A Users Guide to OTC

With the playoffs down to the final four and many new users coming to OTC I thought this would be a good time to just give a quick overview of the website and how to navigate and use some of the tools on here for both new and current users of OTC.

For those who have never been here before OTC is (in my humble opinion) the number 1 salary cap resource on the internet. We source contracts as best as we can and have a strong fundamental understanding of contracts to fill in some of the missing numbers with relatively solid estimates. Our numbers are used in various publications and other websites and if you check out any other sites you’ll notice where they get their information from.

Our most popular pages are the team salary cap pages which you can access by clicking on the team abbreviations in the menu bar. Here we give a breakdown of a player’s yearly contract, but the columns most important to everyone are the cap number column and the dead money & cap savings column. The cap number is a player’s charge in a given year. The dead money represents the cost of cutting the player while the savings column shows how much money is saved by releasing the player.

You will also notice that you can change scenarios for the dead money calculation by selecting from a dropdown menu to see what happens to the charge if cut after June 1 or traded.

OTC menu

Every player’s name is linked to his individual cap page that may have notes on the players contract, his yearly cap charges and a similar dead money calculation option for the remaining years of a player’s contract. We also have some graphs for the player to compare his deal across the NFL.

Our salary cap pages also have a number of other menu items that you can select. Listed right under the team name you can follow a page to the teams calculator (more on that in a minute), complete contract values, free agents for each year, related articles, and some graphs and charts illustrating the teams cap situation.

OTC menu bar

The salary cap calculator gives you an opportunity to be general manager of your favorite team. Developed by Nick Korte this calculator gives you the option to cut players, restructure contracts, re-sign your own players, and add free agents to the team. Each move will reflect the decisions a team has to make and it will calculate not just the current impact but also the future impact. It is a ton of fun and very addicitive. You’ll also see how hard it can be to keep an NFL team together. You can go to the calculators by either clicking in the teams menu bar or in the blue bar underneath the teams and positions, as shown below:

otc blue menu

Using that same picture you will see every position listed above the blue menu. Clicking on a position will take you to the listing of each contract at the position. The default view will show you the total value, annual value, guaranteed value, and free agency status of the players. Above the chart you will see the option to drop down into years, which will give you the cap and cash salaries for a player in that given year.

The positional spending link will give you an overview of what your team is spending in cap dollars on each offensive and defensive position. This is presented as the top 51 players in the offseason and the full roster in the regular season.

In the top right the site you will see a red menu bar that will take you to different leaguewide views.

otc red menu

Cap Space is very simply the estimated cap room for each season. In the offseason these are set for the top 51 players on a roster….Cash spending will give an estimate as to the actual dollars committed to a roster in a given season.

The contracts link will bring you to a listing of every contract in the NFL. You can quickly just click on a section to drill down to look by team or position in one handy spot rather than using the individual links. Moving the sliders lets you filter players by various contract metrics to quickly compare players.

OTC contracts menud menu

The free agents tab will bring you to a similar view where you can drill down into position, team, and free agent status. You can quickly switch years by clicking on a tab to see who is set to be a free agent two or three years from now if you want. This is probably the most comprehensive and user friendly free agent list I’ve seen.

Finally there is the blog portion of the website, where our team gives thoughts and opinions on a number of NFL topics. Most are related to contracts, the salary cap, the draft, and the use of various analytics and metrics in valuing deals, but I also tend to give my thoughts on a number of topics ranging from predictions to fantasy to rants on the Jets. Some of these are pretty in depth and get the TLDR treatment, but feel free to give things a glance. We’ll run some different features depending on the time of year and currently we are putting up cap overviews for each team more or less every other day.

There is also the OTC podcast that I record (more or less) weekly.

We’re not perfect here and we make mistakes (especially with some free agent status’) so feel free to point any out to us by email. Any help that anyone can provie with contract information we may have missed, is wrong, or we simply don’t have is always appreciated. We are always open to suggestions for the future to help improve the site too. But have fun and explore the site to see some of the different things we have here.

If you want to keep up with our updated postings, contracts, and my own general NFL thoughts give me a follow on Twitter @Jason_OTC

Thanks again for the support as we get ready to begin our third year at OTC this February. I think we have some really good ideas already for OTC and hopefully we can keep on growing in 2015!