The Baltimore Ravens rank eighth with $15 million of cap space. Of course, the Ravens could use more considering quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice and safety Ed Reed will be free agents. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti expressed optimism last week that the team will sign Flacco and Rice to new deals.
With the new CBA, the NFL and most veteran players got what they wanted. Unproven rookies no longer get gigantic sums of money before showing that they deserve it.
But what of the draft picks who show they deserve it?
Under the new labor deal, their rights are tied up for a mandatory four years, with no opportunity to renegotiate until they have finished three full seasons. (Pats tight end Rob Gronkowski got his new deal after two years because he signed his rookie deal under the old CBA.) First-round picks potentially have it even worse, since teams have the ability to hold their rights for a fifth year, at the transition tag number for the first 10 and at a lower amount for picks 11 through 32.
Then, in year six, the first-rounders can be slapped with the franchise tag.
So when the truly great players finish three years of truly great play, and if their teams don’t acknowledge that with a significant offer on a long-term deal, look for more and more of those players to hold out.
A league source with extensive experience negotiating rookie and veteran contracts predicts that the league is on course for a rash of holdouts by fourth-year players, starting in 2014 — the fourth year of the contracts given to the first set of rookies picked under the new labor deal.
From Cam Newton to Von Miller to A.J. Green to Patrick Peterson to Julio Jones to Aldon Smith to Tyron Smith to J.J. Watt (and that’s just the first 11 picks), proven players who were grossly underpaid via the new rookie wage scale will want their money. And if they don’t get it, some of them will stay away until they do.
That’s one of the reasons why, in our opinion, Robert Griffin III preferred going to the Redskins at No. 2. If he becomes the first franchise quarterback of Daniel Snyder’s tenure as owner, Snyder will break open the vault in 2015. In contrast, the Colts — who twice forced Peyton Manning to play every snap of multi-year deals — may be inclined to make Andrew Luck wait a full five years before rewarding him.
It’s a real dynamic that will find teams facing unhappy players on an annual basis, once the rookie wage scale begins to take root. And it’s hard to disagree with the players. If the goal was to keep money away from players who never do anything to earn it, the players who do should get the same kind of money they would have gotten under the prior labor deal.
Having watched 5 practices over the past three weeks, with 3 of those being full squad, I offer up 16 viable reasons, 1 for each game, why the 2012 edition of your Cleveland Browns will bring increased improvement, with an eye toward becoming a consistent AFC playoff organization, sooner rather than later.
16. Albeit the loss of Phil Taylor is a setback, Dick Jauron's defense is playing faster, comfortable in the second season of the '4-3', and will show some 'takeaway ability' to help put some points on the board! Now, about improving that run defense, guys!!
15. A more substantial Josh Cribbs in the return game! The 'change of pace' speed guys, Buster Skrine and Travis Benjamin will keep Cribbs fresh, and give a jolt, and hopefully a couple of touchdowns, to the kickoff and punt units. Watch them closely, as they can change field position in a dramatic way!
14. A healthy punter Reggie Hodges, teaming with Phil Dawson, to have the Browns at the top of special team production in the NFL. We may take this aspect of the game for granted, yet the Browns are in very good stead.
13. TJ Ward, back at strong safety, applying bone jarring hits to running backs and receivers, and applying some of the 'mean and nasty' the defense needs! Get better in coverage TJ!
14. Continued 2nd season improvement from offensive guard Jason Pinkston, who earned the stamp of approval from Joe Thomas and Alex Mack for his rookie play. He's stronger, and featuring sounder technique at his position, with a year of the rookie workload now past.
13. Benjamin Watson healthy, hoping to avoid concussions, and leading the tight end group, that is deep, and suitably skilled. A strength of the Browns, added to, as Jordan Cameron has looked much better in earning repetitions, and producing when called upon.
11. The emergence of Eric Hagg, looking like the starter at free safety, with the range to cover receivers at the high point of the defense, and strong enough to support the run around the line of scrimmage. Keep close tabs on this evolving 2nd year player, a 7th round draft choice, from Nebraska. He will impact!
10. Stronger 'leadership voices'! Have to have more than just D'Qwell Jackson, and Chris Gocong, along with Alex Mack, and Cribbs seem more willing to take charge, and play an active role in putting out locker room fires, if necessary.
9. Brandon Jackson and Monterio Hardesty, both with much to prove, and running with explosiveness, catching the football well, and ready to provide that compliment for the much heralded Trent Richardson
8. Joe Haden. Locking down his area of responsibility, and knowing he needs a basketful of picks, instead of just pass breakups in 2012. Will set Haden's over/under at 5 interceptions in 12! At least 1 'Pick Six', also Joe!
7. The 'Other' Rookies! I came away impressed with the pair of rookie linebackers, James- Michael Johnson and Emanuel Acho, who will see playing time in the linebacking rotations and on special teams, Alabama 'H' back Brad Smelley, who may unseat Owen Marecic, and Trevin Wade, the Arizona corner, who was around the football a lot.
6. 'Ahh...those receivers'!! Will someone distinguish himself, please? Greg Little can be big time! Sleeker, and catching the football in traffic a big plus. Mo Massaquoi says he's ready to contribute heavily, Carlton Mitchell looks much better, and needs to prove his worth, and Josh Cooper, the undrafted free agent from Oklahoma State, might truly be a Wes Welker clone! Fabulous hands, precise route runner, and could help immediately!
5. Stability at the top...with a clear vision of 'how to'! Tom Heckert concluded his third draft in April, and continues to make this team younger, faster, more talented, and with greater depth. It was a complete mess of a roster as he took over in February of 2010. The key is...not just gaining a playoff berth once, through quick fixing, yet building so winning sustains for multiple seasons. Compare this roster to that of the 2009 team before he got to Cleveland. See what I mean? ' Nuff said!
4. Holmgren's Message. The Prez said this football team 'needs to show significant improvement where winning is concerned’. How many is that? I know it's not 4!!! Or 5 for that matter. And, as I spoke to many of the veterans, they have gotten the message loud and clear, and understand their jobs are at stake. You should like that. They need to play with a greater sense of urgency. My eyes tell me they started to set the tone, albeit, yes, in just helmets, jerseys and shorts this spring.
3. Rooks 1,2, and 3. As in the first 3 draft choices, and sure fire starters in Trent Richardson, Brandon Weeden, and Mitchell Schwartz. Look, we all know the Browns needed a big time injection of life on the offensive side. Tom Heckert provided it at running back, quarterback, and right tackle. All 3 dove right in, impressed, and gave me every reason to believe they'll be a strong doe of putting more points on the board this season. Can't be any other way. Yes, Weeden will struggle at times, as all rook QB's will. Yet this trio is the right tonic for a Browns offense that has been far too passive for far too long! The scoreboard will blink brighter in 2012!
2. 2nd Time Through...as in this system, with Brad Childress a superb hire offensively, with the capabilities to take his side of the ball to the same place Dick Jauron did a season ago with the defense. Childress will be innovative, and creative, while applying the right doseage of game planning and calling in many cases, to put his players in the best position to succeed.
1. The Head Coach. Pat Shurmur will take a large step forward. See Numbers 2,3,4, and 5, as it pertains to reasons why. I know he's worked dilligently to wipe away what was a rugged season 1 at the helm. He'll be improved, as will his football team. You'll see it tangibly in their play, his coaching...and yes, in the win column!Listen to Michael Reghi on Cleveland Sports Night, M-F from 9pm - Midnight
Just numbers. All they mean is the Steelers already have a bunch of guys signed and the other AFC North teams have guys they need to lock up. As Mano likes to say, "The cap is a fluid number."This is very true, while the Steelers drop some big money guys to make their numbers feasible...
The Ravens are reported to be $15M under the cap but the only QB in that scenario is Tyrod Taylor. How much do you think Flacco is gonna cost?
Just numbers. All they mean is the Steelers already have a bunch of guys signed and the other AFC North teams have guys they need to lock up. As Mano likes to say, "The cap is a fluid number."Just to re-iterate, the Steelers should have no issues "moving" money around. They are merely over the cap approximately $10M, which is no big deal, because their list of 2013 free agents is real impressive:
As Mano likes to say, "The cap is a fluid number."
i havent kept up with them . do they have Rice locked uo yet ? Flacco will cost $$$$ for sureNo, right now, neither Joe Flacco nor Ray Rice are on the books for the 2013 season.
However, as we saw this past offseason, it doesn't take much to manipulate the salary cap and make room for these guysSo how long before it catches up to them or they suffer the hit of dead money? Ben, Harrison, Timmons, Woodly, and Polamalu all received big contracts recently and all, if I recall, let the team move money around for this past season. If I'm not mistaken, they moved around a cap hit of something like 15-20 million combined. That money has to hit the cap at some point. If it could just disappear forvever then every team would do it every year.
So how long before it catches up to them or they suffer the hit of dead money? Ben, Harrison, Timmons, Woodly, and Polamalu all received big contracts recently and all, if I recall, let the team move money around for this past season. If I'm not mistaken, they moved around a cap hit of something like 15-20 million combined. That money has to hit the cap at some point. If it could just disappear forvever then every team would do it every year.And it will, when the cap increases dramatically in 2014 from the new TV contracts and the Steelers still have all of their primary guys under contract. Its not as if the Steelers have made a habit out of this until the last couple of years. Its no coincidence that they started doing this right after the new TV contracts were announced.
BEREA—Mike Holmgren addressed the media before the Browns go into the slow time before training camp starts up in late July. Holmgren answered a variety of questions on a variety of topics. Here are some of the highlights.
Q: Do you plan on moving one of the quarterbacks before training camp?:
Holmgren: “Right now, the plan is not to. The first two years, we’ve had to go to the third quarterback because of injury. Something might happen as we approach training camp or go through camp.
“Between now and the start of the season, we’re going to be talking about a lot of things. I think we’ll be open to listening to a lot of things
Q: Have you seen enough to think Brandon Weeden can be the Browns franchise quarterback?:
Holmgren: “That term is a tough term. A franchise quarterback? Are we talking Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? He’s a rookie and if you pick a player in the first round you are saying something. In saying that, nothing is handed to him, but he is going to have to show us where he has to come in and play.”
Q: Do you think the starter should be named now?:
Holmgren: “Right now, it’s a healthy competition and at some point moving forward you have to name one. Pat was asked and he said ‘We’re not ready.’
“I don’t know and don’t think anyone can tell you, but when the time comes at some point you have to make the decision to get the guy ready for the regular season.”
Q: Could it be a potential problem to have all three quarterbacks still on the team at the start of the regular season?:
Holmgren: “I don’t think so. Whoever the third quarterback is, he gets his feathers ruffled a little bit because they’re all competitors and they’ve all played.
“You make decisions and there’s ways to do (avoid controversy). You should be able to avoid them.”
Q: You’ve said you are not a proponent of having a quarterback controversy. Have you changed your mind on that?:
Holmgren: “I have not had a change of heart. In our situation, Colt hasn’t played much, Seneca has played and Brandon is an older rookie. I’m more of the mindset to let it play out. When you draft a quarterback in the first round, you draft him to play, but when he does is the question.”
Q: With the possibility of Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden starting as rookies, how unusual is that?:
Holmgren: “It is a unique situation but if you have to do it these two young men are two that can do it. Trent, as a runner, running is running and the learning curve isn’t as great. His challenge will be as a pass blocker and he can certainly handle it. The quarterback, to have a rookie quarterback, will be a challenge. He is going to see things he hasn’t seen. A good running game will certainly help the quarterback. You can certainly help young players with your game plan.”
Q: What has impressed you most about Weeden thus far?:
Holmgren: “He has the skill level to play and is able to pass the ball. He has the maturity level because of his age and after playing baseball, played football. He is as prepared to start as a rookie as any quarterback I’ve seen in a long time.”
Q: What do you see as his biggest adjustment?:
Holmgren: “His biggest adjustment is playing under center as he didn’t do that in college. He seems to be a fast learner and seems to have absorbed the play book pretty quickly.”
Q: What type of record do you expect this year?:
Holmgren: “I don’t want to make the same mistake to put a number on it. I expect us to take a good healthy jump this year (in record),” Holmgren said. “I know we’re a better team. We have a good off-season and we are more talented.”
Q: Do you see the receivers to make a bigger jump this year?:
Holmgren: “Besides Greg Little, who I think will take a big jump this year. He had too many dropped balls last year and I think he’s corrected those. I think (Mohamed) Massaquoi will make a big jump. I don’t think he will admit this but I think getting a (concussion) last year set him back. He’s healthy now and he can play. I like (Travis) Benjamin. You factor (Josh) Cribbs in there, as well.”
Q. Are the Browns for sale?:
Holmgren: “The Browns are not for sale. I talk to Randy all the time and I assume he would tell me. There’s no truth to that.”
Q: Do you think Colt McCoy has been fairly evaluated?:
Holmgren: “It was hard. He got knocked around and it wasn’t fair. What was fair is, he got to play and how did he handle it? Moving forward, I like Colt McCoy, I’ve made no secrets about that. If you’re asking him if it’s fair, I think he had a tough go of it, but life’s not fair always.”
Q: Would you like the Browns and Jim Brown to be on good terms once again?:
Holmgren : “Jim is one of my childhood heroes. He was a fabulous player and one of the first people I met when I came here. I would love to see Jim Brown come in and be part of the legends program. I can see why Jim would be upset at me because his role changed a bit. I would love to see Jim Brown be a part of (the Browns) and I would welcome him with open arms.”
Q: Are the brown jerseys coming back?:
Holmgren: “Yes they are. We will wear brown at home and split it with the white.”
Holmgren More Accessible: Holmgren said he has decided to be more accessible this season in his third year with the Browns. He explained that he felt from his own experience that he felt the head coach should be the voice of the team.
“I feel it’s important to have one voice from the organization and tried to do that for a couple years,” Holmgren said. “Not that I’m hard-headed, but I’ve listened to some people around town and people have said they’ve liked to hear more from me and that’s what I’m going to try and do.
“I don’t know how that will manifest itself and I’ve talked to both Pat (Shurmur) and Tom (Heckert),” he said. “They have to know the President is on their side. They have to know that. The hard part at times, there will be a danger that he said this or they said that, but it’s important they know I have their back. The bottom line is I’m going to try and be more available.
“I have a great young coach and a great general manager, but in listening a little bit when I’m out and about that’s what we’re trying to do today.”
Holmgren was asked if some of the criticism he’s received for being on Seattle radio stations was unfair.
“I don’t know, “he said. “That might be part of the reason I decided to be more accessible.
“You have to have thick skin in this business, and when I heard that I wasn’t committed, that bothered me,” he said. “I’m committed here to the community. Kathy and I are like it here. My birthday is (Friday). I will be 64, but I have some more kicking to do. I’ve said this is my last great adventure, but I’m committed to get (the Browns) turned around.
“I feel bad about that and that is one of the reasons why I’ve shifted gears.”
Legends: Former Browns RB Ernie Green and DB Clarence Scott are to be inducted into the Cleveland Browns Legends program during the Alumni Weekend Sept. 22-23. Green played with the Browns from 1962-68, while Scott played from 1971-83.
Preseason Single Game Tickets on Sale: The Browns started selling single-game tickets for the 2012 preseason on Wednesday June 13. Single game tickets for the regular season will be available starting August 1. The two home preseason games are on Aug. 24 with the Eagles and Aug. 30 against the Bears.
when the cap increases dramatically in 2014 from the new TV contractsWhat's the projected salary cap increase for that season? And I also thought I read something about teams borrowing money this season and next that would reduce the increase from 2014 but I could be mistaken
What's the projected salary cap increase for that season?Depends on who you listen to. The owners are saying that the cap won't increase dramatically over the next 3 years, even after the television revenues are taken into account. The NFLPA, though, is saying the opposite.
During a kinder, gentler Mike Holmgren press conference Thursday, the Cleveland president extended an olive branch to Hall of Famer Jim Brown.
And Brown sounds like he’s ready to receive it.
The relationship between the Browns boss and one of the game’s all-time greatest players has been chilly since Holmgren reduced Brown’s role in 2010. And the former running back hasn’t held back, questioning Holmgren’s commitment to the franchise and saying he thought first-round pick Trent Richardson was ordinary.
“I would like Jim Brown to come and be a part of this and feel comfortable doing that and I would welcome him with open arms,” Holmgren said Thursday.
“If that’s what Holmgren said, it just shows a lot of class on his part,” Brown told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I’ve always been attracted to anyone who has the class to reach out. I have nothing to hold me back from being a positive person in any type of circumstances.
“I am a Cleveland Brown, but it’s always up to those in control to decide what they want to do.”
While it’s understandable for Holmgren to want to put his own stamp on the franchise, picking a fight with a legend wasn’t the smartest way to go about it. Much like former coach Eric Mangini painting over a mural of the running back when he was in charge, the idea of banishing a player of Brown’s stature is simply foolish.
Hopefully, Thursday’s comments will be the first step toward giving Browns fans something to remember fondly, since the recent product has been such a mess.
Much like former coach Eric Mangini painting over a mural of the running back when he was in charge, the idea of banishing a player of Brown’s stature is simply foolish.Who wrote this article bluez?
Who wrote this article bluez?
“He has the skill level to play and is able to pass the ball. He has the maturity level because of his age and after playing baseball, played football. He is as prepared to start as a rookie as any quarterback I’ve seen in a long time.”