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.
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:
|PLAYER||POS.||BASE SALARY||DEAD MONEY||CAP FIGURE|
I couldn't find any numbers for David Bruton.
|2013 TOTALS||CAP FIGURE|
|Top 51 Contracts||117,345,231|
|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.