The $8.9M in cap space isn’t nearly enough to bring back Barrett, Gronk and maybe AB and Fournette, not to mention any other FAs they want. It pretty much just covers the rookie pool.
1. Brate release/pay cut- Right now his $6.3M cap hit is 9th in the league for TEs. There’s no way they can carry this number. I would prefer they guarantee his salary at $3M, which would take him down to TE #24. Cap savings = $3.3-6.3M
2. Jensen release/pay cut- His $10M cap hit is #4 in the league. Like Brate, they can’t carry that. They need to try to get this down in the $5-6M range by guaranteeing it. If he says no then I think they have to let him go. Cap savings = $5-10M
3. Release Pinion. Have to go cheap somewhere. Replacing him with a minimum salary saves $2M.
4. Extend Donovan Smith. This is an interesting situation. For all crap he gets, and rightfully so, he was really good last year and lights out in the playoffs. His cap number of $14.3M is #5 in the league for Left Tackles. An extension could get his 2021 cap number somewhere in the $7-8M range. Cap savings = $7M
These moves create between $17M and $25M of cap room. Probably just enough to bring back Barrett, Gronk and one good free agent.
We need to extend Smith. I think he’d be down instead of waiting to hit the open market and risking injury. Its a great situation all around but the biggest thing is him and Ali are bffs and get to play next each other. Playing next to one of your best friends is something that no other team can do for him.
Can’t believe I’m saying it but I trust the staff to do the right thing. They have done a good job managing the roster and I bet brady has his two cents in and will be part of all that. We will get the right guys back.