This past week I posted an blog piece on why Panthers fans should relax breaking down the options the Panthers and GM Dave Gettleman have in their current negotiations with Kawann Short and the franchise tag option the team has. Which you can find here.
Which recently lead to another fan and I discussing online the Fletcher Cox and Kawann Short contract comparison’s. Something this fan said lead to an intriguing observation on my part on the deal and info I thought was worth sharing with others.
What caught my attention in this conversation was when this fan told me. “I look at Fletcher Cox’s deal as a 3 year deal more than a 6 year deal”. In short the way the dead money was structured the Eagles could cut ties with Fletcher Cox in year 4 and avoid massive cap hits.
His cap hits were structured to be bigger on the back end of his contract but the dead money was fixed in a way to free up cap room and give them a savings. Basically a back loaded cap structured contract.
Most General Managers who are giving out big contracts will structure the cap hits to work around other major deals already or upcoming on the roster. This way it is feasible to keep other big contracts on the books and still have cap room to work with.
So when they hand out a major big contract like with Fletcher Cox they usually front load or back load the cap hits mattering on what would work best for the future of the team’s salary cap.
The dead money is structured this way to give the team a out in case the players production slides or becomes injury prone and they want out of the investment. Which is why players are so hung up on the guarantee of a deal when it get’s done.
Until that point I hadn’t look into details of the contract. So while I glanced over the info at Spotrac. I noticed another interesting comparison using the 3 year contract logic in comparing the Fletcher Cox deal and the possibility of using the Franchise Tag(s) on Kawanna Short like stated in my previous blog post.
So let’s dive into these interesting comparisons. Here is a breakdown of the Fletcher Cox’s dead money cap hit’s, June 1st designation cap hits, and cap savings by cutting him for those years along with his yearly cap hit:
- 2016: $7,699,000
- 2017: $9,400,000
- 2018: $17,900,000
- 2019: $22,000,000
- 2020: $20,300,000
- 2016: $36,299,000
- 2017: $28,600,000
- 2018: $19,200,000
- 2019: $12,800,000
- 2020: $6,400,000
June 1st Designation & Dead Money cap hit split:
- 2016: $10,699,000 | 2017: $25,600,000
- 2017: $9,400,000 | 2018: $19,200,000
- 2018: $6,400,000 | 2019: $12,800,000
- 2019: $6,400,000 | 2020: $6,400,000
Savings without a June 1st:
- 2016: -$28,600,000
- 2017: -$19,200,000
- 2018: -$-1,300,000
- 2019: $9,200,000
- 2020: $13,900,000
Savings that season plus next seasons Cap Hit with a June 1st:
- 2016: -$3,000,000 | 2017: $25,600,000
- 2017: $0 | 2018: $19,200,000
- 2018: $11,500,000 | 2019: $12,800,000
- 2019: $15,600,000 | 2020: $6,400,000
So by these numbers and structure the only time it becomes feasible for the Eagles to part ways without completely destroying their cap is in 2019. It is the first season they would be able to save money by cutting Fletcher Cox and the dead cap hit becomes affordable.
The only choice the Eagle would have without taking a huge brunt of the dead money by cutting him in that season would be to use the June 1st designation which would then allow them to split the brunt of the hit. Kinda like the Panthers did with Steve Smith & DeAngelo Williams.
If you cut Fletcher Cox in year 4 and include the dead money cost no matter how it is split up with what he will earn on the roster the first 3 years of the deal. It will cost the Eagles a total of $47,799,000 in their salary cap revenue for one player and 3 years of playing time.
Looking at his deal in comparison to what we could pay for Kawann in the same 3 year window on the franchise tag alone. Let’s look at that.
Franchise tagging Short two years in a row (2017 & 2018) for a grand total of $36,140,902 of our total cap for 2016, 2017, & 2018. That is $11,658,098 cheaper than Fletcher Cox for the same amount of time.
When you look at it like that you have got to say the franchise tag option(s) looks pretty nice for the same 3 years as Fletcher Cox.
Which is a big reason why I say there is no need to worry about this deal getting done or not. Especially given the positional value of Kawann in Gettleman’s eyes. A lot of the chips are in the teams corner.
If a long term agreement is reached with Short. The structure will be a lot like Cox in terms of how the dead money is spread out either front loaded or back loaded which ever serves the cap space in the future better.
Also it will probably be comparable to other deals to where it will be affordable to move on after 4 seasons if necessary or an out for the team.
If I was Gettleman I would be looking more at the Geno Atkins deal for the long term instead of the Fletcher Cox deal when trying to strike a deal with Kawann.
SiriusXM NFL Radio Host Pat Kirwan recently gave a great breakdown of the Kawann Short contract comparison to guys like Geno Atkins and Fletcher Cox as well. Which you can find at the link below.
I thought this info was interesting enough to post about and share with everyone along with my last piece about this. Later today or tomorrow I will be throwing up another piece about Brenton Bersin and his practice squad eligibility.
Since there seems to be some confusion on the matter. This will also give me a chance to talk about the new eligibility rules established this week for the 2016/2017 season.
So what do you think? Am I wrong or right about these comparisons with Kawann Short & Fletcher Cox? Leave me your thoughts below and as always KEEP POUNDING!