Here we sit just a day before the franchise tag deadline and are wondering if John Dorsey will be using it on Eric Berry or Dontari Poe or keeping it tucked in his pocket. While everyone is expecting Dorsey to be spending all his time getting Berry or Poe signed, he apparently multi-tasked and locked up right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. LDT was already under contract for another year, but Dorsey apparently felt it important to lock him up now.
From what I have read, it sounds like LDT got a 5-year contract worth $42.25 million with $20 million guaranteed. This is pretty interesting since it looks like his 2017 cap hit was about $725k. While I am not totally sure what the new cap hit would be, it must be higher than the $725k.
What is up?
This news got me wondering what kinds of roster moves we will see coming up. Obviously, Dorsey must clear a lot of cap space if he is going to have a shot at signing either Berry or Poe. Signing both players will be an even further stretch.
Does this signal that Dorsey doesn’t think a contract with Berry and Poe can get done? Perhaps he has some plan to tag Berry or Poe with the non-exclusive tag and dangle them for a couple of first round picks.
Who’s at risk?
If those aren’t the case, could Dorsey be looking to cut some players that have a high cap hit and are expendable now? In this category, I could see the following players being the fabled Salary Cap Casualties.
Nick Foles – $10.75 million and no dead money
Jamaal Charles – $6.1875 million and no dead money
Tyler Bray – $1.225 million and no dead money
Dustin Colquitt – $4.9 million and $800k of dead money
Jah Reid – $3.5625 million and $1.55 million of dead money
Other than those 5, the other players with high salaries would end up leaving too much dead money if cut or it would require cutting a lot of backup players that would only save $500-600k per player.
If all of these players were cut it would free up about $24.25 million in cap space. While I am not suggesting that all of these players be cut, I am thinking we cut them to restructure the contract and reduce the cap hits. This group shouldn’t cost more than $10 million total, netting about $14.25 million in cap space. That might be enough to get the Berry and Poe deals done.
Where do we go next?
I am really looking forward to the coming weeks to see what Dorsey pulls together. While I would hate to see Berry and Poe leave, I don’t advocate crippling the team to pay one or two players. It would be unfortunate if it happens, but really not much different than a season/career ending injury.
What do you guys think? What is your take on the negotiations?
Until next week, there’s The Rub.