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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Johnson, Other Contracts?

The decision to renegotiate Ryan Kalil's contract, apparently a
pre-scheduled deal (convert the roster bonus part, anyway), was still a
bit of a surprise for me. Kalil's massive deal is cumbersome, and he's
in for the long haul.

But is that last part why it makes sense? He's here one way or
another, for a long time. Jordan Gross is the team's 2nd highest paid
overall player on his 2009-signed 6 year, $56 million deal. And it's
expected his will be extended - a bit different from converting Kalil's
deal, to a point, in that it'll add up to two years.

So, if the bigger deals are still in play for negotiation, I wanted to
take a look at a few other deals and see whether there's room (and
whether it's worth it).

*Charles Johnson - the team's largest deal right now. Salary is a
total $7 mil including bonuses, which is behind Gross ($8.7M) and Gamble
($7.95M). He already carries $6 mil per year in bonus proration, so
adding a ton onto what's happening now will make it more cumbersome.
But, he's only now 26. He's coming off his best year. He's not going
anywhere.

So, what they could do is convert most of his salary, and let's add a
year to help ourselves out. $6 million over the four years that are left
on his contract, and the new year, mean that you can spread it out
through 2017. And $6 million isn't bad for that length ($1.25 million
per year). It leaves a savings of $4.75 million for 2013.

Or they could kick it up a notch, guarantee some of his 2014 salary ($9
million with workout bonus) this year as well - shave a total of $10
million, which cuts his 2014 salary to $5 million, saves you $4 million
in cap in 2013 and $2 million in 2014 [$4 million saved, minus the total
$2 million per year additional proration). That leaves only 2015 as a
huge year - $10 million salary, $18 million total cap hit. By 2016,
there's no proration, so he comes back down to $13 million total cap
hit. It's not wise to go too far if you think Johnson's not in your
plans, but he clearly is.

*Chris Gamble - his salary this year makes him a clean cut, but he's a
guy who can be negotiated to a new deal just like Gross. I'll save you
the specifics, but take the salary (let's say $7 mil of his 2013 salary)
and spread it across however many additional years. Savings is (7 mil)
- (proration for the year). He does have one more year next year, with
no bonus proration as of now. Gamble is 29, 30 by the season.

*Jon Beason - this one is more questionable. He's not the team's MLB
anymore, which might mean they can see about a reduction in pay. For
him, he gets more guarantee, if not quite as much as if he were a
healthy MLB. Since he earns a total of $5.5 mil with roster bonus in
2013, take $4.5 mil of that and spread it 2013-2016. 4 years, so $1.125
mil proration each year. Savings? $3.375 million. But, it makes him
harder to cut in 2014, the first year the team could release him without
a massive penalty.

*Deangelo Williams - another like the above Beason deal. The team
could live without him, but if they did it, do they take the hit now or
later? Williams appears somewhat destined to go, but there's a reason
they could wait a year - if he doesn't have trade value, he's a lot more
cuttable next year. Do you pay him $5 mil this year in salary to not
have a cap penalty? Maybe.

But if they did do something to renegotiate, they could move up to $4
mil over the three years he's got left, for savings of $2.667 million.

*Greg Olsen - here's an interesting one. Clearly in the team's plans,
Olsen makes a reasonable $4 million with workout bonus (seems like all
of these big contracts come with those every year). Signed through
2015, Olsen is 27; he'd be 31 at the end of that contract. Adding a
year isn't unreasonable at all. Take $3 million, add another year in
2016; spread that over all four years, and you get a total of $2.25
million in savings, and another year of security on that deal.

Outside of Cam Newton (not negotiable until after year 3) and Steve
Smith (just signed last year), that's the top 9 cap figures this year.

10 is James Anderson, who makes about as much to cut as to keep, but
saves a lot to cut next year. 11 is Charles Godfrey, who really doesn't
make that much this year and whose contract spikes in 2014 (so he better
start worrying about earning that money); then Ron Edwards, who is
currently doomed. After that, no one really makes anything worth
spreading (Thomas Davis has a big contract, but makes $1.5 million - not
much room to cut really).

But, you can see that, even taking Gross/Gamble (two guys who'll be
dealt with, regardless) out of the equation, you could probably add
another starter just by monkeying with one big contract. It's doubtful
they renegotiate everything they can, but you never know. And if they
do, this is what it'll look like.
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