Right off the bat I am not restructuring Romo. Yes, I know his contract was built for it and conventional wisdom is that it is automatic and most likely it is but I wouldn't do it. As his contract currently stands there is 19.9 mil in dead money in 2015 but a cut would mean a 5.3 mil cap gain. If he is perfectly healthy and playing at a high caliber in 2014 then he can be restructured next year. If he is restructured and his injury ends up being a lingering issue then this team is toast until at least 2017. I am not restructuring Lee either for the same reason. Injury concerns.
So how do you get under the cap by mid march without restructuring Romo and Lee?
Carr, Witten, Orton, Scandrick
I don't want to restructure anyone but it has to be done. Carr's contract was written to be restructured and at least he has been healthy. Witten even with a restructure he would be cuttable at any point going forward and still result in a gain in the cap. Orton - some want to cut him. He could be our starting QB if Romo's injury isn't healed or if he is reinjured. Back problems have a way of worsening over time, not get better. Who knows when the next hit to Romos back ends his career? Even after restructure Orton is Cuttable with a gain in the cap at any point going forward. Scandrick not cuttable through 2015 but at least I think he will still be a contributor in 2 years.
Ware, Parnell, Costa, Durant, Brown, Irvin, Clutts, Kearse, Wilson and Moore.
That is a lot of cuts but there is no reason we couldn't offer them contracts after the deadline in march. For instance Moore has been brought back before after getting cut. This is based on the current salary cap. If it increases then there would be less cuts. We have 11 picks and possible low priced FA's to fill these holes plus as previously mentioned some of these guys could be brought back.
We are now almost 33K below the cap before the March deadline.
Austin June 1st cut. Now we are under by 5.1 million. Now it gets tricky. The last cut L.P Loudouccer. Yes, I know. Why cut him? By cutting him as a June 1st cut we save 885K against the cap. This puts us under by $5,577,918. There has to be a UDFA out there somewhere that can handle snaps. We now have the 5.5 mil I have been told is needed to sigh rookies. This is a little close for comfort but there are still possible cuts if the need arises and as you will see later it will cost less to sign the rookies because I am not going to have a 1st rounder . Other possible cuts if needed. BW Webb or even Hayden or Carter if needed. Not ready to cut any of them? Wait until you see my draft, These 3 give us about 3 mil in wiggle room and again this is just in case of emergency.
Were under the cap, We are not held hostage by Romo's contract and we haven't gambled on Lee's future but boy do we have some holes.
2014 NFL draft. Time to put on the trading hat. I will be using the CBS board for slotting since Draftek appears to be way off on several picks.
I will be using this trade value chart and I am assuming we won the toss and pick 16.
1st rd pick no 16 traded to Hou for no 33, 65, 97, 129 1000 points for 1000 points. Houston Takes Clowney with their first pick and trades with us to get Carr QB. I probably wont be able to explain every trade reasoning but this one is easy.
Now we have picks 33, 47, 65, 78, 97, 115, 129, 146, 206, 208 and 215 plus 4 comp picks
Trade picks 33, 129 and 206 to SF for picks 56 and 61 632 points vs 632
Now we have picks 47, 56, 61, 65, 78, 97, 115, 146, 208 and 215
Trade pick 47 and 208 to for Ariz picks 52, 148 and 180 438.2 points vs 431.6
Now we have picks 52, 56, 61, 65, 78, 97, 115, 146, 148, 180, 208 and 215
Trade picks 56, 115 and 148 to the Jets for picks 69 and 80 - 436.2 points vs 435
Now we have picks 52, 61, 65, 69, 78, 80, 146, 180, 208 and 215
Trade picks 65 and 215 for pick 64 270.4 points vs 270
Now we have picks 52, 61, 64, 69, 78, 80, 146, 180 and 208
Trade picks 78 and 208 to Cle for picks 102, 123, 133, 164 - 209 points vs 206.3
Now we have picks 52, 61, 64, 69, 80, 102, 123, 133, 146, 164, and 180
Now it's time to draft
Pick 52 Travis Swanson C Arkansas He can play G or C. He starts in place of Leary. Leary makes good depth.
Pick 61 Jack Mewhort OT Ohio ST We don't have a backup OT on the roster. He allows us to let Free go next year.
Pick 64 Will Sutton DT Arizona St Welcome your new starting DT.
Pick 69 Marcus Smith DE Louisville - Wares replacement
Pick 80 Jeremiah Attaouchu OLB Georgia Tech - Now were talking D here.
Pick 102 Demarcus Lawrence DE Boise St - You wanted Rushmen. You got him.
Pick 123 Caraun Reid DT Princeton - More Rushmen. Lookout!
Pick 133 Lamin Barrow ILB LSU - The upgrade of LB's continues.
Pick 146 Brandon Coleman WR Rutgers. Need a no 3 WR. Here he is.
Pick 164 Brett Smith QB Wyoming - Here is a QB to groom that might actually amount to something.
Pick 180 Tyler Gaffney RB Stanford - possibly better than Randle
Jay Bromley DT Syracuse
Ethan Westbrooks DE West Texas A & M
Trey Millard FB Oklahoma
Andrew Jackson ILB Western Kentucky
Tre Boston FS North Carolina
Ryan Groy OG Wisconsin
A.C. Leonard TE Tennesee ST
Steven Clark P Auburn
Jeremy Gallon WR Michigan
The best long snapper they can find.
Picking two O-linemen first is not too exciting but Swanson is an immediate upgrade over Leary and Newhort gives us a quality backckup OT for this year and allows us to let Free go.
DE rotation of Marcus Smith, Demarcus Lawrence, Selvie, Crawford and Westbrooks is what we need
DT rotation of Sutton, Reid, Bass, Hayden and Bromley is what we need as well.
New LB's Attaouchu, Barrow and Jackson makes for some major improvement too.
Coleman and Gallon give us more WR weapons and replace Austin
Millard is a very flexible FB that does many things well.
Brett Smith is the type of developmental QB we need.
Gaffney is another RB with some skills
Clark offers us an upgrade at the punting position.
Tre Boston is in the mix at FS
Groy and Leonard are depth that could surprise.
If your wondering why I would spend this much time on the subject, I trade stocks for a living and earnings season doesn't start until next week so I am bored. Not to mention, I eat, drink and Breathe Dallas Cowboys football.