The difference between the Giants’ dealings with Webster and Baas

If you’re someone who loves NFL cap stuff enough to be a frequent visitor of OverTheCap, you’ve probably already heard about the Giants’ transactions today with cornerback Corey Webster and center David Baas. Before these deals fade out of your memory I wanted to take some time to break down all the numbers involved with these moves, especially on Bass’ contract.

First, let’s take a look at Webster. 2013 will be the final season of a five-year extension he signed with the Giants in December 2008. His base salary was originally set at $7 million for this season while various other bonuses brought his cap hit to $9.845 million. All Webster agreed to do here was reduce his base salary to $4 million; there’s no real restructure, only a reduction in money for Webster. No additional cap hits come into play for the Giants and as a result, Webster’s 2013 cap hit is now a more reasonable $6.845 million. If for whatever reason the Giants turn around and decide to release Webster, his release would result in a net cap savings of $4.25 million (the only portion of Webster’s contract that’s guaranteed to be on the cap is hit is his $2.595 million in bonuses). Webster didn’t have much negotiating room to do anything other than take this pay cut; he graded out 110th out of 113 qualifiers in ProFootballFocus’ 2012 cornerback rankings. Even with his reduction in salary, Webster still has the 5th highest cap hit on the Giants this year as of now. He would have had the 3rd-highest on the team, behind only Eli Manning and Chris Snee, had he not agreed to this reduction.

As @Jason_OTC pointed out, Webster’s money for 2013 is similar to what Asante Samuel received in Atlanta last year on his new deal, and Nnamdi Asomugha is likely to see something similar regardless of whether he restructures or is released.

Now let’s see what happened with David Baas. Unlike Webster, Baas’ deal is truly a restructure. Actually, it’s the second time Baas has restructured his contract with the Giants, which always makes it more fun to try and break down. Baas signed a five-year deal with the Giants in July 2011. The contract contained an $8.5 million signing bonus, which for cap purposes accounts for $1.7 million per year in addition to Baas’ base salaries. After only one season, Baas agreed to restructure his contract by reducing his $3 million base salary to $900k. Don’t feel for Baas though, as that loss of $2.1 million wasn’t really a loss at all, it was simply converted into a new bonus to be prorated over the remaining four seasons on his contract. This restructure saved the Giants $1.325 million in cap space for 2012, but like any other restructure, added more money to to their cap in each of the remaining years on Baas’ deal. To be exact, this $2.1 million bonus gets prorated over the final four seasons of the deal, resulting in an extra $525k on the Giants cap in each of these years. In total, at this point the prorated bonuses on Baas’ deal totaled $2.225 million per year over the final 4 years, in addition to his base salaries and workout bonuses in each of those seasons.

Now fast forward from that point until today. Baas restructured his 2013 base salary from $4.25 million to $1.25 million, with that extra $3 million being converted into another bonus. With three years left on his contract, that $3 million gets prorated at $3 million per year until the contract’s expiration. This increases the prorated portions of Baas’ cap hits from $2.225 million last year to $3.225 million for each of the next three years. Including base salaries, Baas’ remaining cap hits on his contract now look like this:

2013: $4.725 million ($1.250 million base salary + $3.225 million prorated bonuses + $250k workout bonus)

2014: $8.225 million ($4.750 million base salary + $3.225 million prorated bonuses + $250k workout bonus)

2015: $8.475 million ($5 million base salary + $3.225 million prorated bonuses + $250k workout bonus)

The restructure doesn’t really have a major effect on Baas right now. Sure, that’s an extra $3 million that he sees up front, but since he is extremely likely to be on Giants’ roster for the duration of the season, he would have seen this money anyway as part of his base salary. Instead, he sees it a bigger lump sum while the Giants clear up some cap space for this year. However, with net cap savings in 2013 in 2014 that would result from Baas release after this year, he may not be so safe down the line.

This is yet again a good reminder that, despite restructuring a player’s contract to save money now, the bill for that saved money becomes due later. Every dollar a team pays a player has to be accounted for on the cap, and just because they can mess around with it to avoid paying today doesn’t mean they aren’t going to have to pay it at a later date. Keep that in mind with the large amount of restructures we’ve seen so far this offseason.

To take a look at the Giants salary cap situation, click here