Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Jay Cutler restructures, what does it mean?

By now most of you have heard the Bears restructured part of Jay Cutlers $22.6M pay for 2014 into a signing bonus.  They Bears converted $5M into a signing bonus that put $4M back to the salary cap, what had been sitting at approximately $6M. That gives the Bears about $10-11M in cap money. The initial reaction was the Bears had a signing imminent and everyone was holding their collective breath.  Some folks thought it might be the first step in signing Jared Allen, since he was to have made a decision over the weekend, and here we are, Tuesday and he has been conspicuously quiet.

In reality, as you look at what the Bears did, it is probably nothing more than some basic salary cap maintenance.  Here is why I say that, the cap is now at $11M give or take. You need $4-5M (revised upwards now) to cover the draft. That brings it back down to $6M.  That is not nearly enough to sign Jared Allen. In fact, if the Bears were headed in that direction, they would have converted a lot more of Culter's $22.6M.  As I understand it, they can convert up to $15M of that salary for 2014.  So by taking a paltry $5M, means no Jared Allen (never say never but you get my logic).  So what is the $6M going to do?

Emery will soon shift his focus to the draft and we might see the end of any major UfA deals . However, there are a few players out there that might be of interest and could be had cheaply. Sims, Carrington and Clemons to name a few.  Also, the Bears have like 60 odd players under contract, they can bring 90 into camp, so they can sign about 20 more depth players. So 20 players at the vet minimums or less is about $2-3M.  In the end, I would not get to excited about the restructuring of Cutler's deal.

In other news, the Cowboys have filed a grievance against Jay Ratliff.  Evidently, Jerry Jones is none too pleased that when they released Jay, under failed physical, that a few weeks later he was working out with the Bears.  Jerry wants Jay's $10M signing bonus for 2011 back and part of his $1.34M salary, plus monies owed for a luxury suite Ratliff bought.  The problem is for Jones, is that per the CBA, there is a 50 day window to file a greivance, which has long been shut.  The Cowboys know they have no chance but I guess they want to make a statement.

One last thing,  when I started this blog, I had intended to write two days a week; Wednesday and one day over the weekend.  Lately, it has been everyday and I greatly appreciate the comments and those that follow it.  In the coming days, I will go back to twice a week, but along with that I have been offered the opportunity to be a staff writer over at Bear Goggles On (the link is on the right above the poll).  I will be posting a column there on Tuesday and Thursday's.  It is a great site, full of good articles, plus they having  working relationship with Bleacher Report so there are those feeds too.  I will keep the content separate and would encourage all of you to pop over there and take a look.

I want to thank all of you for reading and I will keep the updates and articles coming here and over at Bear Goggles On.

Update:  Ralph WilsonJr the owner of the Buffalo Bills passed away at 95.  Mr. Wilson was one of the original owners  when the AFL started.

Update: Here is something on the lighter side and good to see the camaraderie, Wilson has to carry Jay's trophy for the evening!  

12 comments:

  1. Congrats on the Bear Googles gig!

    There was no need to defer Cutler's cap money now. They had the option of waiting until it was absolutely necessary. So my wishful thinking says there could be target on the horizon.

    Consider this scenario: Release Weems and Conte - open cap dollars then top $12M (using the overthecap calculator). Reserve $5M for rookie pool. Sign Chris Clemons to replace Conti - would a contract containing a $3.5M cap hit for 2014 be sufficient? And that still leaves a $3.5M for other smaller UFA signings (RB, OL, CB, P). A reserve for in season moves can be built from training camp cuts and future restructurings (Cutler et al).

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  2. Thanks Chuck on the Bears Goggles On.

    Weems will be cut for certain since he refused a pay cut. Not sure they will let Conte go. He is physically the right guy but the bigger issue is his mental well being. He really got torched last year and became the poster boy for a horrible defense. If Tucker can get his head back on straight who knows. I do like the idea of them signing Clemons, have advocated that all along. You are right they would have enough money for smaller signings, and to keep some reserve for injuries during the season, like signing Ratliff last year.

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  3. Congrats on the Bear Goggles On gig!!!! I'll be on it like flies on .......... ;)
    Much deserved IMO, and now yet another source for ya!
    Bear Down!!!!!!!!!
    Also, I concur With Chuck....Emery has something cooking and we just can't smell it yet. I also agree with you about Weems being cut since he didn't accept the proposal and even though I am no Conte fan (Lord knows I used every word in the book last year, each game) I also agree with you they're probably going to keep him at least for now and going into preseason to possibly redeem himself. Maybe he comes out on the other side smelling like roses....who knows. I think if they were going to cut him, they would've done so by now.

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    1. Thanks Ben for the kind words. I will admit, I am a Conti defender *cringes*. I have argued time and time again he was the starter in 2012 when the D was #1. It is hard for me to fathom he became "horrible" all of a sudden. He might not be Pro Bowl talent but is a serviceable FS. Right now his confidence is so shot, I am not sure he can come out smelling like a rose.

      In his defense, in the Tampa 2, you need a good pass rush and strong LB coverage, if not, your safeties are on an island. People have forgotten that interception he made on Rodgers in the red zone in the last game. They blame him for that last play, and yes he messed up, but in reality it started with Peppers getting easily chipped by Kuhn that opened the outside to Rodgers. Even Rodgers said, if Kuhn didn't get that chip the play would have gone differently.

      Regardless, they will find a replacement for him for this is the final season on his rookie contract. Enjoy Bear Goggles On, great site.

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    2. Already bookmarked bro. Btw, if you happen to see a comment from ChitwoodIN over there, that's my disqus pseudonym...from Insidethehall.com.....yes, I'm an avid lifelong fan of IU bb as well. Lol.
      And...get this...my son is a student at Purdue. Haha

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  4. A quick follow up on Conti. I do like the guy and have always felt comfortable with the idea bringing him back. He did a really nice job in 2012 - and the front half of 2013 as well. The main reason I mention him as a possible cap casualty is his 2014 number is $1.5M with only $100K as dead money. If the Bears do hold on to Conti, one would think it would be on a restructured deal.

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    1. He is in the final year of his rookie contract, and the CBA doesn't allow contracts to be restructured until after the third year. So they could do it, but at $1.5M what would they really save? If anyone needs to be restructured it would be Marshall's deal. It is apparent Emery is comfortable where they are at.

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    2. I hear you. But Conti's 2014 figure is about half way between Weems & Bennett and the Bears approached both about restructures.

      Regarding Marshall - the Bears also need to get him extended beyond 2014. So they could look at an extension that shaves something off the 2014 cap figure, if that is needed. But that would be the type deal struck down the road - likely late in camp when as the final roster is fleshed out.

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  5. And lets say we can sign Clemons. No need to draft a safety at the top and we can go for some offense on Day 3. How would this sound:

    1. Donald or Nix DT (perhaps Ealy in a trade down) 2 Martin or Murphy DE (Ealy at 1 would change this) 3 Jean-Baptiste or McGill CB 4 Norwood WR 5 Larsen C 6a Carrethers DT 6b Johnson FS



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    1. 1- Donald or Nix, 2- Ferguson (DT), 3- Huff (S/CB), 4- Norwood, 5- Ikard (C/G), 6a- BPA CB 6b- BPA RB CAF- Savage and Renner (QB)

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    2. If they were able to sign clemons, I tend to lean toward this line up. Simply because they'll want depth at DT....and I would be shocked....no, stunned....If they don't pick up a center mid draft.

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    3. I agree on the center in the draft. I have mentioned before the connection with Kromer and Ikard. He has been the only center they have interviewed and am sure he will be one of the 30 invited in for more drills. He was rated a seventh rounder but had a solid Combine and has moved up a bit, not a complete player by a long shot but has potential.

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