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michael89156

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: April 06, 2013, 12:32:08 AM


NFL Salary Cap 2013: Buccaneers' effective cap space is $0




By Sander Philipse


on Apr 5 2013, 11:00a







J. Meric



The Buccaneers have plenty of cap room, but cap room can deceive. How much can the Bucs effectively spend on players right now?
 


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have exactly $25,259,270.00 in salary cap space, according to this handy up-to-date NFLPA page. You should bookmark that page. Looking at that number you might be tempted to think that the Bucs have been rather frugal in their spending, or at least can stand to sign a few more players. In fact, that's not really true. The reason the Bucs have this much cap space is simple: they pushed big cap hits from Carl Nicks and Vincent Jackson into the future (and last year), while simultaneously rolling over a lot of cap space from previous years -- and that cap space was previously rolled over from the 2011 season.
 
If the Buccaneers were frugal at one point, it was during the 2010 and 2011 offseasons, when they barely spent in free agency and didn't sign anyone to long-term contract extensions. But the past two offseasons have seen more spending in free agency than nearly any other team in the NFL, with the signings of three premium free agents and a fourth, expensive free agent (Eric Wright). Add to that a slew of players who add depth this offseason, and the Bucs have in fact been extremely aggressive in improving their team. But they can't keep this up forever, or they will land in salary cap hell soon enough despite what seems like an overwhelming amount of cap space.
 
Effective cap space vs reported cap space
 
One piece to the puzzle is the "effective" cap space any team has, rather than the reported cap space. That is: how much room can they really spend, in practice, without running into cap problems? I stole those terms from OverTheCap who do a good job of explaining the concept. Most of the difference hinge on a few issues: the need to reserve cap space for rookies, the need to reserve cap space for in-season signings and practice squad signings, the fact that only 51 players count against the cap during the offseason but every player counts during the season, and the need to keep some cap room to roll over into future seasons.
 


Let's go through the numbers for the Buccaneers.
 
Start: $25 million -- reported cap room
 
Less: $5.5 million -- estimated rookie salary cap (from here)
 
Less: $1 million -- players 52 and 53 once the season starts
 
Less: $1 million -- approximate cost of maintaining a practice squad, including premiums for a few quality practice squad players.
 
Add: $3.5 million -- cap hits of the eight players replaced by eight rookie contracts.
 
Initial adjusted cap room: $21 million
 
That's still a lot of money, right? Well, that doesn't yet account for the Darrelle Revis trade. Whether or not that trade actually happens, the Bucs do need to make sure that they have the cap room to keep him if the trade does go down. Given his contract demands and the fact that the Bucs hate pushing cap hits into the future (because cap hits can only be delayed, not deleted), that's another $16 million in cap space the Bucs must reserve.
 
Revis-adjusted cap room: $5 million
 
Now, the Buccaneers can create some more cap space at that point by releasing Eric Wright. He's more likely to see his contract adjusted downward than released, though, so let's make an assumption: Wright counts for $5 million against the cap this season. That's probably around what he would get on the open market, so that seems reasonable to me. That's a decrease of $3 million, which leaves us with.
 
Revis- and Wright-adjusted cap room: $8 million
 
The Bucs need room to operate during the season. They need to be able to sign players to replace those placed on injured reserve. How can we estimate that? Well, let's look at Football Outsiders' Adjusted Games Lost statistic, which suggests that the average team suffers season-ending injuries to four starters per year. Of course, you don't want to count on that: you need to make sure that you can continue to operate even in a worst-case scenario of losing multiple starters for the season. The worst team in that respect was Green Bay last season, with a whopping 108 adjusted games lost -- or nearly seven starters. Note that this doesn't really count backups, so you should probably adjust that number upwards to around the equivalent salary of 8 replacement players. At $500,000 per player, that comes to another $4 million the Bucs should keep free to continue operating securely during the season without having to resort to salary cap cuts.
 
Here's another factor: the Buccaneers want to sign Mike Williams to a long-term contract this offseason. A rough guess at what he would earn per year would be $6 million per year, around the same kind of money Danny Amendola received. He counts for $1.4 million against the cap this season by my numbers, so that would mean a $4.5 million cap hit.
 
And suddenly, the Buccaneers are left with the following:
 
Effective cap room: $-1.5 million
 
Wait, what just happened there?
 
It seems like I'm doing something fishy, right? Well, I'm not. Or rather: not really. I'm making a few assumptions you can argue with, but most of these things are normal adjustments, and don't account for that much. You want to go into the season with enough salary cap space to operate even in the worst case scenario. You don't want to spend beyond your means, and then find out that you need to cut or restructure a solid player because otherwise you can't sign a replacement for whoever you just placed on injured reserve. And yes, that is going to happen to teams this year. Several teams are so close to the cap they can't even sign rookie at this point -- and that's while just counting the top 51 players.
 
The one big equalizer here is quite simply Darrelle Revis. Why do the Bucs have this much cap room? Because they're saving enough to sign Revis to a long-term contract. Yes, they could cut Wright and then free up a little more cap room, and they could have used that cap room to sign someone like Sean Smith. But what's the point of cutting Wright to sign Sean Smith -- a lateral move if there ever was one? If the Bucs cut Wright once they sign Revis, it's because they have too much money invested at the cornerback position -- and they're not about to then spend more money on that position. Add in an extension for Mike Williams, and all of this cap room becomes a lot less spacious.
 
There's another factor, though: the Bucs can roll over any leftover cap space to next season. And they will most certainly need it, because they already have some $97 million committed to the 2014 season, and that's without Revis traded for or Mike Williams signed to a long-term contract. With a likely league salary cap of around $125 million, the Bucs won't have much room left. Add in a possible contract extension for Josh Freeman (and otherwise a glaring need to find a quarterback somewhere, somehow), and the Bucs will actually have to start cutting people -- or at a minimum start renegotiating contracts next year.
 
Cap hell: we have arrived
 
This is how you get to cap hell in a hurry: sign multiple highly-priced free agents in a short time. Yes, the Bucs are doing a good job of managing the cap hits of those contracts, but this is why they can't just go out and keep spending willy-nilly, despite apparently having plenty of cap room. Because that 'apparently' is a whole lot less apparent on closer viewing.
 
Of course, this sudden decrease in cap space makes one question the wisdom of adding Darrelle Revis in the first place.





http://www.bucsnation.com/2013/4/5/4172156/nfl-salary-cap-2013-buccaneers-effective-cap-space-is-0

smithcar

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#1 : April 06, 2013, 01:21:27 AM

This is what I am afraid of!

lyronmewis

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#2 : April 06, 2013, 02:09:12 AM

Elite players cost a lot of money.

There's always a lot of ways to clear up space though so I'm not concerned. As long as the Glazers will pay close to the cap, it won't matter.

I think that there will be a few surprise cuts to save money though.

Cody Grimm is due 1.3 million next year, which isn't much, but we're not paying 1.2 million for a guy who probably won't distinguish himself over Ahmad Black or Keith Tandy, both of whom are making 600-800k less.

Michael Koenen could be gone because he's not really playing at a pro-bowl level and we're paying him a pretty big salary for a punter. He does well on kickoffs, but it probably wouldn't be too hard to find someone to punt and kickoff for 2 million less than he's making. It depends on the cap hit from cutting him though. Based on the guaranteed money, they probably couldn't cut him until next year. If he doesn't have a good year, he's probably gone.

Davin Joseph is a decent player, but overrated and overpaid. If there were cap problems, he would be cut.

They could extend and restructure McCoy's deal. It probably wouldn't save that much, but it's still something. Even a million in 2014 would make a difference.

if we do get Revis, then we're not keeping Wright for 5 million like this article suggests.







Benchwarmer#1

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#3 : April 06, 2013, 06:35:24 AM

As lyron said, there are plenty of players that can be released, restructured, or traded. Konenen, wright, blount, DJ, Penn, and even mike w, barber, and freeman are up in the air ATM.

Also, if anyone wants to blame players for salary cap hits, someone needs to talk to McCoy and his pre-cba contract. He gets nearly 8mil this upcoming season. That's a pretty penny IMO. Five years for 63 1/2mil is too much and it needs to be restructured anyway.

What I find weird about this, is that dom would do the same with revis and structure the contract towards the end, or frontload the crap out of it, or bonus the heck out of it. Point being, revis won't care how he gets his money, just that he gets it. So dom will be able to wheel & deal this thing for awhile at 25mil regardless of any more signings.

And who really knows what's up with the revis trade.. they could just as easy pay the same amount for two three players from the bucs, just for revis. Then, boom, same cap as right now, we just get rid of a couple of good players that weren't doing a whole lot to begin with.

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#4 : April 06, 2013, 08:55:46 AM

I thought the rookie cap was not included in the salary cap and is essentially a non issue because its seperated from the Normal
Cap space. Which would in fact render this article useless drivel

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tripblood

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#5 : April 06, 2013, 09:33:08 AM

Dumb ass article. Pointless speculations. Having guys on rookie deals and our current salary cap position has us light years away from cap hell. This is the NFl you can backload, frontload, and restructure contracts to create cap relief for any give season. The Cowboys get to sign whoever they want every offseason because of this.

What players besides Sapp Lynch and Dewayne White were let go for salary cap reasons and performed for another team in the last decade?

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The Anomaly

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#6 : April 06, 2013, 09:39:00 AM

So cut a bunch of okay players and replace them with trash just to keep one elite player?

STUPID.  Having good players across the board is the better way to go.  Revis won't do much good if there's scrubs everywhere else.   Better to draft well.

Revis is going to back fire.  And what if Josh freeman plays well and deserves that $15-17 mill contract.  No way a team can have $32+ tied to two players.

Any of the Revis swallowers care to explain that? 25% of your cap tied to two players?  Laughable and not possible under this cap structure.

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#7 : April 06, 2013, 09:42:14 AM

Elite players cost a lot of money.

There's always a lot of ways to clear up space though so I'm not concerned. As long as the Glazers will pay close to the cap, it won't matter.

I think that there will be a few surprise cuts to save money though.

Cody Grimm is due 1.3 million next year, which isn't much, but we're not paying 1.2 million for a guy who probably won't distinguish himself over Ahmad Black or Keith Tandy, both of whom are making 600-800k less.

Michael Koenen could be gone because he's not really playing at a pro-bowl level and we're paying him a pretty big salary for a punter. He does well on kickoffs, but it probably wouldn't be too hard to find someone to punt and kickoff for 2 million less than he's making. It depends on the cap hit from cutting him though. Based on the guaranteed money, they probably couldn't cut him until next year. If he doesn't have a good year, he's probably gone.

Davin Joseph is a decent player, but overrated and overpaid. If there were cap problems, he would be cut.

They could extend and restructure McCoy's deal. It probably wouldn't save that much, but it's still something. Even a million in 2014 would make a difference.

if we do get Revis, then we're not keeping Wright for 5 million like this article suggests.

You forgot to mention Donald Penn. The guy has been a solid LT and hasn't missed a game in 4 years. But his cap hit the next 3 years climbs to 6.5 in 2013 and 7.5 in 2014-2015.

Benchwarmer#1

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#8 : April 06, 2013, 10:18:19 AM

Penn is one of those guys I worry about letting go.

He's dealt with some of the toughest DE's in the game, and even if he's average, I would like to factor that in if we're talking about trading the guy.

Granted, I could care less about Penn, it's just that I would hate for his replacement to get blown up every other down. Idk if finding his replacement would be so easy.

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#9 : April 06, 2013, 10:32:32 AM

I love the comments like "We'll cut Joseph to make room"
OK, so who do we get and what do we pay them to be our starting RG in 2014?

Keep in mind, we only have $19million cap space as things stand now, we are going to be giving up a couple of quality picks for Revis which limits the ability to get cheap young talent, and the following things stick out like a sore thumb looking at who we do have signed...
The only QB signed for 2014 is Adam Weber, so we need a starter and backup.
The only 2 RBs we have under contract are Dougie & Smith, there is no FB signed yet.
At wideout only 2 names look like they should stick and they are Jackson and Ogletree who is a #4 at best.
Unless Crabtree or Stocker explodes we will still need a #1 TE
OT is set if they are happy with Dotson at RT.
We only have 2 OGs signed for 2014, those being Nicks & Joseph, there are zero backups and people are talking about cutting Joseph.
Zuttah is the one and only OC we have under contract
There is still no rotation guy at DE.
McCoy is the only real starting DT under contract unless Landri shocks the world
We don't have a 3rd starting LBer under contract yet.
CB as it stands is the same as we have now, Sure Revis and a rookie could/should be on the way in but there goes draft picks and a large chunk of cap space.
Well at east we are set at safety, the starters only account for $13million.

How do you masage that cap space?
Restructure and just push the mess a year into the future, Keep in mind Jackson and Nicks have already redone the contracts once to shift money around just a year after they signed them and McCoy is still going to get a fair chuck of coin.
Cut some high paid guys?
Penn, Joseph, Wright. Sure, lets cut 2 fifths of the starting oline when we have zero depth to go along with limited cap space and draft picks, as for Wright he could be gone but that makes 2 starters needed, one of which will be a guy with an even bigger contract.
I guess we can save $3.5 million at kicker & punter by bringing in new guys, lets hope we don't have to go through the mess we saw before finding Barth, wasn't it 27 kickers tried in 6 weeks?

We are too heavily invested in areas of little importance (OG, S, K, P), have too little depth, limited draft picks and too many other, massive holes.
Anyone that doesn't see a potential nightmare coming as soon as next offseason is sticking their head in the sand.
Doms doesn't seem to have anything in place for when things go wrong, it's like he's setting the roster up so that everything has to go perfectly or we are screwed.
His plan seems to be build a roster highlighted by big name, big money players at the expense of building a TEAM.

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#10 : April 06, 2013, 11:33:52 AM

The Revis deal would probably be structured so that a cap hit would be lessened. My guess is that the writer pretty much has little idea what he's talking about although it's fun to consider that the Bucs would have no cap room and the GM who got the team to that point had teams which were 24-40 with him in charge.

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#11 : April 06, 2013, 11:38:49 AM

    Glad I'm not the GM; Dom's gotta find a happy medium between what his coach wants, his owner, fans, and opposing GMs... for a living... Not for me!!  8)

    After kicker Kai Forbath's debut subbing as a punter last pre-season, where he shined, I was all for letting Koenan go, as he had turned 30 and was showing signs of declining. Would be saving us a ton of $$$ this season. He looked like a very real 2-way kicker to me!! Did quite well for the 'Skins...

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#12 : April 06, 2013, 02:12:00 PM

I love the comments like "We'll cut Joseph to make room"
OK, so who do we get and what do we pay them to be our starting RG in 2014?

Keep in mind, we only have $19million cap space as things stand now, we are going to be giving up a couple of quality picks for Revis which limits the ability to get cheap young talent, and the following things stick out like a sore thumb looking at who we do have signed...
The only QB signed for 2014 is Adam Weber, so we need a starter and backup.
The only 2 RBs we have under contract are Dougie & Smith, there is no FB signed yet.
At wideout only 2 names look like they should stick and they are Jackson and Ogletree who is a #4 at best.
Unless Crabtree or Stocker explodes we will still need a #1 TE
OT is set if they are happy with Dotson at RT.
We only have 2 OGs signed for 2014, those being Nicks & Joseph, there are zero backups and people are talking about cutting Joseph.
Zuttah is the one and only OC we have under contract
There is still no rotation guy at DE.
McCoy is the only real starting DT under contract unless Landri shocks the world
We don't have a 3rd starting LBer under contract yet.
CB as it stands is the same as we have now, Sure Revis and a rookie could/should be on the way in but there goes draft picks and a large chunk of cap space.
Well at east we are set at safety, the starters only account for $13million.

How do you masage that cap space?
Restructure and just push the mess a year into the future, Keep in mind Jackson and Nicks have already redone the contracts once to shift money around just a year after they signed them and McCoy is still going to get a fair chuck of coin.
Cut some high paid guys?
Penn, Joseph, Wright. Sure, lets cut 2 fifths of the starting oline when we have zero depth to go along with limited cap space and draft picks, as for Wright he could be gone but that makes 2 starters needed, one of which will be a guy with an even bigger contract.
I guess we can save $3.5 million at kicker & punter by bringing in new guys, lets hope we don't have to go through the mess we saw before finding Barth, wasn't it 27 kickers tried in 6 weeks?

We are too heavily invested in areas of little importance (OG, S, K, P), have too little depth, limited draft picks and too many other, massive holes.
Anyone that doesn't see a potential nightmare coming as soon as next offseason is sticking their head in the sand.
Doms doesn't seem to have anything in place for when things go wrong, it's like he's setting the roster up so that everything has to go perfectly or we are screwed.
His plan seems to be build a roster highlighted by big name, big money players at the expense of building a TEAM.

Guard is the easiest position to fill in the NFL, and the easiest to transition to from college to the NFL.

Davin Joseph is a decent player, but he's not worth 6-7 million a year. Jamon Meredith was a downgrade, but not by much. Why the heck are we investing 15 million dollars into guards in the first place? Those kinds of decisions are the ones that cause cap problems. Lucky for us, we can find a castoff similar to Jamon Meredith to replace him, and we would pay less than a million.

I didn't mention Penn in the cut list because it's very difficult to find a decent LT. I didn't mention Barth because he's actually earning his money unlike Koenen.

Also you really need to take a look at the current contracts, they don't match up at all with what you say. There's 3 OGs signed (and like I said, it's not as if it's difficult to find a decent castoff for less than a million a year), there's 2 centers signed, Brian Leonard is a FB/RB, Lorig won't cost more than a million, Castillas/Hayward is the 3rd LB - both capable of starting and both under contract, a mid round draft pick is also possible, also Jackson and Olgetree are the only ones who should stick, what about Mike WIlliams? Eric Wright is terrible and not even worth 3 million a year. Undrafted free agents played as well as him. You would rather keep him around for 5 million when you can find someone in the 2nd-3rd round of the draft who can play as well/even better than him? Also Gibson and Landri should be more than enough for the NT spot which is the least important spot on defense. Clayborn/Bowers/DTN is pretty much the exact DE rotation we had last year minus Bennett. A first round DE is also possible.

It doesn't seem as though you have a good perspective on anything. You would rather keep a bunch of overpaid players who are easily replaced than pay money for an actual good player. The real success of the team depends on recent draft picks continuing success (McCoy, David, Martin) or starting to become good players (Freeman, Clayborn, Bowers, Barron, Foster, etc.). 

Most good teams have the same exact strategy. They build through the draft, pay their good players, let go of the ones that don't deserve to be paid big money (like Joseph should have been), and bring in guys in free agency who have shown that they're worth the money.

It's not like I'm suggesting to cut McCoy, Vincent Jackson, Josh Freeman or any other highly paid player who would be difficult to replace.
: April 06, 2013, 02:25:36 PM lyronmewis

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#13 : April 06, 2013, 02:12:16 PM

    Glad I'm not the GM; Dom's gotta find a happy medium between what his coach wants, his owner, fans, and opposing GMs... for a living... Not for me!!  8)

   
GMs make more in one year than the average person makes in a lifetime.  So save the poor Dominick talk . 


lyronmewis

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#14 : April 06, 2013, 02:15:05 PM

So cut a bunch of okay players and replace them with trash just to keep one elite player?

STUPID.  Having good players across the board is the better way to go.  Revis won't do much good if there's scrubs everywhere else.   Better to draft well.

Revis is going to back fire.  And what if Josh freeman plays well and deserves that $15-17 mill contract.  No way a team can have $32+ tied to two players.

Any of the Revis swallowers care to explain that? 25% of your cap tied to two players?  Laughable and not possible under this cap structure.

So you think that Joseph, Wright, Koenen, and Grimm have been playing to a level that's equal to their contracts? You think that we couldn't easily replace them with someone much cheaper who could perform equally as well?
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