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 Post subject: Don’t Expect a Falcon Off-season Spending Spree
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:31 pm 
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http://falcfans.com/dont-expect-a-falco ... spree-7065

Don’t Expect a Falcon Off-season Spending Spree
February 5th, 2013
Aaron Freeman

Is John Abraham in danger of being cut?
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC posted the upcoming 2013 salaries for every player under contract, confirming his earlier report that the Falcons salary cap space will be tight. The Falcons are expected to be slightly less than $2 million under next year’s projected $120.6 million salary cap. The Falcons have about $120.2 million collectively due to the top 51 players on their off-season roster, and get to carry over an addition $1.3 million from last season to squeeze in at around $1.7 million under the projected 2013 salary cap.

The salary cap in 2012 was in fact $120.6 million, but there is no expectation for a significant increase for 2013. The Falcons will need to clear some cap space in order to tender a pair of restricted free agents in tight end Michael Palmer and running back Antone Smith. Based on the projected restricted free agent tenders for this year, the Falcons will have to commit to each a minimum tender of $1.323 million if they intend to keep either. That represents the original round tender. Since both Palmer and Smith were undrafted rookies, tendering them at that level would mean that the Falcons would receive no compensation if they were to sign offers with other teams. The Falcons could then have the option of tendering the pair at the second round level, worth $2.023 million. That way, the Falcons would receive a second round pick if either free agent was to sign elsewhere. Cornerback Robert McClain is not a restricted free agent, as Ledbetter’s contract information confirms he is under contract for 2013.

Given the current projections, the Falcons only have enough cap space to tender one of the two. In order to clear more space, the Falcons could renegotiate the contracts of several veteran players, and possibly release a few.

One candidate for release is running back Michael Turner, who per Ledbetter, would create $4.4 million in cap space if released. Defensive end John Abraham is also a potential candidate for release, who Ledbetter indicates could free up $6 million in next year’s cap space. Scott Carasik of Bleacher Report indicates that the Falcons could also save at least $6 million against the 2013 by releasing cornerback Dunta Robinson.

The Falcons are also expected to sign Matt Ryan to a long-term extension this off-season. Ryan carries the team’s biggest cap hit of 2013 at $12 million. That number could reduced as part of a lower first-year salary on a new multi-year deal. Last year, the five-year $100 million contract signed by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was able to lower his 2012 cap hit by roughly $6 million. Brees and Ryan are represented by the same agent, Tom Condon.

Other highly-paid veterans that might be asked to re-work their deals are wide receiver Roddy White ($9.125 million 2013 cap hit); guard Justin Blalock ($7.66 million); tackle Tyson Clabo ($6.05 million); cornerback Asante Samuel ($5.7 million); defensive tackles Jonathan Babineaux ($5.2 million) and Peria Jerry ($2.01 million); linebacker Stephen Nicholas ($3.5 million); and kicker Matt Bryant ($2.9625 million).

While these moves could potentially create a significant amount of space for the Falcons, much of that opened space will be used to retain the team’s own free agents. The Falcons are expected to re-sign offensive tackle Sam Baker to a long-term deal, and also will be looking to keep safety William Moore. The team may be forced to place the franchise tag on Moore if they cannot work out a long-term deal before the end of February. The franchise tender for safeties is expected to be around $6.8 million. Based off contracts signed by free agent tackles Eric Winston, Demetress Bell, and Jared Gaither last spring, a multi-year contract with Baker could average between $5 and $7 million annually. Per contract information provided by Spotrac.com, their first-year cap hits for that trio’s respective deals averaged about $3 million.

Factoring in tenders for Palmer and Smith, it suggests that the Falcons will need to create roughly $12 million in cap space just to retain those four free agents. Other players that become unrestricted free agents this off-season include: tight end Tony Gonzalez, cornerback Brent Grimes, center Todd McClure, fullback Mike Cox, cornerback Chris Owens, defensive tackle Vance Walker, offensive tackle Will Svitek, guard Garrett Reynolds, quarterback Luke McCown, linebacker Mike Peterson, and defensive Lawrence Sidbury.

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 Post subject: Re: Don’t Expect a Falcon Off-season Spending Spree
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:49 pm 
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1. I'm not sure why the NFL doesn't move to balance salary increases and cap increases. It would be handy to cap the increase of the highest contract at a position by the same ratio that the cap increases. For example, if the cap moved up 5%, Ryan could only sign a contract averages 5% higher than the previous qb high.This whole "stable cap, unstable salaries" thing is just asking people to cheat or the contracts to be guaranteed to be anything but guaranteed.

2. Has McKay or whoever made wise decisions with contracts? Jenkins: too much and cut. Blalock seems unreasonably high, as do Robinson and Nicholas (to say nothing of whatever they are paying Douglas). I guess this may be fallout from point #1, but these guys seem to be overpaid.

3. Turner, Robinson, and Jerry would seem to be auto-cuts, no?

4. $1.32 mil for Michael Palmer and Antone Smith? Really? That's the price for a CFA tender? We can offer them (far) less, no? My beef here isn't that the players don't deserve the money, but it seems like way too large of a % of the cap for a team that also needs to sign several high-money players.


Thanks for the breakdown.


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 Post subject: Re: Don’t Expect a Falcon Off-season Spending Spree
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:57 pm 
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samedi wrote:
1. I'm not sure why the NFL doesn't move to balance salary increases and cap increases. It would be handy to cap the increase of the highest contract at a position by the same ratio that the cap increases. For example, if the cap moved up 5%, Ryan could only sign a contract averages 5% higher than the previous qb high.This whole "stable cap, unstable salaries" thing is just asking people to cheat or the contracts to be guaranteed to be anything but guaranteed.

2. Has McKay or whoever made wise decisions with contracts? Jenkins: too much and cut. Blalock seems unreasonably high, as do Robinson and Nicholas (to say nothing of whatever they are paying Douglas). I guess this may be fallout from point #1, but these guys seem to be overpaid.

3. Turner, Robinson, and Jerry would seem to be auto-cuts, no?

4. $1.32 mil for Michael Palmer and Antone Smith? Really? That's the price for a CFA tender? We can offer them (far) less, no? My beef here isn't that the players don't deserve the money, but it seems like way too large of a % of the cap for a team that also needs to sign several high-money players.


Thanks for the breakdown.


In reference to item two, I was thinking the same thing we have some players who are making some serious coin next year and dont seem to merit that type of compensation with what they put on the field. IMO Robinson should be willing to take a paycut he isnt going to get anywhere near 9 mil on the open market so he shouldnt mind taking a cut to 5 or 6 mill, yes its a lot but on the open market he would be lucky to sniff anything around those numbers. Jerry should just be cut we should move on he isnt worth that kind of moolah. I loved what Turner has done for the city but he is washed and should be cut. Nicholas is another guy I would take a look at to see if his play reflects his pay and what are my options at SLB.

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 Post subject: Re: Don’t Expect a Falcon Off-season Spending Spree
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:54 am 
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If we've paid too much its on Thomas D. I have no arguments for what we were paying.
(Worst is Turner and Blalock)

Keeping Turner, Abe, is just not letting go of the past!! Is Jerry as good as he will get after his injury, then get rid of him. In 5 years people will say getting Julio was worth whatever we gave!! Right now we may have to step back to move forward.

Actually if Tony stays we won't lose much or anything on offense with Turner gone.

Abe has played better than most expected these last two years but his age, his past injuries, are just waiting to bite us on the butt.

Geez if I was Blank I have a hard time being quite on Turner. When these guys take reductions their never enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Don’t Expect a Falcon Off-season Spending Spree
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:47 am 
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samedi wrote:
4. $1.32 mil for Michael Palmer and Antone Smith? Really? That's the price for a CFA tender? We can offer them (far) less, no? My beef here isn't that the players don't deserve the money, but it seems like way too large of a % of the cap for a team that also needs to sign several high-money players.

One option for the team is not to not tender either, making them unrestricted free agents and just signing them to veteran minimum deals. This happens occasionally for players, but almost always requires them to sign a 2 or 3-yr. contract rather than the 1-yr. tender. Because think about it, if you're a free agent, the minimum salary for a 4th year player is $715,000. That's $608,000 less than the tender. Would you really be amenable to taking that paycut? Probably not unless there is some money on the back-end that makes up for it.

I doubt the Falcons would do that with Palmer. Maybe Antone Smith.

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