Down On The Up Escalators
March 12, 2012 at 10:29am by Scott • 4 Comments »
As I’ve said before, I don’t care how much money the Bucs actually spend. It’s none of my business and I’m not going to cry for them if they overspend. But when it comes to cap figures, that’s when it affects their ability to sign new players and be competitive, and then I care. Pat Yasinskas has some interesting numbers involving escalators that various players earned over the last season that will affect the salary cap this season and beyond. According to the article, the escalators haven’t been figured into the $67-million cap number we’ve been hearing.
That will eat into early reports that had the Bucs heading for the start of free agency with around $67 million in cap space.
Even after everything is figured in, the Bucs will still be sitting pretty for free agency, but it’s interesting to see what these guys earned.
Quarterback Josh Freeman kicked in a $5.5 million escalator by meeting certain playing time and statistical requirements in 2010. Freeman now is carrying an $8.545 million cap figure for this season.
$8.5-million for a franchise quarterback is still a deal, but considering Freeman’s output last year, it’s a little scary. But wait, there’s more.
He also already has kicked in a $7 million escalator for 2013 and that number could end up going as high as $9.455 million if he meets more escalators this season.
I’m reading that as $7-million plus whatever his salary is plus the pro-rated portion of his signing bonus. If Freeman has another year like this year, you’d have to think that Mark Dominik will start to talk about a restructure to put that cap number more in line with his production. If Freeman meets certain marks in 2012 that $7-million figure goes up, but of course if he’s performing to that level, we won’t care.
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy earned a $5.1 million escalator based on his 2010 performance and now is carrying a $9.443 million cap figure for 2012. McCoy also has kicked in $6 million in escalators for 2013 and $7.7 million for 2014.
They’re already talking on shows about the draft how the Bucs need to fortify their defensive tackles because McCoy and Price have been hurt too much. And it’s hard to argue with, although I still think it’s too early to give up on them. But $9.4-million for McCoy is steep considering how much he’s on the field. And what were those marks that kicked in escalators for 2013 and 2014? They couldn’t have been playing time marks since he was hurt. He didn’t have a bunch of sacks. Maybe he got a bonus for the number of OCNN reports he did. McCoy seemed to always be pimping that shit.
Cornerback E.J. Biggers earned an $875,000 escalator with his 2010 performance and is carrying a $1.455 cap figure this year.
Biggers got a ton of playing time and $1.5-million still isn’t too bad, but he just doesn’t seem worth it. Let’s hope the Bucs add some quality at corner both in free agency and in the draft because if Ronde Barber retires and Aqib Talib gets suspended or cut, Biggers will be the best corner on the team. Let that one sink in.
Receiver Sammie Stroughter earned a $435,000 for this year based on his 2010 performance. His cap figure for this season is $1.012 million.
Bye Sammie. Sorry it didn’t work out. There’s no way they keep you for that cap number.
Defensive tackle Roy Miller earned $805,000 in escalators based on his performance in each of the last three seasons and is now carrying a $1.563 million cap figure.
That sounds like a good deal to me. Miller is a solid contributor who provides quality depth. Look at his number and look at McCoy’s. Which one seems more in line with reality?
Huh, that was pretty much the entire content of Yasinskas’s article. So I guess I saved you a trip to ESPN today. Tell your web browser it’s welcome.