There has been a lot of discussion about the Cowboys cap situation in the next few years. I wanted to take a closer look at it and see just how we seem to be set up. I will start by looking at 2014 and the players currently under contract. Those I don't expect to be here for the start of the league year in 2014 are first, then I will add in possible restructures, cuts for cap reasons and dead money.
Here is the list of the current 2014 cap hit according to Spotrac.
|Player||POS||Base Salary||Signing Bonus||Other Bonus||Dead Money||Cap Figure|
|2013 TOTALS||BASE SALARY||SIGNING BONUS||OTHER BONUS||CAP FIGURE|
|Top 51 Contracts||100,525,064||24,490,059||18,423,816||143,438,939|
|Cap Space||0 + 0 + 0 - 143,438,939 =||-143,438,939|
* restructure, no details
Before the 2014 league year starts:
This includes some players I don't expect to make the team in 2013 at all. This is their base salary only.
Nick Hayden - $730k, Brandon Underwood $645k, Carlton Mitchell $645k, $570k, Andre Smith $570k, Ray Dominguez $570k, Colin Cochart $555k, Caleb McSurdy $495k, Donavon Kemp $495k, Tim Benford $495k, Charles Bryant $495k, Jared Green $495k, Charley Hughlett $495k, Igbinosun $495k, Micah Pellerin $495k, Monte Taylor $495k, Aderious Simmons $495k, Nate Livings $3.4M, Doug Free $8M, Mackenzy Bernadeau $2.25M.
I could add Brian Price, Nick Stephens. Dunbar, Tanner and Darrion Weems but I am going to let them stay as blind possibilities. Consider them placeholders for the UDFA types that happen to stick as their salaries are either the same, or close to it.
Now, just to cut those guys by the start of the 2014 league year will cut $22.815M off of our cap. Add up the dead $ from Free, Livings and Bernie, that is $12.4M. That leaves us with a total savings of $10.35M off of our cap hit. The total cap figure the Cowboys have right now on the books for 2014 is $143.4M. The new cap figure with these moves is $133M. So the Boys will still need to make a few more moves to get under the cap. Especially if they want Sean Lee to remain a Cowboy as he isn't included in this figure. Other FA's are Callaway, Jones, Albright, KK, McCray, Moore, Cook, Bailey, Allen, Sims, Spencer, Tanner, and Vickers. Of those I would like to see them keep Jones, Albright, Moore, and Bailey. Two or three others are possible depending on how they play this year like KK.
So what possible moves could the Boys be planning? They might choose to go ahead and extend Dez. He has a base salary of $1.78M next year and a cap hit of $3.148M. It would be tricky to get a deal to where his cap hit would go down, but it could be done. The same applies to Tron as it does to Dez except for his base being $2.07M and cap hit being $3.975M. If Rat has another bad year from injuries or any other reason he could be a cap casualty. His dead $ would be 6.92M which would be a savings of $1.3M off of his cap hit even without making him a June 1st cut. Miles could be cut be cut or traded if another WR steps up and makes him expendable. His dead $ would be $7.85 which would only save us $.39M if not a June 1st cut so I would only look at a trade. He is worth more than that playing for us. Romo could be restructured and save $12.5M. Likewise Ware could be restructured again and save $11.5M. Scandrick could be a cap casualty, but he would have to be a June 1st cut as his dead $ of $5.7M would be $100k more than his cap hit to keep him. Orton is another potential cap casualty. His being let go would save us $1.25M after eating the dead $.
Out of all those moves if we only cut Free, Livings, Bernie, Rat and restructure Romo our cap hit for 2014 would be $120.48M. That doesn't leave us enough to resign Lee or anyone else other than the rookie pool most likely.
Now, did you agree with my first round of cuts up there? If so do you agree that all but the last 3, the vet OL most likely won't make it thru training camp this year? If so cutting them by the end of training camp will save $6.4M on 2013's cap. This carried over to that $120.2M would drop our 2014 cap commitment to $113.77M. That is with no June 1st cut designations and only Romo restructured. The cap in 2012 was $120.6M, minus the $5M penalty. In 2013 the cap went up to $123M, again with a $5M penalty to the Boys which made it $118M. If the cap goes up in 2014 by less than it did in 2013, call it an even $125M, then the Cowboys under this plan would have $11.2M in space without resigning their own FA's, new FA's or the rookies.
I am going to add in a edit here. I am going to restructure Ware also. That frees up $11.38M, add that to the $11.2M I already have free and we have $22.58M open. I will use that to do some resigning of FA's that I didn't detail. First is to resign Lee. To give a rough idea of Lee's possible contract I will look at Navorro Bowman's. He just signed his a year ago, so it is pretty current. Bowman got 7 years $46.37M with a $7.5M signing bonus. His first year was at vet minimum, $540k with a signing bonus of $1,675,562 for a total cap hit of $2.215M. Add that in and we are up to $104.635M on our cap hit. Now add in some $ for Bailey, the top 10 K's are making from $2.1M to $3.8M. Only the top 4 make $2.5-$2.6 and only the Raiders K get $3.8. Since we aren't the Raiders I am going to budget in $2M for Darth Bailey, which will bring us up to $106.635M. I am going to put in a random $6M for other FA's we have resigned. Notice we have several in the $1M to $1.5M range like Lissy, Costa, Parnell, and Church. For $6M we can get 4-5 of our backups taken care of. I put it all this in as base salary, no bonus's except for Lee's. Now with our backup's and lower tier FA's kept we are up to $112.635M. Add in a estimated $6M for the rookie pool and we are up to $118.635 total cap hit for 2014. That is a projected $6.365M under the estimated cap ceiling. That gives us room to sign a few smaller FA's and have some breathing space going into the year.
Yes, there are numerous moves that can and most likely will be made that aren't listed here. Including Spencer's extension for the future, that is if he gets one. However I can't work with figures I don't have. I built in some room by leaving several young guys I don't expect to make it, or to make it on the PS. I have also ignored getting the $ back from Spears on June 1st. We will have to pay it next year anyway, so to me it is a wash. Under JG we have had roster churn throughout the year. I expect the same to continue in 2013, plus injury replacements will be needed.
Oh, since I mentioned videos of the Cheerleaders lockerroom. Here is one.