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Thread: How the 'Skins Can Afford to Keep Landing Big Ones

  1. #1
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    For anyone else like myself -- who for years has been wondering how in the hell the Redskins can keep signing (and overpaying) for huge star after huge star, here's a decent read.

    Perhaps we should forward this to Bradway and his "brain(ahem)trust."



    Here go the Redskins, again


    By Pat Kirwan
    NFL.com Senior Analyst




    Remember, last year's shopping spree at the start of free agency by the Washington
    Redskins wasn't the first time Dan Snyder took his trusty jet out into the skies in
    search of more talent. He did it right after he bought the team by getting Bruce Smith,
    Deion Sanders and others. Last year it was phase two with Laveranues Coles and a
    slew of other players. This year, with his fifth head coach, his jet took off again.
    Quarterback Mark Brunell, running back Clinton Portis, cornerback Shawn Springs,
    defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin and defensive end Phillip Daniels are all in
    Redskin uniforms before the first week of free agency is over.

    You have to applaud Snyder on a few levels.
    He wants to win. He's not deterred by past
    failures. He probably isn't done spending his
    money. As one agent said to me the day
    before free agency started, "My biggest hope
    is when that phone rings, it's Dan Snyder on
    the other end."

    I get asked everywhere I go, "How can he fit all
    these players and more players under his
    salary cap?" Here's a few things to remember.
    One, the Redskins created $10 million of cap
    space by cutting players under contract. Bruce
    Smith, Jessie Armstead, Lional Dalton and
    Bryan Barker are all gone. Two, they got out
    from under the franchise tag of $6.8 million on
    Champ Bailey and then proceeded to use
    significant signing bonus money to make their
    new deals cap friendly. Ten million dollars in
    space can last a very long time if you are pushing signing bonuses up into the range
    of 35 percent of the contracts.

    Let's just look at Portis for instance as it compares to Bailey, who was traded to get
    Portis. As I said, Bailey was on the cap ledger for a $6.8 million tender. He moves
    on, and Portis, who signed an eight-year deal for $50 million -- got an $18 million
    bonus. Divide the number of years (eight) into the signing bonus ($18 million) to
    calculate the cap charge for the bonus each year ($2.25 million) and add it to the
    salary that could be as low as $380,000 because Portis only has two credited
    seasons. Now his cap charge is $2.63 million, which is $4.2 million less than Bailey
    was on the books for.

    Daniels was hired to replace Smith. Smith was an $8.8 million charge before his
    termination and even though he still counts on the books for $2.6 million in dead
    money, the Redskins have Daniels on the cap spread sheet for a much lower
    number. He got a $3 million bonus, it was a five-year deal, so the yearly cap charge
    on his bonus is $600,000 plus his salary, which could be under $1 million. Now he
    fits on the cap for about $1.2 million.

    So it can be done. Also keep in mind that only the top 51 salaries on the roster count
    this time of year, so each time the Redskins sign a big-name player and fit him
    under the cap with a big signing bonus, the lowest paid player on the top 51 drops
    off the books as a cap charge. A young player like linebacker Clifton Smith on the
    books as a $305,000 charge will come off the books and be handled as a cap
    rebate. If they sign five high-priced players and five players drop off, that turns into a
    million dollars worth of cap space.

    The question is, if the free-agency program fails, will there be problems in future
    years paying back the cap for the bonuses spread out over years? For example,
    Brunell got $8.6 million to sign a seven-year deal, which fits nicely under the cap. But
    if he were to have a career-ending injury next year, the cap hit in 2005 would be over
    $7 million. Now that hurts.

    The truth is, no one knows who will get hurt and who will stay healthy. But there is
    some risk to the Redskins' plan. Nonetheless, I can't fault them for trying to bring a
    Super Bowl to Washington.



  2. #2
    Undrafted Free Agent
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    I liked all the Moves so far except the Brunnell one. I wanted Ram under center. This was Joe Gibbs call all the way so I guess I should trust a Hall of Fame coach more then my Fan skills.

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