Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

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Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Tue Dec 22, 2020 2:46 pm

OK everybody. After our loss to the putrid, miserable, horrible Bears, the season is all but over. We have 2 games left with a 2% chance of making the postseason. according to the computers. Which means we have no chance.

We already have a thread on the 2021 draft. Good stuff, or at least I guess it is. Honestly, I have no idea outside of Trevor Lawrence who's coming out because I've watched almost no college football, mainly because it's more rigged than even the NFL. I mean, the Big Ten says, "You must play 6 games to qualify for the title game," and then lets Ohio State skate by with 5. Clemson destroys Notre Dame in the ACC title game, yet the Irish get into the CFP, basically because they scraped by with an earlier overtime win against same Clemson team missing Lawrence and several other starters. Meanwhile, undefeated teams like Texas A&M end up in the Kellogs Frosted Flakes Cereal Bowl. Consider me tuned out of the college scene.

But we still have — wait for it — the SALARY CAP!

Here's the deal. Instead of increasing from $200 million to $210 million, the projected post-Covid salary cap is $175 million. That's a $35 million budget hit for next season.

That means some decisions are going to have to be made. Namely who stays, and who gets cut.

So here's the game. I'll provide the numbers, you manage the cap.

What you have below are the cap number, dead money and cap savings for each player on the 2021 Vikings with at least a $3 million cap hit. These numbers come from overthecap.com, which I highly recommend for anybody looking at cap numbers.

Some hints. If dead money exceeds cap savings, it's a net negative to cut him. If cap savings is higher than dead money, it's a net positive. And of course, if somebody has negative cap savings, that's the biggest possible deterrent from cutting them.

Player...................CapHit........Dead........CapSavings
Kirk Cousins............$31m............$41m........-$10m
Danielle Hunter........$17.75m.......$12m.........$5.75m
Anthony Barr............$15m............$7.8m........$7.2m
Riley Reiff................$13.9m.........$2.2m........$11.7m
Adam Thielen..........$13.5m.........$8.5m........$5.1m
Eric Kendricks.........$12.5m.........$9.9m........$2.6m
Kyle Rudolph...........$9.5m...........$4.4m........$5.1m
Dalvin Cook.............$5.2m...........$12.4m.....-$7.2m
Shamar Stephen.....$5.1m...........$1.3m........$3.8m
Michael Pierce.........$5m..............$9m...........$4m
Dan Bailey...............$3.8m...........$2.1m........$1.7m
Garrett Bradbury......$3.5m...........$7.6m.......-$4.1
Britton Colquitt.........$3.2m...........$1.4m........$1.8m
C.J. Ham..................$3m..............$2.25m......$750k

Overall, the Vikings are projected to be $8.4 million over the cap, given the projected $175 million cap figure. Also, keep in mind that the Vikings will need about $8 million to sign their incoming rookies.

All right, everybody. Name your cuts, keeps, extension/restructures, etc. Remember, all cuts must be made prior to June 1, or it all turns into a pumpkin driven by the Cap Hell Devil. If you want to find the numbers for lower-priced players, please refer to overthecap.com, so that we're all using the same source.

Thanks for playing!
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by VikingLord » Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:26 pm

I won't take a crack at this quite yet, but I was wondering about that cap decrease you mentioned. Specifically, I wondered if the cap decrease affects existing contracts in any way? Is there a clause in the CBA that provides any offset provisions in the event the cap doesn't increase? It seems like there would be given NFL contracts typically run 3-5 years into the future and are usually negotiated based on the assumption of an overall limit on player compensation in any given year.

If there isn't one, I'm surprised the owners missed that.

If there is one, then that changes the assumption that the Vikings are automatically over the cap if it goes down since the player contracts go down with the cap. While that doesn't get the Vikings out of cap hell per se, it changes the degree of the cuts needed to bring contracts in line with the cap.

In terms of player moves made purely out of utility to the team, and of the players that are on your list, I'd say the following have probably seen their time with the Vikings come to and end this season:

Kyle Rudolph - getting up there in years and his production can be replaced if not exceeded by Irv Smith and Tyler Conklin next year.

Danielle Hunter - I don't think he comes back from his injury. If he does he risks substantial long term damage and I don't think he's going to do that. This sucks as Hunter was a guy I thought could be one of the all-time greats at DE.

Anthony Barr - Zimmer loves him and Barr loves to play for the Vikings, but he costs a lot for what he produces, plus I think there is a good chance that the Vikings might draft a LB in the 1st who can take over that slot. That, coupled with the emergence of Wilson and the dominance of Kendricks, makes a guy like Barr expendable.

Shamar Stephen - Hard to say on this one. He's not very good, but he's also not terrible. The question is, does he merit the contract he's got? My gut says no, but the answer to that also depends on who is behind him or can fill in for him and what that person would cost. He's a bubble guy for sure.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by S197 » Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:07 pm

Kyle Rudolph - I think his injury cemented his departure. $5M cap savings and Irv/Conklin/Rookie should fill his role. Going to miss the redzone threat but otherwise this seems like an easy decision.

Mike Hughes - It's only 1.2M in savings but it's time to move on from the can't miss prospect

Dan Bailey and Britton Colquitt - $3.4M is savings for two underperformers.

Shamar Stephen - $3.75M is a fair amount of savings for a guy who has been very quiet.

I think after this it gets interesting. I worry about Hunter too but I think they give him every possible shot to come back. If they resign Harris then I think Smith is gone. Can't have both. Barr is the other potential as Wilson looks ok and we're drafting Ned Ryerson.

I'd also eat the $31M cap hit and cut Kirk for reasons I've gone into enough at this point. I obviously don't think this will happen but I'm not sure if the game is what I would do or what I think will happen.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by CharVike » Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:14 pm

I don't think calling the Bears horrible is correct. I have confidence in our CAP guy. The NFL and the players association never thought the cap would go down. It may continue to go down in the future. I'm no CAP expert but if a guy gets a new deal isn't the future CAP hit changed? If I'm the owner I would say look our CAP went down X pct so your contract will also go down the same pct. Again I have no idea. With that both safeties we have need to be gone. Redo the deals for league min and then cut them. No dead or carry over money I think. There just off the books. I don't see Hunter playing again so that's a hit we will be stuck with I guess. Unless a new deal is reached. Will that change the hit? Rudy needs to go. But he has some in with the Wilfs for his community work I guess. This has been discussed before on here. He might have to stay. Might have to give him an increase which adds another wrinkle. Again our CAP guy along with the owners finance team will need to figure this out. It's way beyond my knowledge of the CAP.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by psjordan » Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:46 pm

S197 wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:07 pm
Barr is the other potential as Wilson looks ok and we're drafting Ned Ryerson.
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: We ABSOLUTELY HAVE to make this into a "legit" Sidd Finch player (you youngsters can Google that one). We need background and college stats for Ned Ryerson, ILB, Winnipeg Tech Province Junior College. Rumor has it that Rick Spielman's cousin, who knew Bud Grant, runs a barber shop up that way and tipped him off to this kid. Grew up playing rugby in Austria with relatives of Schwarzenegger. Runs a 4.1, 6'4" and 262 lbs. Can dunk from the free throw line.
S197 wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:07 pm

I'd also eat the $31M cap hit and cut Kirk for reasons I've gone into enough at this point. I obviously don't think this will happen but I'm not sure if the game is what I would do or what I think will happen.
Kirk was actually my first thought looking at the list - it really would not kill us to move on from Kirk as long as we cut some of the Barrs and Rudolphs. But obviously in order to do that we need a viable QB at something less than established-starter money. That leaves re-treads, those on rookie deals and the draft. Before June. That's what we call a formidable task. But I guess the point is that I don't see Kirk's $ being the holdup if fate graces us with a viable path to something better. So we're back to listening to Sonny and Cher belt out "babe, I got you babe".

And you watch, right after we make our 1st rd selection, one of us will say "A CORNERBACK?!?!?! AAGGGHHH we should've taken Ryerson!!!"
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:10 pm

S197 wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:07 pm
I'd also eat the $31M cap hit and cut Kirk for reasons I've gone into enough at this point. I obviously don't think this will happen but I'm not sure if the game is what I would do or what I think will happen.
I don't think this is going to happen, just because of the massive cap hit ($41 million in dead money, not the $31 million he counts against the cap, hence the -$10 million cap savings).

Here's what's more likely to happen (and this will send you right through the roof, S197).

Cousins gets extended again.

Think about it. It's pretty clear that the current regime considers Cousins their ride-or-die. And they desperately need the savings in 2021. If the league rebounds and the cap jumps to $210 million or more for 2022, then Cousins' salary becomes more palatable. I think you could see the Vikings get Cousins to drop his cap hit to $20-ish million for 2021, save $11 million against the cap, and tack another year on to the end of his deal.

Don't shoot me. I'm just the messenger. It's a very Vikings thing to do.

If the Vikings do this, you all need to bookmark this post and remember who called it.

And if they go another direction, I'll be celebrating with the rest of you.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:22 pm

VikingLord wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:26 pm
I won't take a crack at this quite yet, but I was wondering about that cap decrease you mentioned. Specifically, I wondered if the cap decrease affects existing contracts in any way? Is there a clause in the CBA that provides any offset provisions in the event the cap doesn't increase? It seems like there would be given NFL contracts typically run 3-5 years into the future and are usually negotiated based on the assumption of an overall limit on player compensation in any given year.

If there isn't one, I'm surprised the owners missed that.

If there is one, then that changes the assumption that the Vikings are automatically over the cap if it goes down since the player contracts go down with the cap. While that doesn't get the Vikings out of cap hell per se, it changes the degree of the cuts needed to bring contracts in line with the cap.
Everything I've ready points to the cap decreasing but contracts remaining the same. And for the record, I read a lot. Same goes for anything I've heard on NFL Radio or on any of the talking head shows on TV. Cap down, contracts remain. This is the risk teams take when they sign guys (like Cousins, Kirk) to huge guaranteed money. The cap is not, and never has been, guaranteed to increase.

It doesn't hurt the owners. It hurts the lower-leveled players. There are going to be a lot of guys playing in the league on a lot less money than they had hoped. Guys will guaranteed money will either get their money or restructure (see above, Cousins, Kirk). Others without guaranteed contracts will get cut before June 1 and have to renegotiate, either with their former teams or as free agents. In fact, I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of low- and mid-level free agents out there.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by StumpHunter » Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:51 pm

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:10 pm
S197 wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:07 pm
I'd also eat the $31M cap hit and cut Kirk for reasons I've gone into enough at this point. I obviously don't think this will happen but I'm not sure if the game is what I would do or what I think will happen.
I don't think this is going to happen, just because of the massive cap hit ($41 million in dead money, not the $31 million he counts against the cap, hence the -$10 million cap savings).

Here's what's more likely to happen (and this will send you right through the roof, S197).

Cousins gets extended again.

Think about it. It's pretty clear that the current regime considers Cousins their ride-or-die. And they desperately need the savings in 2021. If the league rebounds and the cap jumps to $210 million or more for 2022, then Cousins' salary becomes more palatable. I think you could see the Vikings get Cousins to drop his cap hit to $20-ish million for 2021, save $11 million against the cap, and tack another year on to the end of his deal.

Don't shoot me. I'm just the messenger. It's a very Vikings thing to do.

If the Vikings do this, you all need to bookmark this post and remember who called it.

And if they go another direction, I'll be celebrating with the rest of you.
Extension only save teams money if the player takes a pay cut on their existing deal. An extension like the one above (something that I cannot recall ever having happened before with a QB, maybe with any player at all), doesn't do that.

Options to save money on Kirk's contract in most to least likely to happen:
A) They convert his cap hit next year to signing bonus, probably around 10 million, and push it to 2022. His cap hit next year would be 55 million, but that is 2022, and Rick only worries about the upcoming season.

B) The Vikings Trade Kirk to a QB needy team. This also saves 10 million in cap next year, but the Vikings would not have any cap hit in 2022.

There really isn't an option C because what you said above Kirk would never in a thousand years agree to sign. Rick might go for it, because he has no idea how to manage the QB spot, but Kirk would not. He does not want another year added to his contract. He wants to hit free agency in 2023 as a soon to be 35 year old QB ready to make his last big deal. He has bet on himself since 2016, and I don't understand why people think that is going to change. If you count the franchise tags he has been on, his last 4 contracts have all been fully guaranteed short term deals. Something he prefers.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by S197 » Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:06 pm

psjordan wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:46 pm
S197 wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:07 pm
Barr is the other potential as Wilson looks ok and we're drafting Ned Ryerson.
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: We ABSOLUTELY HAVE to make this into a "legit" Sidd Finch player (you youngsters can Google that one). We need background and college stats for Ned Ryerson, ILB, Winnipeg Tech Province Junior College. Rumor has it that Rick Spielman's cousin, who knew Bud Grant, runs a barber shop up that way and tipped him off to this kid. Grew up playing rugby in Austria with relatives of Schwarzenegger. Runs a 4.1, 6'4" and 262 lbs. Can dunk from the free throw line.
S197 wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:07 pm

I'd also eat the $31M cap hit and cut Kirk for reasons I've gone into enough at this point. I obviously don't think this will happen but I'm not sure if the game is what I would do or what I think will happen.
Kirk was actually my first thought looking at the list - it really would not kill us to move on from Kirk as long as we cut some of the Barrs and Rudolphs. But obviously in order to do that we need a viable QB at something less than established-starter money. That leaves re-treads, those on rookie deals and the draft. Before June. That's what we call a formidable task. But I guess the point is that I don't see Kirk's $ being the holdup if fate graces us with a viable path to something better. So we're back to listening to Sonny and Cher belt out "babe, I got you babe".

And you watch, right after we make our 1st rd selection, one of us will say "A CORNERBACK?!?!?! AAGGGHHH we should've taken Ryerson!!!"
The thing with Ryerson is he has great vision and you can’t really coach that. He can spot a Phil from 50 yards away. He also has a really high motor, the guy is relentless. Ned the Bull as he calls himself.

My only concern is he doesn’t seem like much of a leader, dogging on your teammates when they step into potholes can really ruffle some feathers.

But he does check all the boxes, he’s a guy I think you have to trade up for. Am I right? Or am I right, am I right, right, riiiiight, riiiiightttt?
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by S197 » Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:15 pm

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:10 pm
S197 wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:07 pm
I'd also eat the $31M cap hit and cut Kirk for reasons I've gone into enough at this point. I obviously don't think this will happen but I'm not sure if the game is what I would do or what I think will happen.
I don't think this is going to happen, just because of the massive cap hit ($41 million in dead money, not the $31 million he counts against the cap, hence the -$10 million cap savings).

Here's what's more likely to happen (and this will send you right through the roof, S197).

Cousins gets extended again.

Think about it. It's pretty clear that the current regime considers Cousins their ride-or-die. And they desperately need the savings in 2021. If the league rebounds and the cap jumps to $210 million or more for 2022, then Cousins' salary becomes more palatable. I think you could see the Vikings get Cousins to drop his cap hit to $20-ish million for 2021, save $11 million against the cap, and tack another year on to the end of his deal.

Don't shoot me. I'm just the messenger. It's a very Vikings thing to do.

If the Vikings do this, you all need to bookmark this post and remember who called it.

And if they go another direction, I'll be celebrating with the rest of you.
Yup it’s $41M all-in but $31M next year and the last 10 in 2022. Since the $10M is a signing bonus it’s getting paid regardless but at least it gets out of $35M that would need to be paid in 2022. Plus the extension scenario where we fill up the dead cap even more but spread it out over more years.

I don’t think it’s likely as a move like that all but dooms the 2021 season. Rick would need some strong assurances his job is safe to pull a move like that. Your scenario is the much more likely scenario.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Wed Dec 23, 2020 7:22 am

StumpHunter wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:51 pm
J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:10 pm

I don't think this is going to happen, just because of the massive cap hit ($41 million in dead money, not the $31 million he counts against the cap, hence the -$10 million cap savings).

Here's what's more likely to happen (and this will send you right through the roof, S197).

Cousins gets extended again.

Think about it. It's pretty clear that the current regime considers Cousins their ride-or-die. And they desperately need the savings in 2021. If the league rebounds and the cap jumps to $210 million or more for 2022, then Cousins' salary becomes more palatable. I think you could see the Vikings get Cousins to drop his cap hit to $20-ish million for 2021, save $11 million against the cap, and tack another year on to the end of his deal.

Don't shoot me. I'm just the messenger. It's a very Vikings thing to do.

If the Vikings do this, you all need to bookmark this post and remember who called it.

And if they go another direction, I'll be celebrating with the rest of you.
Extension only save teams money if the player takes a pay cut on their existing deal. An extension like the one above (something that I cannot recall ever having happened before with a QB, maybe with any player at all), doesn't do that.

Options to save money on Kirk's contract in most to least likely to happen:
A) They convert his cap hit next year to signing bonus, probably around 10 million, and push it to 2022. His cap hit next year would be 55 million, but that is 2022, and Rick only worries about the upcoming season.

B) The Vikings Trade Kirk to a QB needy team. This also saves 10 million in cap next year, but the Vikings would not have any cap hit in 2022.

There really isn't an option C because what you said above Kirk would never in a thousand years agree to sign. Rick might go for it, because he has no idea how to manage the QB spot, but Kirk would not. He does not want another year added to his contract. He wants to hit free agency in 2023 as a soon to be 35 year old QB ready to make his last big deal. He has bet on himself since 2016, and I don't understand why people think that is going to change. If you count the franchise tags he has been on, his last 4 contracts have all been fully guaranteed short term deals. Something he prefers.
What on earth are you talking about?

Pay cut in the first year, yes. More guaranteed years on the back end, also yes. It’s called long-term security.

You can’t recall it ever being done? It’s exactly what they did with Cousins before this season!

I guarantee you, Kirk Cousins does not want to hit free agency. He knows the Vikings are the only team foolish enough to pay him $40 million at age 35 (or any age).
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by VikingPaul73 » Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:36 am

Maybe Rick can just hold a team meeting, and very very nicely ask everyone on the team to accept a 12.5% paycut ??? We're all in this together!!! :smilevike: :smilevike:

Great idea Kapp and thanks for posting all of the data. Man I have really been pushing keeping Reiff, but when you lay out the numbers like this, I really see why releasing him could be attractive. Man, this really is a grim picture and doesn't even include guys they might hope to keep like Harris and Wilson!!

Where is Harrison Smith on this list?? Was he just missed or does he have a really really low cap hit in 2021 because he had a front loaded contract or something?

Here is what I would do:
Release:
Anthony Barr............$15m............$7.8m........$7.2m
Kyle Rudolph...........$9.5m...........$4.4m........$5.1m
Shamar Stephen.....$5.1m...........$1.3m........$3.8m

This gives us $16.1M is cap savings, just $300k over after signing rookie class. I doubt this happens though, as Zimmer loves Barr and Stephen and Vikings in general love Rudolph


Here is what I think they will do:
Release:
Riley Reiff................$13.9m.........$2.2m........$11.7m

Restructure Cousins. I don't want to predict the exact details, but they will push it forward enough to get under the new cap
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by StanM » Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:11 am

The last thing I want to do after retiring from an accounting career is to go through each players cap status. I will leave that for someone else to figure out but I do have an observation. If the cap goes down and shakes up rosters creating a lot of free agents then the NFL will become even more like college ball as far as player turnover.

I have mentioned before that I am old enough to recall the first ever Vikings game so I have always been a fan. One of the things that made the NFL stand out from college was player longevity with the franchise that drafts them. Today the NFL is more like college ball and in some cases players are with teams for less than four years. That trend combined with the cap going down will put coaches in a position where coaching players up quickly will become even more critical to their success. Recruiting in the sense that there will be competition to sign free agents that can help a roster without breaking the bank will be a thing as well. Basically it will more closely resemble the kind of turnover we see in college ball with fewer players spending their career with one team.

Based on our recent performance with a revolving door of players I’m not confident that our coaching staff is ready for that kind of new normal.

I have been waiting for a lifetime for the Vikes to win the Super Bowl and can’t start over with a clean slate. My frustrations do not factor into their decisions so I’m not entertaining that fantasy.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by StumpHunter » Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:52 am

VikingPaul73 wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:36 am
Maybe Rick can just hold a team meeting, and very very nicely ask everyone on the team to accept a 12.5% paycut ??? We're all in this together!!! :smilevike: :smilevike:

Great idea Kapp and thanks for posting all of the data. Man I have really been pushing keeping Reiff, but when you lay out the numbers like this, I really see why releasing him could be attractive. Man, this really is a grim picture and doesn't even include guys they might hope to keep like Harris and Wilson!!

Where is Harrison Smith on this list?? Was he just missed or does he have a really really low cap hit in 2021 because he had a front loaded contract or something?

Here is what I would do:
Release:
Anthony Barr............$15m............$7.8m........$7.2m
Kyle Rudolph...........$9.5m...........$4.4m........$5.1m
Shamar Stephen.....$5.1m...........$1.3m........$3.8m

This gives us $16.1M is cap savings, just $300k over after signing rookie class. I doubt this happens though, as Zimmer loves Barr and Stephen and Vikings in general love Rudolph


Here is what I think they will do:
Release:
Riley Reiff................$13.9m.........$2.2m........$11.7m

Restructure Cousins. I don't want to predict the exact details, but they will push it forward enough to get under the new cap
I actually think they will cut all of those guys save Rudy, who will take a massive pay cut to remain on the team. As good as Reiff was this season, the Vikings were willing to cut him at the start of the season, which means either they are incompetent or have a viable option outside of him at that spot.

That leaves the Vikings with about 10 million in cap I believe, to spend on free agents.

That 10 million is probably spread out among the following:
Odenigbo
Wilson
FA guard

Super Bowl here we come.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by chicagopurple » Wed Dec 23, 2020 11:20 am

speilman will never cut Cousins, it would mean publically acknowledging his failure in judgement. No team in their right mind will take on Kirks contract either....Spielman was the only one dumb enough to go all in for a journeyman QB. We are stuck with him living in nFL limbo till Spielman is gone. Its not that important though since even if we did jettison him, ie Ziggy says, " I will take the hit", does anyone really have any faith that the current regime has any ability to draft, and grow/refine a truly great QB? When was the last time the Vikes did that? Cullpepper!! Most of our current team was in diapers back then.......real change will come with regime change.
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