We did offseason BROPs in 2013. I can't remember what the acronym stood for but I'm guessing it was something like Buffalo Rumblings Offseason Plan. I enjoyed writing mine and really liked reading the BROPs that others posted. I can't remember when we did them but I think it was before the start of free agency.
According to Brian's story on Buffalo rolling over cap dollars, the Bills should have something like $17.8 million extra dollars to play with in 2014. The cap is supposed to be between $126-128 million. I'm going to peg the unadjusted cap at $127.2 million just because that is about the halfway point of the range that gives the Bills a nice round number of cap space - about $145 million.
Brian linked to a story on ESPN:
The Bills already have $125 million committed to their 2014 cap, which is in the top third of the league. In other words, while they are carrying over a significant amount from 2013, the Bills will still be in the middle of the pack in 2014 cap space.
While it is true that the Bills are currently committed to that $125 million right now there’s nothing to say that the Bills can’t whittle it down some before the start of free agency. On a roster that produced a(nother) woeful record there is bound to be some fat to trim. I went to overthecap.com$5,000,000+
The only guy in this category the Bills could save appreciable cap space on is Kyle Williams. Cutting him would be sheer lunacy, perhaps on part with cutting Pat Williams. Wood is one of several players who has a negative hit on cap savings, a concept that seems really odd. Given that the other three (Gilmore, Manuel, Alonso, Branch, Woods) aren't getting cut either it doesn't particularly matter. While I'm in the highest paid category, there's no way the Bills are going to dump Johnson to save $25,000 in cap space. If I was an agent I'd make sure every contract had hefty amounts of dead money - as Johnson's does - but if I was a GM I'd try to keep dead money from ever entering a contract. I want contracts like Jerry Hughes (below) has-zero dead money.
Pay attention to the fact that you didn't see Jarius Byrd's name in that category. If he gets tagged he'll be $8.3 and if he signs a longer term deal you figure the 2014 cap hit will be at least that high.
Leodis McKelvin $4.6/$1.6, Jerry Hughes $4/$4, Fred Jackson $3.9/$2.9, Kevin Cokb $3.6/$3.1, Erik Pears $3.5/$2.9, Kraig Urbik $4.5/$1.3, Stephon Gilmore $4.4/-$3.9, Manny Lawson $3.1/$0.9, Alan Branch $2.9/-$0.28, EJ Manuel $2/-$5.2
Scott Chandler would have been in this category if he wasn't a free agent. His 2013 pay was $3 million. Alex Carrington earned $0.8 million in 2013 but he's likely in for a raise, quite possibly into this category.
Arthur Moats is a free agent. He was $1.4 million in 2013.
TJ Graham $0.7/$0.4, Marcus Easley $0.7/$0.7, Ramses Barden $0.7/$0.7, Dennis Dixon $0.7/$0.7, Lee Smith $0.7/$0.7, Nigel Bradham $0.7/$0.5, Marquis Goodwin, $0.7/$0.3, Ron Brooks, $0.7/$0.5, Thad Lewis $0.6/$0.6, Duke Williams $0.6/$0.3, Anthony Allen $0.6/$0.6, Evan Rodriguez $0.6/$0.6, Brian Moorman $0.6/$0.6, Kevin Elliott $0.6/$0.6, Mark Asper $0.6/$0.6, Jonathan Meeks, $0.5/$0.4, Dustin Hopkins $0.5/$0.4, Chris Gragg $0.5/$0.5, Nickell Robey $0.5/$0.5, Jeff Tuel $0.5/$0.5, Ronnie Wingo $0.5/$0.5, Corbin Bryant $0.5/$0.5, Willie Jefferson $0.5/$0.5, Cordell Roberson $0.5/$0.5, Stefan Charles, $0.5/$0.5, Ty Powell $0.5/$0.5, Joe Unga $0.5/$0.5, Mario Butler $0.5/$0.5
Less than $500,000
Chris Summers $0.4/$0.4, Chris Summers $0.4/$0.4,, Jajuan Harley $0.4/$0.4, Randy Colling $0.4/$0.4,, Kourtnei Brown $0.4/$0.4,, Jacques Smith $0.4/$0.4,, Brandon Kaufman $0.4/$0.4, Jamaal Johnson-Webb $0.4/$0.4, Ikponmwosa Igbinosun $0.4/$0.4,, Edwan Coughman $0.4/$0.4, Nathan Williams $0.4/$0.4
I've never heard of any of these guys.
The top 51 guys account for $113 million in cap space with the total right at $118 million. I'm not sure how to square this with the $125 that Brian put in his story. Perhaps that first number didn't include dead money from previous years? I'm going to roll with the $125 not counting Byrd since that's the number I see most frequently.
Next, I looked up when players are slated to become free agents who Buffalo could look at re-signing. I looked not only at 2014 but also 2015 as I don't believe in just letting good players walk once they've gotten close enough to free agency to get those under-the-table offers from teams.
2014: Jarius Byrd, Scott Chandler, Alex Carrington, Arthur Moats, Frank Summers, Dan Carpenter, Chris Hogan
2015: Marcell Dareus, Jerry Hughs, Erik Pears, Fred Jackson, Kevin Kolb, Aaron Williams, Garrison Sanborn, Da'Norris Searcy, Chris Hairston, Lee Smith, Tony Moeaki, Marcus Easley, Kevin Elliott, Thad Lewis, Corbin Bryant
Of those I'd want to try to re-sign current free agents Byrd, Chandler, Carrington and Carpenter. I'd be interested in extending Dareus, Hughs, Williams, Sanborn, Searcy, Easley, Lewis and Bryant. I can hear the howls now about Fred Jackson not being on the list. He'll be 33 when his contract expires and time is not friendly to RBs. If he's still productive at that time I could see trying to re-sign him to a team friendly deal but I don't see giving him a deal before he's a free agent. We got over Thurman Thomas in a Miami uniform; we can get past Fred Jackson playing for someone else in 2015.
Kolb and Pears are easy cuts and save $6 million, bringing the cap number from $125 million down to $119. Hairston couldn't beat out Pears and Legursky was terrible. Dumping them saves $2.4 million bringing the cap total down to $116.6. The Bills have Johnson, Goodwin, Woods and an incoming rookie or free agent WR which makes Stonehands Graham expendable and drops the cap to $116.2. With Manuel, Lewis and Dixon it's hard to see how Tuel Time survives, which drops the cap to $115.7. Tony Moeaki couldn't get on the field last year which makes it fairly easy to dump his $1.4 million salary bringing the total down to $114.3. There are 10 more guys currently on the roster than the Bills can carry into 2014. While they (or other scrubs) won't be cut until training camp is winding down we're talking about $4 million in cap space once that happens. I'm targeting that money towards one or more of the 2015 free agents as that would let the team make full use of the space during summer and then commit it right when the season ends-well before the smell of free agency is in the air. That drops the Bills salary cap number all the way down to about $110 million. That sounds like a long, long ways from $145 million but let's see how far that $35 million really goes.
The Bills will need to sign the incoming rookies. As near as I can tell, the team picking 9th last year (New Jersey Jets) had about $12.5 million dedicated to their 2013 rookies over 4 years. With a $0.3 million bump I'm putting that total around $12.8 million for slot #9, or about $3.2 million against the cap. If the Bills trade up to #5 in the draft it looks like the rookie cap hit would be closer to $5 million while trading back to, say, 15 would drop it to about $2.5 million. I do love trade scenarios and the rookie wage scale has provided another rationale!
Jairus Bryd's situation looms over Buffalo's offseason. OBD has, or should have, personally spoken to Jairus about the team tagging him while a long term deal is worked out. There's no need to ruffle feathers by letting him hear it through the media. $8.3 million of the $35 million is gone just like that, dropping cap space to $26.7 million. I'm hoping the team can sign Byrd to a 4 or 5 year deal, one that front loads some of the cap hit. That kind of deal would cost Buffalo more this year but this may be the year for it. If Byrd signs a deal that has a $12 million 2014 cap hit the Bills would have $23 million to play with instead of $26.7 million.
I'm not a huge Chandler fan but he is big and reliable. He's not an elite TE by any means and I can't see paying him like one. Vernon Davis is only (!) making $4.7 million. Chandler made about $2.5 million each of the last two seasons. He might think that he's in line for a huge payday but I hope Buffalo isn't the one paying for it. I don't know that I'd offer him more than $3 million. Chandler will probably walk.
Alex Carrington, who made less than a million last year, wouldn't do an extension after getting hurt early in 2013. He was playing well.....in a defense the Bills no longer run. I'd like to keep him around but I can't see spending much more than $2 million to do it. It's a fair bet that Pettine included some roster moves in his interviews with the Skidmarks and that one of them was luring Carrington to Cleveland.
The best kickers in the league get north of $2.5 million a season. With Buffalo already having a big leg in Dustin Hopkins signed for about $0.5 million I can't see dropping an additional $2 million on Carpenter. As good as he was in 2013 I see him in another uniform in 2014.
I'm not all that worried about signing Moats, Summers or Hogan. If they can be signed for minimal contracts I can see bringing them back. I don't see signing them for any more than that.
After trying to re-sign some 2014 free agents - and failing with all but Bryd - the Bills are down to about $23 million. (I'm assuming the long term deal for Byrd with the up front hit as that is the worst case in terms of the cap.)
I want to re-sign Marcell Dareus before he can get anywhere near free agency. He's unlikely to sign for less than he was making, which was about $6.5 million. I'm eyeballing a contract that pays something like $7.5 million a year but I'm going to call it $8 million, dropping the Bills to about $15 million.
After cut downs are made I look to re-sign Jerry Hughs to another two year deal averaging about $4 million a season. Signing it in September protects him from a down year after the departure of Pettine. It also drops cap room to about $11 million.
Searcy has been making about $1.5 million. In the DB happy NFL I can see extending him, perhaps to the point of $2 million a season. That drops the cap room to about $9 million.
I try to sign Sanborn, Easley, and Bryant to deals averaging about $1 million a year over 2 or 3 years. With those 3 the team is down to about $6 million in cap space.
About $3 million of that room is going to be needed for rookies. Despite starting out around $35 million in cap space, the bad news is that the Bills aren't going to be able to be major players in free agency. The good news is that Byrd, Dareus, Hughs, Sanborn, Searcy, Easley and Bryant are all signed.
So, what to do with $3 million?
My first thought is that the Bills have let go of OTs (Pears/Hairston) and need someone to step in and play RT. The LG position remains a shambles. Chandler has walked, leaving a hole at TE. WR and LB remain glaring needs. That is far too many holes to fill with a mere (!) $3 million. However, the Bills can address some holes.
Jonathan Martin is done in Miami. The Dolphins have been trying to drum up trade interest in a guy they plan to release. He is signed for 2 more years at $824,933 and $1,042,400. While the temptation would be to wait until he is cut, the team he signs with would have to give him a new deal. Instead, why not ship Miami a 6th or 7th round pick for Martin and his very reasonable contract? The Bills improve at RT and have a bit over $2 million in cap space remaining.
Chad Rinehart is a free agent from San Diego, formerly of the Bills. As the team can't afford to get free agent help at TE, WR or LB why not attempt to re-sign a guy that Buffalo shouldn't have let walk in the first place? At the very least he's a capable reserve swing guard and I'd have started him over either Brown or Legursky. He made about $1.3 million last season. An offer of about $1.5-$1.8 million may get him back in royal blue.
That would pretty much do it for the available cap space. In my BROP I have:
- Re-signed Jairus Byrd and lost Chandler, Carpenter, and Carrington. Hogan, Moats and Summers may or may not have re-signed to minimal deals.
- Extended: Dareus, Hughes, Aaron Williams, Searcy, Easley, Lewis and Bryant.
- Traded a 6th round pick (I'll call it a 6th since that is a higher price than a 7th) for troubled Jonathan Martin's team friendly deal.
- Signed free agent guard Chad Rinehart.
- Done nothing about the WR or LB positions and thinned out the TE unit by cutting the expensive Moeaki and losing the even more expensive Chandler to free agency.
The team has clear holes at WR, LB and TE with lesser needs at CB, OT (reserve) and OG.
Next, because I'm hopelessly nerdy, I took the current big boards for CBS, Walter, NFL, SB Nation, SI, ESPN and Drafttek and merged the results. The amalgam top 25 big board came out:
- DE Jadeveon Clowney (1st on each board
- OT Jake Matthews
- QB Teddy Bridgewater
- WR Sammy Watkins
- OT Greg Robinson
- LB Khalil Mack
- LB Anthony Barr
- LB CJ Mosley
- QB Johnny Manziel
- QB Blake Bortles
- WR Mike Evans
- OT Taylor Lewan
- TE Eric Ebron
- FS Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix
- WR Marquise Lee
- CB Darqueze Dennard
- DT Louis Nix
- CB Justin Gilbert
- DE Koney Ealy
- DE Stephon Tuitt
- DT Timmy Jernigan
- OG Zack Martin
- DT Ra'Shede Hageman
- OT Cyrus Kouandjio
- TE Jace Amaro
With the Bills slated to pick at 9 and QBs Manziel and Bortles likely to go to the QB needy teams in the top 5 (Texans, Jaguars, Browns all need QBs) it looks as though Buffalo may be on the clock staring at LBs Mack/Barr/Mosley, WRs Evans/Lee and TEs Ebron/Amaro. Buffalo is in prime position to take the best player on the board and at a position of need. Shoring up the offensive line with limited free agency dollars - most had been committed to keeping the players the Bills had developed instead of watching them leave and win rings in other cities - meant that the first round of the draft could be used to reinforce an impact position.
What are your thoughts on my BROP? More importantly, where is yours? to check in on the contracts the Bills are currently in line to pay. Looking at those numbers I’m going to divide the roster into salary cap categories. Each has their cap number/cap savings number. I’ve rounded the numbers because it was way easier that typing out 7+ digits over and over.