“I’m hearing about the Browns’ good cap position. How good is it?”
Short answer: Browns are in better shape, cap-wise, than any other team.
Only the Bengals have a lower current cap hit number (65MM) than the Browns (73MM). But the Bengals need to sign Andre Smith and Michael Johnson… and there are quite a few other UFAs the Bengals need to sign or replace.
After Bengals and Browns, the Colts sit at 76MM. All other teams are over 90MM.
Not only that: many teams are in a world of hurt.
I’ve been consulting spotrac.com/nfl for my data in this 2013 FA project. I subscribed; not sure what I’m getting that you may not. (Please let me know if I’m giving out inaccessible links.) It seems a pretty up-to-date source. For example, here’s their transaction tracker.
Anyway… if you look at the Browns’ 2013 cap hit page, we’re sitting at $74MM. I don’t know, I don’t claim to know exactly what this means. I understand it to be a snapshot of the Browns’ cap situation as it stands now.
It seems useful as a point of reference in relation to other teams’ cap situations. For example, here are the teams whose FAs we’ve been coveting:
- Bills = $100.5MM (with Byrd a priority, I’m tipping my hand on FA #3.);
- Ravens = Disaster. $106.5MM (Flacco, Kruger, Ellerbe, Pitta -and Reed- all unsigned; but Ray Lewis relief seems probable);
- Steelers = Disaster. $133.5MM (Roeth restructure, Harrison dump seem inevitable);
- Browns = $74.5MM (Sheldon Brown, Cribbs, Dawson are only notable UFAs).
With the 2013 cap looking like ~$120MM it seems like these teams will figure out something.
But when the Browns are a solid $30MM below all these teams, you can see that we have a rare opportunity to make hay this season.
From here, it looks like even if we use $10MM cap hit on each of the three FAs I’ve targeted (which seems a tad high), there is still dough left to be in the Alex Smith game if we want to be.
More 2013 Team Cap numbers, links.
Niners, $124MM :: will drop Smith, 10MM; won’t re-sign UFA Moss;
Pats, $104MM :: drop Lloyd, don’t re-sign Welker — here’s a home for Wallace, keeping UFAs Vollmer and Talib will be tough. Patrick Chung might be nice, cheap partner for Ward and also an Oregon Duck;
Giants, $116MM :: Cruz is RFA.
Saints, $141MM :: Disaster. Two of top five hits are OGs: Jahri Evans 9.9MM and Ben Grubbs 7.3MM.
Cowboys, $140MM :: Disaster. 16MM tied up in CB Brandon Carr. 11 sack Anthony Spencer is UFA.
Falcons, $117MM :: Brent Grimes is only notable UFA.
Cardinals, $123MM :: Kolb, 13.5MM. UFA Quentin Groves has been mentioned as possible OLB target. Me not a fan… we’d be his 4th team since 2008. I don’t want anyone from the Eagles or Cardinals… there was disease in those locker room and I’d rather avoid all of it.
Panthers, $130MM :: Disaster. Johnson, Gross, Gamble, Kalil, Beason, Williams.
Bears, $110MM ::
Bengals, $65MM :: Andre Smith, Michael Johnson are priorties. Maualuga? Pacman? No big problems with UFAs.
Broncos, $105MM :: Clady is big UFA.
Lions, $120MM :: Stafford 21MM. Cliff Avril UFA, I think he’s coming off franchise so they can’t use that again.
Packers, $111MM :: Rodgers 10MM. UFAs Benson, Jennings, Shields.
Texans, $115MM :: Schaub 11MM.
Colts, $76MM :: Freeney is UFA.
Jags, $96MM :: Cox is UFA.
Chiefs, $106MM :: Dwayne Bowe UFA.
Dolphins, $78MM :: Bush, Hartline, Long, S. Smith UFAs.
Vikings, $108MM :: Henderson UFA.
Raiders, $122MM :: Seymour, Lechler UFA. Palmer 15MM.
Eagles, $96MM :: DRC, Dunlap UFAs.
Chargers, $115MM :: Rivers 17MM,
Seahawks, $106MM ::
Rams, $125MM :: Amendola UFA.
Bucs, $90MM :: DE Bennett UFA.
Titans, $102MM ::
2013 NFL Franchise Tag numbers, FYI.
The NFLPA recently released the projected franchise tag values for the 2013 season, barring any increase in the overall salary cap. — Dec. 28, 2012 (premium)
|Quarterback||$16.4 million||$16 million||$14.4 million||$14.6 million|
|Running Back||$8.15 million||$9.56 million||$7.74 million||$8.07 million|
|Wide Receiver||$9.52 million||$11.4 million||$9.51 million||$10.35 million|
|Tight End||$5.9 million||$7.28 million||$5.44 million||$5.96 million|
|Offensive Lineman||$10.73 million||$10.11 million||$9.38 million||$9.66 million|
|Defensive Tackle||$7.00 million||$12.47 million||$7.96 million||$8.30 million|
|Defensive End||$12.39 million||$13 million||$10.60 million||$10.98 million|
|Linebacker||$9.68 million||$10 million||$8.86 million||$9.45 million|
|Cornerback||$9.56 million||$14 million||$10.28 million||$10.66 million|
|Safety||$6.45 million||$8.8 million||$6.21 million||$6.79 million|
|Kicker/Punter||$2.81 million||$3.17 million||$2.65 million||$2.92 million|