Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

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Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:59 pm

Jordan Howard to earn more in 2019 off performance escalator
ByMatt Eurich 7 hours ago

https://247sports.com/nfl/chicago-bears ... 128527714/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;?

The Chicago Bears are set to dish out more money in 2019 to a pair of former mid-round selections. According to Brad Spielberger of Over the Cap, Jordan Howard and Nick Kwiatkoski are set to see their base salaries increase because of the NFL Proven Performance Escalator.

"Jordan Howard & Nick Kwiatkoski met the requirements of the Proven Performance Escalator for 3rd rd & later draft picks," Spielberger tweeted. "2019 base salaries will now be equivalent to the original round RFA tender in 2019 (projected $2,035,000). Increase of $1,315,000 each."


Over the Cap explains on their site that the Proven Performance Escalator is for players who are still on their rookie contracts selected in the third round or later.

"The PPE is a fourth-year salary escalator that can be earned by participating in either 35% of a team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or in 35% of all offensive or defensive snaps over his entire first three years," says the site. "Players eligible for the PPE will see their fourth year base salary escalate to the lowest restricted free agent (RFA) tender for that season."

The site notes that Kwiatkoski hit that mark by playing in 42.6 percent of snaps as a rookie in 2016 and 36.1 percent of snaps in 2017. He dropped to just 10.6 percent of snaps during the 2018 season. Howard played 64.8 percent of snaps as a rookie before playing 58.4 percent in his second season. Last year, Howard played in 58.1 percent of the team's snaps. Kwiatkoski was taken in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft and Howard was taken in the fifth round of that year's draft.

Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic notes, according to NFLPA records, that both Howard and Kwiatkoski will make $2.02 million in 2019. He also noted that number is not set in stone just yet. That jump in salary could force the team to make some decisions on both players this offseason. OTC has the Bears at just over $13 million currently in cap space. That figure still has Howard and Kwiatkoski at their original salaries before this bump in pay. That number also does not reflect Bobby Massie's new contract with the organization.

Additionally, the Bears still have decisions to make on key free agents such as nickelback Bryce Callahan and strong safety Adrian Amos. The Bears can still free up money by eliminating the large contracts for players such as tight end Dion Sims ($6 million cap hit) and outside linebacker Sam Acho ($2.375 million cap hit). Restructuring is also a possibility for other players on the roster.

The good news is the Bears are relatively set at a vast majority of positions after winning the NFC North title in 2018. The added money on both Howard and Kwiatkoski's contracts could force the team to look for ways to unload those deals. Chicago already has a pair of starting inside linebackers in Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan and drafted inside linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The real issue will come at the running back position. Howard saw a drop in his production this past season and Chicago does not have a viable workhorse running back on the roster behind him.
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:25 pm

We're talking about $2.6M total. Not that bigga deal.
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:37 pm

a) Wait, what? When did this happen?

b) Kwit qualifies after barely seeing the field last year??

c) Now Kwit's salary is well past his value. This thing's liable to be responsible for getting him cut.
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:05 am

Moriarty wrote:a) Wait, what? When did this happen?

b) Kwit qualifies after barely seeing the field last year??

c) Now Kwit's salary is well past his value. This thing's liable to be responsible for getting him cut.
It's part of the CBA but I can honestly think of only once when it happened before a few years ago. Can't recall off the top of my head who the player was but his salary jumped to around $1.3 mil which was the low tender then.

Ordinarily it wouldn't be a major issue but when cap room is limited it can be.

I'm gonna ballpark Massie's 2019 cap hit at around $6-$7 mil much which could be offset by releasing Sims.

Releasing Sam Acho would cover most of the increase to Howard and Kwiatkoski.

But that uses up two of the bigger contracts we can expunge and we still have Amos and Callahan to work out deals with if possible. PFF ranks Amos as the #11 highest overall UFA and 3rd ranked Safety and Callahan as the #23 highest overall but 2nd ranked CB. So I think it's safe to say both will be looking for top 10 or better type deals.
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:30 am

Per the collective bargaining we’re allowed to carry over cap space from last year as well which would give us 3.6 mill more. That helps offset this and eating some of Parkeys deal.
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:38 am

FWIW here's Spotracs accounting based on a 2019 cap of $189 mil.

https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/chicago-bears/cap/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The $3.6 mil rollover is added and the rookie salary cap subtracted.

On this basis we're at $9.374 mil wo/Massie.
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:54 pm

I mentioned this in the Hunt thread. The cap is a funny thing, GM’s can always make room. I don’t believe Pace is going to go shopping when free agrency opens. I believe he will try to retain some of the bears that were major contributors and maybe make a run at Hunt. Cutting Sims and possibly Acho could make some room and basically pay for Massie. I also don’t believe Kyle Long is safe. Maybe he might get offered to restructure along with Trevathan(I don’t see Trevathan doing that)? If Long doesn’t, I’m expecting him to get cut. Only thing that is certain is his lack of availability is outweighing his salary. Hurts to say it, because the dude is the epitome of a Bear but it’s a part of the game. Without knowing the exact cap number, it’s all a guess, my guess is the bears will be working with 15-17 million. Things will start to really heat up and roster moves will start happening really soon.

These are the top 5 players I think Pace is trying to figure out how to sign:
Amos
Callahan
Lynch
Bellamy
Hunt
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:29 pm

Funkster wrote:I mentioned this in the Hunt thread. The cap is a funny thing, GM’s can always make room. I don’t believe Pace is going to go shopping when free agrency opens. I believe he will try to retain some of the bears that were major contributors and maybe make a run at Hunt. Cutting Sims and possibly Acho could make some room and basically pay for Massie. I also don’t believe Kyle Long is safe. Maybe he might get offered to restructure along with Trevathan(I don’t see Trevathan doing that)? If Long doesn’t, I’m expecting him to get cut. Only thing that is certain is his lack of availability is outweighing his salary. Hurts to say it, because the dude is the epitome of a Bear but it’s a part of the game. Without knowing the exact cap number, it’s all a guess, my guess is the bears will be working with 15-17 million. Things will start to really heat up and roster moves will start happening really soon.

These are the top 5 players I think Pace is trying to figure out how to sign:
Amos
Callahan
Lynch
Bellamy
Hunt
Amos... Hard to see us find $8M for him and then EJax in 2 years. Although maybe. I think either he or Callahan returns.
Callahan... With his size and injury history negatives, his price might be affordable enough to keep. Another maybe.
Lynch... At a pass rusher's price, I think he's an odd man out. Particularly considering we have Irving and Fitts in the pipeline.
Bellamy... For about $2M, I think they find a way.
Hunt... I'm giving it above 50% that he's a Bear in 2019.
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:28 am

I'll say again I don't see any way they release Long. Not to save $5.5 mil in cap that way when his cash cost is only $7 mil.

Next year maybe when his salary rises to $8 mil and his cap hit to $9.6 mil.

What would make some sense in the near term is to convert as much of his $6.9 mil salary into per game roster bonuses as possible. Over the past 3 seasons he's missed roughly half his starts.

If we can convert 50% of his salary into an ULTBE roster bonus so whatever portion is earned via playing can be shifted to the 2020 cap. That would free up about $3.5 mil this year if needed.

Long is a major team leader and has been injured by his own guys so it's not as if he's more typically injury prone and he's never lashed out at the assclowns who did injure him. I can't see Pace being so cold blooded as to not give him another year when he has this offseason to condition instead of rehab.

I'm thinking releasing him no matter what is a non-starter upstairs.
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:59 pm

I agree that Long is a team leader, but we’ve seen team leaders cut before or at the minimum restructured. The fans love him and so does his teammates. But you have to be available. It really doesn’t matter why you’re on the sideline, bottom line is you’re there. With Long, he’s been there more than on the field. The glaring point is the team didn’t see a huge drop off when he wasn’t in the field. I don’t think Pace wants to get into pushing cap off to future years, he will have to pay up for a franchise QB, Jackson and let’s not forget the extreme K. Mack cap hits, not to mention Fuller and Robinson.

Players that could relieve some cap:
Simms
Acho
Long
Trevathan
Chase Daniel
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:12 pm

Interesting that for some reason Sam Acho isn't on the chicagobears.com roster. Is he out of contract?

And I don't see any way that they cut Long. What they're getting for $6M is worth it, particularly considering he didn't end the season with injury and doesn't need any surgeries of any kind this offseason. I just can't buy that he's not notably better than the backups.
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:32 pm

Mikefive wrote:Interesting that for some reason Sam Acho isn't on the chicagobears.com roster. Is he out of contract?

And I don't see any way that they cut Long. What they're getting for $6M is worth it, particularly considering he didn't end the season with injury and doesn't need any surgeries of any kind this offseason. I just can't buy that he's not notably better than the backups.
I’m a big Long fan so I don’t want this to come off wrong but what exactly are the bears getting for 6M? When was the last time he has finished an entire season? IMO, the film says there wasn’t a drop off in production when he was on the sideline to justify his current salary.
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:24 pm

Acho is under Reserve/Injured
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:53 pm

Funkster wrote:I agree that Long is a team leader, but we’ve seen team leaders cut before or at the minimum restructured. The fans love him and so does his teammates. But you have to be available. It really doesn’t matter why you’re on the sideline, bottom line is you’re there. With Long, he’s been there more than on the field. The glaring point is the team didn’t see a huge drop off when he wasn’t in the field. I don’t think Pace wants to get into pushing cap off to future years, he will have to pay up for a franchise QB, Jackson and let’s not forget the extreme K. Mack cap hits, not to mention Fuller and Robinson.

Players that could relieve some cap:
Simms
Acho
Long
Trevathan
Chase Daniel
I saw a huge drop off in the running game without him and it's possible his absence is why we weren't running more zone blocking sooner than we did. Witzmann is not a co-equal of Long by any means.

As far as a restructure goes using a roster bonus we either skip it and pay him 100% this year injured or not or we reduce his salary an amount equal to the roster bonus and push whatever amount he earns of it into 2020.

If he doesn't take a salary reduction, and realistically how much would we ask him for, it's pay now or pay later take your pick. No doubt Pace could release him and save some cap room but he'd have to spend some of that to replace him as well so who? Bring back Kush.....or Witzmann or another FA and at what price? I'd say $1.5-$3.5 mil.

If we end up paying a guy half of the $7 mil Kyle is getting all we save is $2 mil. Is it worth it to release him for that little? I wouldn't but them I'm not the GM so we'll have to see how Pace handles it. But so far there hasn't even been a whisper of thinking that Long's job is at risk.
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:40 am

Moriarty wrote:Acho is under Reserve/Injured
Makes sense. Thanks!
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:13 pm

Bearfacts wrote:
Funkster wrote:I agree that Long is a team leader, but we’ve seen team leaders cut before or at the minimum restructured. The fans love him and so does his teammates. But you have to be available. It really doesn’t matter why you’re on the sideline, bottom line is you’re there. With Long, he’s been there more than on the field. The glaring point is the team didn’t see a huge drop off when he wasn’t in the field. I don’t think Pace wants to get into pushing cap off to future years, he will have to pay up for a franchise QB, Jackson and let’s not forget the extreme K. Mack cap hits, not to mention Fuller and Robinson.

Players that could relieve some cap:
Simms
Acho
Long
Trevathan
Chase Daniel
I saw a huge drop off in the running game without him and it's possible his absence is why we weren't running more zone blocking sooner than we did. Witzmann is not a co-equal of Long by any means.

As far as a restructure goes using a roster bonus we either skip it and pay him 100% this year injured or not or we reduce his salary an amount equal to the roster bonus and push whatever amount he earns of it into 2020.

If he doesn't take a salary reduction, and realistically how much would we ask him for, it's pay now or pay later take your pick. No doubt Pace could release him and save some cap room but he'd have to spend some of that to replace him as well so who? Bring back Kush.....or Witzmann or another FA and at what price? I'd say $1.5-$3.5 mil.

If we end up paying a guy half of the $7 mil Kyle is getting all we save is $2 mil. Is it worth it to release him for that little? I wouldn't but them I'm not the GM so we'll have to see how Pace handles it. But so far there hasn't even been a whisper of thinking that Long's job is at risk.

Over the last three seasons Long has played in 26 out of a possible 48 games. He’s 30 and can’t stay healthy and is the 8th highest cap hit. IMO, that screams something is going to be done. You mentioned the running game, the finished 11th overall in rushing last season. Averaging 121 yards a game and 4.1 per carry, Witzman did just fine. I do agree he isn’t the same caliber as a HEALTHY Long.
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:20 pm

I think it was Amos that received this escalator previously. I'm a big fan of the salary bump but I wish it would be cap exempt, similarly to the one year vet minimum rule. Having it sneak up against the cap could give perverse incentives to not play players etc.
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:22 am

I wonder if we could free up some cap space by extending Trevathan. He could have most of his salary converted to signing bonus with a little extra thrown in, sign a 3 year extension for vet minimums and get roster bonuses and performance escalators fully guaranteed. At his age, I'm guessing he bites to stay on a great defense and have fully guaranteed contracts every year (as long as he's on the roster).
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:45 am

RE: Long - you don't let him go until you have someone who can replace him. The Bears currently don't have that guy.

Luckily for everyone involved, he doesn't need any surgeries for the first time in like 4 offseasons. Now if he doesn't make it through next season, some decisions will need to be made. But they absolutely have to draft or sign a young guy soon.
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Re: Howard, Kwiatkoski Salary Escalators Will Impact Cap

Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:45 pm

Funkster wrote:
Bearfacts wrote:
Funkster wrote:I agree that Long is a team leader, but we’ve seen team leaders cut before or at the minimum restructured. The fans love him and so does his teammates. But you have to be available. It really doesn’t matter why you’re on the sideline, bottom line is you’re there. With Long, he’s been there more than on the field. The glaring point is the team didn’t see a huge drop off when he wasn’t in the field. I don’t think Pace wants to get into pushing cap off to future years, he will have to pay up for a franchise QB, Jackson and let’s not forget the extreme K. Mack cap hits, not to mention Fuller and Robinson.

Players that could relieve some cap:
Simms
Acho
Long
Trevathan
Chase Daniel
I saw a huge drop off in the running game without him and it's possible his absence is why we weren't running more zone blocking sooner than we did. Witzmann is not a co-equal of Long by any means.

As far as a restructure goes using a roster bonus we either skip it and pay him 100% this year injured or not or we reduce his salary an amount equal to the roster bonus and push whatever amount he earns of it into 2020.

If he doesn't take a salary reduction, and realistically how much would we ask him for, it's pay now or pay later take your pick. No doubt Pace could release him and save some cap room but he'd have to spend some of that to replace him as well so who? Bring back Kush.....or Witzmann or another FA and at what price? I'd say $1.5-$3.5 mil.

If we end up paying a guy half of the $7 mil Kyle is getting all we save is $2 mil. Is it worth it to release him for that little? I wouldn't but them I'm not the GM so we'll have to see how Pace handles it. But so far there hasn't even been a whisper of thinking that Long's job is at risk.

Over the last three seasons Long has played in 26 out of a possible 48 games. He’s 30 and can’t stay healthy and is the 8th highest cap hit. IMO, that screams something is going to be done. You mentioned the running game, the finished 11th overall in rushing last season. Averaging 121 yards a game and 4.1 per carry, Witzman did just fine. I do agree he isn’t the same caliber as a HEALTHY Long.
OK, but we see it differently. Trubisky's 421 yds/30.1 ypg/6.2 ypc padded those run stats. Subtract those and we only rushed for 91 yards per game. Where does that rank us?

Howard had is worst year as a Bear. Only 935 yds averaging better than a .5 ypc less than his career avg. of 4.3 ypc.

I'm just gonna leave it as I have every reason to believe Long will still be around in 2019 no matter what.

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