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Thread: Some teams face big free-agent calls

  1. #1
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    Some teams face big free-agent calls

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/81...gent-decisions

    Some teams face big free-agent calls

    By John Clayton

    Jerry Jones and DeMarcus Ware have talked a lot this offseason about the Dallas Cowboys' window of opportunity.

    Father Time hasn't caught up to the Cowboys, but he's nipping at their cleats. Ware turns 30 on July 31, which will put the core group of Ware, quarterback Tony Romo, tight end Jason Witten and defensive tackle Jay Ratliff in its early 30s. Once that group ages, the Cowboys will be forced to rebuild.

    But a new problem, which has little to do with age, faces many franchises. Projections of flat salary caps will force more teams to pick and choose which of their core players can stay and which will go. That process started this offseason, when the Houston Texans said goodbye to defensive tackle Mario Williams and offensive tackle Eric Winston and the New Orleans Saints decided they couldn't keep together the league's best guard tandem of Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks. Nicks was let go and signed with the division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    An average of 10 starters per team will become free agents in the next two offseasons. If the salary cap goes up only $1.4 million to $2 million per team over the next two years, general managers and coaches will agonize over which players they can keep.

    Studying the list of starters who will be free agents is stunning. The Cowboys' window might be closing, but other franchises might find their windows of opportunity shut before they know it. Here are teams that face tough decisions in 2013 and 2014:

    1. Chicago Bears: Of the Bears' 22 projected starters, 17 have contracts that expire by 2014. Only defensive end Julius Peppers, linebacker Lance Briggs, receiver Brandon Marshall, offensive tackle Gabe Carimi and safety Chris Conte are under contract through the 2015 season. QB Jay Cutler has two more years on his contract, so the Bears must make every effort to win in 2013 and 2014 or they might have to break up the team. It explains why the Bears can't go overboard in giving a long-term deal to running back Matt Forte. Chicago has about $13 million of cap room in 2013 and more than $50 million of cap room in 2014, so it can handle an important re-signing such as Cutler. But big decisions must be made on defense because linebacker Brian Urlacher, who turned 34 in May, will become a free agent after this season and cornerback Charles Tillman will become a free agent after 2013.

    2. Detroit Lions: General manager Martin Mayhew has built a powerhouse offense of skill players around quarterback Matthew Stafford, and that group will be around for years. By the end of 2013, though, four-fifths of the Lions' projected starting offensive line will hit the market. The bigger issue is defense. After going 0-16 in 2008, the Lions sacked their entire starting defense. They've done a nice job rebuilding the defensive line, but the bill will come due for what they've done at linebacker and in the secondary. Five starters at linebacker or in the secondary are free agents after this coming season, including linebacker DeAndre Levy and safety Louis Delmas. With the Lions already over next year's cap, they must be selective on which starters stay.

    3. New York Jets: Eight starters will be free agents after this season, with the biggest decisions coming on offense. If Shonn Greene proves to be the workhorse running back the organization believes he can be, he might be too costly to keep. He's a free agent in 2013. So is tight end Dustin Keller, who might get a franchise tag. Overall, a dozen starters could be free agents over the next two years, including cornerback Darrelle Revis. If the Jets don't do anything with Revis' contract this season, they must do something next year. He's a free agent after 2013, and the team has waived its ability to franchise or transition him. The Jets are already more than $19 million over next year's cap, making things even tougher.

    4. Oakland Raiders: New general manager Reggie McKenzie, who had to wade through serious cap issues in 2012, will closely eye this season's starters. The Raiders have cap room next year and a lot of room in 2014. Still, 10 projected starters will be free agents at the end of this season, and five more will be free agents after 2013. On defense, tackle Richard Seymour, safety Tyvon Branch, cornerback Ron Bartell and cornerback Shawntae Spencer are among the players who will be free agents at the end of this season. Decisions on the offense come after the 2013 season. Running back Darren McFadden, receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey and Jacoby Ford and offensive tackle Jared Veldheer are free agents after the 2013 season.

    5. Kansas City Chiefs: A playoff run would do a lot to persuade general manager Scott Pioli to spend plenty to keep this team together. A bad season might force change. Offensive tackle Branden Albert, franchise wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, guard Ryan Lilja and defensive end Glenn Dorsey are in the final year of their contracts. Defensive end Tyson Jackson, tight end Tony Moeaki and safety Kendrick Lewis will enter the final year of their contracts next season.

    These teams are geared to make big runs over the next two seasons:

    1. Philadelphia Eagles: Coach Andy Reid has 21 of his 22 projected starters under contract through 2013, and 18 are signed through 2014. A bad season, though, could force change. The Eagles are more than $16 million over next year's cap. If the Eagles are not a "dream team" this season, many of their veterans could have sleepless nights in the offseason.

    2. San Francisco 49ers: Coach Jim Harbaugh brought back all 11 offensive starters from last season's team. In fact, all 11 projected starters on offense are signed through 2013, so the 49ers are geared for at least a two-year run. Franchise safety Dashon Goldson and nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga are the only starters who will be free agents after this season. Seven projected starters come free after 2014.

  2. #2
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    John "Wally Cox" Clayton still blubbering about his inaccurate cap numbers

    THE SKY IS FALLING

    THE SKY IS FALLING

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    I didn't realize the Jets were that over the cap next year. That's easily fixed by cutting a few veterans like Scott and Pace. That alone should take like 14 mil off the salary cap. Nothing to see here.


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    Quote Originally Posted by sg3 View Post
    John "Wally Cox" Clayton still blubbering about his inaccurate cap numbers

    THE SKY IS FALLING

    THE SKY IS FALLING
    I think the cap number is accurate. However it is misleading b.c the Jets have some big salaries that are not guaranteed. Like the ones Dmitri mentioned.

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    Clayton is, bar none, one of the worst NFL reporters available. His little routine was palatable before the Internet. Nowadays almost every fan knows how to actually get insightful cap analysis without going through ESPN; his sky is falling routine is absolutely obsolete.

    And the worst part is he still shows up on ESPN daily via webcam from his moist grotto.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astoria View Post
    Clayton is, bar none, one of the worst NFL reporters available. His little routine was palatable before the Internet. Nowadays almost every fan knows how to actually get insightful cap analysis without going through ESPN; his sky is falling routine is absolutely obsolete.

    And the worst part is he still shows up on ESPN daily via webcam from his moist grotto.
    How the NFL answers his questions with a straight face is beyond comprehension.

    Sean Salsbury got fired for calling him, on air, a crypt keeper.

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    Wally Cox was his older brother

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitri_0515 View Post
    I didn't realize the Jets were that over the cap next year. That's easily fixed by cutting a few veterans like Scott and Pace. That alone should take like 14 mil off the salary cap. Nothing to see here.

    Exactly. Once those two are gone we'll be fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astoria View Post
    Clayton is, bar none, one of the worst NFL reporters available. His little routine was palatable before the Internet. Nowadays almost every fan knows how to actually get insightful cap analysis without going through ESPN; his sky is falling routine is absolutely obsolete.

    And the worst part is he still shows up on ESPN daily via webcam from his moist grotto.
    He sucks

    I've been hearing doom and gloom for the Jets cap for 10 years.

    The "experts" said they wouldn't be able to keep the core 4.They kept them all.

    The "experts" said they the Jets would only be able to keep one out of Holmes,Cro, and Edwards..they could have kept all 3 if they wanted Edwards back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitri_0515 View Post
    Nothing to see here.

    move along now! get gone!

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    Quote Originally Posted by IHATEDOLPHINS View Post
    He sucks

    I've been hearing doom and gloom for the Jets cap for 10 years.

    The "experts" said they wouldn't be able to keep the core 4.They kept them all.

    The "experts" said they the Jets would only be able to keep one out of Holmes,Cro, and Edwards..they could have kept all 3 if they wanted Edwards back.
    When fans say they can keep all of the team together, it was with the idea that the team would not push much of the cap hit into future years. I can't afford a Porsche, but i could buy one if I wanted. They did that in the contracts for Cro, Scott, Pace, Sanchez and Furgeson in the past years. When that happens you end up paying Scott and Pace twice what they are worth the season after going 8-8. The jets had huge needs at FS, RT and TE and was unable to sign anyone to help improve that disappointing team.

    The jets will get under the cap again next year, like they did this year, it is just that it will inhibit the ability to sign a couple of other team starters in FA and will need to replace their starters lost with draft picks which is always a crap shoot.

    For a team's fanbase that was used to signing a Pace, Scott, Woody, Faneca, or trading draft picks for guys in line to get big contracts like Cro, Holmes, Edwards, or Jenkins it is going to take getting used to not being able to make immediate satisfaction moves.
    Last edited by patman; 07-16-2012 at 07:29 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by patman View Post
    When fans say they can keep all of the team together, it was with the idea that the team would not push much of the cap hit into future years. I can't afford a Porsche, but i could buy one if I wanted. They did that in the contracts for Cro, Scott, Pace, Sanchez and Furgeson in the past years. When that happens you end up paying Scott and Pace twice what they are worth the season after going 8-8. The jets had huge needs at FS, RT and TE and was unable to sign anyone to help improve that disappointing team.

    The jets will get under the cap again next year, like they did this year, it is just that it will inhibit the ability to sign a couple of other team starters in FA and will need to replace their starters lost with draft picks which is always a crap shoot.

    For a team's fanbase that was used to signing a Pace, Scott, Woody, Faneca, or trading draft picks for guys in line to get big contracts like Cro, Holmes, Edwards, or Jenkins it is going to take getting used to not being able to make immediate satisfaction moves.
    Granted the Jets did not have ton of cap room, but please tell us the great FS, TE and RT the Jets didnt sign that they wanted to? They made the decision to stick with Hunter before free agency, there was no big FS or TE available that would have been worth signing. Even if you have some cap room, it is not prudent to sign big name, costly free agents every year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by patman View Post
    When fans say they can keep all of the team together, it was with the idea that the team would not push much of the cap hit into future years. I can't afford a Porsche, but i could buy one if I wanted. They did that in the contracts for Cro, Scott, Pace, Sanchez and Furgeson in the past years. When that happens you end up paying Scott and Pace twice what they are worth the season after going 8-8. The jets had huge needs at FS, RT and TE and was unable to sign anyone to help improve that disappointing team.

    The jets will get under the cap again next year, like they did this year, it is just that it will inhibit the ability to sign a couple of other team starters in FA and will need to replace their starters lost with draft picks which is always a crap shoot.

    For a team's fanbase that was used to signing a Pace, Scott, Woody, Faneca, or trading draft picks for guys in line to get big contracts like Cro, Holmes, Edwards, or Jenkins it is going to take getting used to not being able to make immediate satisfaction moves.
    So you're saying we're already out of the running for the 2013 Offseason Championship?

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    Jets are not in "cap hell" but they certainly do not have much flexibility. We signed some of our younger drafted players which is a good thing, but you would still like some more flexibility. I think the lack of cap room really hurt us by not being able to upgrade the offensive line.

    And cutting Scott and Pace is very easy to say, but who is going to fill in for them and do their jobs. This might be BT's last season as well. So how is the defense going to react to losing 3/4 of its LBs. You guys assume whoever we plug in is going to do as good or better than who we got rid of. That is not always the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DDNYjets View Post
    Jets are not in "cap hell" but they certainly do not have much flexibility. We signed some of our younger drafted players which is a good thing, but you would still like some more flexibility. I think the lack of cap room really hurt us by not being able to upgrade the offensive line.

    And cutting Scott and Pace is very easy to say, but who is going to fill in for them and do their jobs. This might be BT's last season as well. So how is the defense going to react to losing 3/4 of its LBs. You guys assume whoever we plug in is going to do as good or better than who we got rid of. That is not always the case.


    No ****, captain obvious

    This can be said every year, for every team.

    Jets will go through changes at LB and because of the cap and will draft and or sign new players in FA.

    How do the Jets not have flexibility? Do you know what their books look like?

    The team has already begun the overhaul at the position with players like Davis, Maybin, and maybe even Sapp. Next off-season, there will be new efforts to tweak in areas and rebuild in areas, around the cap.

    The point of the comments in the thread is that the "experts" have been saying the Jets will be in cap hell and have no flexibility for years, but every year, just like most teams, decisions are made, changes are made

    And how do you know the changes next year won't be better than what they have this year? We don't even know what we have this year yet.

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    ... i did find it interesting reading this part ...

    Detroit Lions: . By the end of 2013, though, four-fifths of the Lions' projected starting offensive line will hit the market.

    Oakland Raiders: offensive tackle Jared Veldheer are free agents after the 2013 season.

    Kansas City Chiefs: Offensive tackle Branden Albert, are in the final year of their contracts.




    ... hope that doesn't indicate that Tanny is waiting until next year to see if Hunter can get his $h*t together and if not there will be some options out there ... but it certainly is a possibility ...



    l_j_r

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    Not sure if they'll be able to do it again, but if teams are allowed to move open cap space from this season into next year's cap again, the Jets are currently $5.86 million under the cap. Bring that into next year along with the likely departures of Bart Scott, Calvin Pace and one unexpected, and they'll be fine. The one thing Mike Tannenbaum can do well is move around the cap to work in the franchises favor. He's not exactly the greatest evaluator of talent, but he is a cap genius.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Ray19 View Post


    No ****, captain obvious

    This can be said every year, for every team.

    Jets will go through changes at LB and because of the cap and will draft and or sign new players in FA.

    How do the Jets not have flexibility? Do you know what their books look like?

    The team has already begun the overhaul at the position with players like Davis, Maybin, and maybe even Sapp. Next off-season, there will be new efforts to tweak in areas and rebuild in areas, around the cap.

    The point of the comments in the thread is that the "experts" have been saying the Jets will be in cap hell and have no flexibility for years, but every year, just like most teams, decisions are made, changes are made

    And how do you know the changes next year won't be better than what they have this year? We don't even know what we have this year yet.
    Maybin is also a FA and will most likely be the the highest priced one next year. Mark Anderson just got 4 years at about 6 per.

    As far as knowing the books, ESPN and the nfl channel do. The jets are about 16 mill over the cap next year at this time. I never known them to be wrong by more than a few percentage points, which can be laid at the feet that they use the mean bonuses etc. Historically they been very accurate.

    And not every team every year has 3 of 4 LBs and both starting safeties safeties and both guards be FA the same year. The throw in their #1 back, TE and RT also.

    I understand that Pace and Scott are not true FA, but most fans assume that they will not be back in 2013.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sec.101row23 View Post
    Granted the Jets did not have ton of cap room, but please tell us the great FS, TE and RT the Jets didnt sign that they wanted to? They made the decision to stick with Hunter before free agency, there was no big FS or TE available that would have been worth signing. Even if you have some cap room, it is not prudent to sign big name, costly free agents every year.
    No there were not a lot of great players, but guys that signed for reasonable money were RT Winston, FS Gregory, and Scott Chandler at TE, all three could have been had for less than 8 mill of cap room.

    The reason they stuck with Hunter was that at 2.5 mill, they knew they were unable to get a replacement. If they had the cap room to sign a RT, they would not have made the move.

    I understand that you should not sign big $$ FA as a business model and I have posted the same thought in the past. FA should be used as a compliment to the draft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by patman View Post
    Maybin is also a FA and will most likely be the the highest priced one next year. Mark Anderson just got 4 years at about 6 per.

    As far as knowing the books, ESPN and the nfl channel do. The jets are about 16 mill over the cap next year at this time. I never known them to be wrong by more than a few percentage points, which can be laid at the feet that they use the mean bonuses etc. Historically they been very accurate.

    And not every team every year has 3 of 4 LBs and both starting safeties safeties and both guards be FA the same year. The throw in their #1 back, TE and RT also.

    I understand that Pace and Scott are not true FA, but most fans assume that they will not be back in 2013.
    Every team ever year has decisions to make and overhaul parts of the team for cap reasons and for performance reasons.

    Stop with the biased crap, "the Jets are in far worse shape" than my bestest Pats.

    The Jets also aren't paying their starting QB, TE, OG, and NT amongst the highest paid contracts in the league.

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