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tony hipchest 07-05-2007 01:38 PM

shocking look at "dead money"
houston will be paying off $30,000,000 (28% of their cap) to players no longer on their team. and to think they just recently got out from under tony boselli's contract. :dang: detroit isnt looking that great either. i thought pittsburgh was bad with about $3.7 mil in dead money.


Coaching changes can drive up dead money

By Pat Kirwan Senior Analyst

(July 3, 2007) -- Drive past any of the 32 NFL facilities and you will see an empty parking lot.

Sure, there are some rookies working early in the morning with the strength coach, but for the most part the veterans are long gone and the coaches are right behind them as everyone tries to recharge their batteries and get ready for the upcoming season. Playbooks have finally been completed, the camp rosters are set -- give or take one player who might get signed to fill a camp need -- and head coaches are playing golf, catching fish, or just sleeping late.

Gary Walker, right, hasn't played since 2005, but will continue to take up space on Houston's payroll.
Well, there were a few things left behind that are reminders that the business season never ends.

"Dead money" is the common expression for players still on the salary-cap books who no longer play for the team. Today, we will look at some of the cap issues still lurking for teams around the league.

I took a look at the team salary charges as it relates to the salary cap, and there are a number of teams that really finished up their offseason with some significant dead money against their 2007 salary cap. There's no doubt that all the NFL teams are being run more efficiently than they were 10 years ago. Nonetheless, dead money is not going away when everyone gets back from vacation.

With the 2007 salary cap is $109 million per team, it really isn't bad for a team to be carrying under $10 million of old debt, but when a team crosses over that mark, it causes a strain on the team's ability to do new business.

Seven teams in the NFL are burdened to some degree with over $10 million of dead money each, and no one has a bigger number of player charges on the books for guys no longer with the team than the Houston Texans. Houston had a coaching change a year ago, and it switched defensive schemes from a 3-4 to a 4-3. Both are both driving forces behind the house cleaning that has gone on since the arrival of Gary Kubiak and his staff.

On the 2007 books at a charge of a little over $30 million (close to 30 percent of the entire salary cap) for the Texans but no longer playing for Kubiak are the following players as the franchise continues to revamp the roster.

Name Cap Charge Status
1. Gary Walker $5,500,001 Retired after 2005 season
2. Todd Wade $5,000,000 Joined Washington in 2006
3. Robaire Smith $4,175,002 Played for Tennessee in 2006; joined Cleveland in 2007
4. David Carr $4,000,000 Joined Carolina in 2007
5. Eric Moulds $3,750,000 Free agent
6. Zach Weigert $2,950,000 Free agent
7. Seth Payne $2,250,000 Free agent
8. Domanick Williams $1,300,000 Free agent
9. Kailee Wong $1,167,000 Retired after 2006 season
10. Vernand Morency $189,000 Joined Green Bay in 2006
11. Sam Cowart $135,000 Did not play in 2006
12. Eleven 2006 rookies $74,000
TOTAL 2007 DEAD MONEY: $30,490,003 (approx. 28 percent of cap)

This list is a great reminder to NFL players that if you don't win and your coach gets fired, it will not be long before the high-priced players will soon be shown the door. New head coaches typically rid themselves of players who were not part of the solution for the former regime. Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, New Orleans and Oakland all have first- or second-year head coaches, and are all above the $10 million mark in dead money.

A quick look at the Detroit salary cap, and you quickly realize the Lions have used a lot of salary-cap space to figure out the position -- and they haven't even signed Calvin Johnson yet. On the 2007 books, there are 16 wide receivers using up cap space. Mike Williams, Charles Rogers, Corey Bradford are no longer on the team but will eat up $10,229,720 of space this season (close to 10 percent of the cap). When Johnson finally signs his contract, the Lions will have close to $28 million in wide receivers alone. Throw in the dead money Ross Verba, James Hall, Dre Bly, Josh McCown and Marcus Pollard represent (a combined $6.4 million), and you can see the cost of getting a roster corrected.

It's interesting to note the emotional state of the present Lions players -- remember Jon Kitna's 10-win prediction? -- is at an all time high. No one seems to miss any of the departed players.

As the 2007 season gets under way after this very short and well-deserved rest, the players with a head coach who appears on the hot seat better realize they are on a seat just as hot! Play this season like your professional life depends upon it -- because it does.

Black@Gold Forever32 07-05-2007 01:43 PM

Re: shocking look at "dead money"
But yet with all that dead money the Texans still went out and signed Ahmen Green.......Plus traded for Matt Schaub and gave him a ton of money........

Livinginthe past 07-05-2007 02:02 PM

Re: shocking look at "dead money"
I calculated the dead money from the Steelers salary cap website and it came in at $5.3million.

For the record the Patriots is approximately the same at $5.2million.

The Duke 07-05-2007 04:12 PM

Re: shocking look at "dead money"
And another reason the Rooney's are the best in the business. I mean what kind of GM let's this happen, the few talents they have on the texans and lions will eventually have to leave their teams.

Crushzilla 07-05-2007 05:13 PM

Re: shocking look at "dead money"

Originally Posted by Black@Gold Forever32 (Post 262527)
But yet with all that dead money the Texans still went out and signed Ahmen Green.......Plus traded for Matt Schaub and gave him a ton of money........

Yes, but I think their rationale is that Schaub will be their man for a while. That's the thing with dead money, you are relieved of it eventually. Not like having someone like Vick on your team who just consumes and consumes and consumes and trains dogs to kill and consumes and consumes and hides weed in a water bottle and consumes and flips off the fans...

Did I mention he consumes a lot of money...

tony hipchest 07-05-2007 06:24 PM

Re: shocking look at "dead money"

Originally Posted by Livinginthe past (Post 262537)
I calculated the dead money from the Steelers salary cap website and it came in at $5.3million.

For the record the Patriots is approximately the same at $5.2million.

looking at almost$300,000 guranteed to last years 4th round draft pick only to be cut is kinda ugly. then again, the steelers have never been afraid to make this move or cut a draft pick whom they know wont work (o. jacobs, f. gibson). the rewards are usually reaped by opening up slots for udfa's such as w. parker, j. harrison, n. washington, and c. hoke.

sometimes teams stay tied to a player for too long based soley on their draft position or because they gave them a big contract (staley). if you got a john kuhn on the roster youre better off cutting your losses short and setting a guy free. :chuckle:

in the case of the texans, with their dead cap charges out of the way, they should have an extra $30 mil nex year to balance the budget and get on a more fiscally responsible way of [re]building.

MasterOfPuppets 07-05-2007 06:35 PM

Re: shocking look at "dead money"
i wonder how much dead money the fins will be forking out for porter.....:shake01:

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