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Possibility Of The Uncapped Season?


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What I wonder, if anybody knows, is if instead of releasing the player, could their contract be restructured so that their entire remaining signing bonus, would count against the 2010 season?

I think you have to be clear on the difference between bonuses already paid against bonuses yet to be paid.

Bonus already paid will be pro-rated into the out year. This 'dead-cap' can be cleared via the cut ( draws the dead cap into 2010 ) & re-sign approach.

Then, you have bonuses yet to be paid. In 2010, you have Haynesworth $21m, Hall $15m, Dockery $5m plus other reported items on Landry & Portis. They are all due in 2010 anyway so can be paid in a way that clears thro' the uncapped year, imo.

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That's not a re-structure by any definition that's been used around the NFL. The re-structures we have done are to turn salary into signing bonus money and spread the cap hit over several seasons. There's no way to reverse that process.

What you're talking about is, as I said, cutting and then re-signing players. That's the only way to accelerate signing bonus allocations to the current year. But that's not something that would be considered a "re-srtructure".

I think you are being confused by wording.

A restructure of a contract is voiding the out years of an old contract and rewriting the out years. All of the out years are then basically a NEW contract.

This is paperwork. When you restructure, it's not like you are moving bricks on a building. You are rewriting a document. It's basically a NEW contract.

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Flushing doesn't guarantee a thing. And, we can't do it all in one year. Keeping the best talent we have, even if just for one more season, isn't a bad thing.

I think the word "guarantee" needs to be banned from these discussions. Too often people say something is 'no guarantee' of success as if that is a definitive argument against doing something. I mean, there is no guarantee that trading a 7th round pick for Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne would make the Redskins a contender, but I would do it, anyway.

What you seem to be talking about is, unfortunately, the type of thinking that has been at the heart of our problems over the past decade (and many other unsuccessful franchises). The goal should be to win the Super Bowl. The best way to do that is to build towards that type of team and to make moves that will pay dividends when the team is going to be in position to contend for one. Talk of keeping certain players around because they make the team a little bit better in the here and now, when the team isn't going to be a real contender, is the type of thinking prevalent to mediocre franchises.

Portis, for example, isn't going to be a major contributor to a Redskin team in a couple of seasons- which is when the team could theoretically contend. If you trade him for a 7th round pick, it's more likely that 7th rounder will contribute to winning a title than Portis. Keeping Portis because he might help the team win 7 games next year instead of 5, is completely wrong-headed thinking for a franchise that had it's sights set in the right direction.

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No you restructure the contract.

I think you are looking at it too complicated.

A restructure is a NEW contract, it's not a contract mod.

Essentially you give the player a new contract. The old contract bonus would accelerate to 2010 on paper.

Sure, if the player agreed to it, thus cutting the player's security. The player already has the money, what we are talking about is the accounting and how it's spread out over the length of the contract.

Were a player to say, okay, sign me to a new deal with no bonus, they are essentially crippling any guarantee to stay with the team past 2010 since they no longer count against the cap.

So if there is no bonus, how would you account to the money paid out in 09 as a signing bonus? That money is already allocated to hit each year according to the length of the contract. By redoing their contract, the player gets no money and much less job security.

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Sure, if the player agreed to it, thus cutting the player's security. The player already has the money, what we are talking about is the accounting and how it's spread out over the length of the contract.

Were a player to say, okay, sign me to a new deal with no bonus, they are essentially crippling any guarantee to stay with the team past 2010 since they no longer count against the cap.

So if there is no bonus, how would you account to the money paid out in 09 as a signing bonus? That money is already allocated to hit each year according to the length of the contract. By redoing their contract, the player gets no money and much less job security.

Uh, the player has no security as no contract is guaranteed.

It's not that complicated.

You are right a player has to agree to a restructure. So the team would have to make a monetary change. You can't just restructure on paper without a monetary benefit. So to use portis has an example, you pay him an $X bonus for 2010 and a large salary and void out his old contract. That pushes his whole $$$ to 2010.

If he refuses you cut him. The old bonus accelerates to 2010.

I really have a hard time understanding why people think players are desperate for job security with the Redskins. Players love to come here, get paid, get cut and go elsewhere. MOST of our roster isn't shaking in their boots wondering if the team will keep them. They are most old overprice vets.

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Here's a pretty good ESPN article with player reaction, i.e. Jason Campbell on the upcoming uncapped situation:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4781911

Free-agent status at risk for 212 players

WASHINGTON -- Miles Austin of Dallas, Brandon Marshall of Denver and six other Pro Bowl picks are among more than 200 NFL players who would lose their status as unrestricted free agents this offseason if the league and its union can't agree on a new labor contract.

According to a list obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday, there are 212 players who would be considered restricted free agents -- instead of unrestricted -- if there is no salary cap in 2010. There is at least one player from each of the NFL's 32 teams on the list.

In an uncapped year, a player would need at least six years in the NFL, up from the current minimum of four years in the league, to be an unrestricted free agent able to sign with any team.

Pro Bowl linebackers Elvis Dumervil of Denver and DeMeco Ryans of Houston are in the group of potentially affected players, as are starting quarterbacks Kyle Orton of Denver and Jason Campbell of Washington.

"Free agency's always been something for the players, always been a great thing. If you get one crack at free agency as a player, that's what you dream of," Orton said before Denver practiced Wednesday. "How it stands right now ... guys aren't going to be able to have that dream, to be a free agent. That's a shame for the players, I think."

In an uncapped year, a player would need at least six years in the NFL, up from the current minimum of four years in the league, to be an unrestricted free agent able to sign with any team.

Dallas receiver Austin was aware his free agency status could change, but said he wouldn't consider his breakout season bad timing. "I can't control any of that," he said. "I've just got to stay focused on the things I can control, and that's playing this week and playing hard."

The other players announced Tuesday as selections for this season's Pro Bowl who could find themselves missing out on a chance to cash in this offseason are Packers safety Nick Collins, Patriots guard Logan Mankins, Saints guard Jahri Evans and Eagles fullback Leonard Weaver.

In addition to the NFL's sacks leader (Dumervil), and the NFC's leader in yards receiving (Austin), other prominent names on the list include Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman, Jets receiver Braylon Edwards, Colts safety Antoine Bethea, Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown and Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski.

"If you're a guy that's been in the league a long time, and you know you're pretty much set, you probably have a different opinion about it. But if you're a guy that's in my position, it's going to affect us not just short term but long term," Washington's Campbell said.

If they lose out on the chance to become unrestricted free agents this offseason, players might not get what they were expecting to be a huge payoff. They also won't have the luxury of moving freely anywhere in the league.

A restricted free agent's old club gets a chance to offer the player a one-year contract at different levels of pay that determine what level of draft-choice compensation the old club would receive for losing the player. And the old club has the right to match any offer another club makes to a restricted free agent.

"If you're a free agent, of course you've got a lot of options, but if you're a restricted free agent, it's pretty much the team's choice, depending on what they want to do," Campbell said.

Other rules changes would go into effect if there is no salary cap in 2010. There would be no minimum or maximum amounts teams could spend on payroll, and each club would get an extra "transition player" tag. A "transition player" must be offered a minimum of the average of the top 10 salaries of the prior season at the player's position or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is greater.

"All of a sudden, your rules change," said Campbell, one of seven Redskins players on the list. "That's the situation I've been dealt and so have other guys on the team."

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I think you are being confused by wording.

A restructure of a contract is voiding the out years of an old contract and rewriting the out years. All of the out years are then basically a NEW contract.

This is paperwork. When you restructure, it's not like you are moving bricks on a building. You are rewriting a document. It's basically a NEW contract.

This seems to be turning into a pretty silly semantical argument.

Lots of players re-structure deals every offseason. None of those deals void or accelerate signing bonus allocations, unless they void future years on a deal. What you're talking about doing is cutting and re-signing a player and calling that a re-strucutre, or else you are misunderstanding how re-strucutres work.

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The OP basically wants to know if there's a way to restructure players' contracts so that the entire contract comes due next year (which is uncapped), in the event that subsequent years are capped.

They way you'd restructure the contract to do this is to convert salary to a "likely to be earned" bonus (based on incentives). Thing of it is, there are incentives classified as "likely to be earned" by the NFL which really aren't. Since they're classified as likely to be earned, you pay the entire amount up front--but since the player actually doesn't earn them, you can take credits against your cap in the next year.

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Lots of players re-structure deals every offseason. None of those deals void or accelerate signing bonus allocations, unless they void future years on a deal.

You are correct, because why would you "accelerate signing bonus allocations" with a salary cap. You wouldn't. Most teams restructure for cap relief...to push it out.

Thats not to be confused with the fact that a restructure is VOIDING the out years of a CONTRACT....not to be confused with SALARY CAP ramifications of said restructure.

A restructure in an uncapped year depends on the player. If the player has big bonus hits year over year (i.e. portis) and you want to accelerate it to 2010...there is no restructure. He has to be cut. If the players SALARY numbers over the next 3 years are large, you could restructure and accelerate their salary to a huge number in 2010, then vet minimums in the out years.

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You are correct, because why would you "accelerate signing bonus allocations" with a salary cap. You wouldn't. Most teams restructure for cap relief...to push it out.

Thats not to be confused with the fact that a restructure is VOIDING the out years of a CONTRACT....not to be confused with SALARY CAP ramifications of said restructure.

A restructure in an uncapped year depends on the player. If the player has big bonus hits year over year (i.e. portis) and you want to accelerate it to 2010...there is no restructure. He has to be cut. If the players SALARY numbers over the next 3 years are large, you could restructure and accelerate their salary to a huge number in 2010, then vet minimums in the out years.

Well, not sure what we've been arguing about then. The OP was asking if there was a way to make signing bonus hits count in 2010 and that's all I've been responding to and talking about.

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Didn't see anything I thought was a good match for this on the first 3 pages. So, here goes...

Everybody seems to be focused on releasing some of the players eating up a large chunk of the cap.

What I wonder, if anybody knows, is if instead of releasing the player, could their contract be restructured so that their entire remaining signing bonus, would count against the 2010 season? Thus making their future salaries more than "cap friendly", and, keeping Snyder from taking such a financial hit, that releasing them would do.

Even though "we" wouldn't take the hit for releasing players, the money has still been paid. We, lose good players, but on top of that, Snyder loses lots of money. And we're talking millions of dollars here. Nobody, including Snyder, should have to lose that much money. And, I would think it's part of any GM's job to save money, at the same time he's trying to fix things.

So, if it can be done, and the remaining signing bonus money can be applied to the 2010 season, we could keep guys that can help the team, without being cap-strapped in 2011.

Does anybody know if it's even possible?

Well, most of the money on the cap are just accounting fiction and will remain as dead cap. Don't know why people chose the term release fees because almost all of it is NOT cash owed to anyone but a pro-rated accounting entry of monies already paid, kind of like accrual accounting where you recognize an expense not when its paid but when the equipment is used. The only thing you could do in renegotiation is reduce future salary or get those owed a future bonus to take it now and this assumes the cap will return in the future in a form very similar to what we have now. Mostly, what you'd have to do is cut players and then re-sign them.

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Sure there is, just as you restructure the money from the outyears to next year.

It's no different, just you pay a player a ton up front, and little later. Of course if the player is any good, in the years they get paid little they will want to restructure :)

No, you technically cannot because most of the future cap hit is NOT cash owed to anyone. You will still have to make the accounting entry if the cap returns.

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kind of like accrual accounting where you recognize an expense not when its paid but when the equipment is used.

A good old fashioned prepayment that must be released to profit & loss in future periods when the work is done. Some players here never get the work done, which is why we get so many write-offs ! Can't beat a bit of accountancy on New Years Eve :silly:

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Because we have been so competitive with them. :doh:

I hope people wake up and realize the play on the field is not going to be fixed by continually swapping out coaches and keeping the same guy.

We have poisoned the waters on the team, we need to flush out the poison.

Chances are you will only find 2 or 3 guys who are absolutely better than what you got. You will also find a several who've got great potential but only if you surround them with a team that looks like it will at least try. Most people, despite what they say, find they're best effort is greater when they are having some fun. You WILL play better on a team that is around 500 or is at least in games than a team out of them, especially when the leadership is trying its best to win given that a rebuild is also going on. Football is a team sport, a guy who looks bad this year may actually be good enough if you give him the right partners and who they are is just a guess. Same when someone posts 'player X is done'.

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No you restructure the contract.

I think you are looking at it too complicated.

A restructure is a NEW contract, it's not a contract mod.

Essentially you give the player a new contract. The old contract bonus would accelerate to 2010 on paper.

YOU CANNOT ACCELERATE THAT PRO-RATED BONUS!!!!!!!! Unless you actually release them, that pro-rated bonus still hits the way it was scheduled to hit.

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I think you have to be clear on the difference between bonuses already paid against bonuses yet to be paid.

Bonus already paid will be pro-rated into the out year. This 'dead-cap' can be cleared via the cut ( draws the dead cap into 2010 ) & re-sign approach.

Then' date=' you have bonuses yet to be paid. In 2010, you have Haynesworth $21m, Hall $15m, Dockery $5m plus other reported items on Landry & Portis. They are all due in 2010 anyway so can be paid in a way that clears thro' the uncapped year, imo.[/quote']

As I understand it, those monies could be pro-rated or not at the teams discretion. It would not be a renegotiation if management took the whole hit in one year.

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YOU CANNOT ACCELERATE THAT PRO-RATED BONUS!!!!!!!! Unless you actually release them, that pro-rated bonus still hits the way it was scheduled to hit.

If so, this answers my main question. Not sure any player would accept a cut, then re-sign deal, but if some would, it might be an option.

And, I know that no future dollars would be owed to a player we cut. But to me, he'd still be getting paid by us, while playing somewhere else. He just got paid in advance.

I'm not as against keeping more of this team around for at least another season, than most here seem to be. I think the right coach/leadership, can get optimum performances out of the talent on the team, while starting an overhaul, without having to completely flush everything.

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I think you are being confused by wording.

A restructure of a contract is voiding the out years of an old contract and rewriting the out years. All of the out years are then basically a NEW contract.

This is paperwork. When you restructure, it's not like you are moving bricks on a building. You are rewriting a document. It's basically a NEW contract.

Lets take a simple example:

I originally signed a 6 year contract with a $12M bonus. That will now add $2M to the cap minimum for 6 years. Now, it is year 4 and I'm scheduled to make $4M so I cost the team $6M against the cap, I take a $3M pay cut but get a check for that $3M. My cap hit is now $4M because I was NOT released therefore the original bonus pro-rate was NOT accelerated but still hits the cap and my 'release fees' have just increased to $9M (outstanding pro-rate from my original bonus plus the new money just paid) . If you just released me, the remaining $6M would now roll forward. If I'm released from my original contract and then re-signed, my cap hit would have been $2M but I would also have generated $6M in dead money against the cap, so really the hit due to me would be $8M. Now, you would have just reduced available cap space by $2M. Why would you do this if your goal was to create cap space?

By the way, next year, my release fees will be about $7M so as long as I'm scheduled salary-wise to make $4M or less, I'm probably safe.

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Well, first the contract restructuring game is what got us in to this mess with Samuels, CP, etc. I think the point of getting rid of players and their contracts is that we need an infusion of young talent and new faces. We certainly aren't getting anywhere with the current group. I mean, look across our roster, and you see too many aging, over paid guys.

Besides, nobody knows what's going to happen in 2011. There could be a new and different agreement between the NFL and players. Our team should look at this as an opportunity.

The only reason you would want to restructure the contracts of declining players like ARE and Portis is if you want to keep them. Cutting them outright makes their entire signing bonus due in the uncapped 2010 season. Then they are off the books for the salary cap that is sure to be in the 2011 season.

I don't think many here realize just how important this uncapped season is to Snyder. This is a godsend in that it allows the Redskins to wash their hands of all these bad back-loaded contracts that have plagued this team every season and hit the reset button. They could even pay off Haynesworth ($41 million guaranteed) and Hall this season and have them only count as minimum vet salaries in 2011 and beyond.

If teams like the Redskins go hog wild and restructure everyone's contracts to count all towards 2010, I think this uncapped year could do a lot of damage to the NFL. I could see the Redskins having something crazy like $300 million in salaries next year and $75 million in 2011. The competitive balance kept in check by revenue sharing (not going to happen in 2010) and the salary cap could turn the NFL into MLB with rich owner Snyder as the acting Steinbrenner. Major League Baseball is a joke because there is no cap and no revenue sharing. This uncapped year could really hose the NFL.....

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If so, this answers my main question. Not sure any player would accept a cut, then re-sign deal, but if some would, it might be an option.

And, I know that no future dollars would be owed to a player we cut. But to me, he'd still be getting paid by us, while playing somewhere else. He just got paid in advance.

I'm not as against keeping more of this team around for at least another season, than most here seem to be. I think the right coach/leadership, can get optimum performances out of the talent on the team, while starting an overhaul, without having to completely flush everything.

The Red Snapper did so a few years back. Got more money doing so. Several guys might as they'll get more money than they would otherwise. You'd just cut them if they don't take the deal and they'd risk not getting a better deal on the market. Of course, they might prefer to get some hardware, really want to play for some team (maybe their childhood favorite) or just not want to be part of a re-build.

For example, in January, I put a $7M check in front of Portis along with a salary of $2M. He'll make over $2M more than he would if he didn't take the deal. Further, I can change those numbers (up or down) to exceed what he'd get on the market as long as I felt he was worth it. Portis doesn't even have to clear waivers (I think he's got enough years in) so I could get this done pretty quickly. If he'd let hurt feelings get in the way of his best business decision then I don't know if I'd want him. Maybe he wants hardware but on most of the teams with a real shot, he'd probably be on the bench. If he just doesn't want to be part of a re-build then I don't want him. If its just a money thing, he'll take it.

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As I understand it, those monies could be pro-rated or not at the teams discretion. It would not be a renegotiation if management took the whole hit in one year.

I agree, I was just trying to state that the large sums yet to be paid out on contracts (or that appear to be via 'warpath' :)) fall in 2010 & therefore it seems 'easy' for the FO to push most bonus money / cap hits, either historic, or from 2010, thro' an uncapped year.

And, I know that no future dollars would be owed to a player we cut. But to me, he'd still be getting paid by us, while playing somewhere else. He just got paid in advance.

I'm not as against keeping more of this team around for at least another season, than most here seem to be. I think the right coach/leadership, can get optimum performances out of the talent on the team, while starting an overhaul, without having to completely flush everything.

Unless all players play through their contracts, you will always get players moving on elsewhere whilst they have been paid some monies in advance for that period, via bonus from his previous team. Clearly, you want to limit that, but the new FO may have to straighten out some things from the previous regime.

In terms of keeping players around for another season, the issue in some instances is that the players in question also have large salaries due in 2010, eg Randy Thomas & Fred Smoot. Are these worth salaries of ~$4m each in 2010 ? You would imagine they would be asked to take a pay cut, or be cut, imo.

However, I do think people over-state the number of 'damaging' contracts on the roster, and therefore the mass cull people expect may not happen. The main roster changes may occur as a result of ~20 players being out of contract post this season.

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