Re: Complaining About Pats Cap Space
posted at 9/5/2013 4:35 PM EDT
In response to PatsEng's comment:
In response to DoNotSleepOnThePats' comment:
In Mike Reiss's chat today, someone complained about the Pats being $10 million under the cap and not using any money to sign Welker or other free agents that could help right away. Reiss's answer, as usual, was thoughtful and intelligent...
"I think the under-the-cap stuff is some of the most misunderstood chatter in all of football. I am guessing this is talk-radio driven, and it's often misleading. Here is my take on the whole under-the-cap stuff with the Patriots: 1) They will use all their cap space this year when all is said and done; 2) You always want to leave some cap room for emergencies during the season; 3) With a big dead charge on the cap next year with Aaron Hernandez (assuming the Patriots don't get relief), strategic planning takes on added importance; 4) Some of that cap space will go to players already on the roster (Wendell, McCourty, Ninkovich, Spikes etc.). ..."
Some things to point out, I like Reiss but he's just making guesses at this point, of which two of his points contradict each other
Points 1 and 3. The huge cap hit for Hernandez does not count towards this year nor was it known before the 1st and 2nd FA period that Hernandez murdered someone. Really it only effects the players signed at the waiver period, which they ended up signing 4 waivers (a high number even for the Pats). So, clearly Hernandez's huge cap hit next year didn't prevent them from using the space. But more importantly, if they are planning to carry over salary from this year into next year to help with that cap hit it means of the $10+mil, $5mil can't be carried over so they can't spend to the cap, nor really extend any critical players to large contracts if they want to save money for the cap hit next year.
Additionally the you always leave cap space for emergencies, while true to a degree hasn't prevented a single team from signing street FA's in the past regardless of cap situation. That point #2 is so overblown it's not even funny. Show me one team in the existence of the league that hasn't been able to sign street FA's regardless of cap space left on the team and had to go into a week with 52 players instead of 53 because of it. There is always ways to get street FA's, it's not like we are talking that they are going to sign a starter during the season. Yes I know a trade can happen but trades in the NFL during the season are rare and how many involve starters or higher priced base salaries? Pretty much none.
However, Reiss did cover all his bases, if they don't spend he can say he was right about #3, if they extend then he can say he was right about #1 and #4, and no matter what they will sign someone during the year so he will always claim #2. It's like Commie, if you toss enough against the wall you will always claim victory.
I am not argueing you need $10mil to cover #2 by any remote strecth. I certainly don't pay any where near the attention to cap stuff as you do. I always take your word for things in this area.
I do however call you out on this point highlighted above. You chose your words carefully, just like Reiss I guess.
You said it has never stopped a team from signing a street FA?
1) Do you know that to really be true? It has never happened, ever? I suspect you are correct but just wondering. Is that officially tracked somewhere?
2) Even if it is true , based on how you worded it, do you think the following is also true? A team has never NOT been able to sign the street FA "that it wanted"? At least not without having to do other "forced" and unwanted roster/cap manipululations?
How does that work?
Let's say you have $300,000 in cap space. You have a rash of injuries and the FA's you actually want, out of what is left, are all many year vested vets. Through the course of the season you end up needing say four of them and each one comes with a mandatory minimum salary of 940,000 this season. How do you accomodate that when each guy accounts for 58,750 per game? That is only 2 games for one guy and 1 game for each of the other three before you use up the available cap. Or do I have all of that incorrect? It certainly would not shock me.