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Middleguard
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Bears sign all 7 day 3 draft picks.
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Middleguard wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 5:28 pm Bears sign all 7 day 3 draft picks.
So in all honesty this isn't a great achievement especially with the draft pick contract slotting.

However with that caveat aside. Why does it seem like he is so good at his job? I ask this seriously. I view the team in better shape with him in this position and I dont know why.
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mmmc_35 wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 5:49 pm
Middleguard wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 5:28 pm Bears sign all 7 day 3 draft picks.
So in all honesty this isn't a great achievement especially with the draft pick contract slotting.

However with that caveat aside. Why does it seem like he is so good at his job? I ask this seriously. I view the team in better shape with him in this position and I dont know why.
History. He was good back when it was far more difficult.
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He's got a league-wide reputation: he's fair and doesn't want to play games. What agent wants to waste time away from the golf course when he knows his only alternative is having his client sit out?

He's in line for Ted Phillips job. I hope and pray.
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Noticed that eh? :clap:
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mmmc_35 wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 5:49 pm
Middleguard wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 5:28 pm Bears sign all 7 day 3 draft picks.
So in all honesty this isn't a great achievement especially with the draft pick contract slotting.

However with that caveat aside. Why does it seem like he is so good at his job? I ask this seriously. I view the team in better shape with him in this position and I dont know why.
Back in the day, I always admired him because he tended to save cap space so that when they did sign a big free agent, he could FRONT-load contracts so they could get rid of guys that aren't working out much sooner, and also make them much easier to trade if that's even possible. And it kept more cap space available in the future. He's prudent. (If that word has a negative connotation for you, please look it up) :-x

Getting the day 3 guys done before rookie mini-camp is really for the players benefit. If they get injured when not under contract, there are guarantees and some other benefits, but they aren't covered by the NFLPA yet. With Stein, it's a matter of intentionality. It shows the team cares about all these guys.
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LT2_3 wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 7:26 pm
mmmc_35 wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 5:49 pm

So in all honesty this isn't a great achievement especially with the draft pick contract slotting.

However with that caveat aside. Why does it seem like he is so good at his job? I ask this seriously. I view the team in better shape with him in this position and I dont know why.
Back in the day, I always admired him because he tended to save cap space so that when they did sign a big free agent, he could FRONT-load contracts so they could get rid of guys that aren't working out much sooner, and also make them much easier to trade if that's even possible. And it kept more cap space available in the future. He's prudent. (If that word has a negative connotation for you, please look it up) :-x

Getting the day 3 guys done before rookie mini-camp is really for the players benefit. If they get injured when not under contract, there are guarantees and some other benefits, but they aren't covered by the NFLPA yet. With Stein, it's a matter of intentionality. It shows the team cares about all these guys.
This is what I used to think too, but the reality is front loading is pointless and even if "making it easier to walk" were somehow accurate it would necessitate meaning they overpaid even more in the first year(s).

Anyways he obviously shows up prepared and gets to work. That's good, but yea it's not a major negotiation for rookie deals. And the first few years Pace was getting rookie deals done early too. Really wasnt until the last couple years I think where June 1 cap shuffling became prominent that Pace's regime was really delayed.
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The Cooler King wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 7:45 pm
LT2_3 wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 7:26 pm

Back in the day, I always admired him because he tended to save cap space so that when they did sign a big free agent, he could FRONT-load contracts so they could get rid of guys that aren't working out much sooner, and also make them much easier to trade if that's even possible. And it kept more cap space available in the future. He's prudent. (If that word has a negative connotation for you, please look it up) :-x

Getting the day 3 guys done before rookie mini-camp is really for the players benefit. If they get injured when not under contract, there are guarantees and some other benefits, but they aren't covered by the NFLPA yet. With Stein, it's a matter of intentionality. It shows the team cares about all these guys.
This is what I used to think too, but the reality is front loading is pointless and even if "making it easier to walk" were somehow accurate it would necessitate meaning they overpaid even more in the first year(s).

Anyways he obviously shows up prepared and gets to work. That's good, but yea it's not a major negotiation for rookie deals. And the first few years Pace was getting rookie deals done early too. Really wasnt until the last couple years I think where June 1 cap shuffling became prominent that Pace's regime was really delayed.
Front loading is much preferred to a backloading, when you can do it.

1. You utilize cap you have vs what you will have, keeping you out of total cluster resets and seriously bad contracts. See the trevathon void years.
2. It’s way easier to trade cheaper players, in later years of contracts and they bring more or better draft capital back. If Mack’s deal wasn’t so jacked up he would have brought back much more.
3. It’s way easier to cut players in later years as the hit isn’t near as bad.
4. Reduces dead cap issues with dead/void/zombie years in contracts.

All that said, you have to start out at a mini reset to do it, be willing to trade good players before their contracts turn bad or they do to maintain draft capital. Especially when you do get the QB right and they cost $50 mill a year.

When you get to the point where you have to backload, continuously restructure and are adding void years to a bunch of contracts it’s pretty much guaranteed you are heading far downhill fast. Especially if you do all that and then trade draft picks away like nothing, like Pace did.
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LT2_3 wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 7:26 pm He's prudent. (If that word has a negative connotation for you, please look it up) :-x
I think this is what everyone sees. I dont see how anyone would take prudent as a derogatory word. Hes also fair. I think Fair can be a negative word in certain contexts. May be it's my kids that have drove me to hate the word fair.

Prudent and fair.
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southdakbearfan wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 7:56 pm
The Cooler King wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 7:45 pm
This is what I used to think too, but the reality is front loading is pointless and even if "making it easier to walk" were somehow accurate it would necessitate meaning they overpaid even more in the first year(s).

Anyways he obviously shows up prepared and gets to work. That's good, but yea it's not a major negotiation for rookie deals. And the first few years Pace was getting rookie deals done early too. Really wasnt until the last couple years I think where June 1 cap shuffling became prominent that Pace's regime was really delayed.
Front loading is much preferred to a backloading, when you can do it.

1. You utilize cap you have vs what you will have, keeping you out of total cluster resets and seriously bad contracts. See the trevathon void years.
2. It’s way easier to trade cheaper players, in later years of contracts and they bring more or better draft capital back. If Mack’s deal wasn’t so jacked up he would have brought back much more.
3. It’s way easier to cut players in later years as the hit isn’t near as bad.
4. Reduces dead cap issues with dead/void/zombie years in contracts.

All that said, you have to start out at a mini reset to do it, be willing to trade good players before their contracts turn bad or they do to maintain draft capital. Especially when you do get the QB right and they cost $50 mill a year.

When you get to the point where you have to backload, continuously restructure and are adding void years to a bunch of contracts it’s pretty much guaranteed you are heading far downhill fast. Especially if you do all that and then trade draft picks away like nothing, like Pace did.
I mean this is all exactly opposite to how the smartest cap guys in the league function the cap.

Given equivalent guarantees/money, the front loaded cap deal just rolls over less, so it's all moot in the end. Even in the trade hypothetical... You can just eat that cap hit at any time and also, end up right back where you started.

Backload cap hits, and where permissible from load money for favorable time value returns and lower totals.
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southdakbearfan wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 7:56 pm
The Cooler King wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 7:45 pm
This is what I used to think too, but the reality is front loading is pointless and even if "making it easier to walk" were somehow accurate it would necessitate meaning they overpaid even more in the first year(s).

Anyways he obviously shows up prepared and gets to work. That's good, but yea it's not a major negotiation for rookie deals. And the first few years Pace was getting rookie deals done early too. Really wasnt until the last couple years I think where June 1 cap shuffling became prominent that Pace's regime was really delayed.
Front loading is much preferred to a backloading, when you can do it.

1. You utilize cap you have vs what you will have, keeping you out of total cluster resets and seriously bad contracts. See the trevathon void years.
2. It’s way easier to trade cheaper players, in later years of contracts and they bring more or better draft capital back. If Mack’s deal wasn’t so jacked up he would have brought back much more.
3. It’s way easier to cut players in later years as the hit isn’t near as bad.
4. Reduces dead cap issues with dead/void/zombie years in contracts.

All that said, you have to start out at a mini reset to do it, be willing to trade good players before their contracts turn bad or they do to maintain draft capital. Especially when you do get the QB right and they cost $50 mill a year.

When you get to the point where you have to backload, continuously restructure and are adding void years to a bunch of contracts it’s pretty much guaranteed you are heading far downhill fast. Especially if you do all that and then trade draft picks away like nothing, like Pace did.
Well said and written. Once upon a time we did not significantly back load deals. Then along came Pace/Laine and not only did our approach change but due to several high cap dollar deals they were forced to restructure contracts that probably should not have been entered into to begin with let alone restructured. IMHO Pace sent a lot of good money after bad.

Pace's final years were spent trying to keep open a window that had already begun to slam shut after the 2018 season. Now that we've seen where that got us and how it needed to be unwound why are so many clamoring to begin doing it all over again. Is it because they believe that if we don't we'll somehow ruin Fields? If this season ruins Fields then he was ultimately wreckable to begin with. I think fans need to stop applying what happened with Mitch under Nagy to the current situation. It's not the same.
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But that's all fundamentally about poorly spent money. Frontloading doesn't actually do anything positive in that regards . The only possible thing it could be argued to do is act as a "stop" on your GMs inhibitions, but if thats what they need, you have the wrong GM, flat out.

Then we can enter a little "header" territory where the cap is an inflationary environment and interest rates are zero, and treating cap like a traditional finance instrument becomes a pretty compelling case, IMO.

One other thing as well. Sometimes people will argue that cap games are only good to use when you are ready to go all in, and then it doesn't matter. But I think GB is actually a good example of a team that didn't maximize their all in opportunity, because it's kid of difficult to switch quickly between cap philosophies. Had they always operated from leveragable cap mindset, they could possibly had greater flexibility for their last dance year. Basically because you have limited opportunity to defer a cap hit, and each hit that goes by and wasn't deferred is an opportunity cost that could have been used and leveraged in your window. (that wasn't their only issue, the negotiations with Rodgers loomed large, but some edge case stuff could have helped them too in 2021)
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The Cooler King wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 8:15 pm
southdakbearfan wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 7:56 pm

Front loading is much preferred to a backloading, when you can do it.

1. You utilize cap you have vs what you will have, keeping you out of total cluster resets and seriously bad contracts. See the trevathon void years.
2. It’s way easier to trade cheaper players, in later years of contracts and they bring more or better draft capital back. If Mack’s deal wasn’t so jacked up he would have brought back much more.
3. It’s way easier to cut players in later years as the hit isn’t near as bad.
4. Reduces dead cap issues with dead/void/zombie years in contracts.

All that said, you have to start out at a mini reset to do it, be willing to trade good players before their contracts turn bad or they do to maintain draft capital. Especially when you do get the QB right and they cost $50 mill a year.

When you get to the point where you have to backload, continuously restructure and are adding void years to a bunch of contracts it’s pretty much guaranteed you are heading far downhill fast. Especially if you do all that and then trade draft picks away like nothing, like Pace did.
I mean this is all exactly opposite to how the smartest cap guys in the league function the cap.

Given equivalent guarantees/money, the front loaded cap deal just rolls over less, so it's all moot in the end. Even in the trade hypothetical... You can just eat that cap hit at any time and also, end up right back where you started.

Backload cap hits, and where permissible from load money for favorable time value returns and lower totals.
You pretty much missed the point. Where the bears are right now it makes way more sense to frontload vs the backload and void years of Pace and co. because they have a cheap QB. Now they think that QB will be the real deal and not too many years down the road if he pans out those front loaded contracts of next year and the year after will make paying a QB much easier.

Teams are doing both, dependent on where they are with the QB spot pretty much.

Continuous backloading and void years make it impossible to continuously be able to have a window to invest in FA as needed. Just look at the past couple years with the bears. Pace went big on Arob and Mack but also used up draft picks doing it too. Then as the backloaded deals came due, void years were added to kick it down the road a bit, but also cuts needed to be made like Fuller. Pace still traded off draft picks which equal cheap help, added more backloaded and void year deals with Dalton, Graham, Trevathon and then the bill came due with no cheap decent talent coming up on the team due to all of that.

There is a spot for both, but frontloading until you can't is much preferred.

The saints backloaded and used void years in contracts for many years, but they also had to do a couple mini resets within Drew Brees career.
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No I underatand what point youre trying to make, but it's all wrong. Cap hits and their timing are way too fungible.

Give me any two contracts of the same years/guarantees/total and I'll take the back loaded version every time. 100% of all cases. Front loading provides no real economic benefit.
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The Cooler King wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 9:12 pm No I underatand what point youre trying to make, but it's all wrong. Cap hits and their timing are way too fungible.

Give me any two contracts of the same years/guarantees/total and I'll take the back loaded version every time. 100% of all cases. Front loading provides no real economic benefit.
So you prefer to cut a bunch of players and trade off talent when the "big" QB contract comes. Got it.

Just look at the packers cutting defensive players, trading off their best weapon. Because they backloaded everything and the QB contract came due.
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southdakbearfan wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 9:22 pm
The Cooler King wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 9:12 pm No I underatand what point youre trying to make, but it's all wrong. Cap hits and their timing are way too fungible.

Give me any two contracts of the same years/guarantees/total and I'll take the back loaded version every time. 100% of all cases. Front loading provides no real economic benefit.
So you prefer to cut a bunch of players and trade off talent when the "big" QB contract comes. Got it.

Just look at the packers cutting defensive players, trading off their best weapon. Because they backloaded everything and the QB contract came due.
That wasn't cuz of backloading. Backloading allowed them to run it back a year longer than they could have, and had they adopted a backload philosophy earlier they probably could have done it even better and brought back/in more for the last dance.

Literally the alternative to cutting all those defensive guys is doing it a year earlier instead. It's all about $, but given the option of back/front/even cap hits the backload is always more flexible.

Unless it turns into a contractual issue (which could possibly happen, but not very likely) the front load serves no economic benefit. But from a pure $ sense the good economics for a player is a largely backloaded cap structure. But to the extent it could become an issue of control over pure $ economics that maybe shifts the convo, but I would expect those circumstances to be rare because $ is much strong pull for most guys than control.
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I would love to have a sit down with Poles and Cliff Stein just to discuss cap philosophy and management. No matter how much we believe we know about it there will always be some subtleties we as fans miss. And is it even limited to taking one path or the other? What we know and understand is far less than a GM and his Capologist do. The only issue is getting them to talk about it.
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The Cooler King wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 9:52 pm
southdakbearfan wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 9:22 pm

So you prefer to cut a bunch of players and trade off talent when the "big" QB contract comes. Got it.

Just look at the packers cutting defensive players, trading off their best weapon. Because they backloaded everything and the QB contract came due.
That wasn't cuz of backloading. Backloading allowed them to run it back a year longer than they could have, and had they adopted a backload philosophy earlier they probably could have done it even better and brought back/in more for the last dance.

Literally the alternative to cutting all those defensive guys is doing it a year earlier instead. It's all about $, but given the option of back/front/even cap hits the backload is always more flexible.

Unless it turns into a contractual issue (which could possibly happen, but not very likely) the front load serves no economic benefit. But from a pure $ sense the good economics for a player is a largely backloaded cap structure. But to the extent it could become an issue of control over pure $ economics that maybe shifts the convo, but I would expect those circumstances to be rare because $ is much strong pull for most guys than control.
I think you actually know too much about all this and sometimes don't see the forest through the trees. Front loading deals when you have available unused cap moves your cap hit forward and gets a lot of it out of the way, then you have a player during their back half years at a much lower cost. Allows you more freedom to cut bait if their injured, makes them more valuable in trades, etc. It's situational IMO.
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Bearfacts wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 2:07 am I would love to have a sit down with Poles and Cliff Stein just to discuss cap philosophy and management. No matter how much we believe we know about it there will always be some subtleties we as fans miss. And is it even limited to taking one path or the other? What we know and understand is far less than a GM and his Capologist do. The only issue is getting them to talk about it.
There's definitely subtleties missed since we don't do it for a living. For instance the biggest thing I cant a speak on is how actual negotiations go and impact things.

But here has been one of my biggest changes.

There are 3 teams who's head personnel person (GM/equivalent) comes from a primarily cap/contract background
1. Saints
2. Eagles
3. Bills

Watching those teams closely tells you a lot without the GM needing to speak on it. Actions louder than words and all that. Every other team has a primarily "football guy" at top. That's a not insignificant difference. Most the teams who try the NOL/PHI trickery don't do it as well - discount brand imitators.

My second biggest change was understanding that the purpose of the cap is to ensure the revenue split for players. It's all about $, and the rules are in many ways (though not all, there's weird legacy vestiges) set up to reflect that. But you also have to read a lot of CBA text to pick up on that.
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dplank wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 8:37 am
The Cooler King wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 9:52 pm
That wasn't cuz of backloading. Backloading allowed them to run it back a year longer than they could have, and had they adopted a backload philosophy earlier they probably could have done it even better and brought back/in more for the last dance.

Literally the alternative to cutting all those defensive guys is doing it a year earlier instead. It's all about $, but given the option of back/front/even cap hits the backload is always more flexible.

Unless it turns into a contractual issue (which could possibly happen, but not very likely) the front load serves no economic benefit. But from a pure $ sense the good economics for a player is a largely backloaded cap structure. But to the extent it could become an issue of control over pure $ economics that maybe shifts the convo, but I would expect those circumstances to be rare because $ is much strong pull for most guys than control.
I think you actually know too much about all this and sometimes don't see the forest through the trees. Front loading deals when you have available unused cap moves your cap hit forward and gets a lot of it out of the way, then you have a player during their back half years at a much lower cost. Allows you more freedom to cut bait if their injured, makes them more valuable in trades, etc. It's situational IMO.
Flatlining a cap hit and rolling over the extra space gives 100% of the same net effect.
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Not 100%, because you if you want to move on from that player your costs are higher to do so if you've backloaded your deal. Trade value is lessened as well. I'd rather front load when you can and have all that flexibility later.

Also aren't there limits on how much you can carry over, and is it 1:1 or is there some tax taken out to ensure teams don't roll over / tank seasons and try to build up for a spending spree / short window like we see the poor teams in MLB do.
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dplank wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 9:03 am Not 100%, because you if you want to move on from that player your costs are higher to do so if you've backloaded your deal. Trade value is lessened as well. I'd rather front load when you can and have all that flexibility later.

Also aren't there limits on how much you can carry over, and is it 1:1 or is there some tax taken out to ensure teams don't roll over / tank seasons and try to build up for a spending spree / short window like we see the poor teams in MLB do.
Your costs aren't higher to move on. The timing is just different.

Re: trade aspect, if it's backloaded cap hits than the trade value component is the same. If it's backloaded salary, which is kind of a separate thing (and gtd v non-gtd) plays some role, you still have the same flexibility to eat the salary and equal the trade value or not, and you exchange trade value for extra cap space compared to the alternative where you front loaded.
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dplank wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 9:03 am Not 100%, because you if you want to move on from that player your costs are higher to do so if you've backloaded your deal. Trade value is lessened as well. I'd rather front load when you can and have all that flexibility later.

Also aren't there limits on how much you can carry over, and is it 1:1 or is there some tax taken out to ensure teams don't roll over / tank seasons and try to build up for a spending spree / short window like we see the poor teams in MLB do.
You just roll it over. So yes 100%.



The one mechanism in there to prevent teams from being the Pirates is that you have to spend 90% (I think its 90%) of the Cap in Real Dollars over 3/4 Year periods.

So you can still tank if you want to try that - but you don't get to save money
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The Cooler King wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 9:17 am
dplank wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 9:03 am Not 100%, because you if you want to move on from that player your costs are higher to do so if you've backloaded your deal. Trade value is lessened as well. I'd rather front load when you can and have all that flexibility later.

Also aren't there limits on how much you can carry over, and is it 1:1 or is there some tax taken out to ensure teams don't roll over / tank seasons and try to build up for a spending spree / short window like we see the poor teams in MLB do.
Your costs aren't higher to move on. The timing is just different.

Re: trade aspect, if it's backloaded cap hits than the trade value component is the same. If it's backloaded salary, which is kind of a separate thing (and gtd v non-gtd) plays some role, you still have the same flexibility to eat the salary and equal the trade value or not, and you exchange trade value for extra cap space compared to the alternative where you front loaded.
Backloaded salary is what I'm referring to - what else can you backload? Bonus will be spread out evenly over the term.

Maybe it's minor, but I do still see benefit in front loading salary when you have the space to do it vs backloading when you don't need to. Those front loaded costs are behind you and you don't have to get super creative on these deals, you have an asset that's now playing for you - or available for trade - at a lesser value than they would otherwise be worth.

I get your point, but reality does continue to fly in the face of some of your logic. We have seen us for a few years now make "cap related moves" - if your purist view of the "the cap is irrelevant" were so, that would just never be a thing. We would have kept Fuller last year. No way we would have dumped Mack for a bag of peanuts, there's no argument we're a better team without him - that was a "cap resetting" move. I agree the cap is fungible and most people overstate the impacts of cap space and all, but I disagree that it's irrelevant all together.
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All I know is that I'm loving having Stein back. In the era before the Rookie Cap, he always had our guys signed. The only Rookie I remember giving him trouble was Cedric Butthead Benson. Remember Benson finally settling on Stein's last offer like two weeks after it was made. I'm sorry for his tragic death and his riding partner. But man, I still hate that guy.

On a side note, I will NEVER ride on road motorcycles. My wife was just involved in a three car, two motorcycle pile up last year that killed all four riders on the Motorcycles while nobody else even suffered a mild injury. Growing up, one of my best friends was killed riding one. I have another really good friend who has been in SIX motorcycle accidents. He gimps around with a cane, but still rides all the time. I asked him how many were his fault. He replied, "none." I believe him. People just don't pay enough attention on the open road. I just shake my head at him riding now, give a little prayer. I have no problem riding dirt bikes on the property or in the mountains, but no way, you catch me riding on the Open Road. No way. I remember driving south of San Francisco on #280 in rather heavy traffic going about 50 MPH bumper to bumper. I remember a guy on a crotch rocker going at least 80 passing by on my left by about two feet, going between the between the jammed cars and changing lanes in small gaps that formed in front. I don't care how good a driver he was, I imagine he's dead now if he kept that up. Yeah, no street bikes for me or my family. RIP Cedric.

Sorry for the spiel, now back to the intent of this post: I wonder what Stein's reaction was when Pace started digging us into Cap Hell:

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Glad to have him back in charge.
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The Cooler King wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 8:49 am
Bearfacts wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 2:07 am I would love to have a sit down with Poles and Cliff Stein just to discuss cap philosophy and management. No matter how much we believe we know about it there will always be some subtleties we as fans miss. And is it even limited to taking one path or the other? What we know and understand is far less than a GM and his Capologist do. The only issue is getting them to talk about it.
There's definitely subtleties missed since we don't do it for a living. For instance the biggest thing I cant a speak on is how actual negotiations go and impact things.

But here has been one of my biggest changes.

There are 3 teams who's head personnel person (GM/equivalent) comes from a primarily cap/contract background
1. Saints
2. Eagles
3. Bills

Watching those teams closely tells you a lot without the GM needing to speak on it. Actions louder than words and all that. Every other team has a primarily "football guy" at top. That's a not insignificant difference. Most the teams who try the NOL/PHI trickery don't do it as well - discount brand imitators.

My second biggest change was understanding that the purpose of the cap is to ensure the revenue split for players. It's all about $, and the rules are in many ways (though not all, there's weird legacy vestiges) set up to reflect that. But you also have to read a lot of CBA text to pick up on that.
You brought up one thing previously that's very much in line with something I would like to explore and that would also be on my list of things to discuss with Cliff Stein and that is; how does cash flow enter into the picture and more specifically how are various bonuses structured and paid out. Some types are more obvious than others. We believe we know this but do we?

Although I haven't taken the time to research it one thing that's popped up from time to time is a requirement for a team to escrow guaranteed monies. Is this universal or selective? What triggers it and what are the rules surrounding this. The answers could well be contained in the CBA but as you've pointed out and many of us know CAP vs CASH is not the same thing.

Some insight into actual negotiations would also help. Slotting rookie contracts has all but done away with holdouts but as we've seen before some language in the contract itself can be negotiable. How flexible are teams as far as doing this. With vested vets it's a much different deal. Now the GM/Capologist are dealing with a negotiated fair market value for the specific player.

I'd love to know what the team uses to determine their offer vs how the player agent lays out his position. What happens when the two sides are far apart in this. How does the team decide on how much of a contract they'll guarantee and for what reasons. How important is structure to both sides. Be great to spend a day just learning about the details from both sides of a negotiation.

It's just one of those "crack open a beer" and be prepared to listen and learn kind of deals.
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dplank wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 11:17 am
The Cooler King wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 9:17 am
Your costs aren't higher to move on. The timing is just different.

Re: trade aspect, if it's backloaded cap hits than the trade value component is the same. If it's backloaded salary, which is kind of a separate thing (and gtd v non-gtd) plays some role, you still have the same flexibility to eat the salary and equal the trade value or not, and you exchange trade value for extra cap space compared to the alternative where you front loaded.
Backloaded salary is what I'm referring to - what else can you backload? Bonus will be spread out evenly over the term.

Maybe it's minor, but I do still see benefit in front loading salary when you have the space to do it vs backloading when you don't need to. Those front loaded costs are behind you and you don't have to get super creative on these deals, you have an asset that's now playing for you - or available for trade - at a lesser value than they would otherwise be worth.

I get your point, but reality does continue to fly in the face of some of your logic. We have seen us for a few years now make "cap related moves" - if your purist view of the "the cap is irrelevant" were so, that would just never be a thing. We would have kept Fuller last year. No way we would have dumped Mack for a bag of peanuts, there's no argument we're a better team without him - that was a "cap resetting" move. I agree the cap is fungible and most people overstate the impacts of cap space and all, but I disagree that it's irrelevant all together.
Backloaded Guarantees are what matters - Not really Salary *Unless you guarantee that salary (but typically by Year 3 there is no guarantees for the Base) - if the Salary is backloaded into like Year 4? With no guarantee? Whatever - not worth the paper its printed on unless the Player is still worth that Base (**)

(**) If you choose to pay now rather than backloading Base Salary into Year 4? That is outright foolish.

Roster Bonuses/ Void Years also backload in addition to Base Salary

"I get your point, but reality does continue to fly in the face of some of your logic. " It does not actually - it's a failure to understand that is what makes you think there is an issue.

Mack not really a cap-resetting move either - Timing issue plus savings. Again - NOTHING FA THIS YEAR WAS PREVENTED BY THE CAP!

And the Cap being relevant or not - is not the same argument as Front-Loading v. Back-Loading - The fact that you blend them together suggests a misunderstanding of the Cap generally.

But take an easy example and why it doesn't matter to Front-Load generally

Player X - He sucks after 1 year so you want to cut him.
Contract A (Front Loaded) -
Year 1- 16 Million Base (Guaranteed), + 4 million SB, Year 2 is 1 Million Base (Non- Guaranteed), Year 3 5 Million (Non-Guaranteed)

Contract B (Back Loaded)
Year 1 - 1 million base, 4 million SB, Year 2/3. 8/ 7 million of each Base is guaranteed

You cut said player after 1 year. Each method cost you 20 Million in Cap Space.
RichH55
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Maybe this will make more sense on the Cap Thinking - Front Loading v. Back Loading - Cap Hit wise

"To me it's a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when you walk around. That way, if anyone says, Hey, can you give me a hand? You can say: Sorry, got these sacks."
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Bearfacts
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The Cooler King wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 8:15 pm
southdakbearfan wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 7:56 pm

Front loading is much preferred to a backloading, when you can do it.

1. You utilize cap you have vs what you will have, keeping you out of total cluster resets and seriously bad contracts. See the trevathon void years.
2. It’s way easier to trade cheaper players, in later years of contracts and they bring more or better draft capital back. If Mack’s deal wasn’t so jacked up he would have brought back much more.
3. It’s way easier to cut players in later years as the hit isn’t near as bad.
4. Reduces dead cap issues with dead/void/zombie years in contracts.

All that said, you have to start out at a mini reset to do it, be willing to trade good players before their contracts turn bad or they do to maintain draft capital. Especially when you do get the QB right and they cost $50 mill a year.

When you get to the point where you have to backload, continuously restructure and are adding void years to a bunch of contracts it’s pretty much guaranteed you are heading far downhill fast. Especially if you do all that and then trade draft picks away like nothing, like Pace did.
I mean this is all exactly opposite to how the smartest cap guys in the league function the cap.

Given equivalent guarantees/money, the front loaded cap deal just rolls over less, so it's all moot in the end. Even in the trade hypothetical... You can just eat that cap hit at any time and also, end up right back where you started.

Backload cap hits, and where permissible from load money for favorable time value returns and lower totals.
Let's look at it from this perspective though and how back loading or a restructuring that back loads cap costs can work against you at times.

Assuming the team signing a vet in his prime expects to get his best performance while that player is still in his prime what happens when a significant portion of the deal is back loaded either initially or via restructure and the players performance begins to decline or the player struggles with injuries missing games due to those injuries?

I'd liken this to a car loan in which the payments ascend over time to the point where you still have a significant balance to pay long after the warranty has expired and repair costs are now rising. This does happen and more frequently now that many vehicles are leased in order to keep monthly payments down. You end up upside down.

Either you pay off the balance of lease or a dealership finds a way to role that into a new deal on a new car. Since there's no way to role the remaining deferred cap hit into another players deal an NFL team either takes that full hit upon that players release or trade or splits it into two cap hits, one current one deferred a year.

One example of this is Danny Trevathan. Almost immediately after having been given an extension his play declined and his injuries increased. Other's whose contracts called for ever increasing cap costs were released or traded including Kyle Fuller only to create the cap room needed to sign Andy Dalton who proved to be another wasted effort.

In a more perfect world wouldn't it make more sense at least theoretically to have the majority of a veteran players costs come while he's performing at the top of his game and then decline as he ages and his play falls off due to age or injury? Would keeping a guy like Hicks be more likely if his costs declined from $12 mil to say half that or less?

I know that's not how it works. I'm just throwing out something that would seem to make more logical sense in term of how deals are structured with a cap profile more similar to a bell curve. Low first year cost to enable adding talent now, pay for that talent when performance is in line with expectations, then lower costs as performance declines.

I can't imagine we'll ever see a structure like that within a contract yet it's pretty much what happens to many vets isn't it. For example guys like Hicks and Goldman are still unsigned now and if signed will surely be getting offers for far less than there prior deals paid them. Back loaded deals are pretty common yet they can be very limiting when the bill comes due.
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Bearfacts
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dplank wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 11:17 am
The Cooler King wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 9:17 am
Your costs aren't higher to move on. The timing is just different.

Re: trade aspect, if it's backloaded cap hits than the trade value component is the same. If it's backloaded salary, which is kind of a separate thing (and gtd v non-gtd) plays some role, you still have the same flexibility to eat the salary and equal the trade value or not, and you exchange trade value for extra cap space compared to the alternative where you front loaded.
Backloaded salary is what I'm referring to - what else can you backload? Bonus will be spread out evenly over the term.

Maybe it's minor, but I do still see benefit in front loading salary when you have the space to do it vs backloading when you don't need to. Those front loaded costs are behind you and you don't have to get super creative on these deals, you have an asset that's now playing for you - or available for trade - at a lesser value than they would otherwise be worth.

I get your point, but reality does continue to fly in the face of some of your logic. We have seen us for a few years now make "cap related moves" - if your purist view of the "the cap is irrelevant" were so, that would just never be a thing. We would have kept Fuller last year. No way we would have dumped Mack for a bag of peanuts, there's no argument we're a better team without him - that was a "cap resetting" move. I agree the cap is fungible and most people overstate the impacts of cap space and all, but I disagree that it's irrelevant all together.
My position is similar to yours. If we choose to return to the days of yesteryear we'd see that teams often used an abundance of cap to extend players they wanted to keep. Or we saw FA deals being front loaded because there was ample cap space to do it.

Then, as salaries began to rise significantly we saw far more back loading and/or the restructure of some deals to create the cap needed to add even more vet talent who also received back loaded deals. Compare the number of teams with significant amounts of dead cap now to teams of say 10-20 years ago and we can see that back load deals can bite you in the ass.

No one is disagreeing with the math or money paid out but the timing of it and how it's accounted for when large sums are deferred can eventually impact personnel decisions. I also agree that losing players like Fuller and Mack were the result of significantly higher cap costs and the need to free up that cap cost to use elsewhere. The bill comes due eventually.
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