There has been a lot of talk here on Rumblings of late about the CB position. Most of this seems to have been spurred on by the recent visit of Routt to OBD, and Pete Prisco's recent top 50 FA's story which showed that there is serious depth at the CB position this year.
It seems that most rumblers believe that we can upgrade the position this offseason in free agency and stay cap neutral by cutting several of our higher paid vets (I agree). There are several different ways that I have seen recently on how we should do this. Before we get any further lets put out some facts.
T. McGee - Starting quality but often injured CB that is in his fourth year of a 5 year contract. His cap value this year is 6.3M but 4.2 M of it is dead money and will be paid out even if he is cut, saving the team 2.1m in cap space. Next year his cap value would be 7.2M with 2.1M in dead money and if he was cut then it would save the team 5.1M in cap space. With his injury history getting worse he will not finish this contract.
D. Florence - Has a lot of experience starting at CB but he is just below average for a #2 CB. He is in year two of a three year contract. His cap value for this year is 4.917M and his dead money is only 1.333M , saving the team 3.583M in cap space if he is cut this year. Next year his cap value is 5.917M with 667K in dead money and if he was cut then it would save the team 5.25M in cap space. I cant see the Bills paying this kind of money out for a nickel back so it is not likely that he finishes his contract.
L. McKelvin - Very talented but Inconsistent and under performing, former first round pick of the Bills that just cant seem to find the ability to get to the top of the depth chart. He is in the last year of his 5 year rookie contract. His cap value this year is 2.685M of which 2.332M is dead money the Bills will only save 353k by cutting him this year. McKelvin is not going to crack the top two on the depth chart again this year but if you are going to pay a couple million for a guy you might as well let him be depth for one more year as cutting him does no good at all.
A. Williams and J Rogers were both drafted last year and are a lock to make the team and as such are not relevant to the content of this post.
It is obvious to me that this position can be upgraded. It is also obvious that we need to continue to add to this position through the draft. So I think we will be adding two new CB's to the mix in the coming months.
If my math skills are up to par then that makes seven players that will have to be trimmed down to five for the final roster. At first glance it seemed pretty easy to me to cut McGee and McKelvin. This is a position that I think many of you would share. It would leave a depth chart of Williams, FA pick-up, Florence, Rogers, and draft pick. This option would also cut 2.453M off of this years cap that would at least partialy pay for the new FA pick-up. This is a serious option as it is an upgrade with a small cost.
Then being the cheap skate that I am I got to thinking about what it would look like to cut McGee and Florence in an effort to cut more cap space and still improve the roster. I think it does acomplish that goal, and if the extra cap saving is invested back into the new FA signing then it could save the team cap money and improve the quality of the top two CB's, while only slightly decreasing the quality at the nickel back and that for only one year bc IMO Florence would not make the 2013 roster. The depth chart would end up looking like this. Williams, better FA pick-up, McKelvin, Rogers, Draft pick. The cap money saved with this option would be 5.683M, a whopping 3.23M more than the first option, and again if that 3.23M. is used to get a much better FA this year it would drastically improve this positon this year and for the long run.
Then I had a new idea this morning that got me to thinking. I am still not completely on board with this idea but it does have some merrit in the short term. The idea is this, what if we asked McGee to renegotiate his contract. We, he, them(other teams) all know that he is good but do to injuries is no longer reliable, and therefore is being greatly overpaid. He knows he will not get paid the money he is getting here on the open market, and he has to know that the team needs to make some changes at the position to improve. These changes will almost certainly involve him being cut if he does not renegotiate. The Bills have been very good to McGee through the years and it seems that most players that currently have the option to leave the team have said they would like to stay. I dont think it would be that far fetched that a player like McGee would like to finish his career in Buffalo. It also does not seem to crazy IMO for him to prefer 1-2 million a year for another three years over similar money and have to move around to get it. If he gets cut he will make a team somwhere, but will he only be there a year and then have to move again? The thing I really dont know is how will this affect the sallary cap? If he renegotiates the contract will it change the cap to the Bills favor? Is McGee worth keeping around a few more years if the money was right? I think he would be worth keeping for lets say a three year contract worth 1M a year plus another 1M a year if he stays healthy. He could then be moved to the nickel back where he would see less time and could stay fresher. The depth chart would then look like this. Williams, better FA pick-up, McGee, McKelvin, Rogers. No draft pick is needed until next year to replace McKelvin. The Team would still save 3.583M in cap for this year to put towards the FA. IMO this is the best depth chart of the three but is it worth the risk?