the next big shoe to drop...

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the next big shoe to drop...

Postby fun gus » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:31 am

Now that Matt Ryan has signed a long-term deal to remain with the Falcons, G.M. Thomas Dimitroff and company won’t have to worry about giving out any more huge contracts.

Until after the 2013 season.

When the coming campaign ends, receiver Julio Jones will be eligible for a new contract, thanks to a wrinkle in the new labor deal that prevents restructuring of draft-pick contracts until the player has completed three seasons. (The old rule was two years.) Jones, along with players like Cam Newton, A.J. Green, J.J. Watt, Aldon Smith, and Colin Kaepernick, will be looking to get the money they didn’t get in 2011 for fear that they’d never earn it.

As a result, the first question when seeing the full breakdown of the Ryan contract will be the structure, from a cap standpoint. The Falcons should have loaded up as many cap dollars as possible into 2013.

Ryan already had a cap number of $12 million, and as of Thursday (per the NFLPA) the Falcons had $6.3 million in cap space. Though they need to keep some of that around for the inevitable signings that will occur throughout the season (of course, there are ways to generate cap space on the fly, too), the Falcons possibly maxed out the cap space Ryan will consume this year, knowing that Jones likely will count for a lot more next year.

There would have been no reason for Ryan to decline. For starters, Ryan needs Jones to be around. Then there’s the fact that both players are represented by the same agency, CAA.

So at some point between February 2014 and August 2014, look for Jones to be one of the 2011 draft picks who’ll finally be getting the big pile of cash he didn’t get (relatively speaking) two years ago.

*Fun Gus note* so does this mean we have $6.3mil left to play with? and how much will Trufant cost us?

could there be enough left in the kitty to go out and secure one more defensive player?
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Re: the next big shoe to drop...

Postby dirtybirdnw » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:12 am

I would assume that Matt Ryan now has a cap charge around $15-$16 million (or higher) if they front loaded the contract. From what I've read the Falcons front loaded Ryan's contract with $63 million over the first 3 years or $21 million per year.

I would assume at this point the Falcons have little to no cap space left to sign much of anyone. Maybe 1 more veteran D-Lineman but nothing more than that. I would assume at some point this pre-season the Falcons may dump higher priced under performing players (say Blalock w/$7.66 million cap charge or Peria Jerry w/$2 million) if they want to add someone.

The Falcons probably stacked the deck with Ryan's contract to eat the big dollars at a point where the roster is mostly set this year and likely no significant changes outside of the draft next year.
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Re: the next big shoe to drop...

Postby Pudge » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:22 pm

No, the Falcons have maybe $2-3 million to play with. Teams typically like to have an "operating budget" of $3-4 million going into the season to give them flexibility in the event of in-season injuries. $3 million amounts to about 4 veteran players that each cost $750,000.

And it's not really a front-loaded contract. That $63 million includes Ryan's signing bonus as well as the likely "falling off the log" bonus, which is obviously prorated over the life of the deal. More than likely that signing bonus will be somewhere between $25 and $40 million. The falling off the log bonus refers to the option bonus (occasionally roster bonus) that the Falcons typically put in the 2nd year of their big contracts that a player is very, very likely to earn (thus it's as easy to earn as falling off a log). How much that bonus is who knows, could be as low as $5 million, could be as high as $15 million.

Point being, is that Ryan's deal is still heavily backloaded, with obviously $40 million in base salaries likely to be due in the final 2 years (2017 & 2018), resulting in the Falcons likely re-negotiating his deal before the 2016 season is up.

As for Jones, he'll be eligible to have his contract renegotiated next off-season. He and A.J. Green are in a position to join Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald as $100 million receivers. They are likely to be in the $12-18M/yr. range. The key for the Falcons is setting the market before the Bengals do. For example, if they can get Jones to accept a $14M/yr. deal (say over 7 years), it could save them some money than say if the Bengals wrap up Green up to a deal that plays him $15M/yr. first.
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