Fantex: The Vernon Davis Valuation


Yesterday we looked at the Fantex valuation of the Texans’ Arian Foster and today we turn our attention to their valuation of Vernon Davis of the 49ers. Fantex has agreed to pay Davis $4,000,000 in exchange for 10% of his future brand income. Is this a reasonable investment for a 29 year old Tight End?

While we do not have the specifics of the Davis brand contract I’ll assume that it includes salary earned in 2013, similar to how Foster’s income included his 2013 wages from the Houston Texans.  Davis currently is under contract to the 49ers through 2015. In that time he has base salaries that total $15,122,000, workout bonus that total $600,000, and $1,200,000 in bonuses that are paid in $25,000 installments for each game in which Davis is active. If Davis was to play his entire contract out Fantex would be eligible to receive $1,692,200.

Davis has found himself in a good situation in 2013 due to injuries to the 49ers wide receiving corps and is making the most of his situation. He is currently on pace for 1,184 receiving yards which would shatter his prior career high of 965 yards. The 49ers are in a bit of a tight salary cap situation in 2014 and Davis has the 4th largest cap charge on the team per OTC estimates. Releasing Davis would have saved the 49ers over $3.2 million in cap space but his play this season has made that option unrealistic for San Francisco. He could be eligible instead for an extension that reduces his salary cap charges and adds another three years onto his existing contract.

Getting an extension at the age of 30 is not the hardship that it would be for Foster as this position has much more life. Jason Witten of the Cowboys received a long term extension when he was 29 while Antonio Gates received an extension with the San Diego Chargers at the age of 30. Tony Gonzalez has received multiple contracts since turning 30. However drawing a comparison to any of these players would be difficult as they are multi-time Pro Bowlers and All Pro players. Davis has just one Pro Bowl in his prior seven seasons. He will also be negotiating with a very tough set of contract negotiators in San Francisco who rarely overpay for their players.

Most likely Davis’ numbers would come in somewhere between Owen Daniels $5.5 million a season. and Witten’s $7.3 million a year. So for the sake of argument we can call it a $6.4 million a year extension with $10 million or so guaranteed. As a five year value that would make the contract worth $29.45 million when we include his 2014 and 2015 current seasons into the contract. That would bring him to 34 years of age and likely signal the end of his career.


In this case I think a fair assumption would be that he would earn 75% of the contract’s total value and then maybe get one last season at around $1 million in salary. That would bring his total NFL takehome, while under a brand share contract to Fantex, to be about $29.76 million. Fantex would receive $2,975,590 meaning they would need him to earn $10.24 million in his non-playing career to recoup their initial investment. This is assuming that his 2013 wages are included in the calculation.

Much like the Foster deal this has almost no chance to be a profitable investment if profits are determined by players paying back these “advances” with interest. These deals are absolute bonanzas for the players who are nearing the end of their careers. The actual determinations of future earnings by Fantex, in regards to  these two players, shows almost no fundamental understanding of the NFL lifecycle and NFL contract structure. If the goal is to gain notoriety by signing “name players” to enhance trading on their platform and gain company interest then we can look at these as endorsement deals of sorts, except Fantex is not funding them with their own endorsement dollars, but relying on investors to get caught up in the name value and fantasy betting crazes that are extremely popular right now. Fantex may prove to be profitable but the initial investors that are funding the company on the brands of players have little chance to do anything but throw money away.



49ers and Chiefs Trade Disappointing WR’s


Per multiple sources the 49ers will trade 2012 first round draft pick WR AJ Jenkins to the Kansas City Chiefs. Jenkins has been a major disappointment for the WR depleted 49ers and they were considering releasing Jenkins despite the fact that they owe him guaranteed salary if someone failed to pick up his contract when placed on waivers.

The benefit of trading Jenkins is that the future guaranteed Paragraph 5 salary transfers to the team that trades for the player. That saves the 49ers from potentially having to pay Jenkins $1,727,391 after having cut him from the team. Jenkins did have offsets in his contract, but had he cleared waivers a team could sign him for the minimum salary of $480,000 and $570,000 over the next two seasons leaving the 49ers with more money owed and hurting their short term salary cap as they wait for credits to be applied.

The 49ers will have a dead money cap charges of $873,187 in 2013 and $1,746,374 in 2014 attributed to Jenkins. The Chiefs will take on cap charges of $705,797, $1,021,594, and $1,337,390 from 2013 thru 2015, the first two years of which are fully guaranteed. This trade also illustrates the team benefits of the new CBA as a trade under the prior CBA would have been difficult as the 49ers would have likely paid Jenkins a salary advance or option bonus in March and reduced his base salaries to the minimum. The cap charge associated with such a trade would have been too high for the 49ers to absorb.

After writing this I just saw that the terms of the trade included WR Jon Baldwin going to the 49ers. Baldwin had a fully guaranteed salary of $1,061,510 that now transfers to the 49ers. Next year Baldwin will carry a cap charge of $1,404,765 for San Francisco, none of which is guaranteed. His dead money charge for the Chiefs will be $998,018 in both 2013 and 2014.This was a necessity for Kansas City as they could not absorb the salary cap impact of Jenkins’ contract without moving other players. Kansas City only has around $7,500 in cap room, not enough to trade a conditional pick for Jenkins salary.  The trade in essence becomes a financial swap of disappointing first round players that provides the short term needs for the Chiefs and long term needs of the 49ers.

The trade works out to be a financial benefit  for both sides. The 49ers will save themselves around $665,000 in guaranteed salary and remove any future guarantees from the books in 2014, when their salary cap looks to be quite tight. The cap starved Chiefs will receive an immediate cap benefit of about $355,000 in return for taking on guaranteed salary in 2014. So it’s a benefit for both sides that, at the very least, makes sense from a financial perspective even if both sides feel there is little to gain from the players involved.


The Cost of Cutting AJ Jenkins


San Francisco has not made many mistakes in the last few seasons, but the drafting of WR AJ Jenkins seems to be one of them. Jenkins, a 1st round draft pick in 2012, only dressed for 3 games in 2012 and has reportedly performed poorly during training camp. The 49’ers lack of depth at the position should have opened up a terrific opportunity for the young WR, but it seems as if he has not capitalized on the chance. Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News wonders if the 49’ers could consider cutting Jenkins rather than wasting a roster spot on a player who seems to be developing so slowly. 

The difficulty in cutting Jenkins lies in the salary cap treatment that would apply to Jenkins. As a former first round pick Jenkins has guaranteed salary remaining in his contract that totals $1,727,391. The June 1 rule does not apply to guaranteed salary meaning the entire amount would accelerate to the 2013 salary cap if the player was cut. If cut Jenkins salary cap number would actually rise by $1,021,594. Assuming he would be replaced on the roster by an undrafted rookie, cutting Jenkins would reduce the 49’ers cap space for the year by $1,426,594.

Thought the 49’ers salary cap saw an unexpected bump due to CB Tarell Brown’s forfeiting of a $2 million dollar escalator by not being informed of the conditions of his contract, they are no so flush with cap space that losing so much cap room is an easy pill to swallow. The 49’ers have around $7 million in cap space. Once cap calculations expand to 53 players you can take another $1 million off that figure for the roster expansion, $1 million for a Practice Squad, and they need to replace Michael Crabtree at some point, which is at least another $405,000.

As you can see that $7 million in reported space is really closer to $4.5 million for their internal roster management decisions. If they lose an additional $1.4 million the team will be looking at just a touch above $3 million in cap room at the start of the season. While teams can operate within that budget it is a very low figure and leaves little margin for error. The 49’ers have always been a proactive team in regards to contract extensions and that figure could hamper those efforts. Last season the team needed to restructure multiple contracts in the middle of the season to sign Navarro Bowman to his contract extension. While there are more players they can look to do that with if needed it may be a better idea to maximize their cap space in 2013 than to flush it away on a player whose replacement may be just as unlikely to dress on gameday.

If cut Jenkins will also carry a $1,746,374 dead money charge in 2014 due to acceleration of his signing bonus.

View AJ Jenkins Salary Cap and Contract Page


NFL Salary Cap Space Update: July 19


We keep track of the salary cap (or at least try to) on an everyday basis, so I thought it might be good to do a weekly recap of the effects of the weeks cap moves as we make a turn towards training camp time where the transaction sheet will likely begin to pick up pace.

Moves from the Week:

Cincinnati Bengals– The Bengals signed DE Carlos Dunlap to a 5 year contract extension worth just under $40 million dollars and also locked up their first round draft pick Tyler Eifert to a standard 4 year deal. Dunlap’s contract was heavily frontloaded and cost the Bengals $5,418,200 in cap room. Between he and Eifert the Bengals spent $6,439,231in cap space.  There should be no worries as the moves left them with nearly $15.55 million in cap room, 7th most in the NFL.

Green Bay Packers– The Packers extension of S Morgan Burnett reduced their 2013 cap space by $1,650,000, the amount of Burnett’s proration attributed to his $8.25 million dollar signing bonus. With $14.67 million in cap room the Packers have the 8th largest amount of unused cap in the NFL.

Denver Broncos– The Broncos lost $2.72 million in cap room with the signing of LT Ryan Clady to a heavily frontloaded contract and vesting future guarantees. Already counting $9.828 million against the cap the Broncos agreed to pay Clady a $10.5 million dollar roster bonus to keep his future charges low rather than looking to build carryover cap space this season. Denver has $7.39 million in cap room.

Jacksonville Jaguars– The Jaguars came to terms with rookie WR Ace Sanders on a four year contract. Jacksonville lost $45,362 in cap room following the signing. The Jaguars still have $22.9 million in cap space, 2nd most in the NFL.

Detroit Lions– The Lions gained $321,000 in cap room with the release of RB Jahvid Best and they will now carry $1.1 million in dead money on the 2014 salary cap. The Lions have $5.22 million in cap room.

Dallas Cowboys– The Cowboys gained  $225,000 in cap room when Josh Brent retired. Dallas can also go after his proration from the year, $11,889, though I can’t imagine they would do so.

New England Patriots– The Patriots released WR Donald Jones to save themselves from paying a $200,000 reporting bonus due at the start of training camp. Jones was set to count for $1.131 million against the cap in 2013. Releasing him created $576,250 in cap space pushing the Patriots to $9.79 million.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers– The Buccaneers traded troubled cornerback Eric Wright to the San Francisco 49ers for a conditional late round pick. The Bucs got off great with Wright as off the field problems saw his guarantees for 2013 void, which allowed them to push him into a paycut. With more legal troubles Wright was sent packing creating $945,000 worth of cap space in the process. Tampa has he 4th most cap space in the league at $19.22 million.

San Francisco 49’ers– The 49’ers were on the other end of the trade with the Bucs, taking on Eric Wright and his $1.5 million dollar salary. The addition of Wright reduced San Francisco’s cap room by $945,000. The 49’ers now have $4.49 million in cap room and limited space in 2014, fueling speculation that the team may cut CB Carlos Rogers, saving over $4 million in 2013 and $5.1 million in 2014, giving the team much more breathing room as they prepare for an extension with QB Colin Kaepernick after the season.

Three to Keep an Eye On

St. Louis Rams– With just $214,088 in cap room the Rams do not have enough cap space to function once the regular season begins. They will need to restructure contracts or make a few cuts to be able to function in the regular season.

Washington Redskins– At $1.4 million in cap space the Redskins have the 2nd least amount of space in the NFL. Once rosters expand to 53 and teams spend $1 million on a practice squad the Redskins will be forced to make moves to be cap compliant in September. They should have over $10 million in cap room in 2014 so they may look to push some money into next year if they do not want to make any cuts.

Houston Texans– Houston still needs to sign their first three draft picks, which will eat into their $2.8 million in cap room leaving them with around $1.6 million in room when the season begins. Add in two contracts and a Practice Squad and you get the idea- Houston can’t stand pat and do nothing over the next few weeks.

Click Here to View The Current Cap Space for All 32 Teams 



The 49’ers Get a Bargain with Justin Smith


The numbers became official today for DE Justin Smith and his two year extension with the 49’ers- 2 years at an average of $4.35 million a season. By many accounts it is a very team friendly contract but I may as well add my two cents in on the topic as well.

The three obvious comparison points here are the contracts signed by John Abraham in 2012 and Osi Umenyiora and Dwight Freeney in 2013 and we will use these deals as a point of reference. But before we present the contracts I want to make a point that while the stated guarantee on Smith’s new deal is $9.56 million in reality he was going to be on the 49’ers in 2013 and the $7.5 million base salary for the year was going to be earned. For that purpose we will only consider the contract to contain $2 million in new money guarantees. Here are how the dollars stack up:





1st Year Cash


John Abraham






Dwight Freeney






Osi Umenyiora






Justin Smith






Clearly the value of the extension was designed to fit between the Umenyiora and Freeney contracts. Abraham is no longer in the NFL having been released from his contract after one season. Smith will earn less than both Umenyiora and Freeney in first year extension compensation and has a higher probability of not seeing that money due to a limited guarantee in his extension years.

Smith should have had far more leverage than either Freeney or Umenyiora had even factoring in age and his triceps injury from last season.  Here is the base statistical breakdown of the players:





Dwight Freeney




Osi Umenyiora




Justin Smith




Despite playing from a non-rush position Smith did generate 3 sacks and significantly more tackles than either Freeney or Umenyiora.  It is also worth nothing that Smith has made 4 straight Pro Bowls and was a 1st and 2sn team All Pro in 2012 and 2013. Freeney’s last Pro Bowl was in 2011 and All Pro season in 2009. Umenyiora was a 2nd team All NFL player in 2010.

One of the big reasons for the increased production and postseason honors is because Smith is a full time player as evidenced by his snap count being over 1000 last season. The other two are situational players. In terms of financial planning that means when you sign Justin Smith you only need to sign Justin Smith. When you sign either of the other players you need to also sign a rotational player to make up for the 400 snaps when they will not be on the field. Most likely it means a cap hit ranging from $555,000 to $1.25 million for the role player, making the true spend on the other two players closer to $5 million a year and $6 million in first year cash. Rather than being awarded for his durability Smith was not. If we place their dollar value on per snaps played Smith is the clear loser.


Per snap APY

Per snap Guar

Per Snap 1 year cash

Dwight Freeney




Osi Umenyiora




Justin Smith




At a minimum he should have been earning $6 million a year with $7 million paid out in the first year of which $6 million was guaranteed just by taking him as an equal player to the other two. Factoring in the actual performance each of those numbers should be bumped by at least $1 million. It’s a bargain basement contract for a premier player.

Smith should have had even more leverage based on the 49’ers salary cap situation. As we discussed last month the 49’ers did not have enough cap room to function in the 2013 NFL season. Suggested moves were extending Smith or perhaps extending S Donte Whitner or CB Tarell Brown.  With limited cap upside to the latter moves, barring a release,  Smith should have been in a position to either get large guarantees in 2014 or two funny money void seasons in return for playing nice with the salary cap.

Smith was in a position to hold the 49’ers feet to the fire due to the cap. Freeney was allowed to play his deal out on a monster 2012 cap figure while Umenyiora simply took a void year and a slight raise to help the Giants out with their salary cap in 2012.  Like Smith, Umenyiora fired his agent to get that contract done himself, a contract that was far more player friendly due to the void year than this one. Instead Smith chose option C which was to do everything in his power to help the team and get almost no raise in the process. Smith was scheduled to earn $8 million in 2013- he will now earn $8.1 million.

While the particulars of the contract have not been made public in regards to the roster bonuses, my experience with the 49’ers and salary cap in general would tell me that $400,000 per year is probably tied to being on the active 53 man roster. Freeney’s contract contains similar incentives and Umenyiora’s deal with the Giants in 2012 also contained such provisions. At least part of the roster bonuses, according to Corry,  are capable of being turned into a signing bonus to further lessen the cap burden in the future if needed without having to go back to the bargaining table if Smith again has an All Pro caliber year and looks for more money to be a salary cap aide. The Niners hold all the cards.

As fans we often get wrapped up in the negative side of the money equation focusing on the players who get big money and then fail to perform to the level of the contract. Sometimes we should focus on a player like Smith who potentially gave away millions for the chance to win a Super Bowl and finish his career in a specific city. This is not the first time Smith has done this. Smith agreed back towards the end of the prior CBA to a void/buyback provision in his contract that allowed the 49’ers to use up their remaining cap space in the final capped year and reduce his cap charges once the cap returned in 2011. Smith gave up his dead money protection from release in future contract years by agreeing to the restructure.

Smith has really been a bigger behind the scenes help to the 49’ers than most will realize. The decision to buy in back in 2009 has helped San Francisco with their cap in 2011 and 2012 and now  he is helping them again in 2013 and 2014 with a very team friendly contract. Regardless of the how the 49’ers season turns out it will likely be better simply because of Smith’s willingness and desire to remain in San Francisco and “play ball” with the 49’ers front office n their terms. Very few players would be willing to do that. Smith has time and time again.


What Could Colin Kaepernick be Worth in 2014?


One of my readers asked for a possible number for the 49ers to use on extensions for Colin Kaepernick and Aldon Smith. While I haven’t had a chance to look more at Smith in depth I thought touching on Kaepernick would make for an interesting topic as he could be one of the first rookie extensions of the new CBA  when the season is over.

The first thing that I think is worth mentioning is that Kaepernick is very difficult to compare with other players. Kaepernick was drafted in 2011 but essentially did not play at all in the 2011 season. In 2012 he began the year backing up Alex Smith before an injury got Kaepernick into the starting lineup, though it seems clear that the 49ers front office was leaning towards trying Kaepernick anyway.  He has started all of 7 regular season games and only thrown 218 passes.

Kaepernick was extremely effective last season and he ranked 2nd in the NFL to RGIII in my incremental yards per play metric for QB’s. But teams now have a full year to prepare for him and the various skills he brings to the table. Last year had the potential to be the perfect storm for Kaepernick who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl before falling just short of the comeback victory. So to put a value on him is difficult and I’ll be making the leap of faith that he continues to do well.

From the 49ers perspective they would have rather extended him this past season. With 2 years remaining on a rookie contract and such a limited sample size they would have had tremendous leverage with Kaepernick in negotiating a very team friendly contract. Adding 5 big money years to his existing contract would have not damaged their salary cap in the short term and allowed them to move guarantees out of the way early in the event 2012 proved to be a fluke and they wanted to move on by 2015. Now its more difficult because if he comes back to earth the market is still going to believe that 2013 was the fluke and 2012 was the real deal. So the 49ers will only see their leverage decrease this year barring a total collapse.

Since 2000 there are very few starting quality QB’s who would have been extended after just 3 seasons in the NFL.  Tom Brady got extended after just 1 season as a starter and two in the NFL. Coming off the Super Bowl win the Patriots paid Brady about 62% of the salary of Drew Bledsoe, who I believe led the NFL in contract value when Brady’s contract was signed. Carson Palmer sat for the first year of his career and was signed right at the end of the 2005 season so the Bengals more or less had 2 years of playtime to view. He ended up setting the marketplace at $16.1 million a year, though the number is a bit misleading as Palmer had 3 years remaining on his contract at the time he signed the deal. Neither Matt Schaub nor Kevin Kolb had any track record and their deals reflected it. Schaub earned about 50% of market while Kolb only received a 1 year extension.  Finally there was Mark Sanchez who was the only player to accrue 3 years of full stats before getting his lucrative extension.


In the brief sample Kaepernick’s passing stats are significantly better than anyone on this list and that doesn’t even take into account the rushing ability. Still outside of the Palmer contract none of these players set a market and really none came close. All of the contracts were in many ways risk averse. Schaub was locked up for 6 years, Brady 4, Anderson and Sanchez 3, and Kolb just 1.

In terms of leverage Brady and Kolb both had 1 year remaining on their deals, Anderson and Schaub were restricted free agents, and Sanchez had two years remaining. Palmer was really unique in that he as a number 1 overall draft pick and represented hope for a franchise that seemed hopeless since Boomer Esiason fizzled out.   Kaepernick will have 1 year left.

Barring a Super Bowl title, which would be a longshot based on the recent history of the runner up position, I would say that the ability of Kaepernick to set the market is remote. Based on the numbers here he should settle in somewhere between $16.5 and $18 million a year over his extension years, which would probably be 4 years. While that may seem low it is going to be more than the $15 million or so franchise tender projection that would be in play in 2015 if Kaepernick played his contract out. You would have to weigh earning a total of $16.1 million from 2014 to 2015 compared to likely earning double that in cash if he signs an extension.

Though the 49ers are more successful that the Packers were in 2008, there will probably be a lot of pointing to the Aaron Rodgers contract signed in November of that year. Rodgers was in the NFL for 3 ½ years but was seeing the first playing time of his career. He was on pace for 4000 yards and signed a 5 year extension worth $12.7 million. That was slightly less than 80% of the max contract at the time. Rodgers had 1.5 years left on his deal at the time and the contract was structured in a way that the Packers could escape from it in 2010 in the event 2008 proved to be a fluke. My guess is the higher the dollar figure the more team friendly the contract will be in terms of cap structure and escape points.

Still Id say that this is a very incomplete picture because he has such a small track record. While I don’t think he has much to lose this year keeping up  the same pace over 16 games in 2013 will give him a chance to push his numbers and years a little higher, especially if the teams bucks the odds and ends up in the Super Bowl. A player Im sure we will revisit multiple times during the 2013 season.


Five Teams that Need to Create Cap Space


Earlier today we looked at the teams that were set to gain cap room on June 2nd and how that would move teams such as the Oakland Raiders from the danger zone to being comfortable enough to function once the regular season begins. What about the rest of the NFL and teams who are not going to benefit for the June 1 cut?

I had written a piece a month or two back detailing the difference in reported vs effective cap space. Feel free to follow the link, but to summarize we need to account for the fact that every team in the NFL at this point needs enough money to, at a minimum, expand the roster from 51 to 53 players and field a Practice Squad. In addition most NFL teams still need to sign their first round draft selection(only 4 have done so thus far), all of whom will impact the salary cap. The two additional players will cost a minimum of $810,000 and the full Practice Squad will cost $816,000, so $1.626 million is almost mandatory to function come September. So a number of teams are in danger. Lets look at the top 5:

Washington Redskins– Washington has $1.413 million in cap room and will gain about $170,000 more when Rob Jacksons suspension begins at the start of the year. Luckily they do have all their rookies signed but right now their effective cap room is -$28,000 and that’s assuming they don’t have to replace anyone during the course of the year on IR or PUP. The Skins have already reworked a number of deals to get under the cap and the logical move would be to release London Fletcher at some point during training camp.  Cutting Fletcher should free up $4.8 million in cap room after June 1. I would think its going to be a big uphill battle for him to make the team just based on finances alone. If they intend to keep him he needs to take a paycut otherwise the Redkins will need to approach their defensive or offensive linemen about restructuring their contracts.

Chicago Bears– Like the Redskins they have their entire draft class under contract so that is a big help. Their effective cap space is $145,000 so they likely need to free up another $2-3 million to begin the season. The Bears are an interesting team, probably worthy of their own post, because they are in limbo. They are in many ways a rebuilding team looking to rebrand itself, but at the same time they won 10 games in 2012 and have a  number of high priced players on the team. Their logical cap relief points are to work on extensions for QB Jay Cutler, WR Brandon Marshall, and DT Henry Melton. Cutler and Melton are in their walk year and Marshall is under contract for one more season. CB Charles Tillman, a Pro Bowler last season at 31, is in the final year of his contract while DE Julius Peppers carries a massive cap hit that could be renegotiated downward. LB Lance Briggs also carries a high cap charge with 2 years remaining on his deal The question is do any of them factor into the future and if the answer is no the Bears will have to look further down the roster at potential cuts such as WR Devin Hester or K Robbie Gould to create the extra space they need.

San Francisco 49’ers– San Francisco sits with $2.6 million in cap room but still needs to sign their 1st round pick and also will need to account for the fact that at the least WR Michael Crabtree is going to wind up on temporary IR meaning they need to carry at least 54 players. Their effective cap is -$406,000 right now. As we discussed before extending DE Justin Smith would be an option but he is at a negotiating high point at a very advanced age which may scare the 49’ers. Tarell Brown and Donte Whitner are both in walk year, but as some pointed out to me on Twitter Whitner would likely not be a candidate for extension. Brown’s salary is probably not high enough to create the room San Francisco needs. Cutting Whitner saves the team $3.85 million in cap now that workouts are complete. That is the cushion they need to be cap compliant come September. Another option would be to look to bring Frank Gore’s salary down and throw him a bit more guaranteed over a 3 year period. Not likely but I guess its another option.

Houston Texans– Houston has  $2.8 million in cap to work with and still has their top 2 rookies to sign putting their effective cap space at only $300,000. Andre Johnson and Antonio Smith are two names they might be able to look to for cap relief. This is Smith’s last season under contract. Brian Cushing is a name that could also be extended but the cap relief there would likely be minimal and the same goes for G Wade Smith. This is a team that could be forced to make a tough decision or two either cutting a player they like or being forced to rework the contract of CB Jonathan Joseph, a good player but one whose price tag is probably now too high relative to the market. Like the Bears Houston is in a bit of a tough spot, though they are not in rebuilding mode. Most of their bigger price players are all important pieces of the team so its hard to envision them releasing anyone, but at the same time you have to be aware or your limits and the damage that can be done to the future by maintaining the status quo on a team that may have peaked two years ago when Matt Schaub got injured.

New York Giants– Sitting with $3.3 million in cap room Id consider the Giants the last team that might be in trouble. They still have their first round pick to sign and a strong chance that Henry Hynoski starts the year on a reserve list which puts their effective cap space right around $400,000. The Giants are trying to give it one last go this year and have loaded their team up with Minimum Salary Benefit veterans and reworked contracts of some veteran players to try to keep the group as intact as possible. The Giants have three players with over $9 million in cap charges, the highest of which is Eli Manning at $20.65 million. The Giants most likely want to hold off as long as possible on doing anything with his contract. The most logical candidate is Chris Snee who has reworked his contract numerous times with the Giants in his career and with 2 seasons remaining on his contract could be a cap casualty is he doesn’t look good in camp. His cap figure is $11 million with dead money of $4.3 million if cut beyond June 1. Antrel Rolle should also be in danger for similar reasons. The Giants situation may get even more complicated because they want to sign WR Victor Cruz to a long term contract and it seems as if WR Hakeem Nicks is going to want a new deal done as well. That puts the team in a position where cuts make more sense than adding more dead money to the 2014 cap by way of restructures.