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Cowboys Salary Cap Analysis cont'd: Calculations

This is supplemental part of the salary cap analysis found here.

The other post was quite long in itself, so I decided to break this out into a separate post, so that it'd be more easily digestible, and so that people could ask questions about a specific player's cap hit.

Update:Due to OCC's helpful suggestions, I re-looked into my numbers and the actual rules, and discovered that I had been calculating guaranteed bonuses incorrectly. Instead of being applied the year that they are obtained, they are treated the same as signing bonuses and pro-rated across the life of the contract. However, guaranteed salaries are applied only the year they are for; THEY are NOT pro-rated across the contract.

Salary Cap Calculations

First, only the top 51 players are counted against a team's salary cap (Top 51 Rule). A player's salary cap hit for a year comes down to 3 components:

  1. Player's base salary
  2. Part of the player's signing bonus (aka, a prorated portion of the player's signing bonus)
  3. Any likely-to-be-earned (LTBE) "performance" bonuses that a player will make for that year (e.g., roster bonuses).*
    *There are also not-likely-to-be-earned (NLTBE) "performance" bonuses, which do NOT count toward the current year's salary cap, but can potentially be subtracted from the next year's salary cap.

Now, for the most part, the first two components are the easiest parts to find for a player's salary cap hit. However, there are some issues when it comes to calculating the 3rd component. This leads to the

Caveats

  1. "Performance" bonuses don't seem to be reported with any degree of regularity which makes it difficult to take these bonuses into account when calculating salary cap hits.
  2. Sometimes, it's hard to determine whether a "performance" bonus fits into the LTBE or NLTBE category. And it also varies somewhat depending on previous performance of the player. This point along with the previous point means that for the sake of the salary cap calculations, I'm going to ignore all "performance" bonuses which do not obviously fit into the LTBE category. There may be enough LTBE "performance" bonuses which add up to the $14 million differential, but until I see the work that goes into these numbers, I'm going to be skeptical that the Cowboys are really $14 million over the number that I calculated. In addition, some of those players who might have these "extra" bonuses, will be potential targets to release/trade, so that extra bonus will also be dropped.
  3. Escalator clauses can increase a player's base salary above the number first reported when they signed. For the most part, I believe that there aren't enough escalator clauses which get hit that will cause a significant change in the salary cap hit determination.

Here are the numbers that I calculated for each player. Only top 51 players in terms of cap are shown. Dollar values are in millions.

Player Pos Age Exp Yrs Left 2011 Cap Hit 2012 Cap Hit 2011 Base Salary 2011 LTBE Bonuses 2011 SB Pro-ration
Tony Romo QB 31 7 3 $11.899 $11.899 $9.000 $0.000 $2.899
DeMarcus Ware OLB 29 6 5 $11.200 $9.500 $6.700 $0.500 $4.000
Terence Newman CB 33 8 3 $10.000 $8.016 $8.000 $0.000 $2.000
Leonard Davis G 33 10 3 $8.833 $8.833 $6.000 $0.000 $2.833
Miles Austin WR 27 5 6 $8.540 $1.150 $8.540 $0.000 $0.000
Roy Williams WR 30 7 4 $8.360 $10.052 $5.110 $0.000 $3.250
Andre Gurode C 33 9 2 $7.167 $8.167 $5.500 $0.000 $1.667
Marion Barber RB 28 6 4 $6.750 $8.000 $4.250 $0.500 $2.000
Marc Colombo OT 33 9 3 $6.100 $3.800 $1.900 $3.100 $1.100
Bradie James ILB 30 8 1 $5.600 $0.000 $3.500 $0.500 $1.600
Jay Ratliff DL 30 6 2 $5.350 $6.475 $3.750 $0.000 $1.600
Igor Olshansky DL 29 7 2 $4.935 $5.800 $3.335 $0.100 $1.500
Jason Witten TE 29 8 2 $3.891 $4.641 $3.391 $0.500 $0.000
Dez Bryant WR 23 1 4 $2.617 $3.439 $1.113 $1.000 $0.504
Jon Kitna QB 39 14 3 $2.600 $3.100 $2.600 $0.000 $0.000
Keith Brooking ILB 36 13 1 $2.200 $0.000 $2.200 $0.000 $0.000
Mat McBriar P 32 7 1 $2.200 $0.000 $1.700 $0.000 $0.500
Anthony Spencer OLB 27 4 1 $1.896 $0.000 $1.001 $0.000 $0.895
Felix Jones RB 24 3 2 $1.738 $1.884 $1.024 $0.000 $0.714
Mike Jenkins CB 26 3 2 $1.541 $1.672 $0.921 $0.000 $0.620
Montrae Holland G 31 8 1 $1.500 $0.000 $1.000 $0.500 $0.000
Orlando Scandrick CB 26 3 1 $1.200 $0.000 $1.200 $0.000 $0.000
Sean Lee ILB 25 1 3 $0.833 $0.918 $0.405 $0.000 $0.428
L.P. Ladouceur LS 30 6 2 $0.824 $0.964 $0.650 $0.000 $0.174
Martellus Bennett TE 24 3 1 $0.771 $0.000 $0.555 $0.000 $0.216
Tashard Choice RB 27 3 1 $0.665 $0.000 $0.555 $0.000 $0.110
Stephen McGee QB 26 2 2 $0.613 $0.698 $0.480 $0.000 $0.133
Victor Butler OLB 24 2 2 $0.605 $0.690 $0.480 $0.000 $0.125
Kris Brown K 35 12 1 $0.525 $0.000 $0.865 $0.000 $0.000
Martin Rucker TE 26 3 1 $0.525 $0.000 $0.555 $0.000 $0.000
Brandon Williams ILB 23 2 2 $0.521 $0.681 $0.405 $0.000 $0.116
Akwasi Owusu-Ansah S 23 1 3 $0.518 $0.603 $0.405 $0.000 $0.113
David Buehler K 24 2 2 $0.517 $0.602 $0.480 $0.000 $0.037
Kenwin Cummings LB 25 2 1 $0.480 $0.000 $0.480 $0.000 $0.000
Kevin Ogletree WR 24 2 1 $0.480 $0.000 $0.480 $0.000 $0.000
Sam Young OT 24 1 3 $0.433 $0.518 $0.405 $0.000 $0.028
John Phillips TE 24 2 2 $0.425 $0.585 $0.405 $0.000 $0.020
Sean Lissemore DL 24 1 3 $0.417 $0.502 $0.405 $0.000 $0.012
Josh Brent DT 23 1 3 $0.417 $0.502 $0.405 $0.000 $0.012
Barry Church S 23 1 2 $0.409 $0.494 $0.405 $0.000 $0.004
Phil Costa G/C 24 1 2 $0.409 $0.494 $0.405 $0.000 $0.004
Mike Balogun LB 28 1 1 $0.405 $0.000 $0.405 $0.000 $0.000
Clifton Geathers DE 24 1 1 $0.405 $0.000 $0.405 $0.000 $0.000
Isaiah Greenhouse LB 24 0 1 $0.405 $0.000 $0.405 $0.000 $0.000
Chris Gronkowski RB 25 1 2 $0.405 $0.490 $0.405 $0.000 $0.000
Manuel Johnson WR 25 0 1 $0.405 $0.000 $0.405 $0.000 $0.000
Danny McCray S 23 1 2 $0.405 $0.490 $0.405 $0.000 $0.000
Lonyae Miller RB 23 0 1 $0.405 $0.000 $0.405 $0.000 $0.000
Jermey Parnell DT 25 1 1 $0.405 $0.000 $0.405 $0.000 $0.000
Andrew Sendejo S 24 0 1 $0.405 $0.000 $0.405 $0.000 $0.000
Bryan McCann CB 24 1 1 $0.385 $0.000 $0.385 $0.000 $0.000
Totals $130.531 $105.657 $94.989 $6.700 $30.413

Notes

  • Most contract information was taken from Rotoworld
  • Roy Williams: From what I can tell, he did not get a signing bonus when he signed the extension. His extension has been reported as 5-year/$45 million or 6 year/$54 million. Considering that his contract expires in 2014, I'm assuming the 5-years/$45 million references his 2009 to 2013 seasons. If you add up the salaries in 2011-2013 ($20.41 M) and the bonuses that we know of ($19.5 M), it seems reasonable that Williams' salary for 2009 and 2010 totaled about $5 million. The actual bonuses given to Williams were ROSTER BONUSES, which are LTBE bonuses, NOT signing bonuses. Never mind. I've figured out how to calculate this :)
  • Marc Colombo: He's similar to Roy Williams in that it's hard to determine what exactly was given to him. However, it looks like at most he received a small signing bonus and also has ROSTER bonuses instead of signing bonus. It was reported that he got a 5 year/$22.605 million extension. In 2010, he got $4.14 million. Add that with his base salaries for 2011-2013 ($8.6 million) and his 2011 roster bonuses ($3.1 million) and that leaves about $7.5 million left for 2009 and signing bonus. Hmmm, I had a signing bonus of $2.5 million, but now that looks a little light and it might actually be around $5 million which would add another $0.5 to 1.5 M to the release of Colombo for 2011). ED: Changed to signing bonus of $5.5 million.
  • Dez Bryant: Has $2.4 million in roster bonuses from 2011-2012, and $750 K in workout bonuses in 2012-14, so I divided them up $1 million in 2011 and $1.4 million in 2012 and Roster bonuses of $200K, $250 K, and $300 K
  • I attempted to look for signing bonuses for players when not explicitly stated, but I could only find one for Bradie James. Additionally, a google search for performance bonuses for players yielded essentially nada. If anyone has any more information on this, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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