Archives for CBA

Joe Flacco is the NFL’s Highest Paid QB

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… for now, anyway.

PFT has the details. They nudged the AAV of the Drew Brees contract up just a touch, so now Flacco is being paid more handsomely than several QBs that are much better than he is.

The Ravens really didn’t have much of a choice, especially given that they didn’t want to have to apply a Franchise Tag, but one has to say Linta and Flacco are the big winners here. There aren’t any stats and there isn’t any game tape that tells you that Flacco is in the same tier of QB as guys like Rodgers, Brady, Manning, and Brees. None. And now, much like Eli Manning was when he signed his current deal, he is going to earn more money than all of those guys.

At least until Matt Ryan, Tony Romo, and Aaron Rodgers sign new deals.

As several smart people have noted, this will just keep pushing the salaries for premium QBs higher, which then squeezes guys at other positions. There’s a shrinking middle class in the NFL these days, and while this isn’t something that we can specifically blame on De Smith, the NFLPA, and the new CBA, this unintended effect of the natural workings of the market is probably going to wipe out whatever progress was made towards paying veterans that came with the new rookie wage scale.

Mar 3, 2013

Cap News: 2013 Cap Number, Franchise Tag Amounts

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Some news:

1) Mike Florio has two sources that peg the 2013 Salary Cap at $123 million precisely. Chris Mortenson had it at $123.9 though. $123 seems like a safe bet. So it’s a modest increase, small enough to say that the cap has been roughly flat now for three years. This trend doesn’t show all that many signs of reversing either, even as the new TV contracts kick in. The new CBA looks more and more like a victory for owners and the better GMs and a loss for the players. And some teams and GMs are going to find their backs against the wall as the expected increases don’t happen. Those problems are what impact and screw over the NFLPA, as perfectly useful players will lose their jobs because of mismanagement and bad assumptions made by GMs.

2) Albert Breer of the NFL Network has the franchise tender amounts by position.

QB: $14.9 million

DE: $11.18 million

CB: $10.85 million

WR: $10.54 million

OL: $9.83 million

LB: $9.62 million

DT: $8.45 million

RB: $8.22 million

S: $6.9 million

TE: $6.07 million

K/P: $2.98 million

Filed under CBA, NFL, Salary Cap
Mar 1, 2013

Overpaying Flacco

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This is not a new discussion, but after winning the Super Bowl more people are talking about Joe Flacco and just how big a contract he’ll command from the Ravens this offseason.

I have been fascinated by Flacco ever since he was drafted out of Delaware. At the time, I disliked Matt Ryan (I no longer do) and loved the underdog element to the Flacco story, given his background of losing out to Tyler Palko and transferring to a school not known for football prowess. I thought Flacco was decent value at 18 for Ozzie Newsome and I thought that it was likely that he’d end up better than Ryan and at a much lower price.

Over several years of watching him, though, I found myself annoyed more often than impressed. He’s got perhaps the game’s biggest arms but habitually underthrows receivers. He often “succeeds” by having defenders flagged for cheap DPI when the receiver hits them while slowing down to wait for an underthrown ball. (This is a huge pet peeve of mine, largely because there simply isn’t a good solution for it, but you’re still rewarding incompetence.) Even two of his long touchdowns, including the tying score in Denver, were underthrown. And he cost his team four points in last season’s AFC title game when he hung a ball up for Torrey Smith that should have led to an uncontested touchdown in the first quarter but instead ended in a field goal from the one (another pet peeve, especially in that situation in a scoreless game against the Patriot offense). Throw in the games against tough defenses wherein he played at a level no better than Mark Sanchez – a painful 10-9 Ravens-Jets game from 2010 comes to mind and it’s not among his worst, stats-wise – and there have been plenty of games where he left me, as a fan, smacking my head.

I should point out that I’m a big fan of the type of offense that the Ravens run, with the emphasis on throwing deep, and from personal experience I know just how much harder it is to throw to the sideline than it looks, even on short tosses. I know that the offense isn’t going to lead to jaw-dropping efficiency sometimes, and I know that it’s tougher to be accurate on difficult throws. Still, I often found myself thinking “if only they were getting better QB play, they’d be a real force.”

Things are different now, though. Flacco, while still inconsistent in 2012, put together a truly dominant run of four playoff games capped by a title, and now his agent Joe Linta is claiming that Flacco should be the highest paid QB in the game.

That’s ridiculous, of course, but that’s Linta’s job. And given the nature of contracts and evolution of salaries, it’s not reasonable to suggest that Flacco’s new deal simply slot in at salaries slightly lower than better QBs that signed deals years ago. Given the nature of the market, though, it’s likely that he’s going to be overpaid. We’re now left to sit back and wait to learn by how much. The Ravens may elect to risk giving him the non-exclusive franchise tag, which pays him $14.6 million in 2013 if a deal isn’t reached, but with the sad state of quarterbacking in the lower third of the league, it’s entirely possible that someone might be willing to give up the two picks required to steal him away. As Mike Florio points out, that leaves the exclusive franchise tag, which sits currently at over $20 million. Linta seems to think he can extract that much PER YEAR over the life of a new contract, which makes the exclusive tag a bit more palatable, but the team has a bit of a cap crunch so it’d be nice to work out a deal that saves them some money to be used on guys like maybe Anquan Boldin, who I think is criminally underrated by most of the media and makes every QB he plays with look a lot better.

The reality of the situation now is that there are other teams out there willing to overpay Flacco, and while Newsome has shown himself to be able to make dispassionate decisions and go strictly by his rules and values (like during drafts), the Ravens will be a significantly weaker team if they play hardball and let Flacco walk. There just aren’t any passable replacements at that position this year (or any year, in ordinary circumstances). So they will have to overpay as well, and in doing so, they’ll weaken themselves in other areas. The question will be by how much.

Boy would I love to be a fly on the wall in a room with Pat Moriarty and Ozzie Newsome during their calls to Linta. The Raven front office is one of the best in the game, and the team reached the pinnacle this year largely by avoiding big mistakes with the cap. This year they may have no option but to make one. But if any team can limit the damage, it’s them. It promises to be interesting.

Feb 5, 2013

Great Jets cap resource site


One of the best team-specific cap resources on the web right now is the NY Jets Cap page.

No fan-run site can be guaranteed to be totally accurate, as most player contracts are never made public and they often contain minor incentives and tweaks that make even the common numbers slightly off, but for the purposes of most fans, the figures one can find on sites like this are correct. He also keeps track of their divisional rivals and writes excellent articles that show his intimate knowledge of the cap and contracts. The site makes for a great read.

Mar 5, 2012

Ask the Commish

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This was written years ago under the old CBA, but it’s still a good place to get one’s feet wet in learning about the cap, because it doesn’t have nearly as many words as sites like this one:

Ask the Commish Salary Cap FAQ

Filed under CBA, NFL, Salary Cap
Oct 18, 2011


I’ll be creating a separate page full of useful links, many of which may have more or better information than this site here. But as I find and add them, I may as well mention it here too. Anyone that puts work into this deserves to be seen, and those who do an exceptional job deserve to be highlighted.

One of the best cap resources I’ve seen, even if you aren’t a fan of the Eagles, is Bryce Johnston’s He has been running the site since 2008 and it presents the team’s cap situation, to the best of any fan’s knowledge, in a very complete and orderly manner, breaking out P5 salary, signing and other bonuses, and other elements of each contract in an easy to read format.

Aug 8, 2011