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Old 02-20-2008, 11:24 PM    (permalink
OzTitan
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Highest paid QB/(player?). Highest paid defender. Highest paid Safety. Highest paid TE. Two of the top 3 paid WR's.

Yikes. And just like how the recent CBA extension was *perfectly* timed for Indy to avoid some tough decisions, I'm guessing the cap will just be abolished was the time the cap grim reaper comes knocking again.

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Old 02-20-2008, 11:30 PM    (permalink
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I'm pretty sure Polamalu is still the highest paid safety, if you really look at the numbers. Didn't Vick sign a 100M deal? Again, in the case of Manning and Harrison, they have backloaded contracts.

Regardless, the Colts have:

1. drafted well enough and develop well enough that they have some of the best players at some positions, but also not drafting high which means not having to spend a lot on a draft pick;

2. been more concerned with signing their own players than in free agency, i.e. they won't sign anyone this offseason who wasn't homegrown, and they've let players walk when they had to;

3. been giving up huge signing bonuses to players, thanks to owner Jim Irsay spending millions out of his pocket such that one of the smallest-market teams can be one of the league's best.

Thankfully, the Colts have a new stadium now that will generate more revenue, as opposed to the old RCA Dome that wasn't delivering close to what some other franchises are. Despite having success such that the Colts were drawing national interest behind only the Dallas Cowboys, I recall reading in some business article. If I can find the article, I'll bring it up. But now The Luke is opening starting this season.

Importantly, I don't think the front office will lead the team to disaster or anything of that sort.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:45 PM    (permalink
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I'm not trying to sound rude when I ask this, just an honest question, but what leads you to believe Marvin Harrison will restructure? As an outsider looking in, he strikes me as the exact type of guy who wouldn't be in much of a position to want to restructure due to age and declining play. I don't see him making up any of the money he'd be losing out on...
Because he'd rather restructure and stay than not restucture and be designated as one of the Colts' two June 1 exemption players? People seem to forget the new provision in the CBA that allows teams to release 2 players prior to June 1 and still be able to spread their cap hit over 2 years.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:53 PM    (permalink
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I really don't think it will come to that, from either party involved. Unless Harrison is somehow done, I suppose, but I don't think he is. Obviously he wasn't at full health in the playoff game against San Diego, but a full offseason to recuperate will get him back to form imo.
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:17 AM    (permalink
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Highest paid QB/(player?).
Aren't there a few $100 million QBs in the NFL? Peyton Manning isn't one of them.

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Highest paid defender.
Only until Suggs and/or Peppers signs a long term deal.

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Highest paid Safety.
I'm 99% sure LaRon Landry's deal is worth more overall than Bob's.

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Two of the top 3 paid WR's.
#2 is Marvin Harrison, who is paid less than Calvin Johnson, and who else? I know Terrell Owens makes more than Reggie Wayne, and Moss will be very soon. Plus, the franchise tag number this year is, what, $9 million? Reggie's contract maxes out at (rounding up) $6.67 million per year, so I doubt he's even in the top 5.

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Yikes. And just like how the recent CBA extension was *perfectly* timed for Indy to avoid some tough decisions, I'm guessing the cap will just be abolished was the time the cap grim reaper comes knocking again.
What? The Colts had their contracts worked out to deal with the cap had the CBA not been worked out properly. They had bonuses for Manning and Harrison restructured (sound familiar?) until the restructuring was unnecessary. If you manage the cap right, the "cap grim reaper" doesn't "come knocking", even Dan Snyder has been able to do it using cash over cap and other tools of the sort.
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:34 AM    (permalink
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The Colts are over the inflated cap as it is right now, if it wasn't for the sudden spike 2 offseasons ago it would have been very tough. Just saying, not all teams in NFL history get to time their rise to the top with a huge increase in the cap like the Colts did. In almost any other period of time since the salary cap's introduction, the offseason when Wayne was extended was probably where the Colts start suffering cap casualties. Instead they keep shelling out top end deals.

And "restructuring", "back loading", "cash over cap" etc are all just tools to delay cap hell, not avoid it. The Colts may have had plans to get by without the new CBA, but enough to resign Wayne? And if so, that would only be damaging future cap health. IIRC, they had 400K in cap space and a few rosters spots to fill in 06, and I don't see Wayne being retained even with restructures.

BTW, when Wayne signed his deal, I distinctly recall him being one of the top 3 paid WR's, which Harrison already was at the time. It's arguable though what value you look at when gauging "best paid" really. Whatever the case, no matter how you look at it, the Colts are lucky just about the time the "spend big to keep core players around for Superbowl runs" model starts wearing down on the team's salary cap health, the new CBA kicked in. There is no doubting the timing has extended their contender-ship (amongst other things of course, such as good drafting).
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Old 02-21-2008, 01:18 AM    (permalink
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The Colts are over the inflated cap as it is right now
Care to show me some proof of that? At my last check, the Colts were $8.5 million or so under the cap. Of course that was prior to extending Lilja and Clark, so that number is likely closer to $4 million now, with $6.85 million of cap relief coming in the form of Booger McFarland (unless, of course, he takes a paycut to stay), so where is this whole "Colts are over the cap" thing coming from?

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if it wasn't for the sudden spike 2 offseasons ago it would have been very tough. Just saying, not all teams in NFL history get to time their rise to the top with a huge increase in the cap like the Colts did. In almost any other period of time since the salary cap's introduction, the offseason when Wayne was extended was probably where the Colts start suffering cap casualties. Instead they keep shelling out top end deals.
Edgerrin James is not a cap casualty? What about David Thornton (who really was only lost due to a league bookkeeping error)? Polian actually went on record as saying the Colts would've been in better position to retain both Wayne and James had the CBA not gone through, especially since in the year after the CBA was worked out (had it not been worked out), the league would've become uncapped.

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And "restructuring", "back loading", "cash over cap" etc are all just tools to delay cap hell, not avoid it.
Not if you use them right. Who better to manage the salary cap than one of its authors?

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The Colts may have had plans to get by without the new CBA, but enough to resign Wayne? And if so, that would only be damaging future cap health. IIRC, they had 400K in cap space and a few rosters spots to fill in 06, and I don't see Wayne being retained even with restructures.
I'll reiterate, Polian was on record as saying the Colts would have had a better shot at retaining both Wayne and James had the CBA not gone through.

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BTW, when Wayne signed his deal, I distinctly recall him being one of the top 3 paid WR's, which Harrison already was at the time.
Maybe at the time he was, but now I can pretty much guarantee he's not in the top 5, and I'd be surprised if he's in the top 10. Funny how that "huge cap spike" has effected these things.

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It's arguable though what value you look at when gauging "best paid" really. Whatever the case, no matter how you look at it, the Colts are lucky just about the time the "spend big to keep core players around for Superbowl runs" model starts wearing down on the team's salary cap health, the new CBA kicked in. There is no doubting the timing has extended their contender-ship (amongst other things of course, such as good drafting).
Perhaps Polian realized the timing at which he signed these deals? That could play a factor as well. I doubt under the old cap that Polian would've made Dwight Freeney the highest paid defender in the NFL, and I'd be willing to bet that with the success of the Giants with a pass rush this year combined with Suggs and Peppers being free agents this year and next, that Freeney's status as top paid defender won't last long.
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Old 02-21-2008, 02:05 AM    (permalink
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Care to show me some proof of that? At my last check, the Colts were $8.5 million or so under the cap. Of course that was prior to extending Lilja and Clark, so that number is likely closer to $4 million now, with $6.85 million of cap relief coming in the form of Booger McFarland (unless, of course, he takes a paycut to stay), so where is this whole "Colts are over the cap" thing coming from?
PFT is reporting the Colts are in fact the most over right now, including the Redskins, at about $125M ($116M projected cap). I don't trust Florio for most rumors but cap stuff he usually has down. He is an NFL nerd for those things.

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Edgerrin James is not a cap casualty? What about David Thornton (who really was only lost due to a league bookkeeping error)? Polian actually went on record as saying the Colts would've been in better position to retain both Wayne and James had the CBA not gone through, especially since in the year after the CBA was worked out (had it not been worked out), the league would've become uncapped.
Well, anyone leaving a team in the salary cap era is likely a cap casualty really, but I'm talking having to release reasonably highly paid players just to fit under. Those are closer to the definition these days.

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Not if you use them right. Who better to manage the salary cap than one of its authors?
Restructures are just pushing the same money further away, it's still there. The further you push it though, the more of an impact it will make when the time comes, and it *will* come (unless, of course, you time it perfectly to a point in time when there is no cap). The salary cap has risen so high recently though, maybe cap hell is a thing of the past now, I don't know. If it is, it's only because of the rising cap, not because you can somehow keep pushing money further away and magically avoid its wrath. If you can do that then the salary cap system has failed. The old CBA and its salary cap wouldn't allow it for much longer than a few seasons, it caught up eventually.

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I'll reiterate, Polian was on record as saying the Colts would have had a better shot at retaining both Wayne and James had the CBA not gone through.
Well, yeah, if there was no cap, sure. But there still would have likely been a cap by 07, so it's possible though the 06 season could have not seen the $20M increase it had to the cap with the new CBA extension, which is what allowed Wayne to be easily re-signed. If 06 was the last capped year under the old CBA and they reworked other deals to fit Wayne in at the time, they'd be in even worse shape right now (particularly considering the salary cap right now would probably be -$10M than what it is, since the new CBA extension would have likely come one year later than it actually did).

Anyway, even if there was no cap, it only furthers my point - the Colts would have just been lucky to time the trough of their cap health when the NFL gets rid of the salary cap instead of what I previously said.

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Maybe at the time he was, but now I can pretty much guarantee he's not in the top 5, and I'd be surprised if he's in the top 10. Funny how that "huge cap spike" has effected these things.
According to the franchise tag value list, Wayne is 8th in 07 cap number for WR's. Harrison was 2nd. But that's not exactly a totally accurate portrayal of a player's contract impact. I'm not sure how that escalates into the future. Whatever the case, 2 in the top 3, top 5, top 10, whatever, the point remains; the ammount of big money deals on the Colts is remarkable. Teams were punished severely for that under the old CBA, where $20M didn't just happen to pop on top of the league wide salary cap one offseason.

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Perhaps Polian realized the timing at which he signed these deals? That could play a factor as well. I doubt under the old cap that Polian would've made Dwight Freeney the highest paid defender in the NFL, and I'd be willing to bet that with the success of the Giants with a pass rush this year combined with Suggs and Peppers being free agents this year and next, that Freeney's status as top paid defender won't last long.
Well, that's kinda my point - without the cap change Freeney was probably a goner.

I'm sure he saw the CBA extension coming and adjusted accordingly - but my point is the rise of the Colts, from the drafting of Harrison and Manning to now, is lucky to have such an event occur when it did. It's only a pretty obvious and simple point I thought - every team benefits from more cap space, but only few benefit more than others because they're smack bang in the middle of their up cycle effectively extending their life as an elite team, or inches away from serious cap trouble, like the Redskins were (if the extension didn't come in time for 06, it was said they may not be able to possibly fit under the cap that season). The Titans hit their cap wall two seasons before the CBA was extended, the Colts would have definitely had a similar outcome by now had the old CBA still been active right now, or instead they would have likely not resigned Wayne and Freeney, with others in question too. That's all I'm saying - the Colts are lucky to have this happening when it is. If they were just one or two seasons later in their cycle or the old CBA was just one or two seasons longer, it might be a totally different situation for them right now.

Eventually, if the cap remains, player contracts will adjust so players are being paid the same as they were on the old CBA relative to the cap, and salary cap management will become more important again. But by then, the Colts cycle will have likely come down naturally. In the salary cap era of the NFL, you're not meant to be able to keep shelling out top end deals and get away with it, that's kinda it's whole point of the cap - to avoid dynasty like behaviour when it comes to retaining your own players. The Colts have and will be able to, however, thanks largely to a unique circumstance in their cycle.

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Old 02-21-2008, 07:41 AM    (permalink
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Because he'd rather restructure and stay than not restucture and be designated as one of the Colts' two June 1 exemption players? People seem to forget the new provision in the CBA that allows teams to release 2 players prior to June 1 and still be able to spread their cap hit over 2 years.
But see, here's the thing, like anyone else in the NFL, I think Marvin Harrison is smart enough to realize this is a business, and I don't think he'll just bow down to the Colts beck and call to keep his job, because quite frankly, he doesn't have to. There are teams with plenty of money available that would pay him more than the Colts to bring him in on a short term deal. Like, for instance, the Miami Dolphins, who are about 40 million under the cap, and I am sure would love to bring him in to help tutor some young kids like John Beck and Ted Ginn Jr and help them make the next step all while making some cash, playing in amazing weather and playing out the rest of his career.

If I were Marvin, I'd also be a little upset at what my quarterback, coach and GM were saying about me down the stretch too.

It's just good business. It's what the NFL has come down to. I have absolutely zero doubt that both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will redo their deals this offseason because they have a long time left to play and are also making a lot of money off the field. Hell, Brady's broad has more money than him. Guys like that are the ones that restructure. Guys like Marvin Harrison at the end of their careers try to hang on to every dollar they can... and I don't blame them.

And I am absolutely positive that there is a really good chance that I will be wrong on this one. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:03 AM    (permalink
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PFT is reporting the Colts are in fact the most over right now, including the Redskins, at about $125M ($116M projected cap). I don't trust Florio for most rumors but cap stuff he usually has down. He is an NFL nerd for those things.
Trust me Oz, not to bog down with details and cap quirks, the Colts cap isn't as bad as that number.

btw when it comes to the Colts, Florio is a complete dumbass.
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:04 AM    (permalink
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I like him for a lot of things, but he really didn't do himself any favors by putting out a mock draft today...
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Old 02-21-2008, 07:25 PM    (permalink
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I wish the NFL would post official cap figures. Maybe they will this season when FA starts but they haven't for some time now. I recall an article on NFL.com about official cap numbers a few seasons ago, but it seems to be ignored now days.
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Old 02-21-2008, 11:13 PM    (permalink
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Good timing....

http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/for...ad.php?t=18509
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:18 PM    (permalink
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Dallas Clark is one of my favorite players, but I was hoping he would walk because we can easily draft a TE. Jacob Tamme looked like a good fit. It was a good signing though, but this means someone has to go.

(Colts will free up some cap space when Manning and Harrison redo their deals.)
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:09 PM    (permalink
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btw when it comes to the Colts, Florio is a complete dumbass.
So very very true. He seems to either dislike or know nothing about the Colts, and I can't really decide which it is.
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:30 PM    (permalink
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But see, here's the thing, like anyone else in the NFL, I think Marvin Harrison is smart enough to realize this is a business, and I don't think he'll just bow down to the Colts beck and call to keep his job, because quite frankly, he doesn't have to. There are teams with plenty of money available that would pay him more than the Colts to bring him in on a short term deal. Like, for instance, the Miami Dolphins, who are about 40 million under the cap, and I am sure would love to bring him in to help tutor some young kids like John Beck and Ted Ginn Jr and help them make the next step all while making some cash, playing in amazing weather and playing out the rest of his career.

If I were Marvin, I'd also be a little upset at what my quarterback, coach and GM were saying about me down the stretch too.

It's just good business. It's what the NFL has come down to. I have absolutely zero doubt that both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will redo their deals this offseason because they have a long time left to play and are also making a lot of money off the field. Hell, Brady's broad has more money than him. Guys like that are the ones that restructure. Guys like Marvin Harrison at the end of their careers try to hang on to every dollar they can... and I don't blame them.

And I am absolutely positive that there is a really good chance that I will be wrong on this one. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Why wouldn't Marvin want to stay? He's already redone his deal once to help the Colts fit under the cap, and he's DEFINITELY not the selfish type. Also, I'm sure Marvin, like many other players, would like a chance at a (or, in his case, another) championship ring, which he wouldn't have much of a shot at with most of the teams that have a lot of cap space.
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:30 PM    (permalink
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Highest paid QB/(player?). Highest paid defender. Highest paid Safety. Highest paid TE. Two of the top 3 paid WR's.

Yikes. And just like how the recent CBA extension was *perfectly* timed for Indy to avoid some tough decisions, I'm guessing the cap will just be abolished was the time the cap grim reaper comes knocking again.
Michael Vick (130mil), Carson Palmer (118.75 mil), and Donovan McNabb (115 mil) both have larger contracts than Manning (99 mil). Nate Clements 80 mil contract is bigger than Freeney's 72 million. Larry Fitzgerald (60 mil), Andre Johnson (60 mil), Steve Smith (48.5 mil), Braylon Edwards (40 mil), and Javon Walker (40 mil) all have bigger contracts than Reggie Wayne (39.5 mil).

And having the highest paid safety (37.5 mil) and TE (36 mil) isn't nearly as ponderous a contract.
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:05 AM    (permalink
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On a related note, I wouldn't be surprised if Bernard Berrian signs a deal bigger than Reggie Wayne's, come a week from now when the frenzy of free agency begins.
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:11 AM    (permalink
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On a related note, I wouldn't be surprised if Bernard Berrian signs a deal bigger than Reggie Wayne's, come a week from now when the frenzy of free agency begins.
That would be quite hilarious. Randy Moss may be deserving of a huge long-term deal, but Berrian? He shouldn't be paid more than Wayne, nor should Stallworth (who it has been rumored for a while now will be released), but with the way the current market is going, both could get 6 year/$40 million+ deals.
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