If the Falcons gave Grimes the exact same contract of Cortland Finnegan, his cap hit this year would be $6 million. I've seen reports that we are $1.6 million under the cap, but I'm assuming that's including Grimes tender hit, which technically doesn't count.
It really bothers me how poorly the Falcons handled their money this off-season. IMHO, they should have approached Turner in February with an ultimatum, which was to cut his salary in half or get cut. At the least that would have saved us $2M (if he was cut), or $3.5M (if he agreed to the restructuring).
They should have at the very least approached Matt Ryan with a restructure. Take his $13M base salary, and reduce it to like $5.5M guaranteed. That would have basically doubled his guaranteed money for this year (only about $2.75M of his $13M deal was guaranteed) orgiinally. The difference ($7.5M), you can move to a roster bonus next year, which would give him like a cap hit of $18M in 2013. You do that so that you basically are forced to give him a long-term deal at some point in the next 12 months or decide to move on, a decision I think works out for both parties in the end. Ryan wins because he gets paid one way or the other (either by us or another team), and the Falcons win because they don't get into a situation like with Drew Brees where Ryan plays through the final year of his contract (2013) as a lame duck and have to deal with the issues of having your franchise QB holding out.
They should have taken more off the top of Dunta's restructuring, maybe another $1-2M.
If you make those 3 moves alone, $3.5M from Turner, $7.5M from Ryan, and $1M more from Dunta, you've just freed up $12M in 2012 cap space. Plus potentially $4M from Grimes long-term deal, and you have $16M in money that you could have thrown at Mario Williams in free agency. IINM, Williams cap hit for this year is about $9.1M from the deal he signed with the Bills. So you could have made all of the moves you made this off-season, signed Mario Williams, and still had up to $7M left over to get other deals done (about the cost of Carl Nicks in Year 1 in TB)...
So I'll once again point out if you are reading/listening to anybody that says that the Falcons couldn't afford to spend this off-seaosn, then they are talking out of their ass.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.