Dave Diehl and Brian Cushing Podcasts and Caponomics Book Update

First off, thanks to everyone who had e-mailed me at Caponomics@gmail.com to let me know you’re interested in the book we have coming out this summer analyzing Super Bowl champion salary caps, creating theories and then applying those theories to annually analyze every team as to why they were or weren’t successful. It’s really encouraging to know so many people are interested. I’ll be sending out the two or three preview chapters to cap-heads on the e-mail list within the next two weeks, thank you for being patient.

I wanted to alert you all to a great podcast that I’m doing some work with. A huge mentor and educator of mine, plus the main reason I was able to become scholarship caliber football player in college, Joe DeFranco, has started Joe DeFranco’s Industrial Strength Show on iTunes. (Without training at DeFranco’s Gym, I probably wouldn’t have finished my career at URI, the guy turned me into a legitimate athlete, so I know personally that he’s the real deal.)

The last two episodes have been with Brian Cushing of the Houston Texans and Dave Diehl of the New York Giants, both guys who have trained with Joe for over a decade. The definition of industrial strength according to Merriam Webster is “stronger, more powerful, or more intense than others of its kind,” and that’s the kind of motivation behind the show, hearing the stories of people who have “industrial strength.” So with these episodes, you get to learn about the process that has made Diehl and Cush who they are today.

A pretty awesome fact is that Dave Diehl is the first player to go from the field to the booth in the year after he retired since Troy Aikman did it. He’s a great lesson in how an NFL player should be prepared for his post-NFL career. They’re both great guys who you’ll get to learn more about in their podcasts, so please subscribe to the Industrial Strength Show at the link here!

Last, I want to share some of my recent articles that go along with the kind of analysis that you’ll find in Caponomics, so that you can grasp the mindset that I have when writing this book. I’m having a lot of fun writing this and it’s really increased my knowledge of the NFL salary cap so far, so I hope that you guys will enjoy the final product!

Moneyball’s 27 Outs vs. Caponomics 12 Possessions

Eagles Finding Value in Injured Players

DeMarco Murray and the Team Building Strategies of the Cowboys and Eagles

Analyzing the 4 Patriots Super Bowl teams of the Salary Cap Era

Analyzing Top Cap Charges for Super Bowl Champs

Suh’s Contract Cripples the Dolphins

The Manning vs. Brady Debate

If you want to purchase The First Annual Caponomics: Understanding NFL Roster Building through Super Bowl Champion Salary Cap Analysis, which has analysis like this in it, please e-mail me at Caponomics@gmail.com, 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 a chapter on the 2014 Lions and then the 2014 Patriots once they are completed. I will probably throw in a bonus chapter on the 2012 Ravens or 2013 Seahawks as those are coming along nicely.


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.

Stock Up: Week 2


Every Monday during the season we will take a look back at three players who are entering important stages of their contract that may have helped their stock in upcoming negotiations with their play on Sunday. In addition we will also look at one player signed in the offseason to a new contract that exceeded all expectations and provided exceptional value to his team.

Stock Up

DeSean Jackson– While DeSean Jackson is only in the second year of a new contract, the structure of the contract essentially makes this a contract year for him. Jackson’s 2014 cap charge is $12.5 million which should be good for 5thin the NFL at the position. With only $6 million in dead charges Jackson will be in a spot where he is asked to take a paycut or be released. If he continues to put up numbers like he did this week (9 receptions for 193 yards) he will earn every penny of his salary in 2014. The scary thing is Jackson’s numbers could have been even better had he hauled in a bomb where the throw was slightly off and he lost vision of where he stood on the field. He also had another big score called back because of a meaningless penalty. In this offense Jackson right now is unstoppable.

Darren McFadden– Thus far in his career McFadden has proven to be more hype than substance. He is slated to be an Unrestricted Free Agent in 2014 and needs a monster year to secure a place in the plus $7 million market. We had looked at McFadden extensively last month and laid out some milestones he would need to reach in terms of touches, games played and yards. 19 carries for 129 yards is a terrific start for McFadden, especially when you consider the threat of the passing game in Oakland is next to nothing. McFadden’s 129 rushing yards represented a higher total than Terrelle Pryor’s passing yards. His YPC was higher than Pryor’s YPA. His 28 receiving yards were third on the team. No question that McFadden will continue to up his price if he can produce more games like this.

Jimmy Graham– Graham’s explosion marks an all offense selection week. Everyone knows Graham is terrific but with games like this he is separating himself from the field by so much that the Saints are going to have no choice but to franchise him next season. The numbers are scary good and are going to blow away those of comparison points such as Rob Gronkowski and Jason Witten if this continues all season long. With 16 targets Graham was the offense for the Saints. His 16 targets were the same amount as all other receivers on the team combined. Graham is a rare player in that he is targeted as if he is a number 1 WR, something that rarely happens for a TE. That shows an ability for much of what he does to translate to any team in the NFL. I’m not sure there is another position in the NFL where the drop off from the best to second best overall player is as steep as the one from Graham to the next best TE.

New Contract Player Of The Week

Brian Cushing– Cushing just recently cashed in with Houston and if he had not he would have been in the above section rather than in this one. Cushing earned every penny of his extension this week racking up 11 tackles and 2 sacks. Almost all of his tackles were impact plays and he seemed to spend most of his day in the backfield or right up at the line making plays. His stuff of Chris Johnson was one of the critical plays on the drive that ended in a Safety. Thus far Cushing is having a nice bounce back season from injury.

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Brian Cushing Contract Breakdown


Two days ago it was announced that LB Brian Cushing had signed a $56.6 million dollar contract with the Houston Texans, now we have the financial details of the deal.

Per a league source, Cushing received a $9 million dollar signing bonus and will receive a $6 million dollar option bonus in 2014. Cushing will earn base salaries of $1,143,000 (2013), $2,000,000(2014), $4,000,000 (2015), $6,000,000 (2016), $5,500,000 (2017), $7,250,000 (2018), and $8,250,000 (2019). In addition each season contains $1.25 million in roster bonuses. As previously reported the contract contains $21 million in guarantees.

In terms of new money Cushing will earn $53.5 million over the 6 year period. He will earn $16.25 million in new money in the first extension year which is $750,000 more than Sean Lee earns with the Dallas Cowboys. From there Cushing’s money vaults far above Lee’s, which is to be expected as this is a much larger contract.  The final year of the deal contains no prorated money so the real meat of the contract is 5 years for $44 million.

The Texans’ use of two prorated bonuses early in the life of the contract allows for manageable cap figures in the early stages of the contract. Cushing’s in which he will count for just $4.443 million in 2013 and $6.25 million in 2014. This was important for Houston who has been in a cap crunch most of the summer. The first truly burdensome year will occur in 2016 when his cap leaps to $10.25 million, an excessive number for an interior linebacker. At that point his contract will contain $7.2 million in dead money making it a difficult pill to swallow if the team was to need to cut him for cap reasons. So he has a strong chance to earn more than the guarantee in his contract due to the contractual structure, typically a strong win for the player. That said I don’t know if the roster bonuses are of the per game variety and if they are that is likely the giveback Cushing’s side had to make in order to get the strong overall cash and cap structure.

View Brian Cushing’s Contract and Salary Cap Page

View Brian Cushing’s Financial Report