Handling the Salary Cap

Everyone from Sports Illustrated to the Bleacher Report is saying we are done in Free Agency. We are squashed up against the cap with nowhere to go and no money to sign our draft picks and some even report us over the cap. Is this true?

Spotrac has a great site giving us a fairly up to date list of where we are at. However, they still don't have numbers for Vasquez, Vickerson, Knighton and Bruton. They have us jammed up against the $123 million cap at $122,864,782. Without considering draft pick money or the four listed above. We sound pretty screwed, huh?

Not so fast. There are a bunch of things we can do. Here's some of them:

It looks like we are going to cut Elvis Dumervil. He brings a cap hit of $4,869,000 but frees up $8,754,000. How do we replace Doom? I think we will have to draft a DE in the first round and grab a veteran DE in FA. Dwight Freeney,John Abraham and Osi Umenyiora are still available for around the $5 million/year mark.

Next I would ask Chris Kuper to take a pay cut. We are already going to take a dead money cap hit of over $2.7 million if we cut him, so why not sign him up for a year or two at 2.8 per and have a Pro Bowl backup while he heals? That will save $2,615,166. We have already signed Louis Vasquez to replace him, this is just good roster management. I'd rather have Kuper backing up Beadles and Vasquez than Manny Ramirez.

Speaking of Manny, we can cut him now we have Kuper re-signed and save ourselves $815,000 and no dead money.

Next stop is Joe Mays. His cap hit will be 833,334 if we cut him, but we save $3,333,333 if we do. I vote we do. We have already signed Stewart Bradley as his replacement/camp push for Irving.

Quinton Carter may be gone. Whether he is suspended by Goodell remains to be seen, but perhaps the FO is tired of stupid people and cut him. His cap hit is $227,500 and only saves us $441,250. I'm not sure of this one. What comes of the charges will determine this course of action and we don't save much. We can draft a Safety in the later rounds to replace Carter.

Mike Adams is a favorite whipping boy of many on the site. The fact that the FO has been looking at safeties and Louis Delmas in particular leads me to believe that they may be ready to move on. Cutting Adams will save $2 million with no dead money. We can replace Adams with a younger and better Louis Delmas.

Next, I would cut Andre Calwell. No cap hit and this saves $900,000. I would draft a WR in the top couple rounds to replace him or sign Brandon Stokley at the veteran minimum. Signing Stokley means this won't be a cost saver as the vet min. will run higher than Caldwell's salary, but I don't think Bubba is good enough as our 4th receiver.

I'm thinking if the FO plays their cards right in the draft and FA, we won't need Lance Ball to play special teams. I'm not sure why they tendered him, personally. If he's cut when we go to 53, he will save $1,323,000.

Lastly, if we are intent on signing a FA running back, cutting Knowshon Moreno doesn't save us very much, less than $900,000. And he's younger than McGahee. Cutting Willis McGahee, we take a cap hit of $1 million but save $2 million. We replace McGahee by drafting a RB around the 3rd round and perhaps look at a FA RB.

These moves free up $22,181,749 but adds $7.7 million in dead money.
Now our roster looks like this:

Peyton Manning QB 20,000,000 - 20,000,000
Champ Bailey CB 9,500,000 - 11,000,000
Ryan Clady T 9,828,000 -9,828,000 9,828,000
Wes Welker WR 2,000,000 -6,000,000 6,000,000
Louis Vasquez G 5,875,000 - 5,875,000
Von Miller LB 2,284,125 -12,409,313 5,727,376
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie CB 5,000,000 - 5,000,000
Jacob Tamme TE 2,625,000 -1,666,667 3,458,333
Joel Dreessen TE 2,500,000 -1,666,667 3,333,333
Matt Prater K 2,500,000 -2,437,500 3,312,500
Knowshon Moreno RB 1,700,000 -2,342,000 3,287,000
Wesley Woodyard LB 3,000,000 -250,000 3,250,000
Chris Kuper G 4,500,000 -2,745,502 2,800,000
Kevin Vickerson DT 2,500,000 - 2,500,000
Demaryius Thomas WR 836,500 -3,187,500 2,430,250
Terrance Knighton DT 2,250,000 - 2,250,000
Robert Ayers DE 1,060,000 -1,181,250 2,241,250
J.D. Walton C 1,323,000 -199,625 1,522,625
Eric Decker WR 1,323,000 -183,039 1,506,037
Britton Colquitt P 1,323,000 - 1,323,000
Chris Clark T 1,323,000 - 1,323,000
Rahim Moore S 779,375 -867,500 1,213,125
Stewart Bradley LB 900,000 -300,000 1,200,000
Orlando Franklin T 771,000 -834,000 1,188,000
Zane Beadles G 630,000 -430,000 1,060,000
Derek Wolfe DE 480,000 -2,150,073 1,036,691
Brock Osweiler QB 549,848 -1,298,037 799,244
Nate Irving LB 555,000 -347,500 728,750
Jacob Hester RB 715,000 - 715,000
Tony Carter CB 715,000 - 715,000
Ronnie Hillman RB 515,000 -518,124 687,708
Julius Thomas TE 555,000 -192,000 651,000
Omar Bolden CB 480,000 -355,821 598,607
Virgil Green TE 555,000 -34,500 572,250
Chris Harris CB 555,000 -668 555,668
C.J. Davis G 555,000 - 555,000
Mitch Unrein DT 555,000 - 555,000
Malik Jackson DE 480,000 -160,209 533,400
Philip Blake C 405,000 -340,200 518,400
Danny Trevathan LB 480,000 -78,054 506,018
Steven Johnson LB 480,000 -8,000 484,000
Aaron Brewer LS,LB 480,000 -2,667 481,333
Jeremiah Johnson RB 480,000 - 480,000
Mario Butler CB 480,000 - 480,000
Duke Ihenacho CB 480,000 - 480,000
Trindon Holliday KR 480,000 - 480,000
Sealver Siliga DT 480,000 - 480,000
Mario Fannin RB 405,000 -3,334 408,333
Greg Orton WR 405,000 - 405,000
Jeremy Beal DE 405,000 - 405,000
Gerell Robinson WR 405,000 - 405,000
Justin Boren G 405,000 - 405,000
Blake Gideon S 405,000 - 405,000
Quentin Saulsberry C 405,000 - 405,000
Ben Garland DT 405,000 - 405,000
Paul Cornick T 405,000 - 405,000
David Bruton S - - -

I couldn't find any numbers for David Bruton.

Dead Money

D.J. Williams LB 1,832,500 - 1,832,500
D.J. Williams LB 250,000 - 250,000
Lonie Paxton LS 243,466 - 243,466
Caleb Hanie QB 125,000 - 125,000
Coryell Judie CB 6,667 - 6,667
Anthony Miller TE 3,334 - 3,334
Mike Remmers T 3,334 - 3,334
Elliot Coffey LB 2,000 - 2,000
Elvis Dumervil DE 4,869,000 - 4,869,000
Joe Mays LB 833,334 - 833,334
Quinton Carter S 227,500 - 227,500
Willis McGahee RB 1,000,000 - 1,000,000

Active Contracts 119,370,231
Top 51 Contracts 117,345,231
Dead Money 9,396,135
2012 Available Cap Rollover - 14,100,000

In other words, if we follow something like what I outlined above, we would still have $10 million to spend. The draft choices will take up about $4.5 million and we can spend $4 million on a FA DE and still may have enough to sign Louis Delmas.

If we can come to terms on a long-term contract for Ryan Clady, we may have several million more to work with as well.

One caveat. I hope we get something done with Dumervil tomorrow. I'm a big fan and not a fan of cutting him, but looking at the numbers, I can see why the FO is playing chicken with him. They have to. But I hope he works things out and takes a cut and stays at $8 million per year. Our cap hit for him is almost $5 million, so an $8 mill salary would be like paying $3 million this year. I'd rather have Doom for $3 million than Freeney, Abraham, Avril, Bennett, or Osi for $5 mill.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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