Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense | TigerDroppings.com

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bonethug0108
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Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


You can view details of next year's cap situation here:

LINK /

As we await the start of the rookie mini-camp and OTAs I thought it might be worthwhile to take a look at who we have signed next year, who we need to sign, and who are the potential cuts/restructures/extensions.

We have $121,878,856 towards the cap(before rookie signings) for 42 players. The cap only counts the highest 51 salaries.

I have the link sorted by position so we can look at each group individually. Note that dead money is not calculated for every player so some math needs to be done when considering cuts.

I'm also not going to include the UDFA as some get long term contracts an others don't. However, feel free to discuss their potential future going forward. The draftees all get long term contracts so I will include them.

QB and Skill Positions

QB
Starting at the head of the team, we only have Brees signed long term at QB. This year both backup vets are on 1 year deals and we have a potential project in Ryan Griffin(exception to my no UDFA rule).

Next year could be the first year to seriously consider drafting a QB as the eventual heir to Brees. I don't see us signing a vet to more than the minimum(just like this year) as we are even tighter against the cap next year.

No cuts to be made and restructuring Brees in 2014 would be a tough pill to swallow given how high his cap hit jumps in 2015(from $18.4 to $26.4 mil).

TE
At TE we state the obvious: Sign Graham long term. We definitely need to do some cap shuffling to make that happen, but everyone knows it's getting done.

Outside of Graham we have Watson still signed on at a reasonable rate(also reasonable in 2015 if he's still playing well). Higgins is an ERFA and will likely be back in the mix. We could look mid to late in the draft to add a young one to start developing if Higgins doesn't show more.

WR
Moving to WR we have two of Brees' favorite targets still on board(Colston and Moore). Colston is uncuttable so he'd have to agree to a restructure to lower his number. Not sure on Moore's situation(he restructured in 2012 and possibly has some guarantees left) but I can see a possible restructuring for him also.

Outside of those 2 we have Toon and Stills along with the usually PS types(Givens, Fayson, Hakim, and Tanner; Parker is a RFA and could be tendered). Morgan will be a RFA so I expect him to be tendered if he keeps up where he left off. Depending on how these guys develop we could be okay or we could be in big trouble and need to draft a WR high.

HB
Moving on to HB we have Sproles, Thomas, Ingram, and Cadet. That's a good stable at HB, but the contracts on a bit high for non full time starting RBs. With Sproles and Thomas heading into their final year we could look to extend one or both to save some in 2014.

For Ingram, teams have a 5th year option on 1st rounders so he could be back as our primary back in 2015 if we let Thomas and/or Sproles walk after 2014.

FB
At FB we have no one signed but Collins is a RFA. It's possible we tender him or we could look to go cheaper by signing one to the minimum because we don't use the FB that often in a prominent role. I'm not sure we draft one, instead looking to UDFA or other young players that didn't stick elsewhere.



This post was edited on 5/5 at 1:35 pm



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bonethug0108
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


Offensive Line and Special Teams

C
Moving on to the offensive line, C is bare spot. We have Ryan Lee and that's it, but I'm pretty sure they'd like to get De La Puente signed long term. They'll likely let him play out his RFA year under the tender and sign him before the eve of FA next year. Like Graham, we'll need to get some space to do so.

T
At T we have Jones and Armstead. Both are projects with high upside, but Jones does have an injury history. Both are expected to compete for starting spots this year(Armstead at LT and Jones at RT, though it's likely they'll be cross trained). We also have Harris who is an ERFA so he'll likely be back.

If things go well we'll be good for the future, but if they go badly this becomes a major need that will have to be addressed early in the draft and possibly FA. It's also possible we extend whoever wins the jobs if it isn't these 2.

G
Going to G, we have a lot of money tied up here with Grubbs and Evans, and neither is worth cutting for the paltry savings(Grubbs- $100,000 and Evans- $1,880,000). Not sure either is a real candidate for restructure. We also have reserve Andrew Tiller, and 2 RFA: Olsen and Henry. It's possible one or both receive a tender.

P
On special teams, we have one of the best P in the league signed long term(actually 1 of only 3 players we have signed through 2017 and the only one signed for 2018). The price is high but he's worth it.

K
At K we have Hartley at $1.3 mil. I know people are split on him(more on the cut him side), but it all depends on how he plays this year.

LS
Drescher also seems to be our long term LS.

To Be Continued...



This post was edited on 5/4 at 3:39 pm


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bonethug0108
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


Defense

DE
At DE, Smith has an option year I highly doubt he sees(almost a $14 mil cap hit) and beyond that we have Jordan, Romeus(possibly being moved to OLB in 2013), and Walker, with Hicks being a strong possibility to be moved here full time after spending time at DE and NT in 2013. Johnson is a RFA who is likely to be tendered and split time between DE and NT

We probably look to the draft and FA to add some depth here, but we likely have our long term starters in Jordan and Hicks. No cuts or restructures here.

NT
Manning the NT spot will be Bunkley and Jenkins, with Hicks still being a possibility here if we add a starting DE. Johnson is a RFA and could be tendered to add depth to both NT and DE. No cuts or restructures here(Bunkley saves only about $500,000).

ILB
In the middle we Have Lofton and Hawthorne(who could see time at OLB in certain packages) as the likely starters with Chamberlain and A. Johnson as the reserves. Likely to add depth through FA or the draft. Not seeing any cuts or restructures here.

OLB
The other boom or bust position on the team this year(LT being the other), we have Butler, Galette, Wilson(could see time at ILB in certain packages), Broughton, Romeus(?), and R. Johnson.

Butler has a chance to bolt if he outplays his contract, which could leave us dangerously thin. If Galette and/or Wilson don't step up(or Broughton or a rookie that surprises us) this will be a huge need that must be addressed early in the draft or in FA. I see no cuts or restructures here.

CB
We have our top 4 returning next year with Greer, Lewis, Robinson, and White. Lewis and White are Locks, but Greer and/or Robinson could be cut, extended, or in Greer's case restructured. After that we have young hopefuls Turner, Steed, and Davis.

Depending on what happens with Greer and Robinson, and how White develops, we could be lacking a starting corner. I think White will at least be a capable nickel if nothing else. We likely add a CB through the draft, maybe 2nd round or later.

S
I was going to split this, but with Vaccaro that makes it hard to do. He'll likely be the starter, but with Jenkins not under contract and Harper being a very likely cap casualty if he doesn't extend/restructure, the question is what spot.

Harper is the only safety currently under contract next year, but Bush and Abdul-Quddus are RFA and one or both are likely to be tendered. Nelson is also an ERFA and will likely be back. If one of these 3 don't step up and Harper and Jenkins aren't brought back, FS or SS will be a huge need next year likely to be addressed early in the draft or in FA.



This post was edited on 5/4 at 9:12 pm


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bonethug0108
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


Free Agents

ERFA
Higgins TE
Harris T(currently RT)
Nelson S(currently SS)

Sign all 3 to keep depth at those positions. Higgins is the most replaceable as he is the 3rd TE and we could find someone better. Nelson is no lock either.

RFA
Morgan WR
Parker WR
Collins FB
Olsen OG/C
Henry OG
Johnson NT/DE
Abdul-Quddus S(currently FS)
Bush S(currently SS)

Tender or sign long term Morgan, Collins, Olsen, Johnson, and Abdul Quddus, dependent on how well they play(I think they'll play their roles well enough to stick). Bush is a slight possibility also given our lack of signed safeties in 2014 and Harper potentially being cut. Parker and Henry are question marks. Not likely to be tendered, but they could come back for the minimum.

Key FA
Graham TE
De La Puente C

These are the only definite players we need to sign long term, which is a good thing given that we are already pressed close to the cap(likely to be between $124-126 mil; fingers crossed it's higher).

Secondary FA
Offense
McCown QB
Wallace QB
Roby WR
Brown T(currently LT)
Smith T(currently LT)
Strief RT
Defense
Smith DE
Coleman DE
Richardson DE
Vilma ILB
Herring ILB
Humber ILB
Jenkins FS
Leonhard S(currently FS)

What happens to all of these guys will depend on their play and/or the play of others. We could use depth at all of those positions(maybe even starters), but we have younger players that could take their place.

It will also depend on how much money these guys are asking for. I can only see most of them being brought back for vet minimum or close to it.

For the QBs, I only see us bringing back this year's winner, unless Griffin beats out both of them.

Roby will only be brought back if he makes the team this year(and maybe not even then). If he doesn't it means a young guy already beat him out.

T is the most interesting spot as you have 3 guys that could start at both T spots(Strief only at RT; Brown and Smith at either). If the young guys don't show enough and 1 or 2 of these guys win the job(s) it's likely we bring the starters back. If the young guys show enough, even if they don't start, one, two, or all of them could be gone.

At DE you have some potential starters this year at 1 spot that are FA(though not likely to start in 2014). Smith could command a slightly higher salary from some 4-3 team hoping he has a bit left, but it's possible all 3 could be had for vet minimum to help bolster depth. I don't think we resign all 3, but 1 or 2 is possible.

Moving to ILB, you have 3 guys that could bolster depth and are likely to be had for cheap. Vilma might command a slightly higher salary, but like the DEs, all 3 might be attainable at the minimum. Also like DE, I think we may resign 1 or 2.

Moving to S you have 1 guy that may be kept for depth in Leonhard and then you have Jenkins. I'm still not 100% on him making the roster this year, but he is going to have to have a career year to be brought back as he'll likely want more than the minimum.

2013 UDFA
Offense
Ryan Griffin QB
Keavon Milton TE
Josh Hill TE
Shawne Alston HB
Elliot Mealer C
Tim Lelito OG
Defense
Glenn Foster DE
Kevin Reddick ILB
Eric Martin OLB
Ray Shipman OLB
Chase Thomas OLB
Rod Sweeting CB
Ryan Lacy CB

I see Griffin, Reddick, Thomas, and Sweeting as the most likely to crack the 53, or at least make the PS.

Potential Cap Casualties
Sproles HB
P. Thomas HB
Hawthorne ILB
Chamberlain ILB
Greer CB
Robinson CB
Harper SS

Harper by far is the biggest target here. He must extend(w/retsructure) or restructure or he will be cut. Greer is probably the next most likely given how much he'll save. It might be tough to keep both Sproles and Thomas given their cap hits. Hawthorne, Chamberlain, and Robinson are more about play but save enough to take a look at.

2014 Reserves Likely to be Cut and/or Put on the Practice Squad
Lee C
Tiller C/G
Givens WR
Tanner WR
Fayson WR
Hakim WR
Turner CB
Steed CB
Davis CB
Johnson LB
Romeus LB

I think Tiller, one of the WR, and one of the CB have a good chance at beating out who I currently have projected at those positions, but the guys on my depth chart are my current favorites to take those jobs.



This post was edited on 5/5 at 12:02 am


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goatmilker
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


Here is a nice breakdown of salaries.

LINK

You can easly see that Evans Colston and Grubbs are three big jumps in 2014.






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bonethug0108
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


I'm including ERFA, RFA, some UDFA, and Graham and De La Puente in this mock depth chart.

Leaving off the Secondary FA as it's not easy to predict who will stay or go. I also only included the current most likely UDFA but am leaving the rest off.

Potential 2014 Depth Chart

Offense
QB
Brees
Griffin

HB
Ingram
Thomas
Sproles

3rd Down Back
Sproles
Thomas
Cadet

FB
Collins

Possesion WR
Colston
Toon

Speed WR
Morgan
Stills
Givens

Slot Receiver
Moore
Stills
Givens

TE
Graham
Watson
Higgins

C
De La Puente
Olsen

LG
Grubbs
Olsen

RG
Evans
Olsen

LT
Armstead
?

RT
Jones
Harris

Defense
LDE
Jordan
Walker

RDE
Hicks
Johnson

NT
Bunkley
Jenkins
Johnson

LOLB
Butler
Thomas

LILB
Lofton
Reddick

RILB
Hawthorne
Wilson
Chamberlain

ROLB
Galette
Broughton
R. Johnson

LCB
Greer
White

RCB
Lewis
Robinson

NB
White
Robinson
Sweeting

FS
Vaccaro
Abdul-Quddus

SS
Harper
Bush
Nelson

Special Teams
K
Hartley

P
Morstead

LS
Drescher

That's 52 of the 53 man roster(missing the starting or backup LT) going off the assumption everyone under contract stays(not likely) and before we add in 2014 FA and draft picks.

It could be drastically altered at a few positions given how things play out this year, particularly at WR, LT, RT, both OLB spots, and both S spots.

Cap casualties could also play a role, specifically with Greer, Robinson, Harper, Hawthorne, Chamberlain, and maybe Sproles or P. Thomas being the most likely.

Currently it has 24 spots for offense, 26 for defense, and 3 for special teams. Spots that could swing are:

QB up to 3(not likely)
WR down to 5(50/50)
TE down to 2(less than 50/50)
DE up to 5(less than 50/50)
NT up to 3(counting Johnson as a DE; greater than 50/50)
OLB down to 4(unlikely)
ILB down to 4(50/50)
S down to 4(50/50)

Traditionally we keep:
2 QB
4 or 5 HB(I think 4 is definitive for 2014 barring a draft pick)
1 FB
5 or 6 WR
3 TEs
1 C
1 C/G
2 G
4 T
5 CB
5 S

I won't list what we do traditionally at DE, NT, ILB, or OLB as the switch negates that. You usually have 2 deep at each spot with an extra lineman and an extra linebacker. Usually the extra guy or someone ahead of him is versatile enough to play 2 spots(DE/NT and ILB/OLB). So you're likely to see:

4 or 5 DE
2 or 3 NT
7 total linemen

4 or 5 OLB
4 or 5 ILB
9 total linebackers



This post was edited on 5/4 at 11:48 pm


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htran90
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


I'm not sure how their contracts go, but it seems that if some of the rookies/FA signings this year do make the team and make a big impact we could be getting rid of some of those players.

smith, harper, hawthorne, bunkley, chamberlain, greer, and PT?

smith just not being a viable option? vaccaro > harper and having IAQ/corey replacing jenkins? one of the new guys just outplaying hawthorne? jenkins > bunkley? chamberlain being an oddman out? greer getting old and MAYBE having p.rob playing well? Ingram having a good year we can transition from 3-head to ingram/sproles and then find the sproles replacement?






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chrisksaint
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


I imagine that Harper/Smith will be gone, Bunkley/Greer being other cap casualty candidates.





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bonethug0108
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


quote:

Evans Colston and Grubbs

Yeah those 3 are going to take up a good chunk of cap and aren't worth cutting(or can't be in Colston's case).

In 2015 Brees is going to be the biggest jump($8 mil more). Lofton and Hawthorne also get sizable bumps that year.

We're going to have to work around these 4 guys for the next 2 years(2014 and 2015).
quote:

smith, harper, hawthorne, bunkley, chamberlain, greer, and PT?
Smith is all but gone next year, at least on that option year.

Harper won't be back at his current contract no matter how well he plays. He'll be extended or cut.

Not sure on Hawthorne as they don't list the dead money, but I think his restructure this year made it unlikely. Edit: After checking it seems he could be a potential cap cut.

Bunkley saves very little($500,000) so it's not worth cutting him.

Chamberlain is likely gone unless he outplays the youngins.

Greer could be a cap casualty, but I'm uncertain about how much he has left in guarantees next year. Edit: After checking it seem he could be a cap cut.

PT looks the part of a cap casualty or an extension.



This post was edited on 5/4 at 11:30 pm


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Brettesaurus Rex
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


I would honestly really like if we rolled with Griffin as the backup. If Brees goes down were screwed regardless of who is back there. We can start grooming him for a few years as a potential Drew replacement.





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bonethug0108
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


I see us rolling with 1 vet(whichever plays best) and Griffin either just making the 53 or going to the PS. Payton doesn't seem to rush offensive rookies into playing time. If Griffin shows that he's better than both vets though I can see us cutting both of them(or keeping one as an emergency QB).





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goatmilker
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


If Griffen beats out any of the vets Griff will be the only QB on the roster.
You can book that.
I would give the edge to Seneca and Griff on P.S. but will pull for RGX for sure.






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bonethug0108
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


I'm leaning that way also.





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htran90
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


Feeling like this year is gonna be the year we start playing like a top 16 defense to go with a top 3 offense.





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Sophandros
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


The cap is going to jump up big time with the new TV deal that starts in...



2015






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bonethug0108
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


I was trying to read into that and the common thinking is the cap will be flat until 2016. So we'll likely see small bumps of $1-3 mil next year and in 2015.

Then in the second half of the current CBA they pretty much have to have a larger jump to stay within the rules.

If that holds true then we will be majorly crunched in 2015 when Brees' cap hit jumps big time.



This post was edited on 5/4 at 5:54 pm


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chrisksaint
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


I'm sure once it gets to that 2015 season the team and Brees will come together to get that cap # down some if it's possible.





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bonethug0108
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


I agree and it'll likely be an extension if not a restructuring of base salary into bonus.





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THRILLHO
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


quote:

restructuring of base salary into bonus.


This, pushing a ton of salary into seasons Brees won't be playing in, and taking a massive cap hit the year he retires/we cut him. We're going to have nasty growing pains with a new QB anyway, so may as well "compete" for the top pick that season anyway.






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bonethug0108
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re: Eye to the Future: Looking at the 2014 Cap(pre-rookie signings)/Detail Intense


We can also accomplish that with an extension with restructure, but yeah that is the only way to go.





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