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The Curse of a Salary Cap–Eating Quarterback

DanMetroMan : 1/2/2019 11:02 am
"n 1966, San Francisco 49ers star quarterback John Brodie received a contract pitch from the Houston Oilers: “We can set things up so that if you want to, all you’ll ever have to do is play golf and drink beer and gamble,” Oilers general manager Don Klosterman told him, according to the book America’s Game. A better offer has not been made to a quarterback in the five decades since, though teams have tried. In the era of the booming salary cap, quarterbacks are being paid a disproportionately high percentage of their team’s available dollars. They account for the 14 largest salary cap hits in 2018—in 2011, there were six QBs in the top 14. Denver quarterback Case Keenum has the same cap hit in 2018 as Houston defensive end J.J. Watt. San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s guaranteed salary this season is higher than the entire salary cap for a team in 1996. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is making $66.9 million this year as part of his new deal, which is $4 million more than a team’s entire salary cap in 2000."
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What?  
Big Blue '56 : 1/2/2019 11:13 am : link
66.9?
RE: What?  
DanMetroMan : 1/2/2019 11:15 am : link
In comment 14244084 Big Blue '56 said:
Quote:
66.9?


Under his current contract, Rodgers has a base salary of $19.8 million for this season and $20 million for 2019. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports Rodgers will get $67 million before the end of 2018, and he will have around $103 million guaranteed. Ryan's deal has $100 million in guaranteed money.

Rapoport adds that there is a $57.5 million signing bonus on the deal.
Link - ( New Window )
This:  
Giantophile : 1/2/2019 11:15 am : link
Quote:
And it’s very bad for team-building if your highly paid quarterback doesn’t play like a superstar.


And this says it all. The people in the "keep Eli, but how dare you ask him to take a pay cut" camp really need to open their eyes on this.

You can argue he should be back, that he's not the problem, etc. But it's clear he simply makes too much money relative to his performance.
RE: RE: What?  
Big Blue '56 : 1/2/2019 11:16 am : link
In comment 14244088 DanMetroMan said:
Quote:
In comment 14244084 Big Blue '56 said:


Quote:


66.9?



Under his current contract, Rodgers has a base salary of $19.8 million for this season and $20 million for 2019. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports Rodgers will get $67 million before the end of 2018, and he will have around $103 million guaranteed. Ryan's deal has $100 million in guaranteed money.

Rapoport adds that there is a $57.5 million signing bonus on the deal. Link - ( New Window )


Wow and thanks!
I've been saying this for years  
Go Terps : 1/2/2019 11:20 am : link
The franchise QB contracts are an albatross. Even Aaron Rodgers's contract can be called into question - and he may be the best player in the league. Besides what it does to your cap, there are considerations with how it may destabilize your locker room and organization (this definitely seems to have happened in Green Bay).

But for someone like Rodgers at least you can say you're getting an elite player. Where it gets ridiculous is when you're talking about Garoppolo, Stafford, Cousins, etc...these guys aren't elite players. Garoppolo may become one, but pinning your franchise to a guy on spec seems crazy. And the Stafford/Cousins type guys have proven over many years not to be elite players worth that type of commitment.

Keeping your QB position in a rookie contract is a huge advantage over these other teams from a perspective of roster building.
so then it must  
Enzo : 1/2/2019 11:23 am : link
be REALLY hard to build a roster when you have big cap hits for both the QB and RB position...
"Fear of the unknown"  
AcesUp : 1/2/2019 11:23 am : link
Author of the article nailed it with that comment. Teams are willing to give players that they know are, at best, middling talents because they're afraid to roll the dice on young players. It's fear driven decision making in an environment where there is 1 winner and 31 losers. It's dumb.
.  
arcarsenal : 1/2/2019 11:30 am : link
Drew Brees has a 24M cap hit this year and the Saints might be the best team in the NFC.

Phillip Rivers. 22M cap hit. 12 win season. The Chargers are also an excellent football team.

Andrew Luck. 24M cap hit. 10 wins.

Roethlisberger was taking up over 10% of the cap on his own last year. PIT won 13 games.

The contract matters when the production doesn't match. Which is what you saw with Kirk Cousins this year.

It's not an albatross if the player produces. Even with Rodgers - the Packers had been a perennial playoff/winning team up until this year where the wheels started falling off and the coach got fired.

In theory, yes, you have a major advantage when you're getting top flight QB play for pennies on the dollar. That's why we saw Seattle dominate before Wilson got paid and are seeing KC break the scoreboard every week now. The problem is that it's not a repeatable strategy or easy to do. Every team wants this scenario, but the odds of hitting it are very small.
Whenever you see articles like this  
figgy2989 : 1/2/2019 11:30 am : link
I always think about Sam Bradford and how he has made $130M in his 9 year NFL career!
Isn't this basically the life  
pjcas18 : 1/2/2019 11:32 am : link
of every franchise QB when their career is over? I'm not sure I agree a better offer hasn't been made in 5 decades unless I misunderstood the point.

Quote:
We can set things up so that if you want to, all you’ll ever have to do is play golf and drink beer and gamble,”


For example, Eli Manning has earned $213M, just from his football contracts. If he plays next year he'll have earned $230M.

Ben Roethlisberger $186M, if he plays next year he'll be over $200M.

Philip Rivers: $201M, if he plays next year he'll be around $218M career earnings.

and those are just the 2004 QB class top 10.

Brady, Manning, Rodgers, Brees, Ryan, etc, all over $200M.

Matt Ryan has the potential to outearn all of them (so far) with a potential $321M earnings (just based on current contracts signed).

How is that materially different than:

We can set things up so that if you want to, all you’ll ever have to do is play golf and drink beer and gamble,”

arc  
Go Terps : 1/2/2019 11:36 am : link
The odds of hitting on a guy worth the huge deal are smaller still, and the penalty for getting it wrong is far greater than simply a missed draft pick. Would you rather be Arizona wondering if you missed on Rosen, or Minnesota on the hook for $60M over the next 2 years with Cousins?

Minnesota's fortunes are completely tied to that dipshit. Arizona has options.

If you hit on a Brees or Luck, yeah you pay him. But how often do you get that chance?
.  
arcarsenal : 1/2/2019 11:41 am : link
I'd never have paid Kirk Cousins - he's a turd who has come up small in enough big games for me to think it's a trend and that he's a loser/compiler.

But the Giants were right to pay Eli... the Steelers were right to pay Ben. Ditto LAC with Rivers, NO with Brees, IND with Luck... and when KC needs to open up the checkbook for Patrick Mahomes, they'll be nuts not to do the same.

I would never have a problem paying to keep a QB if I thought he was worth the money.

I would not pay guys on the open market from other teams like Cousins, Keenum.. Foles (coming up), etc.
...  
christian : 1/2/2019 11:44 am : link
There is an element of the CBA being tilted toward vets working out. Vet QBs are getting a lot of money because top 5 draft picks aren't.

The unbalance gets caused with every new contract having to out do the previous. It's OK for Matt Ryan to make less money than Rodgers, even if his contract comes up after.

QB is still the most lucrative position, but 8/20 of the highest guaranteed contracts right now aren't QBs. So it's not just QBs benefiting.
if you can hit on a new young QB every 5 years  
bluepepper : 1/2/2019 11:46 am : link
or less than you'd be gold. But that's hard to do and QB is about 10 times more important than any other position so teams really don't have much choice.

Now, if we move into an era where 4-5 good young QB's come into the league every year and are ready to play at a high level by year 2 or earlier than ok but in that scenario the price of veteran QB's will decline and come more in line with other positions.
The Giants clearly were not right paying Eli  
Go Terps : 1/2/2019 11:47 am : link
It's hindsight, but the team has been atrocious for the life of that contract. They would have been better off letting him sign elsewhere. Eli would have been better off too.

The interesting cases right now are Wentz, Goff, and Prescott. IMO none of them is worth paying. But I'm guessing that two or all three of them will get big contracts from their teams.
time and time again  
pjcas18 : 1/2/2019 11:52 am : link
it's the same tired argument. QB is the position you pay without question, the risk is too great to "hope" you can replace your QB with a lesser paid option.

When you find a QB you can win with, you pay him.

The Tom Brady anomaly is like saying why draft linebackers at all anymore, James Harrison was a UDFA.

And when you look at Brady, his first three SB's he was on a rookie, small dollar deal, but since then he's been a highly paid QB. So 5 Super Bowl appearances while he was among the highest paid QB's in the league.

Russell Wilson's last SB he was a highly paid QB.

Newton, Ryan, Peyton, Eli, Ben, Rodgers the evidence is overwhelming.

if your plan is to go cheap on a QB you have a very slim chance of winning the Super Bowl.
.  
arcarsenal : 1/2/2019 11:55 am : link
Paying Eli wasn't the mistake the Giants made - the mistake was failing to provide the type of team necessary around him to continue winning games.

Nearly all of Reese's OL investments failed - and the attempt to rebuild that unit came far too late. Eli has also been plagued by some terrible defenses and until Barkley got here, we generally were completely anemic trying to run the ball too.

It's way too easy to sit here today and say NYG shouldn't have paid Eli. It was a no-brainer to do it at the time. Just because it didn't result in any additional championships doesn't mean it was the wrong decision and there's no guarantee that not paying him would have had us in any better shape.

Eli wasn't cooked when we paid him.
RE: .  
widmerseyebrow : 1/2/2019 12:36 pm : link
In comment 14244183 arcarsenal said:
Quote:
Paying Eli wasn't the mistake the Giants made - the mistake was failing to provide the type of team necessary around him to continue winning games.

Nearly all of Reese's OL investments failed - and the attempt to rebuild that unit came far too late. Eli has also been plagued by some terrible defenses and until Barkley got here, we generally were completely anemic trying to run the ball too.

It's way too easy to sit here today and say NYG shouldn't have paid Eli. It was a no-brainer to do it at the time. Just because it didn't result in any additional championships doesn't mean it was the wrong decision and there's no guarantee that not paying him would have had us in any better shape.

Eli wasn't cooked when we paid him.


This is correct. The salary cap didn't force us to make horrible draft picks and free agent signings for years.
Waiting for 2nd contracts to some of these QBs to level the playing  
Ivan15 : 1/2/2019 12:39 pm : link
field.

Sustainable excellence is hard to achieve, no matter who is making the big money. If the Giants had a new young starting QB and could pay Barkley, Collins and Beckham (all of whom contributed to this bad season) what they deserve, there still wouldn't be enough money to pay any new free agents. It is still salary cap hell.

And we would all be yelling to get rid of Collins and Beckham based on 2018 performance.
We are going to see a lot..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 1/2/2019 12:39 pm : link
of articles in the offseason that drive this point into the ground.

The 6 highest paid QB's didn't make the playoffs this year.

Whether or not the point is valid is moot - the idea that team building with a cheap QB has to be done will be theorized over and over again.
RE: This:  
LauderdaleMatty : 1/2/2019 1:38 pm : link
In comment 14244089 Giantophile said:
[quote]

Quote:


And it’s very bad for team-building if your highly paid quarterback doesn’t play like a superstar.



And this says it all. The people in the "keep Eli, but how dare you ask him to take a pay cut" camp really need to open their eyes on this.

You can argue he should be back, that he's not the problem, etc. But it's clear he simply makes too much money relative to his performance. [/quot

Who says those of us who think he may be the best option don’t think they should try to restructure?

Makes a lot of sense. But then you may have to extend him for a year and give him a quarantee. But let’s be honest The insanity of paying guys like Cousins And Keenum Over 20 million per year is screwiing the scale

There is anyone who is a Giant fan who wouldn’t love to lower his cap number. Or at leat a fan who isn’t an idiot. But the lost of insanely over paid QBs is nuts.
It is easy to complain about the cap implications  
Section331 : 1/2/2019 2:00 pm : link
of top tier QB's, and teams with good, cheap young QB's do have a huge competitive advantage, but do you do when that young QB comes up for renewal? Should KC walk away from Mahomes after his rookie deal?

The NFL and NFLPA should put provisions into the CBA to max out what a single player can count against the cap, but I don't see the PA going for it.
RE: .  
Matt M. : 1/2/2019 2:14 pm : link
In comment 14244183 arcarsenal said:
Quote:
Paying Eli wasn't the mistake the Giants made - the mistake was failing to provide the type of team necessary around him to continue winning games.

Nearly all of Reese's OL investments failed - and the attempt to rebuild that unit came far too late. Eli has also been plagued by some terrible defenses and until Barkley got here, we generally were completely anemic trying to run the ball too.

It's way too easy to sit here today and say NYG shouldn't have paid Eli. It was a no-brainer to do it at the time. Just because it didn't result in any additional championships doesn't mean it was the wrong decision and there's no guarantee that not paying him would have had us in any better shape.

Eli wasn't cooked when we paid him.
Very well stated.
RE: RE: This:  
Matt M. : 1/2/2019 2:17 pm : link
In comment 14244415 LauderdaleMatty said:
Quote:
In comment 14244089 Giantophile said:
[quote]

Quote:


And it’s very bad for team-building if your highly paid quarterback doesn’t play like a superstar.



And this says it all. The people in the "keep Eli, but how dare you ask him to take a pay cut" camp really need to open their eyes on this.

You can argue he should be back, that he's not the problem, etc. But it's clear he simply makes too much money relative to his performance. [/quot

Who says those of us who think he may be the best option don’t think they should try to restructure?

Makes a lot of sense. But then you may have to extend him for a year and give him a quarantee. But let’s be honest The insanity of paying guys like Cousins And Keenum Over 20 million per year is screwiing the scale

There is anyone who is a Giant fan who wouldn’t love to lower his cap number. Or at leat a fan who isn’t an idiot. But the lost of insanely over paid QBs is nuts.
I'd love to see Eli's cap hit lowered, but it is not possible without extending his contract, which is a point lost on most posters. So, while I'd love to lower the hit, I don't think I want to commit to him beyond this year.
RE: It is easy to complain about the cap implications  
AcesUp : 1/2/2019 2:59 pm : link
In comment 14244472 Section331 said:
Quote:
of top tier QB's, and teams with good, cheap young QB's do have a huge competitive advantage, but do you do when that young QB comes up for renewal? Should KC walk away from Mahomes after his rookie deal?

The NFL and NFLPA should put provisions into the CBA to max out what a single player can count against the cap, but I don't see the PA going for it.


No, you resign Mahomes (assuming he keeps it up). You don't churn QBs as the foundation of a roster building strategy, it is still optimal to pay a QB that plays up to that deal over assuming unnecessary volatility. However, the point the article is that it is actually riskier allocating significant cap resources to a known subpar player than assuming that volatility.

Basically a team like Dallas should let Dak walk despite the precedent set over the last decade being that you HAVE to extend him because he's a starting QB. They're better off resigning their defensive studs and starting over at the position. It's less risky than giving Dak a ton of money and banking on surrounding him with a bevvy of cheap studs on their first deals.
RE: RE: It is easy to complain about the cap implications  
arcarsenal : 1/2/2019 3:03 pm : link
In comment 14244638 AcesUp said:
Quote:
In comment 14244472 Section331 said:


Quote:


of top tier QB's, and teams with good, cheap young QB's do have a huge competitive advantage, but do you do when that young QB comes up for renewal? Should KC walk away from Mahomes after his rookie deal?

The NFL and NFLPA should put provisions into the CBA to max out what a single player can count against the cap, but I don't see the PA going for it.



No, you resign Mahomes (assuming he keeps it up). You don't churn QBs as the foundation of a roster building strategy, it is still optimal to pay a QB that plays up to that deal over assuming unnecessary volatility. However, the point the article is that it is actually riskier allocating significant cap resources to a known subpar player than assuming that volatility.

Basically a team like Dallas should let Dak walk despite the precedent set over the last decade being that you HAVE to extend him because he's a starting QB. They're better off resigning their defensive studs and starting over at the position. It's less risky than giving Dak a ton of money and banking on surrounding him with a bevvy of cheap studs on their first deals.


This is exactly it.

Paying a QB isn't the problem - paying a journeyman big cap dollars who is no longer wanted by their original team or extending an existing, undeserving player (i.e... Dak Prescott) is.

If Patrick Mahomes is still performing near this level when he's due for a new deal, the Chiefs won't even think twice about paying up - which is the right move.
RE: RE: RE: This:  
ron mexico : 1/2/2019 3:06 pm : link
In comment 14244524 Matt M. said:
Quote:
In comment 14244415 LauderdaleMatty said:


Quote:


In comment 14244089 Giantophile said:
[quote]

Quote:


And it’s very bad for team-building if your highly paid quarterback doesn’t play like a superstar.



And this says it all. The people in the "keep Eli, but how dare you ask him to take a pay cut" camp really need to open their eyes on this.

You can argue he should be back, that he's not the problem, etc. But it's clear he simply makes too much money relative to his performance. [/quot

Who says those of us who think he may be the best option don’t think they should try to restructure?

Makes a lot of sense. But then you may have to extend him for a year and give him a quarantee. But let’s be honest The insanity of paying guys like Cousins And Keenum Over 20 million per year is screwiing the scale

There is anyone who is a Giant fan who wouldn’t love to lower his cap number. Or at leat a fan who isn’t an idiot. But the lost of insanely over paid QBs is nuts.

I'd love to see Eli's cap hit lowered, but it is not possible without extending his contract, which is a point lost on most posters. So, while I'd love to lower the hit, I don't think I want to commit to him beyond this year.


this is absolutely untrue. Not sure where this is coming from. A player can agree to a straight pay cut with no additional years. Cruz did it.
not 100% sure about this  
pjcas18 : 1/2/2019 3:10 pm : link
but I believe a player can agree to a lower contract aka a pay cut, but they cannot lessen their guaranteed dollars or the NFLPA would have an issue.
You cannot take a straight..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 1/2/2019 3:11 pm : link
pay cut. Cruz didn't either. The Player's Union does not allow it.

What you can do is convert salary to incentive-based $$$. That's what Cruz did.
RE: You cannot take a straight..  
Giantophile : 1/2/2019 3:43 pm : link
In comment 14244663 FatMan in Charlotte said:
Quote:
pay cut. Cruz didn't either. The Player's Union does not allow it.

What you can do is convert salary to incentive-based $$$. That's what Cruz did.


Is that true? I was always under the impression that if both sides agree a player can take a straight cut.
It needs to be signed off on by the..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 1/2/2019 3:50 pm : link
Player's Union, but I don't know of an instance where this has taken place. This is how most "cuts" that aren't restructures are accomplished:

Quote:
Cruz will receive a base salary of $1.3 million in 2016, with playing time incentives that can be worth up to $5.5 million and production incentives that would enable him to recoup the rest of his original salary


Because teams can essentially cut a player without having to pay salary (only guaranteed money), this is the counter-balance to it
That's largely a distinction without  
ron mexico : 1/2/2019 4:29 pm : link
A difference
Umm..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 1/2/2019 6:25 pm : link
not really. incentives earned count towards the cap. and unless the incentives are ridiculously difficult to achieve, the player will come close to earning their previous salary if they play all the games and contribute.

I'd say that's a huge difference to a straight pay cut.
People rave about the accomplishment by the Belichick-Brady tandem,  
LAXin : 1/2/2019 6:59 pm : link
but a more accurate recognition should be attributed to the Belichick-Brady-Bündchen trio. Seriously. Her superior earning capability allowing him to inflict only modest salary cap hit is a vital contribution to team success that should not be overlooked.
RE: People rave about the accomplishment by the Belichick-Brady tandem,  
SHO'NUFF : 1/3/2019 5:41 am : link
In comment 14244980 LAXin said:
Quote:
but a more accurate recognition should be attributed to the Belichick-Brady-Bündchen trio. Seriously. Her superior earning capability allowing him to inflict only modest salary cap hit is a vital contribution to team success that should not be overlooked.


Don't forget the shady business deal between the Patriots and Tom Brady owned TB12 company.
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