The Tebow Experiment and the Definition of Objective

There’s a way of thinking that’s really poisonous in our society today and it’s this all-knowing way that so many of us, myself included, put labels like “good” and “bad” on things. For example, since I’ve been so outspoken in my support of Tim Tebow, I had quite a few people contact me on social media letting me know he was released with an “I told you so attitude.”

Well, you didn’t really tell me anything. I just supported the Tebow Experiment in Philadelphia because there are two people in this world who I see living out the version of Jesus Christ that I envision in the Bible, they are: Tim Tebow and Justin Wren. Now, Tebow is just barely 28 years old and he has accomplished so much more off the football field than we could even imagine. Yet, there really are people out there, not just internet trolls, who have negative things to say about the guy because of what he does with a football in his hands….

Continue reading The Tebow Experiment and the Definition of Objective »

Tim Tebow Signs with the Eagles

This just might be my favorite signing of the offseason. I’ve always loved Tim Tebow, no matter your religious beliefs, you can’t hate on a man who works hard, does the right things and loves the game of football.

In an interview by UFC fighter Brendan Schaub with Urban Meyer for The Fighter and the Kid podcast, Meyer said that “he has never seen a person train like Tim Tebow did” during his time at Florida. He says that Tebow and John Simon who is a linebacker for the Houston Texans are the two hardest workers he’s ever met in his 28 years of coaching. He said, he has never met anyone like Tebow or Simon. To this statement, Schaub agreed that in all of his years playing football at the University of Colorado to his days in the UFC, he has never met anyone like Tim Tebow.

Over the last two years, since the Patriots cut him after the 2013 training camp, Tom House has been Tebow’s throwing coach. House works with Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, along with “12 or 13” current quarterbacks. House then reiterated the point made by Meyer and Schaub saying to Albert Breer, “What amazes me is this young man, with no job prospects, has prepared just as hard as he would if he were the No. 1 quarterback for an NFL team. He’s busted his butt. He spins the ball better than he did and he’s much more accurate than he was. I think he’s ready.”

He went on to say that he’s helped Tebow with his throwing as he came to him after he was released by the Patriots because Tom Brady recommended him. He stated, “he had trouble spinning the ball and he wasn’t very accurate. We didn’t do much conditioning or route trees or run many defenses against him. We honestly felt we could help him with his throwing like everyone else, but this time, he got enough reps where the change was made.”

What we are about to see is a man who worked his ass off finally get an opportunity to prove himself in the NFL in a system that fits his talents. While we know that Sam Bradford is slated to be their starter and they could still make a move for Marcus Mariota, Tebow has a real opportunity to show what he can do in the read-option style offense that Chip Kelly ran at Oregon and would still like to run in the NFL.

During that magical 2011 season with the Broncos, Tebow went 7-4 in 11 starts, passing for 1729 yards with 12 touchdowns to 6 interceptions, but with only a 46.5% completion percentage. He was a threat on the ground running for 660 yards and 6 touchdowns at 5.4 yards per carry. In that playoff win against the Steelers, he threw for 316 yards with two touchdowns and 50 yards on the ground with a rushing TD. He has shown he can play in the NFL, but he isn’t the prototypical passer, so he hasn’t been able to find a home in the NFL.

Thankfully for him, and something that is true for every player, you only need one team to like you. You only need to fit into the system of one team and you will have an opportunity to play.

While he didn’t fit into many team’s systems the last few years, I also believe that part of the reason he was out of the NFL because no one wants their third string quarterback to bring the circus to town with him with the way the media covered him. A large part of the reason he was out of the NFL is that he is unlike any other player in the NFL, especially being a lefty. Maybe you could have him back-up Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, or Cam Newton, but Wilson and Newton had capable back-ups already. The big thing is, you can’t have a system quarterback as your back-up because then it creates a real issue if your QB goes down, in Philadelphia, he won’t have that problem.

On the Eagles side of this, they just got a player who fits their system very nicely, a former first-round pick, so a guy we know is talented and could be a major player in the right system, for the veteran minimum. On top of that, they got a guy who has spent the last two years perfecting his throwing motion and, while he hasn’t played a snap in the NFL since 2012, he is certainly healthy and well rested for a 16 game season. With DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles in the backfield, they could have an incredible read-option, rushing attack with Tebow back there. Chip Kelly would love the creativity he could bring to the offense with that backfield.

This could end up being a long-term proposition, who knows. If we go back and look at when Michael Vick signed with the Eagles in 2009, he didn’t play much that first season, he got acclimated to the game that year after two full seasons out of the game and then exploded for an MVP level 2010 campaign.

Unlike Vick, Tebow was still involved in the game, still training like the mad man that he is, working on TV in positions that forced him to continue to watch film and study the game.

Sure, it might take him a little bit of time to get into form and who knows what form that will be, but this could be an incredible signing for the Eagles. It’s a low-risk, high-reward deal and, at the least, they are getting themselves a hard worker, a great person and a world-class leader in that locker room.

I applaud Tim Tebow, it takes a lot of heart to stay dedicated to your vision and work hard at something that no one thinks you can accomplish. No one deserves this opportunity more than Tebow and he’s living out a dream inspiring people along the way, just like he wants to. If he pulls off this comeback story, he’s going to show all of us that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and you’re willing to put the work in.

And frankly, if you don’t like Tim Tebow, it says a lot more about you, than it does about him.


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. Check out my last OTC article about the Wide Receiver market to see a bit of the kind of analysis that will be in my 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.

Jets Release QB Tim Tebow


The New York Jets announced this morning that they have waived QB Tim Tebow. The Jets acquired Tebow in a much publicized trade last season in which they gave a 4th round pick to the Denver Broncos as well as an agreement to pay the Broncos $2,531,875 in cash as repayment for a salary advance the Broncos had paid Tebow in 2011. The Jets still owe the Broncos $1,531,875 of that total which will count as dead money on the teams salary cap unless Tebow is claimed by another team which is highly unlikely. The move brings the Jets dead money for the season to about $21.6 million, which, by my estimates, is 3rd highest in the NFL behind the Raiders and Jaguars.

This will mark the second player in the last week that the Jets have removed from the roster that will continue to cost the team actual cash. CB Darrelle Revis is still owed $1 million by the Jets due to a roster bonus that was earned in early March. The Jets could have avoided that payment had they been able to come to a trade agreement sooner with the Buccaneers. Had the Jets waived Tebow late last season when the Jets made the decision to play Greg McElroy over Tebow they may have been able to avoid the cash payment owed to Denver since the Jaguars likely would have claimed the QB, though without knowing the specifics of the salary advance repayment I can only guess that is the case.

Some will question the timing of the move because it was well known that Tebow would not be in the Jets plans this season and, that being the case, releasing him before free agency began gives the player the most chance to find a home in the NFL. But this is just the way things work in the NFL. I am sure the Jets spent the better part of the weekend desperately trying to find a team to surrender a draft pick for Tebow. When they found no takers the only option left is the release of the player. Tebow is one of many that will be released over the next week due to draft happenings. Back in 2010 the Jets released G Alan Faneca right after the draft when they drafted Vlad Ducasse, who the Jets felt would take over Faneca’s job.

Though some will say that this is happening because the Jets drafted QB Geno Smith in the 2nd round, most likely it was a decision made long before the draft. As a young QB Smith is logically replacing either Matt Simms or McElroy on the roster now, not Tebow, and then Mark Sanchez in the future. . Maybe it makes for a convenient story but my guess is Tim was going to be released today no matter who was drafted. Even in the weeks leading up to this GM John Idzik was always hesitant to speak about Tebow, much in the same way he spoke about Revis. Today is the first day the Jets can begin Phase II of their offseason workout program in which coaches are allowed to begin to instruct players on a practice field, which is something that saw no need to do with Tebow.

At the least this will get the story of Sanchez’ future off the front pages for a day or two. Sanchez has a hefty guarantee in his contract and could be replaced by Smith as early as the first game of the year. While many are of the opinion that Sanchez’ cash guarantee protects him remember that Faneca, as mentioned above, was paid $5.5 million to walk away from the Jets after they drafted Ducasse. Faneca was owed $5.25 million in fully guaranteed base salary plus a $250,000 workout bonus. Faneca was an example of a freak situation as his salary vested right after the Super Bowl, but because of the special rules of the uncapped year the Jets were unable to release him before the contract became guaranteed. The Jets did not have the 2009 cap space to execute the move. So all things considered the money for Sanchez is not going to be an obstacle, but most likely they will hope a team will trade for him over the coming months with the Jets eating a good portion of the salary.

At the end of the day the Jets ended up paying $4,104,375 for Tebows services in 2012 for about 150 yards of total offensive production. That is one of the many reasons that GM Mike Tannenbaum ended up losing his job last season and the Jets are left with the task of cleaning up a roster filled with untalented and overpaid players. The release of Tebow clears up $1.055 million in cap room, which will lead to an effective gain of $575,000 in cap space once he is replaced on the roster by the current 52nd player, who makes $480,000.


Jets Financial Obligations at the QB Position


Since I know its certainly a big topic of discussion with the New York Jets drafting a QB I wanted to discuss the possibility of cutting the other Jets QBs, though clearly the person on the biggest hot seat is Mark Sanchez.

Mark Sanchez currently carries a cap charge of $12,853,125 which consists of $8,250,000 in base salary, $4,103,125 in bonus prorations, and a $500,000 workout bonus. The base salary is fully guaranteed with no offset provisions meaning the Jets are on the hook for $8.25 million in cash regardless of whether or not Sanchez plays for the Jets or another team. For the Jets to cut him they have to be willing to pay that money to Sanchez, likely within 30 days of cutting him.

The dead money cost of cutting Sanchez is $17,153,125, which results in a loss of $4.3 million in cap space. The Jets restructured the contract of LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson on Thursday to create over $5 million in cap space that in theory could have been used during draft weekend in the event the Jets drafted a QB. The restructure was not done after the 1st round so the way the draft unfolded played no part in the restructure. It would have just been preparing for the possibility.

To save cap room Sanchez could be designated a June 1 cut. If the Jets did that they would defer $4.8 million in dead cap charges to 2014. The Jets would actually gain $500,000 in cap space in 2013 if they made that decision, however with free agency all but finished it is hard to see the benefit of such a move. John Idzik and the Jets may simply be following in the mold of the Indianapolis Colts and Oakland Raiders where they take a year of financial pain to clear the books completely for next season. As I have discussed before the Jets could easily have close to $50 million in cap room next year by proper cap management, which began with the trade of Darrelle Revis.

Before cutting ties with Sanchez the Jets could look to trade him. The market for 1st round busts has always been there and most teams would be willing to pay somewhere between $2 and $3 million for a player like Sanchez. Compensation would not be much but the Jets could save more money if they did that. If a team was willing to take him for a late draft pick on Saturday at a $2 million salary the dead money would drop to about $15 million in 2013.

The Jets could also potentially restructure Sanchez’ contract. I cant see Sanchez being amenable to that scenario but it was a move the Jets made in 2006 with Chad Pennington where he was given a chance to compete and to earn his money back via performance. At the time the Jets were looking to start Patrick Ramsey, a 1st round bust of the Redskins, and after the Pennington restructure still drafted Kellen Clemens in the 2nd round. In such a move the Jets would prorate the money they owe Sanchez this year but he would need to take a backup salary from 2014 thru 2016 of $1 to $2 million year.  Such a move really does not benefit either side as Sanchez’ dead money would increase in the future and his caps would still be around $4.5 million a year, too high of a charge for a backup. If the Jets did have offsets in his contract they would have more leeway in a paycut but they have no leverage now.

Tim Tebow currently carries a cap charge of $2,586,875. The Jets have already explored that trade market and it does not exist. The Jets still owe the Broncos $1,531,875 from last seasons trade so if Tebow is cut that money is shipped to Denver regardless and impacts the Jets salary cap this season.

The Jets paid David Garrard a $100,000 signing bonus to go along with a non-guaranteed $1 million base salary. If the Jets cut Garrard the only charge is the $100,000 signing bonus. Garrard has not played in the NFL in 2 years and is injury prone which could make the Jets cautious about moving forward with him now. ..Greg McElroy carries minimal cap penalties if released. His dead money is only $32,576.

While the Jets did carry Pennington, Ramsey, and Clemens in 2006 there would be little to gain from this situation now. Sanchez, if named the starter, would have an incredibly difficult time at home with a newly drafted prospect sitting on the bench. The home crowd was brutal to Sanchez is his last two home games and it got so bad the Jets pulled him against Arizona and did not play him in their home finale against the Chargers opting instead to play McElroy who was not ready for the speed of a NFL game on that day.

Logically the Jets should release Sanchez on Monday if they cant work a trade out for him on Saturday. It clears the books which is what the Jets are looking to do as they prepare to turn this all around in 2014, the same as the Raiders. John Idzik was around a situation last year where he had a mid priced QB in Matt Flynn, low cost rookie in Russell Wilson, and mid priced veteran in Tarvaris Jackson. That same situation to me would be Tebow, Garrard, and Geno Smith. One player is maintained after the summer and one is released or traded.  Of course nothing would surprise me with the Jets and maybe the person to be cut is Tebow and the Jets hope they can still do something with Sanchez rather than to pay him while he plays elsewhere.


The Buccaneers, Eric Wright, Darrelle Revis, and the Jets


Per Ian Rapoport of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have renegotiated the contract of CB Eric Wright reducing his base salary from $7.75 million to $1.5 million, a $6.25 million dollar paycut. While Wright can earn up to another $1.5 million in unknown incentives it is likely that these incentives will not count towards the salary cap in the 2013 season. This move leaves the Buccaneers with about $33 million in cap space which opens up a number of questions about what they plan on doing with the cap room.

First I just wanted to discuss the situation with Wright. Everyone is well aware that Wright signed a lucrative contract last year, but voided his guarantees when he was suspended in 2012. This left Wright in a bad position when it came to roster security. The Buccaneers are one of the few NFL teams that employ almost a pure cash to cap philosophy. Outside of rookies very few players on the roster have any cap protection that comes from the potential of dead money acceleration. Tampa Bay simply guarantees P5 salary, typically for two years, and once the guarantees vanish so can the player without penalty. Wright’s roster spot was clearly in jeopardy.

The decision to keep Wright benefits both sides. From Tampa’s perspective you have to consider where would they get another cornerback with the same upside at this stage of free agency?  The answer is they couldn’t. $1.5 million is a bargain even in this market, The NFC South is a pass happy division in a much stronger conference making cornerbacks a premium position within the division. You need two of them in the division more than any other division in the NFL. From Wright’s point of view the cornerback market grew incredibly soft and he is coming off a very low point in his career. Free agency is basically at an end and the teams with the most cap room such as the Browns, Jaguars, Eagles and Bengals would likely not be looking for a player like Wright. Other teams might show interest but they may not even match the $3 million potential Wright gets in Tampa Bay. In return for accepting a low salary the remainder of his contract, per reports, will void, giving him a shot at free agency next season when, in theory, the market might be better.  The other added benefit for Wright deals with the potential trade with the Jets for CB Darrelle Revis. If Wright plays alongside Revis he could benefit greatly from the situation.

The added cap space for the Buccaneers is only going to add fuel to the fire on the Revis speculation and I am going to feed into that here as well. The logical reason that the Buccaneers are interested in creating more cap room would be to frontload a contract for the injured Revis and protect their salary cap in the event Revis is not the same player post surgery. Remember how I said that the Buccaneers like to guarantee 2 years of a contract, well when you are looking to sign a deal with a Revis that is going to be a large amount of money. With $33 million in cap space and likely no first round draft pick to sign the Buccaneers could give Revis as much as $26 million in 2013 in both cap and cash considerations.

Per the rules of the CBA Revis would need to earn at least $13 million in 2014 to avoid the difference being treated as a signing bonus. Per my estimates the Buccaneers have around $98.25 in cap commitments in 2014 for 43 players, making a $13 million dollar hit very reasonable for the team. While they do need to either re-sign Josh Freeman or find a new QB, both moves are doable within the Bucanners cap especially considering that they could be parting with two number 1 draft picks in a trade with the Jets. Structuring a deal this way gets $39 million out of the way in two years, a number almost equal to the $40 million two year payout received by the Bills Mario Williams, who Revis is looking at as a guide for his contract. By using conditional guarantees in the third year of the contract the Buccaneers could likely structure a deal where Revis could be cut in 2015 with no or limited penalty if unhealthy.

The other more “out of the box” possibility is that the Buccaneers are creating cap space to essentially take on a salary dump from the Jets. In other sports we see trades for cash, something that can’t be done in the NFL. But if a team has the cap space to absorb a bad contract with guaranteed salary they can sweeten a trade offer by essentially taking a majority of the cash and cap obligation away from the trading team.

The Jets have three bad contracts on their team that contain minimal prorated money but guaranteed base salaries. These guaranteed salaries essentially prevent the Jets from cutting the player but by no means prevent the trade of a player. The two big ones on the books are LB David Harris and WR Santonio Holmes. Harris has $9.5 million in fully guaranteed salary in 2013 and a $13 million dollar cap hit. If traded Harris’ dead money would only be $4 million freeing up $9 million in cap for the Jets. Holmes carries a $9 million dollar cap hit, $7.5 million of which comes from a fully guaranteed base salary. Trading Holmes frees up $5.25 million in cap space for the Jets. The other name is QB Tim Tebow, who only carries a $2.586 million dollar cap charge, of which $1.531 million is owed to  the Denver Broncos. None of these 3 players, to the best of my knowledge, carry any guaranteed salary in 2014 pretty much making them a 1 year rental for Tampa with no damage done to their future salary cap.

Of these names the two that make the most sense would be Holmes and Tebow. Holmes, if healthy, could be a good complement to WR’s Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams giving Freeman another weapon in the passing game. Holmes could be convinced to play the slot in Tampa. The money he would free in cap space would balance out the $3 million loss of cap from Revis and the $1.83 million cap charge the 13th pick in the draft should carry making the trade much more acceptable to the Jets. If Tampa has to part with a 1st round pick in 2013 plus a 2nd or another 1st in 2014 the addition of a second contributing player in the trade will make the price more acceptable to the Buccaneers. Tebow does not benefit in the same way, but gives the Jets the chance to save face and money from the ill advised trade with the Broncos. The low cap charge for Tebow would not impact the Bucs ability to frontload a deal with Revis the way Holmes’ would.

While nothing more than wild speculation on my part I do think that it can provide a pretty interesting way to manipulate the salary cap that has not really been used at all in the past. As more teams move towards the cash to cap philosophy it could open the door for more teams to consider trades as a normal business operation to fix a teams salary cap.