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Welker: Tender Signed


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Poll: Some questions on 83 (272 member(s) have cast votes)

How would you handle him?

  1. Franchise him (41 votes [20.50%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 20.50%

  2. Sign him to a long term deal no matter the cost (8 votes [4.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.00%

  3. Only sign him if it's a "reasonable" short to mid length contract; otherwise franchise him (129 votes [64.50%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 64.50%

  4. Only sign him if it's a "reasonable" short to mid length contract; otherwise let him walk (17 votes [8.50%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 8.50%

  5. Let him walk (5 votes [2.50%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.50%

What is he worth?

  1. Over $9.4M per year (the franchise number) (18 votes [9.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 9.00%

  2. $8M-$9.4M (60 votes [30.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 30.00%

  3. $6M-$8M (111 votes [55.50%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 55.50%

  4. < $6M (11 votes [5.50%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 5.50%

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#1 tims4wins


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:48 AM

Discussion has been in multiple threads - throwing deep, free agent options - wanted to see what the overall pulse is in terms of bringing back 83.

Edit: updated the options to include let him walk if you can't sign him to a reasonable deal

Edited by SoxScout, 15 May 2012 - 12:55 PM.


#2 Stitch01


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:57 AM

The what its worth part is tricky. I pay him the franchise tag number for one year but not $8MM+ on a long-term deal. Im keeping him on the franchise tag next year if it comes to it.

#3 Shelterdog


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:04 PM

The what its worth part is tricky. I pay him the franchise tag number for one year but not $8MM+ on a long-term deal. Im keeping him on the franchise tag next year if it comes to it.


That's exactly where I am. The chances of him being significantly worse in 2013 or 2014 are pretty high (Troy Brown was pretty similar and he went from being a 100 catch guy at age 30 to a 40 catch guy at age 32) so you're taking a lot of risk if you sign him in the out years but I feel pretty good about his chances of being very good in this offense next year.

#4 Super Nomario


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:16 PM

BTW, the franchise number for WR is projected to be ~$9.5 MM per this article: http://profootballta...finley-packers/ That's a pretty big incentive for the Pats to work something out.

#5 BucketOBalls


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:13 PM

Welker seems to have a similar situation to Branch...i.e. he's great with Brady, but hasn't been successful anywhere else. He could turn that into a big contract, although there might be an incentive for him to take a bit less money, get a chance at a ring and avoid the pressure.

#6 Corsi


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:27 PM

So do the Patriots lose their top recevier?

No, according to Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe. Bedard joined my radio show, Armando and Perkins, this morning and made it clear he knows New England's plans for Welker.

"He's going to be tagged, that I know for pretty much certain," said Bedard, who clarified that it's the franchise tag the Pats would use. "If they don't, he's going to sign with the Jets and they're going to have to try and cover him twice a year, or the Dolphins ... They want him back. I don't see why things would change now, but the way it stood before the Super Bowl, they're going to tag him."

Bedard said the Patriots don't want to pay Welker like an elite receiver. Welker wants to be paid like, well, an elite receiver. Thus the franchise tag to keep Welker from hitting free agency and going to the Jets. (I doubt the Dolphins would sign him because they are invested in Davone Bess as a slot receiver).

The other intriguing thing Bedard said that should be of great interest to Dolphins' fans is that once the Patriots apply the franchise tag to Welker, things will get interesting. And by interesting he meant antogonistic.

Bedard said once the franchise tag goes on Welker he can see, "another Logan Mankins situation where Welker doesn't report until Week 8 of next season."

http://miamiherald.t...wes-welker.html

Edited by Corsi, 08 February 2012 - 04:28 PM.


#7 Marbleheader


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:34 PM

Holding on to Welker just to keep him away from a divisional opponent is the same line of thinking that brought us Carl Crawford's albatross. Field the best team you can, you can't worry about where a guy might choose to go.

#8 Shelterdog


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:44 PM

Holding on to Welker just to keep him away from a divisional opponent is the same line of thinking that brought us Carl Crawford's albatross. Field the best team you can, you can't worry about where a guy might choose to go.


Yup.

Bedard has the "Wes to the Jets" theory that just strikes me as insane. I guess Wes is good friends with a Jets coach (Mike Smith) so Bedard says bingo, it's a fit. Well the Jets have some cap issues, their QB sucks, they're locked into big bucks at WR with Holmes, their oline has major issues, their safeties suck and their front seven has lots of holes and is getting old. If they want to spend a ton of money on a slot receiver, good for them.

#9 dcmissle


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 05:14 PM

It is insane. I voted to tag him because he's very valuable to this team and because he'd likely respond rationally to being tagged. There is probably a decent chance something could be worked out that would leave everyone reasonably happy.

Besides, it would be very harmful to lose Wes and then whiff on the WR most of us hope to get. The Pats have far more control over this situation than the other.

#10 soxfan121


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 05:32 PM

The other intriguing thing Bedard said ... is that once the Patriots apply the franchise tag to Welker, things will get interesting. And by interesting he meant antogonistic.

Bedard said once the franchise tag goes on Welker he can see, "another Logan Mankins situation where Welker doesn't report until Week 8 of next season."


This is why he won't be franchised.

You cannot offer a man with the most receptions in the NFL in the last 5 years $9.4M guaranteed and then sign him to something "more reasonable". First, what is more reasonable? $9M/season for 4 years? $8M for 3/years? It's nice to say "franchise him and work something out" but there's significant evidence already on the table that Welker's not taking a "team friendly deal" or this would already be done.

If you can guarantee that Wes Welker shows up and is perfectly happy to play in 2012 on a 1/year, $9.4M contract in his age 31 season, then maybe you do it.

But every dollar you pay Wes Welker in 2013 & 2014 is a dollar that is not paid to Gronkowski and Hernandez. Both will need the type of long term contracts that pay them as elite pass-catchers.

I don't like the idea of franchising Welker and risking an unhappy holdout from Welker that ties up the money and provides no value on the field.

I don't like the idea of signing Welker to a deal that pays him $ that will need to be allocated to Gronk & Hernandez, as soon as next off-season and by year 3 of any Welker extension at the latest.

#11 Shelterdog


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 06:01 PM

If you can guarantee that Wes Welker shows up and is perfectly happy to play in 2012 on a 1/year, $9.4M contract in his age 31 season, then maybe you do it.


I guarantee he shows up quickly if he gets tagged. He signs that tender and he's set for life, but every game he misses is 500k down the drain, and he sure as shit isn't helping his chances in 2013 by not playing in 2012.
He can also be pretty sure he's not getting franchised in 2013-his number will be something like $11.3 million that year-so you take the rich one year deal and gamble on 2013. At that point it'll be a pure market driven negotiations and the Pats will have to pay him market to keep him.

I also guarantee he's pissed off if he gets tagged. Players always are.

Anyhow, it's close to a certainity that he gets franchised.

Edited by Shelterdog, 08 February 2012 - 06:08 PM.


#12 DrewDawg


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 06:39 PM

Welker seems to have a similar situation to Branch...i.e. he's great with Brady, but hasn't been successful anywhere else.


He didn't have much chance anywhere else. He did have almost 70 catches one year for Miami though. If he leaves, you don't really think he's going to fall off the map do you?

#13 mpx42

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 07:45 PM

The difference between Mankins and Welker was that Mankins was going to be paid almost nothing for that year anyway...Welker will be losing out on a lot of money by skipping games.

#14 quint


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 07:54 PM

It's nice to say "franchise him and work something out" but there's significant evidence already on the table that Welker's not taking a "team friendly deal" or this would already be done.


Do you have a source for this significant evidence?

And just because the franchise # for a receiver is at 9.4, that doesn't mean it would be the actual yearly cap hit for any contract he signs.

Edited by quint, 08 February 2012 - 07:57 PM.


#15 soxfan121


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:00 PM

I guarantee he shows up quickly if he gets tagged. He signs that tender and he's set for life, but every game he misses is 500k down the drain, and he sure as shit isn't helping his chances in 2013 by not playing in 2012.


Maybe a guy who hasn't banked $18M over the past 5 years would be "set for life" but Wes Welker was set for life when he got his first contract from the Patriots.

He signs that tender and he's looking at total of ~$18M for the rest of his career. If he becomes a Free Agent, $18M guaranteed is a near certainty - more likely he gets $25-30M over the life of a new deal.

A 31 year old guy is looking to cash in for the last time and ensure he's got enough money to pay someone to take care of his concussed ass in old age. Franchising Wes Welker is fucking him, hard; you're costing the guy at least $10M in real dollars and maybe $20M if he gets injured in 2012.

I hate the franchise tag. It's fucked up every player-team relationship when it's used; only Walter Jones made the tag his bitch. Every other player hit with the tag has lost millions of dollars and every team has to deal with an extremely unhappy player.



Do you have a source for this significant evidence? And just because the franchise # for a receiver is at 9.4, that doesn't mean it would be the actual yearly cap hit for any contract he signs.


Yep - he has no contract at this time. Unless he and the Patriots have agreed to not discuss a contract before the end of the season, then some proposal has been made, and rejected. And any first offer would, necessarily, be a team-friendly offer.

And yes, the $9.4M is real money. And if it isn't superseded by a long term extension, that's the cap hit. A long term extension would average out differently - but when you start at $9.4M for one, no one is going to accept a long term deal of 2/$12M or 3/$18M because the lowered AAV is "giving too much". See Ortiz, David for more information.

Edited by soxfan121, 08 February 2012 - 08:05 PM.


#16 quint


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:13 PM

Maybe a guy who hasn't banked $18M over the past 5 years would be "set for life" but Wes Welker was set for life when he got his first contract from the Patriots.

He signs that tender and he's looking at total of ~$18M for the rest of his career. If he becomes a Free Agent, $18M guaranteed is a near certainty - more likely he gets $25-30M over the life of a new deal.

A 31 year old guy is looking to cash in for the last time and ensure he's got enough money to pay someone to take care of his concussed ass in old age. Franchising Wes Welker is fucking him, hard; you're costing the guy at least $10M in real dollars and maybe $20M if he gets injured in 2012.

I hate the franchise tag. It's fucked up every player-team relationship when it's used; only Walter Jones made the tag his bitch. Every other player hit with the tag has lost millions of dollars and every team has to deal with an extremely unhappy player.





Yep - he has no contract at this time. Unless he and the Patriots have agreed to not discuss a contract before the end of the season, then some proposal has been made, and rejected. And any first offer would, necessarily, be a team-friendly offer.

And yes, the $9.4M is real money. And if it isn't superseded by a long term extension, that's the cap hit. A long term extension would average out differently - but when you start at $9.4M for one, no one is going to accept a long term deal of 2/$12M or 3/$18M because the lowered AAV is "giving too much". See Ortiz, David for more information.


That's not really significant evidence. That's pure conjecture.

And I do understand that if he signs his franchise tender that is the real number, I'm just saying the likelyhood is that he and the team work out a deal.

Edited by quint, 08 February 2012 - 08:14 PM.


#17 Stitch01


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:15 PM

That's overstating it. The Pats and Mankins worked things out for one, I don't think that fucked anyone over. Also just because a deal isn't done now doesn't mean there isn't a deal acceptable to both sides out there to be made.

#18 ragnarok725

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:42 PM

Yep - he has no contract at this time. Unless he and the Patriots have agreed to not discuss a contract before the end of the season, then some proposal has been made, and rejected. And any first offer would, necessarily, be a team-friendly offer.

And yes, the $9.4M is real money. And if it isn't superseded by a long term extension, that's the cap hit. A long term extension would average out differently - but when you start at $9.4M for one, no one is going to accept a long term deal of 2/$12M or 3/$18M because the lowered AAV is "giving too much". See Ortiz, David for more information.


Except that both he and Kraft made noises at the end of the season that they both wanted something to get done. Maybe they threw around some initial numbers, but I could easily see them just not feeling like it was a worthwhile distraction - they'd get it done after the season. Welker wants to be here and the Pats want him here, and they'll work it out.

“I plan on being back,” Welker said before the Super Bowl. “I am not really too worried about that right now.”

“I think Wes wants to be here and we want him here,” owner Robert Kraft said two weeks ago. “Hopefully when the season ends, both sides will be wise enough to consummate something. He’s pretty special. Anytime there’s a player on this team that I can look eye to eye and be on the same level, he’s an important guy.”


Does that sound like a contract war is brewing? Some people are reasonably grateful. New England has made Welker a star. Trading for him and making him such a part of the offense is responsible for his payday. Not that it'll mean he gives a discount willingly, but he's also not going to spite the team that is responsible for him being in the position to make the money in the first place.

I'm not sure you're going to convince a lot of people of your theory until there actually looks to be some acrimony.

Edited by ragnarok725, 08 February 2012 - 08:55 PM.


#19 Shelterdog


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:43 PM

A 31 year old guy is looking to cash in for the last time and ensure he's got enough money to pay someone to take care of his concussed ass in old age. Franchising Wes Welker is fucking him, hard; you're costing the guy at least $10M in real dollars and maybe $20M if he gets injured in 2012.

I hate the franchise tag. It's fucked up every player-team relationship when it's used; only Walter Jones made the tag his bitch. Every other player hit with the tag has lost millions of dollars and every team has to deal with an extremely unhappy player.


You hate it, Welker hates it, all players hate it, but who gives a shit: if they chose to tag him he either plays under it, he accepts a relatively team friendly long term deal instead, or he doesn't play.

#20 ragnarok725

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:53 PM

Also, soxfan121, I wanted to address a Welker-related point you made in another thread, but thought it would be more appropriate here:

I let Welker walk and apply any cap $ savings towards fixing defensive problems. I plug in Edelman in Welker's role and hope he OR the other Welker/Chrebet-type that is always available at the end of the draft/UDFA can mostly fill the role.


I think you're severely underrating Welker here. Slot receivers with his sort of small area quickness are very, very rare. Edelman is similar in so far as he's a short white receiver with some quickness. He doesn't have the burst Welker has, nor the hands, nor the route running ability. He's made 11 caches total in the last two years combined, and that's not all because he doesn't see the field as much.

Losing Welker means a very significant drop in production not just from whoever's in the slot, but also from the outside receiver who now needs to see the opposing team's #1 CB - a guy who normally lines up across from Welker these days. Without Welker, you'll see a lot more over the middle coverage rolled on to Hernandez and Gronk and the results will look like regression from them, when it would really just be life-without-Welker. The guy caught 122 passes last year. He was the #3 receiver in the league in DVOA. He is not nearly as easily replaceable as you're implying here.

Welker will probably regress over the course of a 3 year contract. But I think you take that into account and sign him to a reasonable one, or you have him play under the franchise tag to minimize your risk. He's not an age where he can afford to lose a year of 9.4M, or even half that. He's never had his big pay day. He'll play under the tag if he has to, but he'll likely just bow to the leverage it grants the Pats and sign a below market 3 year deal with a nice bonus. If he walks, I think we see a significant regression from the offense, even if they were to sign an outside receiver.

#21 soxfan121


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:01 PM

If he walks, I think we see a significant regression from the offense, even if they were to sign an outside receiver.


Maybe. If the Pats run the Welker offense without Welker, it'll be a disaster. But it's also reasonable to project improved performances from other players on the offense, from the off-season program and simple experience. I trust Josh McDaniels to implement a slightly different version of the offense in 2012; based on prior history, the run and the running backs as pass catchers will utilized more, which is exciting as I expect Ridley and Vereen to make a much larger impact than BJGE. Running plays of more than 20 yards should not be as infrequent (or non-existent) with more explosive backs. And without Welker using the underneath zones, there figures to be an uptick in screens, dump-offs and swings that get the ball in the hands of someone shifty and fast. Hernandez operates very well from the slot and if an H-back type is added, the Hernandez-Gronk-H-back-RB-WR set will be hard to matchup against in the hurry up. If the Patriots have to play without Welker, it's entirely possible the offense gets better if the TE & RB all improve, the WR corps is supplemented and the play calling & design is creative.

Wes Welker at 33 and 34 cannot be taking $ that will need to be allocated to Gronk & Hernandez. Wes Welker cannot be paid $9M - 1/3rd of the available cap room this offseason - when the holes on defense are so gaping and in need of attention.

#22 quint


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:42 AM

I enjoy how you keep banging that nine million dollar drum as if it is some sort of absolute certainty. Do yourself a favor, go take a deep breath and spare us all for a day or ten.

#23 Salva135


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:59 AM

Maybe. If the Pats run the Welker offense without Welker, it'll be a disaster. But it's also reasonable to project improved performances from other players on the offense, from the off-season program and simple experience. I trust Josh McDaniels to implement a slightly different version of the offense in 2012; based on prior history, the run and the running backs as pass catchers will utilized more, which is exciting as I expect Ridley and Vereen to make a much larger impact than BJGE. Running plays of more than 20 yards should not be as infrequent (or non-existent) with more explosive backs. And without Welker using the underneath zones, there figures to be an uptick in screens, dump-offs and swings that get the ball in the hands of someone shifty and fast. Hernandez operates very well from the slot and if an H-back type is added, the Hernandez-Gronk-H-back-RB-WR set will be hard to matchup against in the hurry up. If the Patriots have to play without Welker, it's entirely possible the offense gets better if the TE & RB all improve, the WR corps is supplemented and the play calling & design is creative.

Wes Welker at 33 and 34 cannot be taking $ that will need to be allocated to Gronk & Hernandez. Wes Welker cannot be paid $9M - 1/3rd of the available cap room this offseason - when the holes on defense are so gaping and in need of attention.



If there's a trade-off down the road, then Welker can walk. We need both of them, badly. I'm not a cap guy but I've read the reports that question if we can retain them both.

#24 soxfan121


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:38 AM

I enjoy how you keep banging that nine million dollar drum as if it is some sort of absolute certainty. Do yourself a favor, go take a deep breath and spare us all for a day or ten.


Well, people are "certain" he's getting franchised, which would mean $9.4M. If I'm Welker's agent, I'm asking for $10M/season or more, based on the stats.

But it'll "get worked out" and we really shouldn't care about the $, I mean it's not like it's a cap sport.

Lastly, we all process differently, so there's an ignore feature AND a bunch of threads about the Super Bowl loss where you can avoid me asking "WHAT DO YOU THINK IS FAIR FOR WELKER?" Have a wonderful day.

#25 Morgan's Magic Snowplow


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:16 AM

Wes Welker at 33 and 34 cannot be taking $ that will need to be allocated to Gronk & Hernandez. Wes Welker cannot be paid $9M - 1/3rd of the available cap room this offseason - when the holes on defense are so gaping and in need of attention.


First of all, we have a ton of flexibility this offseason because there is not only cap room, but we also were under the cap in 2011 (giving us more space), and there are plenty of other options for increasing our cap space if need be. The Welker issue really doesn't have much to do with the 2012 cap situation.

Regarding the future, I agree that signing Gronk and Hernandez is a big issue to think about down the road. But I think you are greatly exaggerating the threat from a potential Welker contract, which will likely be structured such that we can cut him or force a restructure at little cost in 2014. We'll offer him something like 4/36, with a $6M bonus, and salaries of $8M in 2012, $8M in 2013, and $7M in 2014, and $7M in 2015. Then we'll keep him for two years at cap hits of $9.5M and cut him in 2014 (or arrange to bring him back at shorter money so that he can finish his career with us in a reduced role).

Almost every NFL contract these days is essentially escapable with little cap cost after 2-3 years if you read the fine print.

#26 Shelterdog


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:19 AM

Well, people are "certain" he's getting franchised, which would mean $9.4M. If I'm Welker's agent, I'm asking for $10M/season or more, based on the stats.


Welker should be glad you're not his agent because nobody's going to give him anything close to $10m/season on a long term deal. Teams don't just look at fantasy football numbers; they know how old Welker is, how many times he's been hit, how slow he is (slow for a wideout), and how easy it is to get an adequate slot receiver.

The negotiations are pretty simply. The pats are going go say "this is our best offer of x years/y dollars; take it we tag you" (I suspect it's something like 4/25 but who knows; Boldin is a decent comp and he got 4/28 when he was 29 years old but that was during the uncapped years and salaries have gone down since then).

Welker is going to say the franchise tag is ridiculous and threaten to hold out. He won't sign the tag for a little but and he'll sit out for a little bit while is agent tries to arrange a trade. The trade will require him finding a team that will give up real value and sign Welker to a megadeal. The trade either happens or, more likely, it doesn't.

Welker then is royally pissed off but he either (a) signs the tag or (b) takes the x/y offer.

EDIT: The salary cap is going to go through the roof in 2014 when the new tv deals hit. I wouldn't worry too much about 2014 cap extensions and cap hits yet; it's a long, long way away.

Edited by Shelterdog, 09 February 2012 - 09:33 AM.


#27 Stitch01


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:23 AM

First of all, we have a ton of flexibility this offseason because there is not only cap room, but we also were under the cap in 2011 (giving us more space), and there are plenty of other options for increasing our cap space if need be. The Welker issue really doesn't have much to do with the 2012 cap situation.

Regarding the future, I agree that signing Gronk and Hernandez is a big issue to think about down the road. But I think you are greatly exaggerating the threat from a potential Welker contract, which will likely be structured such that we can cut him or force a restructure at little cost in 2014. We'll offer him something like 4/36, with a $6M bonus, and salaries of $8M in 2012, $8M in 2013, and $7M in 2014, and $7M in 2015. Then we'll keep him for two years at cap hits of $9.5M and cut him in 2014 (or arrange to bring him back at shorter money so that he can finish his career with us in a reduced role).

Almost every NFL contract these days is essentially escapable with little cap cost after 2-3 years if you read the fine print.


Think you'll either need more in the bonus or a good chunk of that '12/'13 money guaranteed.

Well, people are "certain" he's getting franchised, which would mean $9.4M. If I'm Welker's agent, I'm asking for $10M/season or more, based on the stats.

But it'll "get worked out" and we really shouldn't care about the $, I mean it's not like it's a cap sport.

Lastly, we all process differently, so there's an ignore feature AND a bunch of threads about the Super Bowl loss where you can avoid me asking "WHAT DO YOU THINK IS FAIR FOR WELKER?" Have a wonderful day.


Friendly wager for the Jimmy Fund if you want, I'll bet you up to $100 that Welker either is franchised or comes in with a long-term deal below $9MM AAV (unless Im misreading you and you are saying what you think SHOULD happen not what you think WILL happen)

#28 Morgan's Magic Snowplow


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:31 AM

Think you'll either need more in the bonus or a good chunk of that '12/'13 money guaranteed.


My sense is that the new CBA is going to see significantly smaller signing bonuses in general, so that's part of my calculation here. I agree that the 2012 contract would certainly be guaranteed (which is standard for the first year of these kinds of deals) and there might be some compromise about 2013 (guaranteed with performance incentives or partly guaranteed).

All in all, my guess is that it comes out to like $15M guaranteed and an AAV of $8-9M. I also think that the most important thing from the team's perspective is to keep the real commitment to two years, and that there is probably more flexibility regarding the exact amount of money he gets in 2012 and 2013. We just paid Shawn fucking Ellis $6M to play a few snaps a game. Our cap strategy seems to be designed to be very stringent about maintaining flexibility in the medium to longer term while being perfectly willing to "overpay" in the very short term.

Edited by Morgan's Magic Snowplow, 09 February 2012 - 09:35 AM.


#29 Stitch01


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:39 AM

Yeah that seems about right was thinking high teens guaranteed money. I think the contract battle is going to be over that amount and whether the third year is real or not.

#30 Super Nomario


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:09 AM

Some Welker contract context. Here are some details around the top 10 highest-paid WR:

Player Team Signed Age (at $) Years $$$ (in MM) Guaranteed Rec (YBS) Yds (YBS) TDs (YBS)
L. Fitzgerald ARZ 2011 27 8 $120 $50 90 1137 6
M. Austin DAL 2010 26 7 $57.168 $18 81 1320 11
A. Johnson HOU 2010 28 7 $62.7 $48 101 1569 9
B. Marshall MIA 2010 26 5 $47.3 $25 101 1120 10
C. Johnson DET 2007 22 6 $55.5 $27.178 N/A N/A N/A
S. Smith CAR 2007 28 6 $43.85 0 83 1186 8
A. Boldin BAL 2010 31 4 $28 $10 84 1024 4
G. Jennings GB 2009 26 4 $26.885 $16.25 80 1292 9
R. White ATL 2009 28 6 $48 $18.6 88 1382 7
R. Wayne IND 2006 27 6 $39.5 0 83 1055 5
W. Welker NE 2012? 31 122 1569 9


If I were WW's agent, I'd want to make more than Boldin. Four years at $8 MM per? That's probably richer than the Pats want to go.

NOTE: not sure if all these numbers are exactly accurate (the Wayne and Smith 0 guaranteed numbers seem especially fishy); I got them from miscellaneous sources around the web.

Edited by Super Nomario, 09 February 2012 - 10:10 AM.


#31 soxfan121


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:10 AM

First of all, we have a ton of flexibility this offseason because there is not only cap room, but we also were under the cap in 2011 (giving us more space), and there are plenty of other options for increasing our cap space if need be. The Welker issue really doesn't have much to do with the 2012 cap situation.


There's roughly ~$20M in 2012 cap space from all reports; given that 2011 has yet to be closed out, I don't know of anyone reporting just how far under they were this season. It has been the organizational MO to eat up unused cap space at this time of year by converting NLTBE bonuses as a reward/increase for certain players. For example, I think we'll see a Slater extension that also pays him some bonus/incentive money - using 2011 cap room to lock up the essential role players.

I'd be interested in knowing what the options for increasing cap space are; aside from Brady, there's not many cap numbers you can bring down in exchange for more years that I'm seeing.

And just because not everyone reads every thread/post, I'm only railing on the Welker issue because I want to add two significant pieces to the defense AND bring in a younger, more dynamic playmaker at WR. So the cap space issue is important, IMO, both this season and going forward.

Regarding the future, I agree that signing Gronk and Hernandez is a big issue to think about down the road. But I think you are greatly exaggerating the threat from a potential Welker contract, which will likely be structured such that we can cut him or force a restructure at little cost in 2014. We'll offer him something like 4/36, with a $6M bonus, and salaries of $8M in 2012, $8M in 2013, and $7M in 2014, and $7M in 2015. Then we'll keep him for two years at cap hits of $9.5M and cut him in 2014 (or arrange to bring him back at shorter money so that he can finish his career with us in a reduced role).

Almost every NFL contract these days is essentially escapable with little cap cost after 2-3 years if you read the fine print.


I have no idea why Wes Welker would take that offer, though. I mean, it's possible that after producing 500 catches and being 3rd in DVOA (and every other stat I've seen that supports the notion that Welker is, statistically, a top 5 WR in the NFL) that Wes Welker loves the Patriots so much that he'd sacrifice ~$10-15M in real money. It certainly sounds, from Greg Bedard, Don Banks and others, that Welker's not going to be happy with an arrangement that limits his future earnings.

I think everyone continues to massively underestimate both what Wes Welker WANTS to be paid and what he will accept as a compromise. I'm sure that if Welker was willing to settle for $14M in guaranteed money, he'd already be signed. I think he wants $20-25M in guarantees. I would if I were in his position/age.

EDIT: Thanks, SN. Anyone who thinks Wes Welker is settling for Anquan Boldin money is flat out wrong.

Edited by soxfan121, 09 February 2012 - 10:12 AM.


#32 tims4wins


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:17 AM

If he wants $20-$25M in guarantees, couldn't they just offer something like a 4/24 deal, with $8M bonus, and $6M base salary which is guaranteed the first two years? So it would mean $20M in guaranteed money, a cap hit of $8M per year, and a way out after 2 years. Would that be a lowball offer?

#33 Shelterdog


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:18 AM

EDIT: Thanks, SN. Anyone who thinks Wes Welker is settling for Anquan Boldin money is flat out wrong.


Let say Welker doesn't get franchised. Can you think of any team in the league who could and would be making a good move by signing him for more than Boldin money? Welker can demand whatever he wants but there are two sides to every deal. If you're a Tampa Bay fan or whatever are you pumped that you just spent 4/40 on an almost 31 year old slot receiver?

He's more valuable to New England (which has cap space, where he knows the system, where he has a rapport with the QB) than he is to anyone else.

Edited by Shelterdog, 09 February 2012 - 10:22 AM.


#34 soxfan121


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:30 AM

Let say Welker doesn't get franchised. Can you think of any team in the league who could and would be making a good move by signing him for more than Boldin money? Welker can demand whatever he wants but there are two sides to every deal. If you're a Tampa Bay fan are you pumped that you just spend 4/40 on a 31 year old slot receiver?


Miami; Add Manning or Flynn and you've got a jacked & pumped fan base. Atlanta & San Francisco are playoff teams who could use the best possession WR in football; Chicago has potential playoff team and needs WR help. I think Kansas City might have a few fans of Welker in the organization. Washington has cap room and a history of signing 30+ vets, and they'll be looking for a weapon for their new QB.

On the flip side, are you pumped if the Patriots spend 4/$40M on a 31 year old WR? Or 1/$9.4M, with the potential of 1/$4.5, if he skips the first 8 games?

I think that Welker understands that this is his last chance at the big payday. If he gets franchised and hurt, he could be done. If he had been paid commensurate with his production over the past 5 years, I think he'd be more amenable to a team-friendly deal but he justifiable views the 5/$18M deal he just finished as an incredibly team friendly deal - now it's his turn. $20-25M guaranteed isn't outlandish, given the WR market. There are definitely teams that would "overpay" (my term for anything north of $6M/season for Welker).

#35 Morgan's Magic Snowplow


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:33 AM

There's roughly ~$20M in 2012 cap space from all reports; given that 2011 has yet to be closed out, I don't know of anyone reporting just how far under they were this season. It has been the organizational MO to eat up unused cap space at this time of year by converting NLTBE bonuses as a reward/increase for certain players. For example, I think we'll see a Slater extension that also pays him some bonus/incentive money - using 2011 cap room to lock up the essential role players.

I'd be interested in knowing what the options for increasing cap space are; aside from Brady, there's not many cap numbers you can bring down in exchange for more years that I'm seeing.

And just because not everyone reads every thread/post, I'm only railing on the Welker issue because I want to add two significant pieces to the defense AND bring in a younger, more dynamic playmaker at WR. So the cap space issue is important, IMO, both this season and going forward.


I'm not really sure whether the NLTBE loophole will work the same way this year but, from what I've read, 2011 space can be carried forward into 2012 anyway. And my understanding is that he were under the 2011 cap significantly (Miguel's guess was $10-13M under toward the beginning of the season). So estimates of our cap space that only add salaries are probably underestimating real total 2012 cap space by a significant amount. Its very hard to tell exactly at this point because we had a ton of roster turnover (lots of inseason cuts) and its still a little unclear to me what all the implications of that will be going forward under the new CBA.

I think there's always some wiggle room with cap space, either through cutting guys or by converting salary into bonus for anybody with a substantial salary figure. The Pats don't seem to particularly like to do that latter, as it kicks the can down the road, but its always a possibility and may be more attractive given that the cap figures to blow up in a few years with the new TV deal.

I have no idea why Wes Welker would take that offer, though. I mean, it's possible that after producing 500 catches and being 3rd in DVOA (and every other stat I've seen that supports the notion that Welker is, statistically, a top 5 WR in the NFL) that Wes Welker loves the Patriots so much that he'd sacrifice ~$10-15M in real money. It certainly sounds, from Greg Bedard, Don Banks and others, that Welker's not going to be happy with an arrangement that limits his future earnings.

I think everyone continues to massively underestimate both what Wes Welker WANTS to be paid and what he will accept as a compromise. I'm sure that if Welker was willing to settle for $14M in guaranteed money, he'd already be signed. I think he wants $20-25M in guarantees. I would if I were in his position/age.

EDIT: Thanks, SN. Anyone who thinks Wes Welker is settling for Anquan Boldin money is flat out wrong.


I agree that Welker will want more than Anquan Boldin money but I don't see him getting that much more. He's 31, he's neither a deep threat nor a particularly good red zone player, and the league knows that his numbers in general are inflated by the system.

Edited by Morgan's Magic Snowplow, 09 February 2012 - 10:33 AM.


#36 ragnarok725

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:35 AM

If I were WW's agent, I'd want to make more than Boldin. Four years at $8 MM per? That's probably richer than the Pats want to go.



I think everyone continues to massively underestimate both what Wes Welker WANTS to be paid and what he will accept as a compromise. I'm sure that if Welker was willing to settle for $14M in guaranteed money, he'd already be signed. I think he wants $20-25M in guarantees. I would if I were in his position/age.

I think you're both right - Welker probably wants to be paid like the 120 catch WR he is. The problem is that it really doesn't matter what Welker wants, the only thing that matters is what Welker can get. Let's examine the context here a bit.
  • Welker has never had a huge payday. His contract with the Pats after the trade was 5/$18 million. While it's a good chunk of change, it's certainly not anything approaching the numbers in SN's table there.
  • Everybody knows Welker probably only has a couple good years left. Maybe three if he's lucky. The quickness and burst that makes him so effective is not a skill that has historically aged gracefully, especially with the punishment that he takes.
  • The Pats can use the franchise tag on Welker because there's nobody else they need to use it on. They easily have the cap room to pay him the 9.4M for one year.
All of that adds up to zero leverage for Welker. The Pats know he can't afford to hold out because he needs to cash in on his last few years. A hold out means he'd lose 4.7M, or roughly 25% of what he's earned to date in the NFL. And even if he did hold out, then came back and played in the second half, he would not be in line for anything more than maybe a rich 1 or 2 year deal with any other NFL team because he'd be a 33 year old slot receiver. No matter how great a performance he'd have in the last 8 games that he would be required to play in would change that fact. This next year will be his most lucrative year, whether under the tag or receiving a bonus on a multi-year deal.

Folks, this is not Logan Mankins who was young enough to hold out and still cash in his big contract when the dust settled. The hold out year incurs a very significant cost to Welker both in terms of actual monetary value because of what he's earned in his career, and in opportunity cost because of his age. Welker has zero leverage. The Pats won't even let him seek a trade, I'd bet. They know he won't, and can't hold out. The only thing he can do is kick and scream, and that's not in his best interest either, because he's going to be a Patriot next year regardless. Mankins could hold out and take shots because long term it could work to his benefit in getting the payday he was seeking. Welker has no chance at that, and therefore the threat of that action is zilch.

The result will be Welker taking a nicely discounted multi-year deal with more money guaranteed than he'd see in the 1 year franchise tender. The Pats get the price tag, and likely the flexibility to cut after two years that they want. Welker holds his nose and takes the best he can get, which will still be a good payday, but not in line with top 10, much less top 5 receivers. They'll spin it as a hometown discount and he'll do car dealership commercials. Both sides already know this. That's why they were making nice noises at the end of the season.

#37 tims4wins


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:39 AM

Can teams still franchise players in back to back years, or was that eliminated as part of thre CBA?

Because if teams can do it, then if Welker holds out for half the season, the Pats could simply franchise him again and absorb the ~$11.3M hit for the 2013 season, then just let him walk after that.

#38 soxfan121


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:40 AM

Plausible - good read.

As an aside - the NFL system / The Patriots are going to be fucking Wes Welker, the man, over very hard if that's how it plays out. And yeah, that's the game, it's a business, etc. I'd understand a little less willingness to go over the middle, though. But the system allows the Pats to wring every drop from Welker without ever having to pay him what he's worth because of the franchise tag and that sucks. I hate the tag.

#39 Shelterdog


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:41 AM

Can teams still franchise players in back to back years, or was that eliminated as part of thre CBA?

Because if teams can do it, then if Welker holds out for half the season, the Pats could simply franchise him again and absorb the ~$11.3M hit for the 2013 season, then just let him walk after that.


You can franchise people back to back (or even an unlimited number of times, apparently), but that $11 milllion number is pretty huge and I doubt the Pats are willing to pay him that much

#40 Dogman2


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:42 AM

Miami; Add Manning or Flynn and you've got a jacked & pumped fan base. Atlanta & San Francisco are playoff teams who could use the best possession WR in football; Chicago has potential playoff team and needs WR help. I think Kansas City might have a few fans of Welker in the organization. Washington has cap room and a history of signing 30+ vets, and they'll be looking for a weapon for their new QB.


You could add almost any team and, in your mind, justify it. None of which makes sense from a cap/dollars standpoint.


On the flip side, are you pumped if the Patriots spend 4/$40M on a 31 year old WR? Or 1/$9.4M, with the potential of 1/$4.5, if he skips the first 8 games?


For a top 3 receiver in football? I would be. There is no way Welker, if tagged, is sitting out. He isn't giving up that much money. Stop with this.

I think that Welker understands that this is his last chance at the big payday. If he gets franchised and hurt, he could be done. If he had been paid commensurate with his production over the past 5 years, I think he'd be more amenable to a team-friendly deal but he justifiable views the 5/$18M deal he just finished as an incredibly team friendly deal - now it's his turn. $20-25M guaranteed isn't outlandish, given the WR market. There are definitely teams that would "overpay" (my term for anything north of $6M/season for Welker).




Commensurate with production he would be open to a team friendly deal? You are contradicting everything you are saying by using this. You keep saying he wants the most money/years but he will sit out if he doesn't get it but he would sign a team friendly deal if he was paid in the past like a top 3 receiver even though he wasn't one at thte start of that contract, despite wanting the most money. You are making no sense.

Lastly, we all process differently, so there's an ignore feature AND a bunch of threads about the Super Bowl loss where you can avoid me asking "WHAT DO YOU THINK IS FAIR FOR WELKER?" Have a wonderful day.


You are in every thread spewing your nonsense. It's impossible to ignore you.

Edited by Dogman2, 09 February 2012 - 10:51 AM.


#41 ragnarok725

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:44 AM

Plausible - good read.

As an aside - the NFL system / The Patriots are going to be fucking Wes Welker, the man, over very hard if that's how it plays out. And yeah, that's the game, it's a business, etc. I'd understand a little less willingness to go over the middle, though. But the system allows the Pats to wring every drop from Welker without ever having to pay him what he's worth because of the franchise tag and that sucks. I hate the tag.

Yup. And he'd be rightfully pissed behind closed doors. I don't think we'll hear about it much, because he needs those car dealership commercials.

The tag sucks... for stars. For the guys that are already going to be making tens of millions of dollars. I think the union giving up that bargaining chip in exchange for other things they may want that benefit the non-elites is good with me. As a fan, I like the franchise tag. It promotes consistency on rosters that already have a lot of turnover year to year. One of the things that has contributed to my mild decline in interest in the Red Sox is how mercenary-like the roster construction is. I like it when a player sticks with a team through free agency, even if it's coerced.

#42 tims4wins


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:46 AM

You can franchise people back to back (or even an unlimited number of times, apparently), but that $11 milllion number is pretty huge and I doubt the Pats are willing to pay him that much


Maybe, but it is just for one year. Plus, if he holds out, he only gets paid $4.7M in 2012. So couldn't they roll that $4.7M in cap space over to 2013? So in effect, the $11.3M in would only cost them $6.6M.

#43 soxfan121


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:58 AM

I don't think you get credit for a holdout's "fines" back for cap purposes. I think it's a real money cost savings for the team but the cap figure is the annual figure.

#44 tims4wins


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:59 AM

I don't think you get credit for a holdout's "fines" back for cap purposes. I think it's a real money cost savings for the team but the cap figure is the annual figure.


It's not a fine though - it's a game check, right? Hmm.

#45 Shelterdog


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:06 AM

I don't think you get credit for a holdout's "fines" back for cap purposes. I think it's a real money cost savings for the team but the cap figure is the annual figure.


This isn't right. Mankins' cap figure in 2010 was half of his restricted free agent tender (it ended up being 1.8 or something instead of 3.5). If Welker only plays half a season under the tag his salary, and the pat's cap hit, is 4.7. Of course the Pats have to keep enough cap space open so that Welker could sign it and get his pro-rated contract money, so you do lose flexibility when you tag someone.

#46 maufman


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:07 AM

Welker gets tagged, bitches about it, then signs a long-term deal that gives Welker something like $20mm guaranteed and gives the Pats flexibility to cut him 2-3 years out without taking a crippling cap hit.

The last part is the trick -- the Pats will need major cap room starting in 2014 for Gronk and/or Hernandez and won't want to devote an outsized share of their budget to the receiving corps. It can be done, but it means Welker's long-term deal won't give the Pats as much 2012 cap relief (compared to the tag) as a more typical, back-loaded deal would. I'm OK with that, because there's going to be insane inflation on the FA market this offseason because of all the teams that need to spend to reach the new salary floor.

#47 BigJimEd

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:19 AM

In general the franchise tag blows for the player. But is it really that bad for Welker? According to the poll most feel Welker is worth 8M or less and only a handful feel he is worth more than the 9.4. So essential if Welker is franchised, it is a risk of security vs more money. If Welker stays healthy and has a good season he'll make more money, if he gets a serious injury than he only gets the 9.4. No real difference than Papelbon choosing arb every year instead of a long term deal. Or other similar choices athletes make every year.

Plus its not like Welker was a rookie when he signed with the Patriots. Rookies have almost zero choice but to sign, Welker could have re-signed with Miami for a year and hoped to increase his value but he chose the security with the Patriots.

#48 collings94

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:21 AM

I don't think a lot of people realize just how important Welker is to this offense. Brady is pretty tempromental when it comes to his recievers (remember when Branch left) and he has fallen head over heels for Wes Welker. And it's not like he isn't worth the cost, he's had a hundred catches every year but one, and led the league this year in receptions and finished second in recieving yards. Character issues don't really affect the Patriots, so I wouldn't expect him to be a bitch for the time he's here.

#49 soxfan121


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:25 AM

This isn't right. Mankins' cap figure in 2010 was half of his restricted free agent tender (it ended up being 1.8 or something instead of 3.5). If Welker only plays half a season under the tag his salary, and the pat's cap hit, is 4.7. Of course the Pats have to keep enough cap space open so that Welker could sign it and get his pro-rated contract money, so you do lose flexibility when you tag someone.


Page 96 of the CBA:



(iv) Credit for Salary Forfeited or Refunded. In the event that a Club receives a refund from the player of any previously-paid Salary, or the Club fails to pay any previously allocated portion of a signing bonus (including any amount treated as signing bonus), such amount as has previously been included in Team Salary shall be credited to the Club’s Team Salary for the next League Year. For purposes of this Subsection, to the extent that they constitute reimbursement for previously paid Salary, insurance proceeds received by a Team as beneficiary to cover the player’s inability to perform services required by his Player Contract shall be deemed a “refund from the player” if (a) the Club or the player purchased the policy (b) the amounts covered by the policy are so specified in the Player Contract; and © the policy is made available for inspection upon request by the NFL or the NFLPA


So the $9.4M would be on the 2012 cap; if the tagged player failed to report, that $9.4M would be reduced by 1/16th until he did report; the maximum the team "gets back" is $4.7M and it is applied to the Next League Year cap.

#50 tims4wins


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:33 AM

Page 96 of the CBA:





So the $9.4M would be on the 2012 cap; if the tagged player failed to report, that $9.4M would be reduced by 1/16th until he did report; the maximum the team "gets back" is $4.7M and it is applied to the Next League Year cap.


So I was right. So if he did hold out for 8 games, the Pats could re-franchise him in 2013, and the salary would be 20% higher than in 2012, so $11.3M. That's a high number, but if they apply the $4.7M credit, it becomes $6.6M. So essentially the Pats would be paying Welker $16M for 1.5 years, and wouldn't be crippled cap-wise at all.