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In depth 2018 cap breakdown INC contract extensions and FA's

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  • I thought I'd give some thoughts on future contracts given the team has a lot of valuable free agents coming up after this season. Firstly lets look at who I think will be resigned and what sort of contract they can expect, along with how that fits in under the cap.

    The cap is projected to rise to $178M next year, however given a post of here projecting $180M and to keep it simple. I am going to assume the 2018 cap is $180M.

    Now, lets look at what the team has on the books for next year -

    Top 51: $155,558,065

    Dead money:

    Jermaine Kearse - $1,833,334
    Ahtyba Rubin - $1,500,000
    Michael Tyson - $129,000
    Quinton Jefferson - $126,912

    Total dead money - $3,824,152

    Top 51 player contracts + Dead money means the cap liabilities sit at $159,382,217

    This currently leaves $20,617,783 in available money

    However, at this point the team only has 38 players under contract, meaning there are a total of 15 roster spots to fill to get up to the 53 man squad.

    Based on previous years, the team will need to save a bit under $2M for draft picks, with how JS works the draft I'm going to be on the overly cautious side here and call it $1.9M.

    That now leaves $18,717,783 in cap space.

    10 practise squad players at $130,000 a pop takes off a further $1.3M making the number $17,417,783.

    The team also needs to account for players going to IR each year, looking at past years, I'm estimating the team saves $3.75M back for this. Taking the available cap number to $13,667,783.

    With the numbers now down to quite a scary amount, lets get them up a bit.

    I am going to make some assumptions here, lets look at who likely isn't on the team next year and the cap position to cutting them/them retiring etc.


    Jeremy Lane is no longer on the team next year
    Cliff Avril is no longer on the team next year
    Jon Ryan is no longer on the team next year (bit of a left field suggestion, I know)

    Having those three off the books would generate a further $14,250,000 taking available true cap to $27,917,783.

    There are some key players that can be extended to alter their 2018 cap hit.

    In this situation I am going to extend the following who are already signed for at least the 2018 season -

    Duane Brown
    Earl Thomas
    Frank Clark

    Obviously this next part is very subjective and I could we WAY off with the contracts, I'm no John Schneider, after all. But it's my best guess.

    Duane Brown

    3 year (2 year extension as he is under contract for 2018) - $36M contract with a $15M signing bonus, this gives him an increase over his current contract and a nice pay day with the signing bonus.

    2018 cap hit - $11M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $25M/$14M
    2019 cap hit - $12M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $15M/3M
    2020 cap hit - $13M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $7M/$6M

    As you can see the 2020 cap number is team favourable and can save $6M if he's underperforming at this time, given his age I'd expect the dead money vs cap savings to be higher on cap savings but as mentioned, I'm no JS with the contracts!

    There is a difference in cap space (higher) but doing this extension of $1.25M so true cap space is now $26,667,783

    Earl Thomas

    4 year (3 year extension as he is under contract for 2018) - $50M contract with a $20M signing bonus

    2018 cap hit - $10.15M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $26.9M/$16.75M
    2019 cap hit - $12.25M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $18.75M/$6.5M
    2020 cap hit - $15.25M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $12.5M/$2.75M
    2021 cap hit - $14.25M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $6.25M/$8M

    This contract actually saves $250k on the 2018 cap, this doesn't sound right at all, but again, this is ametuer hour and not our beloved GM's wizardry!

    True cap space now sits at $26,917,783

    I was actually going to extend Richard Sherman here as well but I'm really in two minds, I think he will come back as good as ever next year but I'm not sure now would be the best time to extend him given the injury and a lot of unknowns. For now I will leave him, they can always do it way before he becomes an UFA in 2019, probably better to see how he comes back and make a judgement call then.

    Frank Clark

    This is a tough one to estimate for a contract, he had a cold couple of weeks but seems to have bounced back so I'd like to get him under contract long term. Pete Carroll said last week that he's going to get a LOT better so he seems a fitting contract extension and one the team will want to keep well away from the free agency market.

    6 year - (5 year extension as he is under contract for 2018) - $69M with a $30M signing bonus ($11.5M APY)

    2018 cap hit - $8,243,586 - dead money/cap savings if cut - $30.24M/$22M
    2019 cap hit - $11M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $24M/$13M
    2020 cap hit - $13M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $18M/$5M
    2021 cap hit - $14M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $12M/$2M
    2022 cap hit - $14M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $6M/$8M
    2023 cap hit - $9M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $0/$9M

    Obviously with Frank being on a current rookie contract his 2018 cap number is significantly higher, with extending him the team now has $18,674,197 in true cap space (the team does however, only have 35 players on the team at this point).

    I wanted to extend Tyler Lockett as well but with his stats this season I'd wager he would want to wait till next season, he's coming off a big injury and still finding his groove so it doesn't make financial sense to sign an extension at this point.

    Now lets look at signing some priority 2018 free agents, starting with Jimmy Graham (I refuse to believe he doesn't get extended, whether he wants to stay in Seattle is another matter but I believe the team will want him back).

    Jimmy Graham

    Given Jimmy's age I see the team offering him the following -

    3 year - $33M - $15M signing bonus ($11M APY)

    2018 cap hit - $8M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $15M/$7M
    2019 cap hit - $12M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $10M/$2M
    2020 cap hit - $13M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $5M/$8M

    With signing Jimmy that puts true cap space down to $10,674,197.

    DeShawn Shead

    He will almost definitely be back with the team on (another) one year deal, for arguments sake I am going to keep the contract exactly the same as he is in a very similar situation.

    1 year - $1.2M - $200k signing bonus

    2018 cap hit - $1.2M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $1M/$200k

    This brings the available cap space down to $9,474,197



    At this point, there are 37 signed players through at least 2018, the roster needs to be at 53 (with the top 51 contracts counting towards the cap).

    Lets assume that 7 rookies make the cut (remember we've already accounted for the rookie salaries near the start of this), this puts the active roster up to 44. Meaning there are a total of 7 spots left to fill. With the minimum salary for 2018 being $480K, for ease's sake, lets fill out the roster with them. 7 X $480K comes to $3.36M.

    Taking the true cap space down to $6,114,197

    Notable FA's still include Sheldon Richardson and Bradley McDouglad. Out of the two, I'd pick Sheldon 10 times out of 10, but lets see if we can fit him under the cap.

    Sheldon Richardson -

    6 year - $81M contract with a $30M signing bonus ($13.5M APY) Arguably on the low side, I agree.

    Looking at the cap numbers, I just cannot get it to work, even giving him a ridiculous $41M signing bonus and a 1M base salary in 2018 still makes his 2018 cap number $9.2M, some $3M over the available cap. To add another blow you could very easily argue that his APY would be more in the region of $15/16M APY and my $13.5M is loo low to start with, and I still can't get the numbers to add up.

    I just cannot find a way to get him under contract, obviously you could bin off Jimmy Graham, at which point, Sheldon would easily fit under the cap. At which point I guess you would resign Luke Willson and have him, Nick Vannett plus one more on the roster, but I don't know. There are serious arguments for Jimmy VS Sheldon, reality is loosing either of them will hurt so I'd hedge the team bets on 2017 2nd round pick Malik McDowell making an impact. Expecting him to contribute to the point that Sheldon has in 2017 is very unlikely. But the drop off in production is probably less than Jimmy vs Luke Willson so I don't know.

    For now, I'm going to go with letting Sheldon walk in 2018 and getting an almost guaranteed 3rd round comp pick in 2019.

    True cap space still, at this point, sits at $6,114,197

    Now with the disappointment of having Sheldon off the team, lets try and bring back Bradley McDougald for a few years. With the uncertainty of Kam and how Bradley has played at both SS and FS I can see him getting extended. I'd imagine he will want to be a starter, though, so 2017 rookie Delano Hill may change things. I haven't heard how he is coming along so this may alter a McDouglad signing, but for arguments sake lets get him on board.

    Bradley McDouglad

    3 year - $13.5M contract with a $4M signing bonus ($4.5M APY)

    2018 cap number - $2.5M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $4.5M/$2M
    2019 cap number - $4.5M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $3M/$1.5M
    2020 cap number - $6.5M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $1.5M/$5M

    With Bradley extended, that now takes the active roster up to 38 players meaning we can subtract one minimum contract of $480k as well.

    This gives the team cap space of $4,094,197

    Now given I accounted for 7 minimum contracts above, that $4M can be used to get better FA's than players that will accept minimum and I'd already accounted for players going to IR so that $4M can be spent down to the penny if the team so wishes.

    Obviously there are lots of different scenarios, my contract estimates are just that, estimates. So don't take this as an exact science, but it at least shows what the team could do this offseason.

    Hope you enjoyed it!
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  • I know you touched on it, but one way to fit Richardson in under the cap would be to cut Sherman and extend Maxwell in his place. That would probably save $8m or so.
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  • EverydayImRusselin wrote:I know you touched on it, but one way to fit Richardson in under the cap would be to cut Sherman and extend Maxwell in his place. That would probably save $8m or so.


    That sounds good and all but if they cut RS doesn't it still give us a big cap hit on leftover signing bonus that was being spread out over the life of his last contract??

    To the OP, thanks for taking the time putting this together in one place, kinda makes it a lot easier to under stand in some of the players cases and situations.

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  • Thanks :) Glad people enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

    Cutting Sherm saves a whopping $11M in cap for 2018.

    His contract has been engineered to certainly have a team friendly get out clause after this season.

    The more I look at it, the more I like cutting Sherm to sign Sheldon. By my calculations, they could sign Sheldon up LONG term and still add $1-2M in true available cap for 2018.
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  • 12HawkFan wrote:
    EverydayImRusselin wrote:I know you touched on it, but one way to fit Richardson in under the cap would be to cut Sherman and extend Maxwell in his place. That would probably save $8m or so.


    That sounds good and all but if they cut RS doesn't it still give us a big cap hit on leftover signing bonus that was being spread out over the life of his last contract??

    To the OP, thanks for taking the time putting this together in one place, kinda makes it a lot easier to under stand in some of the players cases and situations.

    GO HAWKS!!!


    Sherman only has 1 year left on his deal. If we cut him there is $2.2m in dead money and an $11m cap savings for 2018.
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  • Great write up. I really enjoyed it. JS is going to have a lot of tough decisions.

    I believe that both Duane Browne and Earl Thomas extensions will lead to lowering of cap space because they won't keep the high salary that is already on the books. I think Browne would sign a 3 year extension, and he would be under contract for 4 years, thus decreasing the cap hit with the proration of signing bonus for another year. Earl as well, a 4 year extension, 5 year deal.

    Overall, really well done.
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  • OP is actually JS in disguise, posting here to get a fan's perspective.
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  • Mindsink wrote:OP is actually JS in disguise, posting here to get a fan's perspective.


    Now there's a tag line for under my username :2thumbs:

    Thank you!
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  • Great write up - thanks for all the effort.
    I really like the way Richardson is playing - but I still have a worry that after he gets a massive payday he might mail it in a bit. I may be way off base, but still a worry I would have.
    Definitely good problems to have trying to keep all the good players - tough decisions lie ahead.
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  • iigakusei wrote:Great write up - thanks for all the effort.
    I really like the way Richardson is playing - but I still have a worry that after he gets a massive payday he might mail it in a bit. I may be way off base, but still a worry I would have.
    Definitely good problems to have trying to keep all the good players - tough decisions lie ahead.


    Yeah it wouldn't be unheard of, I'm sure PC and JS know about his work ethic by now and will make the right call.
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  • I really like this post but I have one major question

    After we play our last game on February 4th - what the heck are we now supposed to talk to until the draft if we figure out the salary cap in full? Could we archive this for like 2months?
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  • mikeak wrote:I really like this post but I have one major question

    After we play our last game on February 4th - what the heck are we now supposed to talk to until the draft if we figure out the salary cap in full? Could we archive this for like 2months?


    Very good point :)

    I spend 90% of my time in the draft forum during the off season.
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  • Over all a lot of good work here and food for thought. I was just thinking that Shead might be gone but it might not make any sense unless he gets beat out.

    I think you are a bit high on the JG contract size, especially on a 3 year deal. Could probably get him for $8M/year with say 12-15M in bonus. The TE market hasn't risen much in the last three years. I think the franchise tag for 2017 was 9.78 so we aren't going over that for a multi year deal.
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  • Quote:
    Given Jimmy's age I see the team offering him the following -

    3 year - $33M - $15M signing bonus ($11M APY)

    2018 cap hit - $8M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $15M/$7M
    2019 cap hit - $12M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $10M/$2M
    2020 cap hit - $13M - dead money/cap savings if cut - $5M/$8M


    Not sure he'd agree to it, but I'd prefer if they offered Jimmy a little less. Like an avg of 9mil a year. It still places him in the Top 5, who make in the 9-9.5 range. He wouldn't have to bother moving. Stays near his new best bud. I guess it comes down to wanting to keep Sheldon and Bradley.
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  • Very nice write up.

    One question: How do seven draft picks end up costing 1.9 million total?
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  • I would be very surprised to see the cap continue to rise. I wouldn't at all be surprised to see a decline. At least Goodell is locked up for more years..... Apparently they don't care at all what the fans think considering he has been constantly booed at the draft for how many years now?
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  • Popeyejones wrote:Very nice write up.

    One question: How do seven draft picks end up costing 1.9 million total?


    That’s a very good point, think I’ve made a slight error! I’ll look into it. Thanks for pointing out!
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  • original poster wrote:
    Popeyejones wrote:Very nice write up.

    One question: How do seven draft picks end up costing 1.9 million total?


    That’s a very good point, think I’ve made a slight error! I’ll look into it. Thanks for pointing out!


    For sure.

    I don’t think it changes the major takeaway, and again, great, great post!
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  • Thank you :)
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  • Instead of cutting Sherm, wouldn't he be of interest for a team to trade for him? Only 1 year left on a big dollar contract?
    Even a mid rounder???
    My guess is a team would take on that final year with a chance to resign him for a 4th or 5th round pick.
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  • LudwigsDrummer wrote:Instead of cutting Sherm, wouldn't he be of interest for a team to trade for him? Only 1 year left on a big dollar contract?
    Even a mid rounder???
    My guess is a team would take on that final year with a chance to resign him for a 4th or 5th round pick.


    My apologies, I missed your post.

    I agree, he'd easily be worth a mid to late round pick however as I understand it (and will look into) trades count differently against the cap. With that said, I think it's relating to signing bonus more than anything.
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  • Great post! I know that took some time ;)

    I agree with most of what you said but I personally would tweak a few things.

    Let Jimmy walk and allocate funds elsewhere. (3rd round comp pick?)

    Let PRich walk, some team will fall in love with his '17 tape and overpay. (4th round comp pick?)

    Release either Sherm or Bennett. Sadly I think both of these guys best days are behind them, now it just comes down to money.


    Resign Luke
    Resign Sheldon
    Resign McDougald



    When we traded for Richardson I really thought JS was aiming for a comp pick in return this spring, but with the hot mess that Malik has become we need to resign him.
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  • Hawk_Nation wrote:Great post! I know that took some time ;)

    I agree with most of what you said but I personally would tweak a few things.

    Let Jimmy walk and allocate funds elsewhere. (3rd round comp pick?)

    Let PRich walk, some team will fall in love with his '17 tape and overpay. (4th round comp pick?)

    Release either Sherm or Bennett. Sadly I think both of these guys best days are behind them, now it just comes down to money.


    Resign Luke
    Resign Sheldon
    Resign McDougald



    When we traded for Richardson I really thought JS was aiming for a comp pick in return this spring, but with the hot mess that Malik has become we need to resign him.


    Interesting takes, thanks.

    There's always going to be debates about who and who doesn't get another contract with the team.

    The more I think about it the less I'd give LJ a second contract with the team, with that said I'd begrudge any more high draft capital being spent in that area.
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  • Sorry I forgot there was 2 Luke's, I was referring to Luke Willson :irishdrinkers:
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  • Hawk_Nation wrote:Sorry I forgot there was 2 Luke's, I was referring to Luke Willson :irishdrinkers:


    Aha, gotcha!

    He'd certainly be cheap, at least.

    Be interesting to see what he could do with the same amount of reps as Jimmy gets currently.

    I'd bet the yardage would be similar'ish but as we all know, Jimmy will earn an extension by what he does in the end zone. No way Willson can match that.

    I'm firmly in the resign JG camp, that sort of production in the end zone is gold.
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  • Should we resign Lacy & Walsh?
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  • rcaido wrote:Should we resign Lacy & Walsh?


    What do you think?
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  • At this point I think Richarson is going to look for a mega payday and Brown will be looking for a mini payday. I think the team will be able to keep Brown but Richardson is going to want to cash out.
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  • sdog1981 wrote:At this point I think Richarson is going to look for a mega payday and Brown will be looking for a mini payday. I think the team will be able to keep Brown but Richardson is going to want to cash out.



    Brown is under contract for one more year, although a extension is likely.

    PRich is as good as gone IMHO
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