Tracking down details on Ray Edwards' contract was just oh so much fun. And even now, the press can't seem to reach a consensus on the cap impact of his release.
(I'm sticking to my guns and saying it depends on whether the option bonus he got at the start of this league year was prorated or not. If it was, the net cap savings in 2013 will be $2.4 million. If that bonus was NOT prorated and the team counted it all against this year's cap, the net cap savings in 2013 will be $3.9 million.)
But since all that accounting stuff was such pure bliss, let's do it again!
I'm sure many people want to know details on Michael Turner's contract, but that one's too easy. 2013 is the final year of his contract, so his signing bonus will count the same $2.5 million against the 2013 cap regardless of whether the team keeps him or cuts him.
That means the only difference with Turner would be his $5.5 million base salary. As mock GMs, you are faced with the ever-so-difficult decision between (a) the 2013 model Michael Turner or (b) $5.5 million of cap space. I'm guessing it took you 0.5 nanoseconds to make your choice, and that time was mainly spent deciding which colorful epithets to include when articulating your decision.
So his contract is easy, and the stay-or-go decision is even easier.
Let's move on to a more challenging contract: Dunta Robinson.
D-Rob's cap situation is tougher to sort out for three reasons. First, there were some conflicting details in the original accounts when he initially signed. Second, he signed in the uncapped year, which threatened to bring some funky extra cap accounting rules into play. Third, he and the team restructured the deal this season.
It was a six-year deal worth a total of $57 million, with $22.5 million of guaranteed money. This is the third year of that contract.
The contract had a $7 million signing bonus and a total of $8 million of other option/roster bonuses. Those other bonuses are where we run into discrepancies in the accounting. D-Led's original story in the AJC said that he would have a $3 million guaranteed bonus in 2011 and could receive $5 million more in option bonuses. Other reports say that he received $5 million in bonuses last year, and some say that those bonuses were guaranteed in the original contract.
He was also originally scheduled to receive a $3 million bonus going into this year, but that disappeared as part of the restructuring. The full details: he gave up the $3 million bonus and dropped $1 million from his 2012 salary. Instead, that $4 million was pushed back to later years, adding $1 million to his 2013 salary and 2014 salary and $2 million to his 2015 salary. In return, the rest of his 2012 salary is fully guaranteed.
So it appears that the full, restructured contract breaks down as follows:
$7 million signing bonus in 2010 (obviously guaranteed)
$5 million base salary in 2010, fully guaranteed
$5.5 million base salary in 2011, fully guaranteed
$5 million other bonuses in 2011, reportedly fully guaranteed.
That's the original $22.5 million of guaranteed money.
$5 million base salary in 2012, fully guaranteed due to restructuring
$8 million base salary in 2013. Reportedly, $3 million of that becomes guaranteed if he's still on the roster on the fifth day of the 2013 league year (aka the fifth day of free agency).
$10 million base salary in 2014
$11.5 million base salary in 2015
As for the cap hits from the signing bonus and roster bonus, it appears that the team was allowed to apply the entire $7 million signing bonus to 2010, the uncapped year. The Cowboys and Redskins got into trouble for working too much money into the uncapped year, but it seems the Falcons didn't go too far. So that cap space is already out of the way.
The $5 million in bonuses he received in 2011 are being prorated at $1 million per year for 2011-2015. As of right now, $2 million of that has been counted against salary caps with $3 million remaining.
The rest of the math is fairly straightforward. If they keep him, the cap costs will be $1 million per year more than his base salary. He'd cost $9 million towards the cap next season, $11 million in 2014, and $12.5 million in 2015.
Note that little caveat above about some of his salary becoming guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year. If the Falcons part ways with him before next season, they'll want to do it quickly or $3 million of his salary will become guaranteed - which means it would still count against the cap if they released him later.
So if they release him before free agency kicks in, the dead money would be $3 million vs a $9 million cap cost of keeping him. Net savings = $6 million.
But if they keep him through March and then change their minds in August, they'd still be responsible for $3 million of his salary. The net savings from releasing him would then be only $3 million.
The key question: you're the team's mock GM. Considering the high price tags for good, experienced cornerbacks, would you rather keep him on the roster? Or are you so eager to get him out of town that you can't wait to have your mock Turk give him the mock pink slip?
I think I might lean towards keeping him around one more season and having him play the slot, as the team originally intended to have him do this year. But then, I have a lot of other ideas about what I'd do as mock GM, and he might fit into my twisted plans better than he fits in yours. Or Atlanta's for that matter.
Anyway, that's the breakdown on his contract. Thanks for reading these fan posts. I know the salary cap isn't the most exciting material. (Maybe I should spice up the next one by putting a picutre of a gray tie on the header and throwing in lots of spankings and sex scenes.)
Your thoughts? (about MT, DR and the cap - but spankings and sex are good too)