2022 Salary Cap Outlook, v2 (PostPace)

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Moriarty wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 1:25 pm
The Cooler King wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:49 am

I think his scale is too weighted to draft IMO. Draft capital is generally a long term building block, but then he's also using short term cap number in that resource with an adjustment I think for ability to prorare bonuses. So the Bears have okay cap space, but not a ton of ability to prorare bonuses.

In thr context of thr spending strength for many of those teams just being the ability to "kick thee can", does that make you feel better?
Eh. Not especially.

I haven't looked at the details of how they set up the metrics, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if they could be tweaked and improved.

Nonetheless, there's no getting around the facts that:
  • The Bears were a bad team last year (26th) https://www.nfl.com/standings/league/2021/REG
    (and meaningless late season wins once again made it look better than it was)
  • The Bears have terrible draft resources to help fix things (29th, nearly half the league median, and about 1/6 of what the Jets have) https://www.tankathon.com/nfl/power_rankings
  • The Bears are in a below average cap situation (hard to quantify and online sources vary wildly, but let's guestimate around 17-20th)

There's no honest formula you can whip up where the Bears aren't going to end up solidly in The Bad Quadrant of the graph.
I want to hopefully outline why I think this chart, specifically the resource score, may have issues. (obviously W-L component is what it is)

Let's look at Bears-Minn as a comparison. Per his resource metric Minn is basically the mean and Bears are bottom quartile. Some of my data is custom data that I pull and is a little outdated, but should be close enough.

Draft:
Minn has their first and a couple extra late picks. Advantage Minnesota

Projected "Effective Cap space"
Minn is at about (16M) and Bears at ~25M. Advantage Bears.

A metric I'll call "retool flex" which is basically ability to prorate bonuses to defer space. Minnesota has a big $35M Cousins bonus and another 26M in roster bonuses they could defer to "create" more space. Bears only have about 10M in guarantees and another 10M in roster bonuses they can defer. So advantage Minn here, but the context is they are just "kicking the can" . I know this is in his metric, I just don't know to what extent its valued.

Now I'm not shy about deferral techniques, but we gotta look at long term picture here. Minn has guarantees or dead caps in 2022 and future years totalling about 165M. Bears are at 149M, so slight gross flexibility edge already. Some of those guarantees you could get out of via trade, but otherwise the Vikings already have a larger future obligation. This is also backed up with 2023 projected cap space numbers in which the Bears have more projected space. Now the saving grace for Minn is maybe that they have a lot more players under contract than Bears. They actually top my metric for contract years over the next two seasons. So thier spending can go further and is only partially accounted for in effective space.

But taken alltogether, even with the roster spots, them having a median resource is that they can double down on a roster that finished barely ahead of the Bears in the standings. They are already in a worse flexibility spot and have to make it even worse to get out of their current cap hole, let alone use more of it. And while having roster spots under contract helps, I'm not sure it means that much if you finished below 0.500.

So at the end of the day the "resource" score can apparently jump from bottom quarterile to median based on some combo of
1. A first round picks and a Rd 6/7 pick
2. A bunch of big guarantees that you can restructure (without consideration of how leveraged you actually are already).
Seems perhaps those areas are being overrated. Again, Mimn already has an effective cap space hole of 40M compared to Bears.

Based on the Rams ranking I suspect it's an over influence of draft picks. Rams also have a slight negative cap hole, decent flexibility to get out of it with guarantee restructures, but also notably have pretty low future commitments (though part of that is that they'll have to pay Stafford soon). But still, the idea they have the worst resource spot is kind of silly (they currently have only 3 late picks but are scheduled to get 5 comp picks, maybe his formula hasn't accounted for that).

Green Bay also is a huge outlier on his chart. Their resources are BAD this year. A great cap guy on Twitter for example has outlined that they can't even franchise tag Adams without Rodgers restructuring or cut. If Rodgers doesn't want to restructure, they're basically screwed. But I guess they slightly edge the Bears on the basis of being slightly ahead of the Bears in draft capital, despite a 60M effective cap space hole, and being leveraged in future years more than the Bears (which doesn't even include Rodgers being only under contract through 2022).

I just can't resolve Green Bay and Bears as roughly equally resourced constrained, Rams being the most resource constrained, and Minnesota healthily above all 3. Just think his score method may be flawed. I mean he basically created a custom metric off a few different underlying metric, don't think we can assume it has inherent value.

I say that all having liked a lot of this guys charts, and I actually DMed before and he's a nice, smart guy. Just think something is off.
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dplank wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 1:11 pm Cooler, in terms of a good way to view "cap/team health", what do you think of this metric?

Place a numerical value on each of the 53 roster slots, so that they roughly represent that avg cost for those positions in comparison to one another. i.e., QB1 has a value of 20. RB1 has a value of 8. QB2 has a value of 4. LT has a value of 14. Edge rusher has a value of 15. etc etc. These values are your constants, they apply for every team. You can effectively derive the values here by looking at the franchise tag numbers for each position.

Then check how many positions need to be filled during that off season cycle to complete your 53 and for each position that needs filled, sum the total position values. So if you have 51 players under contract, and the only two positions you need to fill are RB1 and QB2, this value = 12. Then divide your total available cap space by that value.

Do this for every team, teams with the highest number are in the best cap position for that particular year. This method accounts for available cap space relative to the number, and relative cost/value, of the positions that need to be filled with that cap space. Obviously imperfect but gets a decent swag I think?

You could probably do some adjustments to this to include draft capital into the mix, but I wouldn't weight it too heavily as you never know if a pick is going to even make the roster. You could reasonably assume any picks R1-R3 will at least take a roster spot if you wanted to try and include draft capital in some way.
Yea I've had in my head something like that before. Actualizing it in a model is tough though.

As a model it would still have some limitations. I've thought more broadly about just really having a QB score adjuster only. I'm pretty bearish on long term roster stability outside of QB, and as I've stated I hate the one year outlook. I'm kind of a 2-3 year outlook guy with the assumption most of your roster will turn over so assume all your dead caps will hit. But I want to exempt QBs from this generally. Some of my rudimentary models right now penalize teams like the Bills or Cowboys unfairly because I'm not accounting for the fact that their QB commitments really will be spread out over a long time.

And draft capital is tough too. I guess step one is coming up with a FMV on your trade chart. Literally, what would you value straight up buying a pick for. Then it's at least on the same scale as salary ($).
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Oh one more thing about this chart and others like it.

Its size implies relative values that we can't take for granted. I think this especially is true with this 0-100 composite score that was created. It assumes value that visually we apply as being as impactful or more than the W-L metric. But in actuality maybe it should be a very tall and narrow chart, because the relative value of the resource metric is perhaps not as impactful as its shown visually.
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Basically everyone played like shit under Nagy. Personally I like the idea of Daniels or Whitehair penciled in at C even less than Mustipher. Also let's not forget Bars, who is kinda decent.

I don't see any picks other than low-rounders on OL and predict they bringing a few journeymen as contingencies against the top 6 (Jenk, White, Must, Dan, Borom, Bars). In '23 we may see a first or second round OT but I hope not.
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@cooler king

I bow to your accounting prowess. I'm like a kid watching a magician - no kidding. LOL

I just can't tackle year-over-year cap stuff because I can't think like an accountant. The best I can do is understand if we're OK this year and are there any time bombs in these contracts I should know about (like Cohen's). And then it comes down to "is that player worth it". I'm sort of always amenable to getting rid of expensive players even if they're pretty good. It's a young man's game for the most part. Guys like Hicks, Graham, ARob, Danny T... I was good to say goodbye a long long time ago.
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IE wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:00 pm @cooler king

I bow to your accounting prowess. I'm like a kid watching a magician - no kidding. LOL

I just can't tackle year-over-year cap stuff because I can't think like an accountant. The best I can do is understand if we're OK this year and are there any time bombs in these contracts I should know about (like Cohen's). And then it comes down to "is that player worth it". I'm sort of always amenable to getting rid of expensive players even if they're pretty good. It's a young man's game for the most part. Guys like Hicks, Graham, ARob, Danny T... I was good to say goodbye a long long time ago.
I am an accountant by trade and the cap is, yea, just like another accounting standard.
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IE wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:00 pm @cooler king

I bow to your accounting prowess. I'm like a kid watching a magician - no kidding. LOL

I just can't tackle year-over-year cap stuff because I can't think like an accountant. The best I can do is understand if we're OK this year and are there any time bombs in these contracts I should know about (like Cohen's). And then it comes down to "is that player worth it". I'm sort of always amenable to getting rid of expensive players even if they're pretty good. It's a young man's game for the most part. Guys like Hicks, Graham, ARob, Danny T... I was good to say goodbye a long long time ago.
Same here, I just want to know heading into each off season if we have the ability to be a player in free agency or not. The last few years under Pace, and this upcoming cycle, that answer has been no. Which pisses me off.
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I think they'll sign a name WR and that'll be exciting.
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I haven’t invested the time and energy into cap space and contracts so I’m very grateful to read from those that have. Thanks :thumbsup:

It really underlines to me the degree to which our HC and GM were failing (as a pair).
You can compensate for poor drafting or resource assignment by great coaching.
You can compensate for poor coaching by superior resource management.
If neither are doing their job then it shows and it impacts on the future.

I don’t think our situation is that terrible if I look beyond the numbers.
A good HC working effectively with the co-ordinators could get a heck of a of lot more out of our individuals and the team as a whole.

I think we need a WR1 - maybe from free agency. I think we need a new centre - probably from the draft. I think we may need a CB2 also.

So why does having ‘9 draft picks’ mean so much? I don’t think our 6-11 record even remotely reflects the talent on this team. A good coaching set up could flip those 2 numbers round without any new players.
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Extra draft picks matter because it creates more depth. Our team had talent, but we’re always one injury away from a complete breakdown. And in a game like pro football, injuries are guaranteed so you must roster build accordingly. Get too top heavy and you have to get very lucky on the injury side - we were lucky with injuries in 2018, then not so much the next 3 years.

Some injuries, like at QB, will kill your season no matter what (see: Ravens). But aside from that, you need to be able to play near peak even if you are missing 4-5 starters. Tennessee kept winning without Henry for example. The Bucs are missing all sorts of key guys but keep winning anyways.

I actually liked our depth heading into this year, boy was I wrong.
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The Cooler King wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:43 am
malk wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:09 am
Aaaarrrgggh *bangs head against desk*

This is a completely backwards way of looking at things. Having a rookie contract QB rather than a vet on $25-40m means that there's less cap space used on QBs but it doesn't magically make the overall situation better. We're in a poor cap position because the amount of cap we're using (roster and dead space) doesn't reflect the quality of the team, i.e. we're using a lot for a roster lacking talent and full of holes.

It means exactly what I said it means. All thing equal (Bears and Cards have very similar cap inputs, across various metrics) the one who is about to pay for a franchise QB has less flexibility.


But things aren't equal. The Cardinals went 11-6, presumably because they have a better roster (plus better coaching etc). The key point remains either way, the cap space, flexibility or whatever is meaningless in abract, it only matters in comparison to the quality of the roster. I'd be abolsutely fine with having next to no space if we had a quality roster locked up.
The Cooler King wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:43 am

But even that misses the point. We all know that the cap is flexible between years but that doesn't mean that we should be more "aggressive" in bringing it forward to make the roster stronger now. Proper cap efficiency is using the minimum required to achieve your goals in order to maintain flexibility for the future. If we don't roll over cap now (either in pure rollover or by front loading some contracts) we're going to be screwed if/when Fields needs a market rate QB deal. That's when you go from the Superbowl winning contender Seahawks to the maybe win one playoff game Seahawks. I called it a while back but let's look at the Chiefs once the impact of Mahomes' deal really kicks in (one year after the first big cap hit in my estimation, but perhaps from the first year).

The issue isn't back or front loading. The issue is that a single year view is just not informative enough because cap fluctuates and varies a lot. It's not about backloading. It's just about easing YoY variance in cap utilization.


I mention front loading as a way of getting around the 90% over 4 years rule, plus I'm manifestly not looking at this in a single year. And with back loading, I'm not against it per se but rather that it's an indicator of poor cap management (correlation rather than causation). Pace was chasing his tail for a while and we're seeing that now with a number of contracts on the roster.
The Cooler King wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:43 am

So rather than try and rack up meaningless wins in seasons where we're not competing, we set smarter objectives for the next few years. I don't have it all worked out but they would be something like:

I think you should always be trying to win games. No wasted wins IMO. If your waiting for a moment to strategically strike you're just wasting years. There is a lot of parity and uncertainty, you should be continually pushing improvement.


There's a difference between trying to win games and utilising your resources. I'm not advocating tanking but I absolutely think there are years when you shouldn't make every move you *could* to squeak out more wins. For example, in a contending year you might prioritise filling gaps with proven talent for a price premium, but in a development year you might be better off trying to give reps to players with potential, both for their development and to not waste resources. Signing a vet to a one year deal in a year when you're a marginal playoff prospect, i.e. to go from 4/5 to 6/7 wins just makes no sense.
The Cooler King wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:43 am

1. Identify and keep talent.

This means we work out a way to keep Smith. I think some frontloading will be required here so we don't have a point where he's taking up huge chunks of the cap at the same time Fields is, but Pace's previous misdemeanours mean this might be difficult. Daniels is another player to make a decision on and I'd like to keep him but he'll be expensive so there needs to be a consideration of his value above a middling vet or going back to the draft. The oline is a weakness so that might change the consideration but ultimate it comes down to what his agent asks.

Your focus in front/backloading is almost entirely meaningless. That cap has a rollover feature and numerous deferral techniques. What matters is total cash/year and guarantees.


It isn't meaningless as you can do things like frontload with guaranteed salary instead of signing bonuses, which protects cap for future years. Also helping to make the minimum cap spend as mentioned above though this isn't a massive thing. But there's also a small disciplining factor, spend it so you don't get as tempted later!
The Cooler King wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:43 am

2. Improve the roster for when we're ready to win.

The draft is the best way and helps the cap. Free agency is also important but given talent is expensive I'd advocate 2022 being a bit of a clearout year and therefore not signing players to big contracts as both 2022 and 2023 aren't serious super bowl contending years (more on that later). What I would like to see is multi year deals of players with upside that don't tie us down to big later cap hits. Think the Pernell McPhee deal (but hoping they don't get injured) or the Hicks signing but to a four year deal rather than the two year one he initially got. I accept that with someone like Hicks you'd need to pay and/or guarantee more to get them to commit to longer but I maintain that's doable. And if anyone thinks I'm wrong to mention McPhee, I still maintain it was a good signing. Mainly this is because of the intent. Pace took a risk on a player that wasn't a proven starter and had some injury risk with him, and that's what kept the overall numbers down. It wasn't impossible that he could have stayed healthier for longer and as such there was a real chance of him outplaying the contract. As it turns out we still got a very good year out of in 2015 (9 tackles for loss and 18 QB hits to go with the 6 sacks) and then paid $7.5m for a situational pass rusher (well, ish) with 4 sacks, 5 TFL and 9/11 QB hits in each of 2016 and 2017. The calculation there is we got a $15m year for $7.5m in 2015 and then had to pay $7.5 in each of the later two years for a, what, $3/4m player. Maybe it didn't work out but there are many worse contracts!

Well I agree on broadly the type of FA target. And agree process wise McPhee was a good signing. I have my eye on who might be ascending FA targfets. Basically don't want them signing any multi year deal where it takes them past their age 30/31 season.

You really gotta drop this Hicks 2 v 4 year example though.

A real NFL player explaining they don't want to give up years, all else the same. There is a real market with market actors with opposite motivations to the team.


I mean sure, that's why I've always been at pains to state that I don't know what goes on in the actual negotiations, but you're linking to a 4x all pro when we're talking about players on the upswing. If Hicks was in the same category as Schwartz going into free agency he would have been given the big payday then. Schwartz even says in the tweet you link "especially the top guys in FA". I just fail to see that there isn't at least some opportunity to give players coming off mid round rookie contracts sufficient guaranteed income to sign an extra couple of years. The league is littered with examples of guys who took a risk on a short term deal that didn't pay off and that's the argument the front office would be making. And to be clear, I'm not saying low ball them. With Hicks I would have offered more years, more guarantees and a higher average per year than his initial deal. The trick is to hedge agaist the top end deals where things get really expensive but increasing the risk of a moderate overpy if they only average rather than good or great.
The Cooler King wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:43 am

3. Develop the players, particularly Fields, into postseason winners.

This is where the overall planning comes in. Ideally I'd want my rookie QB to make the playoffs in year 1, win a game in year 2 and then compete in years 3-5 (at least). But for various reasons year 1 didn't happen for Fields and in year 2 I feel the balance of future success means that a quick cap reset improves our prospects better than pushing to get Fields into the playoffs in 2022. For me the plan now should be:

2022. Get Fields completely settled as an NFL QB with at least a decent line and some time to throw. The running game is fine and receivers we just have to roll with. Big questions on defence whether we can be good enough to make a wildcard spot even after trading Mack and Quinn but getting something for them is just more important to me so we do it and hope.
2023. Make moves to make a playoff spot an expectation, without throwing everything at it.
2024. Assuming we make the playoffs in 2023 we bring forward the desire to compete rather than just win a game, by completely filling out the roster without signing fee agents to top 5/top 10 for the position deals.

You're putting way too much effort into trying to plan out a schedule. The goal needs to be continual improvement and supporting Fields as much as possible. Do that and hopefully at some point the big jump will occur, but you can't really predict it.

As far as supporting Fields goes, right now the WR Corp is a much bigger issue. Fields needs weapons. Line needs some care, but you could give Fields 5 All Pros and he isn't going to maximize his potential because no one will be open. Unfortunately there will be some judgment calls to make, but WR is a bigger need right now.


It's trite but... failure to plan is planning to fail. I'm just banging out some indicative ideas on a forum so this wouldn't be a hard prescription but rather an idea of the type of thinking around prioritising talent on the field in the short term or building resources for talent in the future.

As the WR corps, yes it's a mess, because Pace. But give Fields 5 all pros and our running game and Mooney plus JAGs will get open enough for it to work! But reading back my saying "just roll with" the recievers isn't particularly clear. I'd be happy to use a draft pick and to sign one of our preferred free agent types, I just mean that this isn't the year to prioritise an expensive proven talent as it is one, maybe two, years of high cap usage to little end.
The Cooler King wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:43 am

After that, again assuming all goes well, I'd try to plot a lower cap year where we reduce expectation of competing in order for a soft reload again. Maybe around letting an ageing vet go or not resigning a talent to an eye watering deal. This needs to become an infrequent, but regular feature if we have Fields on a good QB contract. But in doing so we have the option of being like the Brady Patriots, consistently competing rather than a cycle of boom and bust. Harder to achieve as Brady took below market deals as well as being a top 5 all time QB talent (he's the GOAT because he worked out that taking less salary was the key to success imo) but it's the only way outside of riding improbable luck to get multiple rings.

Anyway, George, give me a call.
I used to be something of a reload guy, but honestly reloads should really only occur in extenuating circumstances. Now broadly, yea you gotta make tough vet cut calls and stuff and make efficient spend decisions, but there is just soooo much flexibility. If Fields hits and signs a mega deal we'll just enter an era of being more agressive with deferral cap management, but the ability to defer doesn't go away so it doesn't necessitate you ever really catchup/reload. Best case scenario is a situation where you've done so well at things like draft that you naturally reload because that's just how your roster is setup. But I think sometimes people think those actions have to be like pre-earned. Which isnt true. Utlizing the cap in non-efficient matters doesn't disable your ability to do the good efficient things. It just gives you more options to keep competitive rosters on the field while pursuing both tracks.
On this we have a fundamental disagreement about what cap flexibility is. The NFL has a hard cap. Yes you can borrow from future cap years but you have to pay it back at some point. If we defer $10m of cap into next year then we either have to have $10m less in that year (well, relative to the rising cap) or we defer again for the same overall spend, but it has to normalise at some point.

And that isn't to say it's always a bad idea to do, but it isn't a decision without consequences. Admittedly kicking cap into 2022 isn't a problem if you don't spend it in 2021 (assuming the shade under $10m we didn't use this year is correct) but Pace has kicked more than that into the future and that has materially hurt us, all in order to put together a 6 win team in 2021. There's $12m from the void years of Dalton, Graham, Ifedi, Gipson, James and Williams. Plus another $12m from the latest Mack renegotiation (that itself following the $10m from Mack in 2019) and $3.41 from Quinn. If I'm wrong on those moves giving us less space from 2022 onwards please explain it to me! Otherwise he pissed away part of our future in order for us to still have a shitty year and make our draft picks worse. Cheers Ryan, don't let the door hit you on the way out!
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It isn't meaningless as you can do things like frontload with guaranteed salary instead of signing bonuses, which protects cap for future years. Also helping to make the minimum cap spend as mentioned above though this isn't a massive thing. But there's also a small disciplining factor, spend it so you don't get as tempted later!
No. Really not. A frontloaded deal with a guaranteed base salary that's frontloaded and a back loaded deal with the same guarantee but as a signing bonus amortized over 5 years makes zero net difference. If you're a GM who can't understand the temptation to spend available space you aren't fit for the job. Available space is basically meaningless as a concept. It's most often just used as a owner justification to not spend.

This is a pretty basic philosophical difference that drives a lot of the other disagreements here, but truthfully all that matters is cash spent.
It's trite but... failure to plan is planning to fail. I'm just banging out some indicative ideas on a forum so this wouldn't be a hard prescription but rather an idea of the type of thinking around prioritising talent on the field in the short term or building resources for talent in the future.
Its not about lack of planning, but planning in the face of a situation with strong certainty and one with great uncertainty. Planning out a NFL roster is one with great uncertainty. Idealist planning need not apply IMO.
On this we have a fundamental disagreement about what cap flexibility is. The NFL has a hard cap. Yes you can borrow from future cap years but you have to pay it back at some point. If we defer $10m of cap into next year then we either have to have $10m less in that year (well, relative to the rising cap) or we defer again for the same overall spend, but it has to normalise at some point.
This is of course fundamental, but the biggest mistake I think people make is thinking that the "bill coming due" is tied with an economic cost. And there isn't. People like to compare it to a CC. If I spend on a credit card there is a very real cost that comes due with interest. And if I open a second card to pay off the first card, I'll start to compound interest. There's no such cost equivalent cost associated with deferring cap in the NFL. And if you consistently rolled forward some fixed amount the relative value would grow less and less over time - so it can actually be argued to be a negative interest environment to defer. The limiting factor of ability to just roll it forward is soooo great. There's probably only two teams who are even near that limiting range, but even they will probably be okay. It would really not take long for them to totally clear the books, maybe a season or two? And compared to the idea that you might hold back a season or two to time a competitive window and... Well there starts to appear to be no real difference except of course even a very levered team actually does have a chance to ease off the ramp and great control over timing of doing so.
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Also, don't just take my word for it.

Perhaps trust the two GMs who got to their spot by being finance/cap focused. I'm sure it's them and not the dozens of scout background GMs who don't understand the economic costs and implications of the salary cap.

I promise if front loading and whatever made economic sense NO and PHI would be at the forefront of conservative cap management techniques. That those are the two very teams that aren't should probably speak volumes.
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The Cooler King wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:53 pm
It isn't meaningless as you can do things like frontload with guaranteed salary instead of signing bonuses, which protects cap for future years. Also helping to make the minimum cap spend as mentioned above though this isn't a massive thing. But there's also a small disciplining factor, spend it so you don't get as tempted later!
No. Really not. A frontloaded deal with a guaranteed base salary that's frontloaded and a back loaded deal with the same guarantee but as a signing bonus amortized over 5 years makes zero net difference. If you're a GM who can't understand the temptation to spend available space you aren't fit for the job. Available space is basically meaningless as a concept. It's most often just used as a owner justification to not spend.

This is a pretty basic philosophical difference that drives a lot of the other disagreements here, but truthfully all that matters is cash spent.
Assuming that a team is spending at least close to the cap limit in each year, compare two scenarios where a 25 year old new player is signed for 5 years, $100m.

1. $40m signing bonus, first two years guaranteed.
Year 1 $4m. $12m cap.
Year 2 $4m $12m cap.
Year 3 $12m. $20m cap.
Year 4 $20m. $28m cap.
Year 5 $20m. $28m cap.

2. No signing bonus, first two years guaranteed.
Year 1 $48m. $48m cap.
Year 2 $16m. $16m cap.
Year 3 $12m. $12m cap.
Year 4 $12m. $12m cap.
Year 5 $12m. $12m cap.

The differences in available cap in the later years are meaningful and in order for them to be equalised there would need to be a significant amount of underspend throughout, possible, but not simple as your team gets more competitive and whilst it might render a GM unfit for the job, well there are lots of GMs that are unfit for the job and plenty of owners that put bad pressure on GMs.
The Cooler King wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:53 pm
It's trite but... failure to plan is planning to fail. I'm just banging out some indicative ideas on a forum so this wouldn't be a hard prescription but rather an idea of the type of thinking around prioritising talent on the field in the short term or building resources for talent in the future.
Its not about lack of planning, but planning in the face of a situation with strong certainty and one with great uncertainty. Planning out a NFL roster is one with great uncertainty. Idealist planning need not apply IMO.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by idealist planning here, either way is ideological.
The Cooler King wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:53 pm
On this we have a fundamental disagreement about what cap flexibility is. The NFL has a hard cap. Yes you can borrow from future cap years but you have to pay it back at some point. If we defer $10m of cap into next year then we either have to have $10m less in that year (well, relative to the rising cap) or we defer again for the same overall spend, but it has to normalise at some point.
This is of course fundamental, but the biggest mistake I think people make is thinking that the "bill coming due" is tied with an economic cost. And there isn't. People like to compare it to a CC. If I spend on a credit card there is a very real cost that comes due with interest. And if I open a second card to pay off the first card, I'll start to compound interest. There's no such cost equivalent cost associated with deferring cap in the NFL. And if you consistently rolled forward some fixed amount the relative value would grow less and less over time - so it can actually be argued to be a negative interest environment to defer. The limiting factor of ability to just roll it forward is soooo great. There's probably only two teams who are even near that limiting range, but even they will probably be okay. It would really not take long for them to totally clear the books, maybe a season or two? And compared to the idea that you might hold back a season or two to time a competitive window and... Well there starts to appear to be no real difference except of course even a very levered team actually does have a chance to ease off the ramp and great control over timing of doing so.
I'm not sure who people are here but I'm not comparing it to a credit card with a bill due so I'm not sure what the relevance is? But sure, rolling the same amount forward would account for less as a proportion of a raising cap but that doesn't really address that once the initial "borrowing" has occurred you can't do it again without going deeper into future resources.

And I really don't get the assertion here about it not taking certain teams long to totally clear the books? It's true but also means that you've totally cleared out the roster and have to completely rebuild. What exactly do you think is going to happen to the Saints in the next few years? A team that missed the playoffs 6 times despite a HoF QB, including 3 years in a row in his prime? And I can see why they completely mortgaging the future to try to squeak something out of Brees' last few seasons but it got them 2 playoff wins and a 2022 outlook of -$63m in cap space (I'm not actually sure how they get under the cap in 2022 which will be interesting?!).

For me NO are the poster child of your way of operating. Get into trouble early when the QB starts eating a lot of space (2012), flail around with three 7-9 seasons and one 11-5 before panicking your golden goose is getting old and stealing the future for a few more rolls of the dice.

Or you can look at the Patriots who moved on from Brady, paid Newton less than $4m to hold the fort whilst they rolled over $24m in cap, drafted a QB and led him to a 10-7 rookie year whilst rolling $15m over and go into 2022 14th in effective cap space with 2023 pencilled in for 9th in effective cap space. I confess I haven't checked the roster from 2020 onwards but 10-7 with a rookie QB indicates it is good now so as long as they aren't slated to need a bunch of expensive free agents to tread water they're in pretty good shape.

That's what I'd like to emulate!
"I wouldn't take him for a conditional 7th. His next contract will pay him more than he could possibly contribute.".

Noted Brain Genius Malk, Summer 2018.

(2020 update, wait, was I right...)
The Cooler King
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malk wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 7:19 pm
Assuming that a team is spending at least close to the cap limit in each year,
This assumption is a bad one and the crux of the issue. Nothing else matters when staring with a flawed assumption.
Fka "BillGeorge61" @CBFans.net
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