Hmm the way I see it, the big story here is that the team is finally spending some money instead of just keeping in Arthur's bank account like they usually do. The Salary Cap Bowl is not the competition I'm interested in seeing the Falcons win
Not really, because when you look at which players count the most towards this year's cap, all except Grimes were signed before. Matt Ryan is the biggest hit on the cap, Blank spent his money in 2008. White (August 2009), Turner (March 2008) and Dunta (March 2010) round out the top 5. Our current inability to spend has little to do with current spending, but more of past spending.
There is another way to look at this Pudge. The FO is looking toward the next offseason for once. They want to keep us in as good as possible a financial situation as possible next offseason, instead of restructuring the contracts of players who most likely will be cut/not resigned next year (Baker, Turner, Mughelli).
That also isn't really the case either. Because many of the restructurings I'm talking about have minimal impact on the Falcons cap next year. For example, Michael Turner's deal is basically like a $5 million base salary + like $2 million in prorated bonus money giving him a 2012 cap hit around $7 million. If you were to reduce his base salary to near the league minimum around $800,000 and turn the difference ($4.2M) into signing bonus that would prorated over the next two years ($2.1M each), you would save about $2M against this year's cap, and only ad about $2M to next year's cap if you decide to cut him. Not a huge setback.
The same thing with Ovie in the restructuring I've outlined before: http://falcfans.com/ewings-addition-sho ... -ovie-5875
Also you look at Matt Ryan, who carries a $13 million base salary/cap hit this year with IIRC $2.75 million garuanteed. If you were to turn that into $5 million and make that fully guaranteed, and then take the $8 million difference and add it to next year's cap, that would mean he could potentially have an $18 million cap hit in 2013, the final year of his contract. But the reality is that you're not going to let that happen. You're going to re-sign him to a long-term deal before that point in time to avoid that huge cap hit. And if you were to give him the same contract that Eli Manning got from the Giants, his first year cap hit would be around $10 million, which was the amount he would have had in 2013 had you done nothing.
So you've basically saved $8 million for this year, and also signed Matt Ryan to a long-term deal with zero ramification for next year's cap. Certainly there is a ramification for 2014 and beyond, but the alternative (not having Matt Ryan as your QB) is a much higher ramification.
Those 3 moves alone would save roughly $12 million in 2012 cap space, with only about $3.5 million in penalties you would pay in 2013.