money is given to people in the first place, we could remove money altogether (although again, I’m not an advocate for the barter system), etc.

          • mrparabolic

            Society, like the square root of two or a perfect circle, is indeed imaginary. It only exists in the imaginations of humans. You cannot talk to a society. You can call a collection of individuals a society, but that society is an idea inside your mind. Nothing physical changes once you’ve labeled a group of people a society.

            Call it what you like; false dilemma or what have you. You’re spouting nonsense. There is a system in place. You want to change it (I think), but you don’t have an alternate proposal (or at least you haven’t shared it with us). You’re yelling at the clouds for being the wrong shape and you don’t even know what shape you want them to be.

          • Drew Domalick

            Fair enough about using the term imaginary. I’ll accept that definition. I call it intangible and a social construct, but what a social construct is an imaginary construct by your definition, so I guess the term imaginary works as well. Actually, if you look up I have already made this point in previous comments. Society chooses to use these social constructs (or imaginary constructs if you prefer), and we can change society to operate with better social (or imaginary) constructs.

            “Call it what you like; false dilemma or what have you.”

            This is actually rather important. Your argument was faulty because it is a False Dilemma. You seem to be trying to disregard my point about your argument being fallacious, but it is rather important. You do not have solid ground for your counter-argument, therefore, you have not invalidated my argument with your counter-argument.

            “You’re spouting nonsense. There is a system in place.”

            Yup, and these imaginary construct systems that are in place don’t have to be. We could change what is in place to become a more ethical society. In order to question if our current system is ethical or not, we have to be able to question what other people make. I don’t see why this is nonsense, and you have not been able to present a non-fallacious counter-argument while I have good, sound logic.

            “You want to change it (I think), but you don’t have an alternate proposal (or at least you haven’t shared it with us).”

            An alternative proposal of what economic systems we should use isn’t actually necessary for my argument, but I do have ideas. I have given ideas about devaluing entertainment and giving more value to collecting resources. I have given other ideas as well. You are free to read through the comments as well. But if you are asking for me to lay out a proposal here for a completely new economic structure I will not do that, and that would be unreasonable to expect of me.

            “You’re yelling at the clouds for being the wrong shape and you don’t even know what shape you want them to be.”

            Well that was certainly a jump going from me not having offered an alternative proposal to making the argument that I do not know what I want in an economic structure.

  • If I’m an NFL player I’d try to make as much money as I could. If Suh gets hurt or doesn’t play well he will be cut. How many players that have signed $100 million plus deals have seen the end of their contract?

    • Suh has $10.2 million worth of dead money in 2018, so he probably won’t be cut until at least 2019. And I don’t disagree with him making as much money as he can, but the conversation is more nuanced than that.

      • Drew Domalick

        FWIW even though you think I’m an idiot, sometimes taking less money now can mean more money in the future and it can mean career stability/longevity. Randall Cobb and Greg Jennings are good examples. Jennings took the $2M/year more while Cobb took the $2M/year less. Jennings got cut just a few years later and will not get most of the money on his contract while his market value has been significantly devalued and his career will likely be shorter. Cobb took less money, he’ll be playing with Rodgers, and that will help keep his market value higher for Cobb’s next contract.

        Also, family and friends can matter a lot, but I don’t remember you mentioning them. A wife might have friends and might not want to move. They might have a house that they don’t want to give up, especially if they designed a dream house. The player might be most happy being around the family or friends, or maybe the player would be more likely to leave to go back home. Tramon Williams went to talk with New Orleans and he is originally from Louisiana.

  • This article ignores the new rookie wage scale. When young, skilled players are locked into (relatively) cheap and (relatively) long contracts, prize free agents can command a larger percentage of the remaining cap dollars.

    • Outside of the top of the draft, the new rookie wage scale isn’t that different than the old one. Sure, first rounders make less money, but that’s one player per year making less. Haloti Ngata took up about 11% of the Ravens cap last year, no matter how you try to rationalize it, Suh’s contract with the Dolphins will be way out of whack with what Super Bowl champions do at DT. When you’re taking up 18.69% of the cap in 2016 as a defensive tackle, again, over 5% more of the cap than Hall of Fame QB Steve Young took up in his best season, which ended in a Super Bowl, then your financially out of whack.

      I’ve spent the last month looking over this stuff, valid point about rookie wage scale because those top rookies took up a lot of space, but even Sam Bradford’s absurd contract doesn’t touch what Suh’s is about to do.

      • It’s not as significant as it would have been pre-wage scale, but, you’re right, Suh’s contract is in it’s own class. The way the contract is structured (front-loaded guaranteed money in the first two years), it seems like they could trade him to the Raiders or Jaguars or the like next year if he isn’t a fit. Hope the Fins know what they are doing.

        • If they trade him to the Raiders or Jaguars, the Dolphins have to eat the dead money. He’s a Dolphin for life now.

          • It would be a big hit after year one (about 38 million dead money), but it goes down quickly after that (after year two – about 16 million and after year three – about 10 million). Those are probably Suh best years and we should have plenty of cap room by 2018.

          • Tyler Ferree

            You’re not accounting for the near inevitable restructure prior to year 2 that would spread probably another 12 mil into the future (convert 15 mil into signing bonus from base salary), so its really 28 in dead then 19.

      • Drew Domalick

        Just out of curiosity, is it the players at the top or the bottom of the pay scale that sets the market? I’m assuming you will say the top. If you do, wouldn’t taking rookies that are on the top of the market and putting them on the bottom impact the FA’s at the top? They are now the ones setting the market so they are now the ones commanding the more money. The rookie wage scale matters a ton.

      • McGeorge

        as a Jets fan I disagree with you.

        If only Miami , and Mike Tannenbaum :-), would sign a few more Suhs, the world would be right.
        As a Jets fan, I think Miami is doing the right thing, and strongly encourage them to continue with these types of contracts.
        That Belichick guy doesn’t know anything, how many super bowls has he won in the last few weeks? None.

        Mike Tannenbaum is the best GM in the league. i hope he gets more involved in talent evaluation, so Miami can enjoy the likes of:

        2009 #1 bust (Mark Sanchez)
        2010 #1 bust (Kyle Wilson)
        2012 #1 underachiever (Quentin Coples)
        I won’t bother listing all the stud 2nd round picks like …
        Stephen Hill and Vlad Ducasse.

  • mike jones

    Then Fins are always like this, so I am of course nonplused but enured.

    But, a lot of teams are acting like this is a trend. When you start adding bye weeks, adding an extra sunday game, adding an extra playoff game, all your models go kaput. Detroit offered only, what, 17 million less?

    The entire AFC East let out a link. Normally I would devastated. This time, I’m convinced you all are on the wrong side of the equation. BB just spent hard cold cash on free safety. The traditional networks are losing share, but have more cash, and this is the one product that has a zero shelf life in the on the demand age. This is the one thing that HBO, A&E, SHOWTIME, NFLX, AMZN, can never take away from them.

    And what does Jerry Rice have to do with the price of tea in china in 1994? Did they have free agency then? I feel like I drifted into the Mike florio zone here.

    Btw, how much more crippled are the dolphins for getting Suh than are the Jets for landing David Harris and Revis? DH and Revis cost $23.5 million this year…Can you play DH on most second and third downs versus passing teams? Is that even a possibility in todays NFL? I watch all the AFCeast games.

    How much are those two guaranteed the next 3 years? At least we know Suh we know Suh will still be able to play 3 downs in 3 years…

    • It’s about analyzing the last 21 Super Bowl champions and looking at the way their teams are constructed as it’s a pretty large sample size now. When you analyze the averages for these positions over time, you see trends and you see the kind of stuff that can become unattainable, I haven’t analyzed the impact of Revis yet, but I’m pretty sure he’s got a much lower cap hit than the near $25 million we see with Suh.

      But, once FA is done, I will certainly be looking into this.

      • mike jones

        yeah, I’m not talking about the past. my main point was, I was a bit heartened that the entire AFCE acted as if they expect more games, and therefore more revenue than past projections might suggest. especially the the BB McCourty resigning. I did not expect that.

        • We are looking at the past because we have 21 years worth of information. McCourty takes up an average of 5.75% of the cap over the next five years with the projections that Jason and I used to 2019. In 2012, Ed Reed took up 7.05% of the cap which is the most for a SB safety and the average was 3.52%, so he stays within the the general area that a top safety can be paid. His contract is very, very manageable.

          • mike jones

            My only point being, this is unusual for BB, to resign a vet that made it to FA to a big number. Do you hear me? Not that it is unheard of for FS coming of a super bowl. I’m not saying it was a bad contract. Has he ever done this? Answer no. wait. Did he let welker get to FA one time?

          • Lawyer Milloy, Rodney Harrison wasn’t cheap either, Ty Law was his most expensive cap hit in 2001 I think. Why are you so combative?

          • mike jones

            just because I’ve never said anything about McCourty’s value, all I have been talking with regard to BB is his penchant for either signing guys he has personally drafted while they are still have a year or two left (with the exception of chung I think), or letting them move on. I’m not trying to be combative.

            my theory is some teams think they know the nfl will unilaterally add playoff games or make schedule changes to add games in the near future. IIRC, I’ve read that they can add a playoff game and they can move around the schedule so there are additional tv games without NFLPa approval. that’s why we sometimes get these early morning sunday games, london games, we can get a new playoff game without NFLPA approval. that would add a new revenue stream, that would add a lot of new money. not otherwise figured into the estimated cap increases.

            I was wondering, after free agency concludes this year, will there be some way to see if teams are pushing guarantees out past statistically typical time frames this year? it just seems like a really strange free agency period.

          • And remember, McCourty came into the league as a CB and has become arguably the best FS, he’s a huge boost to their secondary, so they spent the less money on him because they could rather than get into the Revis sweepstakes. Now they’re building their secondary around him.

          • mike jones

            You’re still missing the point Zack. I’ve never been debating his value. And I don’t think you can argue he’s as good as Thomas.
            My entire argument has been BB has never treated and impending FA the way he has McCourty. No one. And he’s had a lot better guys leave.

            My argument about bad value was that the opportunity cost for the Jets was just about as lousy, w/ Harris and Revis over the first 5 combined seasons. You could ding them for the same thing as the Fins.

    • McGeorge

      Harris was a bad signing. As for Revis, the Jets were in a weird (and self inflicted) situation of being below the salary floor, and having to spend a lot. I think Revis is over paid as well.

      >>BB just spent hard cold cash on free safety

      At half the money Suh is getting. I’ll bet BB gets way more value out of McCourty per dollar spent than Suh gives.

      • Right McGeorge, as always, you say things very well and very succinctly.

        • mike jones


      • mike jones

        Regarding, Harris and Revis: why can’t I treat them as a group? In their first 4 combined years they have almost 50 million in combined guarantees. They are both over 30 years old. Who cares that the situation was *weird*? Who care if Harris was a bad signing. This is the point.

        RE: BB. You missed the point about BB completely. He has never spent money to retain talent like that. It goes toward the idea that the entire AFCE acted as if the market is changing.

        • McGeorge

          Players are individuals, and sign individual contracts.

          Revis still has a lot of value. He’s still a great CB.
          Harris has much less value, thats why I differentiated them.

          I use the “weird” distinction because the Jets were forced to spend quite a lot, and had less bargaining power. It’s better not to get a whole lot of mediocre and expensive players (like Harris).

          >>RE: BB. You missed the point about BB completely.

          I doubt very much that I missed anything about Belichick. I think you misunderstood me.

          >>He has never spent money to retain talent like that.

          I agree and never said otherwise.

          >> It goes toward the idea that the entire AFCE acted as if the market is changing.

          The entire AFCE is filled with GMs who aren’t that good. As a Jets fan I am disappointed in Maccagnan spending like he did (unless the owner Woody Johnson) wanted that. I am less than impressed with Tannenbaum as a GM. I am less than impressed with Doug Whaley (#1 bust for EJ Manuel, and two #1s for Watkins).

  • ThatNewYorkJetsBlog

    Suh publicly said that he would let his agent pick his team for him. I took that to mean that he wanted to maximize his football earnings – and take nothing else into account. So while there are other important things to be taken into account, I think that it is automatically reasonable to simply say “I want to maximize my NFL earnings” and instruct your agent to go along those lines. It’s also reasonable to second-guess Suh’s logic and speculate that maybe he’d be better off going to the Patriots or wherever at a fraction of his salary, but to him, money was the more important factor. I think he will be a Hall of Fame player without winning a Super Bowl, and arguably that’s the more important honor anyway.

    The other thing I’ll mention up-front is that at least theoretically, the Dolphins do have a chance. Tannehill could develop into a great QB; there were many greats who weren’t statistically amazing in their early years. As a Jets fan, I hope that that doesn’t happen, but my point is that there’s at least some chance that the Dolphins could win a Super Bowl- he’s not conceding that by going to a team that isn’t one of the frontrunners.

    Signing with the Patriots, Seahawks, Steelers, Packers, or Broncos – there is still an excellent chance that you won’t win a Super Bowl in the next 5 years. I’m sure that at least 2 of those teams will win a Super Bowl in the next 5 years… But I’m extremely confident that all 5 of them will not. Sun’s window is short, because 5 years isn’t actually that much time. Even the great teams usually win no more than 1 or 2 Super Bowls per decade – 3 is exceptional. So when you’re talking about a 5 year window, it’s fair I think to speculate that “I might not win one no matter where I go.” When you don’t “take the money,” you’re sort of gambling.

    Anyway; you can end up making an enormous financial sacrifice without getting that ring. So that has to be taken into account as well – just because a team looks stacked doesn’t mean you will necessarily win a Super Bowl. If you took a pay cut to go to Dan Marino’s Miami Dolphins, for example, your massive financial sacrifice was in vain. So the money is more of a “sure thing,” and it should not be conceded lightly. It makes sense, I think, to seek to maximize your career earnings without assuming you’ll be able to get a post-NFL career in broadcasting, unless you’re one of the faces of the NFL. Suh is not particularly charismatic, and I don’t know that winning a ring would suddenly give him lots of post-NFL opportunities that he would not have had otherwise.

    Playing for a “better” team doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be happier. Players with families also have to take moving into account – maybe you’d rather be in sunny and beautiful Miami, paying 0% state income tax for home games – rather than snowy and miserable Massachusetts, paying another 9% or whatever in state income taxes.

    On the other hand, for many players, their lifelong dream was to win a Super Bowl. After playing for 5 or 6 years on the bad team that drafted you, while earning enough money to be secure forever – maybe you don’t care about earning more money. Once you hit a certain point, it doesn’t make as much of an impact on your lifestyle anymore – whereas that ring could carry enormous emotional significance. The agent’s job is to listen to what the client wants and then try to achieve that – part of the job is also offering guidance to the player, having a bit more perspective and seeing things from the outside. If the player is dead-set on winning a ring, and that’s their informed decision – you go in that direction. But if they say “I’ll trust you to do what’s right for me and my family” then in that scenario you smile, rub your hands together, and say “Let’s get to work.” Both are reasonable avenues – ultimately it’s the player’s life and choice; they’re the ones putting their health and bodies on the line.

    As for some of the other messages: what I think the author should realize is that even making what seems like a very slight offhanded politically-tinged comment is basically guaranteed to generate internet arguments. Just look at *any* news article on CNN, or posted on Facebook. Scroll through the comments. It’s nothing but political people who disagree screaming at each other; you can almost see the foam coming out of their rabid mouths. No thanks!! For me at least sports is a refuge from all of that. So when writing about sports, I think there’s an important advantage to remaining apolitical – you can keep the conversation focused fully on sports.

    There are plenty of political ideas that seem like common sense to me; and many of those statements would rub you the wrong way. And vice versa! It’s perfectly fine to let your politics shine through in your articles, but it should be understood that the other half of the readers with different politics than you are going to feel alienated, and some of them might start writing back about their disagreements with those political views (however innocent or obvious one thinks they are.) On the other hand, some people like to just be their full selves and let that shine through in whatever they do. That’s cool too, but the people who disagree with those political views will usually let that affect what they think of the sports analysis as well.

    • I forgot to mention the huge benefit of 0 state income tax, plus good point on the fact that wherever he goes, there’s not much of a chance to win considering how hard it is to win a Super Bowl as, of course, only one team wins at the end of each year.

      In terms of the politics, I tend to keep my politics out of these articles because of what you said above, there’s no point in creating nonsense, especially considering I like to engage with commenters. I only made that comment because I was writing an entire article discussing how much another man should make and, like you said, I like to be myself a little bit in these articles without going overboard with anything like that.

  • DaleR

    Zack, it’s interesting that you throw in your political plug for free market economics when your area of expertise is the most artificial of markets.

    • At no point in the article did I throw in a plug for free market economics, I stated that the marketplace determines a players worth. Only in the comments did I mention free markets because someone thinks we “give” billionaires and homeless people their earnings.

      • DaleR

        Sorry I misunderstood. I was referring to the following text: ” Contrary to the current climate in this country, it’s none of our business to tell another man (or woman) when they’ve made enough money, the market determines someone’s worth and that’s a beautiful thing.”

        • mike jones

          I my opinion It’s certainly inflammatory when someone declares a natural limitation to societies purview to review the contracts between and among workers, certainly in an NFL salary cap blog.

          and I’m a libertarian. I don’t like to hear Florio or Costas pontificate on matters not germane to sunday night football, but this is his space – so.

          as far as I can tell all it did here was allow things to go off the rails big time.

          • DaleR

            Mike, could you please restate your the first part of your comment. I don’t understand. Thanks.

        • And the NFL market doesn’t determine Suh’s worth?

          • DaleR

            You state “it’s none of our business to tell another man when they’ve made enough money” (or conversely how much to spend). Isn’t that exactly what the salary cap does? It’s an artificial market with artificial boundaries where billionaires who are part of an exclusive club buy physical freaks as toys. This process has no relationship to any normal market value based transaction. Interesting yes, but a beautiful thing?

  • Zachary Ethan Gardner

    I came here to comment on this article, but the comments descended into such utter insanity that I decided just to not comment at all.

  • ConfoundedSociety

    Interesting how people are claiming Suh’s contract cripples Miami’s roster, but Manning’s contract with Denver was just fine.

    • Kirk Vollmer

      Different positions, QB is the most important player on the team, far more important then any D tackle. NFL history has shown repeatedly that high level quarterback play can cover up a lot of flaws in your team… Maintaining possession so your defense stays off the field, throwing quickly and often to cover up a flawed O-line and making extremely accurate passes in tight windows to cover up for receivers who can’t get separation and can only catch perfectly thrown balls. An elite defensive tackle like Suh though can only really maybe cover up flaws in your D-line. Also be aware that Tannehill has only 1 year left in his rookie deal and a 5th year option which will likely run about 15 M or more. After that he’s going to be asking for a contract similar likely to Andy Dalton’s. Paying a D-tackle this much money may make it difficult to re-sign Tannehill.

      • Right Kirk, I don’t see them not resigning Tannehill, but it certainly makes their salary cap a bit of a mess. The point of his insane cap hit is that it’s also at a position where no one should be making that kind of money as seen through history of his cap hit in 2016 being double that of one of the greatest DTs of all time, Warren Sapp, during a Super Bowl season and one of the best seasons of his career.

        I’ve also discussed Manning’s contracts at length here, his cap hit has hindered his ability to win throughout his career, so it’s not like I’m saying his cap hits are fine either, I just can’t shut every possible debate point down in one article.

        On top of that, with our projections for the cap growth, Manning is also taking up 4.64% LESS of the cap than Suh in 2016. So he’ll be making that much more, $7.1 million to be exact, than one of the greatest QBs of all time. The most important position on the field. Again, to my point with QBs, Steve Young was the highest cap hit for a Super Bowl QB of all time in 1994 at 13.08%, thus illustrating how much a high cap number for a QB can hinder a team. Suh is not worth 5% more than some of the greatest QBs of all-time as a DT. That’s just not possible.

  • Kirk Vollmer

    Agents get paid a percent of the player’s contract which means that their only job or at the very least the only job they are really paid for is getting the player the biggest contract he can. It’s going to be up to the player to make sure he’s happy playing where he is. Really I doubt the idea of players being after SB’s first and foremost. Because when a player is a FA says he wants to win a SB, he always ends up going to the best team that can afford him, not just the best team. Sure they may take a slight discount to play for a better team but who out there besides Tom Brady takes a 25% or more discount vs. their market value to play for a contender?

    Now I have no problem with these guys getting paid. Football is their job, it’s a short lived job that carries great long term risks to their health. Make as much money as you can if that’s what you want to do. But if your top priority was winning a championship, you’d sign for the vet min with the best team that would take you, because you know that leaving all that cap room open allows that team to get other good players who might want money more then you do.

    Money is always the #1 priority, championships is 2nd. The closest thing to an exception is Tom Brady who’s playing for somewhere between 25 to 50% below his market value. But even he isn’t going all out and playing for the vet min. He’s just the biggest example of a player that is purposefully playing for well below his market value.

    • I understand the agent getting 3% of a player’s contract, but he also gets 15% of his marketing deals. Most of what I wrote about above is more theoretical in that, as an agent, how can you construct a contract that takes up less cap room too? Probably something I should have dove into as well.

      • Kirk Vollmer

        I think the agent is mostly looking at getting his player the most money that is likely to be earned. So he’s looking at signing bonues, guaranteed money and money at the front end of the contract. I really doubt that most agents go into the cap hit prospective other then to try to work with teams to construct the contract that works with their cap all the while making sure the client gets paid… For an agent a signing bonus, and a roster bonus paid the first year are pretty much the same thing, but they are totally different from a cap prospective. The team has to decide which one works best with their cap.