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 Detroit Lions, Salary Cap Trouble? 
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Post Detroit Lions, Salary Cap Trouble?
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One thing that bothers me is that people ALWAYS act like the Lions cap situation is in complete disarray when in reality it isn't really that bad. We're spending so much money on washed up players, and we could cash out if all weren't on the team.

Cash in millions of all the overpaid players who SHOULD soon be let go:

Corey Williams: $5.2
Dom Raiola: $5.2
Cliff Avril: $10.6
Stephen Peterman: $2.7

Those four players ALONE would net us over $23 million in cap space. Williams is better than SLH at this point at stuffing the run, but I wouldn't hesitate to get $5 mill and have SLH be a backup NT. Dom is just not good enough to be making $5 million a year and I'd be happy with Nagy stepping in, who is a solid run blocker and from what I've heard was decent at pass blocking. Cliff is very, very overrated and not nearly worth $10 million a year. We could get a top-flight DE with that money. Peterman is a solid pass-blocker but non-existent in the run-blocking category. Reiff could fill in just fine for him.

It'd probably realistically cost us about $12.5 million to replace these guys with FAs and/or draftees and throw in Stafford's extension, so that's around $8-10 million to work with and fill holes in the roster, AND THAT IS JUST FOUR VERY OVER-PAID GUYS.


FWIW, Schotty, do you realize that we would HAVE to replace all of those guys for the amount mentioned just to tread water this year?

Matt Stafford's cap # goes from $9million last year, to $21 million next year if we do nothing with his contract. Honestly, after last season he doesn't deserve an extension (he's currently under contract until after the 2014 season, why extend him now when he's obviously regressed?), but Mayhew and his "kick the can down to road management strategy has backed us into having to extend his contract to reduce his cap number.

You guys still loving the Mayhew Koolade? IMO it's time for him to go.


January 3rd, 2013, 3:38 pm
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Post Re: Detroit Lions, Salary Cap Trouble?
Never drank the Mayhew Koolaid since the Fairley, Young, LeShoure draft. I just had the feeling he was reaching for pLayers at positions they didn't need to fill and defending that with his BPA approach. Unfortunately it's been the same story every year. I'm sorry but unless that so called BPA is head and shoulders better than the next one or two guys on your board and positions of need I don't buy it.

The Fairley pick should have been one of the top DEs (Quinn or Kerrigan) in my opinion, Watt was up there as well but I think he's a better 3-4 DE than a 4-3. The Lions had an aging KVB and an expiring contract the next season with Avril, DE was a mu h bigger concern than DT. Now in a year or two at the most they are going to have to trade or just let Suh or Fairley walk. With Stafford and CJ that can't tie up big money in two DTs.

As far as Stafford goes there aren't going to be many QBs that throw well over 700 attempts that aren't going to look like they regressed. He did have more than his fair share of ugh moments but he also had no consistant running game and besides CJ a bunch of " Who's that #18 guy?" receivers on the field this year. I think the Lions are actually in a good position by extending him this year and pushing the contract to say 2016 or 2017.


January 3rd, 2013, 4:05 pm
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Post Re: Detroit Lions, Salary Cap Trouble?
sweetd20 wrote:
I think the Lions are actually in a good position by extending him this year and pushing the contract to say 2016 or 2017.


The problem is... At what cost, and at what cap number? He already has a $20 million dollar bargaining chip "baked into" his prior deal. That cash isn't going away, the best we can do is spread it out over a longer period of time. He's not going to take a paycut, and we already owe him $40 million for the next two seasons. Say he's willing to work for $10 million per year (I doubt it at this point), what are we going to offer him? A "new" contract for 4 years $60 million? That's about the best case scenario, and that averages about $15 mill per year... And sure, we can back load it, and give him a huge SB, but at the end of the day that contract is still worth $60 million and the total cap hit will be $60 million. We're not really "saving" anything by doing that, just kicking the can down the road, which Mayhew LOVES to do.


January 3rd, 2013, 4:20 pm
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Post Re: Detroit Lions, Salary Cap Trouble?
wjb21ndtown wrote:
sweetd20 wrote:
I think the Lions are actually in a good position by extending him this year and pushing the contract to say 2016 or 2017.


The problem is... At what cost, and at what cap number? He already has a $20 million dollar bargaining chip "baked into" his prior deal. That cash isn't going away, the best we can do is spread it out over a longer period of time. He's not going to take a paycut, and we already owe him $40 million for the next two seasons. Say he's willing to work for $10 million per year (I doubt it at this point), what are we going to offer him? A "new" contract for 4 years $60 million? That's about the best case scenario, and that averages about $15 mill per year... And sure, we can back load it, and give him a huge SB, but at the end of the day that contract is still worth $60 million and the total cap hit will be $60 million. We're not really "saving" anything by doing that, just kicking the can down the road, which Mayhew LOVES to do.
How about converting it to some sort of bonus? That should give the Lions a little wiggle room, while also making sure Matthew can / will prove himself worthy of an extension.

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January 3rd, 2013, 4:23 pm
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Post Re: Detroit Lions, Salary Cap Trouble?
TheRealWags wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
sweetd20 wrote:
I think the Lions are actually in a good position by extending him this year and pushing the contract to say 2016 or 2017.


The problem is... At what cost, and at what cap number? He already has a $20 million dollar bargaining chip "baked into" his prior deal. That cash isn't going away, the best we can do is spread it out over a longer period of time. He's not going to take a paycut, and we already owe him $40 million for the next two seasons. Say he's willing to work for $10 million per year (I doubt it at this point), what are we going to offer him? A "new" contract for 4 years $60 million? That's about the best case scenario, and that averages about $15 mill per year... And sure, we can back load it, and give him a huge SB, but at the end of the day that contract is still worth $60 million and the total cap hit will be $60 million. We're not really "saving" anything by doing that, just kicking the can down the road, which Mayhew LOVES to do.
How about converting it to some sort of bonus? That should give the Lions a little wiggle room, while also making sure Matthew can / will prove himself worthy of an extension.


We could make it a guaranteed bonus at some latter date (that's what we did with Backus), but there's only two years left on Stafford's deal. His cap hit is already $20 million for 2014 as well as 2013, if you just pro-long his bonus you shrink his cap hit this year and pile more on next year. Any contract that truly lends us real cap relief has to come with an extension, but I contend that the extension is going to be for at least $15 million per year, and I really don't think Stafford is worth it, not yet.


January 3rd, 2013, 4:29 pm
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Post Re: Detroit Lions, Salary Cap Trouble?
wjb21ndtown wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
sweetd20 wrote:
I think the Lions are actually in a good position by extending him this year and pushing the contract to say 2016 or 2017.
The problem is... At what cost, and at what cap number? He already has a $20 million dollar bargaining chip "baked into" his prior deal. That cash isn't going away, the best we can do is spread it out over a longer period of time. He's not going to take a paycut, and we already owe him $40 million for the next two seasons. Say he's willing to work for $10 million per year (I doubt it at this point), what are we going to offer him? A "new" contract for 4 years $60 million? That's about the best case scenario, and that averages about $15 mill per year... And sure, we can back load it, and give him a huge SB, but at the end of the day that contract is still worth $60 million and the total cap hit will be $60 million. We're not really "saving" anything by doing that, just kicking the can down the road, which Mayhew LOVES to do.
How about converting it to some sort of bonus? That should give the Lions a little wiggle room, while also making sure Matthew can / will prove himself worthy of an extension.
We could make it a guaranteed bonus at some latter date (that's what we did with Backus), but there's only two years left on Stafford's deal. His cap hit is already $20 million for 2014 as well as 2013, if you just pro-long his bonus you shrink his cap hit this year and pile more on next year. Any contract that truly lends us real cap relief has to come with an extension, but I contend that the extension is going to be for at least $15 million per year, and I really don't think Stafford is worth it, not yet.
I agree it might be too early to lock him up now but I realize they may have no other choice; that said IIRC Lewand is supposed to be a genius with the Cap, so perhaps he can come up with something...

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January 3rd, 2013, 4:42 pm
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Post Re: Detroit Lions, Salary Cap Trouble?
I understand but the position where "kicking the can" is defendable is at the QB position in my opinion. QBs like Stafford even if he never becomes a top five QB don't grow on trees. On top of that even average QBs in today's league get paid huge contracts. I think if they can get him at an average of $15 million for the next few years they'll be getting about league average for a QB of his potential.

I hate big contracts except for the Mannings and Bradys of the world but unfortunately the league forces teams to pony up or hope they can find a player even close to as good as what they already have. It killed me to see CJ sign that deal but it was a necessary evil. Paying premium prices to a WR just ties up too much money in a highlight position in my opinion. How many of the last (pick a number) Super Bowl champs in the salary cap era had one of the highest paid WRs? Unfortunately for Detroit, CJ is just one of those talents they had to pay or hope they could have received a Walker type of compensation.


January 3rd, 2013, 4:49 pm
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Post Re: Detroit Lions, Salary Cap Trouble?
TheRealWags wrote:
I agree it might be too early to lock him up now but I realize they may have no other choice; that said IIRC Lewand is supposed to be a genius with the Cap, so perhaps he can come up with something...


See, that's the problem Wags. We're sort of in a position that we're going to have to lock up Stafford for 6-7 years and pay him close to $100 mill to do it, with a load of it guaranteed. The bottom line is Mayhew PUT US in this position, we're now stuck here, and we're going to have to give a 25 year old kid $50-60 million dollars at a point in his career where he flat out doesn't deserve it.


sweetd20 wrote:
I understand but the position where "kicking the can" is defendable is at the QB position in my opinion. QBs like Stafford even if he never becomes a top five QB don't grow on trees. On top of that even average QBs in today's league get paid huge contracts. I think if they can get him at an average of $15 million for the next few years they'll be getting about league average for a QB of his potential.

I hate big contracts except for the Mannings and Bradys of the world but unfortunately the league forces teams to pony up or hope they can find a player even close to as good as what they already have. It killed me to see CJ sign that deal but it was a necessary evil. Paying premium prices to a WR just ties up too much money in a highlight position in my opinion. How many of the last (pick a number) Super Bowl champs in the salary cap era had one of the highest paid WRs? Unfortunately for Detroit, CJ is just one of those talents they had to pay or hope they could have received a Walker type of compensation.


I don't disagree that Qbs are over-paid, and I don't disagree that Qbs are a position you can afford to over-pay. After all, if virtually every team is doing it you're not disadvantaging yourself if you do it to. That said, I would say at this point in his career Matt Stafford deserves Tony Romo money. That's about $8-10 million per year. I'm not saying that Stafford isn't better than Romo (although I will say he hasn't proven anything yet), and I'm not saying that Romo isn't over-paid. Most people acknowledge that Romo is over paid.

Taking that into consideration, we're going to have to pay Stafford in the neighborhood of $15 million per year, and that's just flat out sick. Why are we going to have to over-pay him? Well, he's due $40 MILLION in the next two years. He's not going to be willing to take a loss on that money. There's no way around it, we have to pay him to keep him (and I'll add that the only other players due that sort of money are Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Payton Manning... THAT'S how irresponsible Mayhew was with his Stafford deal). I'm sure he'd be willing to spread that money out over a long-term deal, but you have to ADD that $40 million to his deserved $8-10 million. You do the math...


January 4th, 2013, 1:48 pm
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Post Re: Detroit Lions, Salary Cap Trouble?
The other thing with Stafford, too, is that he was drafted before the rookie cap. Some of those numbers are coming from a time where you were obligated to overpay for the first 5-10 picks in the draft. It's not Mayhew's fault that Stafford had a bad year this season. I'm not taking the blame off of him but some of the bad contract comes from having to pay 1st overalls HUGE money "just because".

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January 4th, 2013, 2:02 pm
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Post Re: Detroit Lions, Salary Cap Trouble?
Footsoldier32 wrote:
The other thing with Stafford, too, is that he was drafted before the rookie cap. Some of those numbers are coming from a time where you were obligated to overpay for the first 5-10 picks in the draft. It's not Mayhew's fault that Stafford had a bad year this season. I'm not taking the blame off of him but some of the bad contract comes from having to pay 1st overalls HUGE money "just because".


I don't disagree with you there, but Mayhew definitely compounded the problem and made it worse by, ta-da... AGAIN, kicking the can down the road and restructuring Stafford's deal to pay him MORE later. Now we're stuck.

What's equally odd is... Mayhew more or less built this team to have LAST SEASON be our SB run season. He mortgaged our future to the point where LAST YEAR was going to be the last year that we had money to spend on FAs, then he did NOTHING last offseason to make a real run at a SB, NOTHING!

Now do you guys understand why I was so particularly pissed LAST offseason.

Last offseason was arguably, no perhaps even unarguably, the most important offseason in the last 15 years, and Mayhew didn't do ONE DAMN THING. In fact, aside from the year after our ONE playoff year with Barry Sanders, you could argue that it was our most important offseason in 3-5 decades, and Mayhew didn't do ONE DAMN THING.

RE-DAMN-DICULOUS!


January 4th, 2013, 2:13 pm
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Post Re: Detroit Lions, Salary Cap Trouble?
MLive wrote:
Detroit Lions want to rework QB Matthew Stafford's contract

ALLEN PARK -- The Detroit Lions will face salary cap challenges once again this offseason.

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew is optimistic quarterback Matthew Stafford can help him out.

Mayhew hopes to rework the remaining three years on Stafford's contract in order to sign players during free agency. Stafford is slated to earn $12 million in 2013, and his salary cap number is $20.3 million. He will earn $11 million in 2014 ($19.3 million salary cap hit) and $15 million in 2015 ($17.7 million salary cap hit).

In addition, Stafford has a voidable clause in his contract after the 2014 season, meaning he could become a free agent one year early. The specifics of Stafford's contract is currently unknown.

"This year will be somewhat similar," Mayhew said. "We probably have about 50 million in our top three right now (Ndamukong Suh, Calvin Johnson and Stafford). We'll make an effort to renegotiate or extend Matthew Stafford. That will be something we plan on doing this offseason, and we'll free up some cap room doing that, hopefully.

"If not, we'll have 50 (million) in three players, but that's better than having 60 (million) in four and having your left tackle, mike linebacker, critical positions that are free, and your top passer rusher free."

Mayhew needs to free up money if he wants to re-sign Cliff Avril, or any other major free agents, this offseason.

Suh will earn $11.1 million in 2013 ($17.1 million cap number) while Johnson will receive $25 million ($12.2 million cap number).


Detroit restructured receiver Nate Burleson, Suh and Stafford's contracts last year, which helped the Lions re-sign Stephen Tulloch. If Stafford's deal is reworked, that will help the Lions once again.

"It will be a challenge," Mayhew said. "It was a challenge last year. Last year, we had 60 million dollars in four players, and half the cap was in four players. We didn't have Cliff Avril signed, we didn't have Jeff Backus signed. We didn't have Stephen Tulloch signed. We didn't have Shaun Hill signed. Guys that were all important guys to us, but they weren't signed, and we had half our cap in four guys.

"I thought (Lions president) Tom (Lewand) did a great job renegotiating some contracts. Obviously, getting Calvin done (reworking his contract) was a big accomplishment for us, and we freed up a little bit of room, but it's just enough room really to operate and get our own guys back. This year will be somewhat similar."

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January 4th, 2013, 5:06 pm
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Post Re: Detroit Lions, Salary Cap Trouble?
If we would have done some of the tough work last year (Nate, Corey Williams, etc.) we wouldn't be in this position this year... Just sayin'... Keep kickin' that can Mayhew...


January 4th, 2013, 5:37 pm
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Post Re: Detroit Lions, Salary Cap Trouble?
Pablo wrote:
MLive wrote:
"I thought (Lions president) Tom (Lewand) did a great job renegotiating some contracts. Obviously, getting Calvin done (reworking his contract) was a big accomplishment for us, and we freed up a little bit of room, but it's just enough room really to operate and get our own guys back. This year will be somewhat similar."


If that means what I think it means, here comes 4-6 wins again next year.


January 4th, 2013, 8:31 pm
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Post Re: Detroit Lions, Salary Cap Trouble?
DJ-B wrote:
Pablo wrote:
MLive wrote:
"I thought (Lions president) Tom (Lewand) did a great job renegotiating some contracts. Obviously, getting Calvin done (reworking his contract) was a big accomplishment for us, and we freed up a little bit of room, but it's just enough room really to operate and get our own guys back. This year will be somewhat similar."


If that means what I think it means, here comes 4-6 wins again next year.


Exactly... Kick the can down the road, keep this "core" together, and never get better. It doesn't make sense.

Again, we could have added REAL talent in last years offseason, but we sat on our hands. We should have dumped Corey Williams who will now likely re-sign for less because of his injury (and who knows how effective he will be) or go somewhere else entirely. We should have dumped Nate B instead of kicking the can down the road and making it cost prohibitive to cut him this year. We should have had a real approach to get Peterman's $3 million off of the books (really? we couldn't even upgrade Peterman in FA?)... Are people starting to see why I liked Kontz over Broyles so much? Starting OG last year, starting OC next year, $5 million in cap savings in two years... That's real money folks...

Mayhew needs to go.


January 4th, 2013, 8:39 pm
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Post Re: Detroit Lions, Salary Cap Trouble?
wjb21ndtown wrote:
DJ-B wrote:
Pablo wrote:
MLive wrote:
"I thought (Lions president) Tom (Lewand) did a great job renegotiating some contracts. Obviously, getting Calvin done (reworking his contract) was a big accomplishment for us, and we freed up a little bit of room, but it's just enough room really to operate and get our own guys back. This year will be somewhat similar."


If that means what I think it means, here comes 4-6 wins again next year.


Exactly... Kick the can down the road, keep this "core" together, and never get better. It doesn't make sense.

Again, we could have added REAL talent in last years offseason, but we sat on our hands. We should have dumped Corey Williams who will now likely re-sign for less because of his injury (and who knows how effective he will be) or go somewhere else entirely. We should have dumped Nate B instead of kicking the can down the road and making it cost prohibitive to cut him this year. We should have had a real approach to get Peterman's $3 million off of the books (really? we couldn't even upgrade Peterman in FA?)... Are people starting to see why I liked Kontz over Broyles so much? Starting OG last year, starting OC next year, $5 million in cap savings in two years... That's real money folks...

Mayhew needs to go.



Uhh...dont pat yourself on the back yet again WJB, and I know you love to do that...but almost all of us were really high on Konz and wanted the Lions to draft him, possibly in the first even.

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January 4th, 2013, 9:07 pm
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