Contracts, Salary Cap, and the Future?


With all these questions about new deals for players springing up, and with contract negotiations dominating our attention as Texans fans, I decided to do a quick cap preview for the next 4 years, using InTheBullseye.com, Rotoworld.com, and pulling numbers out of my ass to acquire data to analyze. This examines the hypothetical future for our Houston Texans under new deals for our big name players in question.

According to InTheBullseye.com, for 2009 we are under the cap by about $10 million, and for 2010, with DeMeco Ryans, Mike Brisiel, Ryan Moats, and Tim Bulman (and others) as RFAs, and Chris Brown, Travis Johnson, Chester Pitts, Chaun Thompson, Kevin Walter, and Dunta Robinson (with some more low dollar contracts) as UFAs, we are $39.97 million under. If we pretend that Owen never signed his RFA tender, then we have an unsigned O.D. this year and the cap space for 2009 is $12 million.

Using the benchmarks Tim provided, as well as Rotoworld.com salaries for some comparable players, I established what I feel would be good deals for the three players in question:

DeMeco Ryans – Six years, $48 million contract. The deal includes $24 million guaranteed. 2009: $1.35 million, 2010: $1.85 million, 2011-2013: $4.35 million, 2014: $4.85 million, 2015: $5.5 million, 2016: Free Agent 

Dunta Robinson - Four years, $16.8 million contract. The deal contains $8.5 million guaranteed, including a $6 million signing bonus. 2009: $2.15 million, 2010: $2.9 million, 2011: $3.293 million, 2012: Free Agent. (This is Cortland Finnegan’s deal. This is what Dunta deserves, as he hasn’t proven that he is worth a huge deal, but he is still a leader and an impact player if 100%. Undoubtedly, we will pay more than this to keep him, but we shouldn’t.)

Owen Daniels - Six years, $30 million contract. The deal contains $14 million guaranteed, including an $11 million roster bonus in the second year. 2009: $620,000, 2010: $2.325 million, 2011: $3.7 million, 2012: $3.8 million, 2013: $3.85 million, 2014: Free Agent ( This is Chris Cooley’s deal. I think this is too much for Owen, but he is a proven commodity and worth keeping around. HOWEVER, if someone dangles anything that even resembles a first round pick for him...bye Owen, and thanks for all the fish. )

I think those are fair deals. Will they accept them? No, but if they did, let us take a look at our salary cap scenario for the 2009 season. DeMeco’s cap number would be $5.35 million, Dunta's is $4.27 million, and Owen’s is $2.9 million. That allows us to just barely squeak by under the cap for the upcoming season, with probably less than a million dollars of cap space available (Remember, I am rounding).

What about the 2010 season? DeMeco’s cap number would be $5.85 million, Dunta’s at $4.32 million, and Owen’s at $4.65 million. Along with the rest of the salaries on the roster, that leaves $25.15 million left to re-sign Chris Brown (if he doesn’t break his wrist signing), Ferguson (if we still suck at safety after the 2009 season, my brain will explode), Travis Johnson (brain explodes), Chester Pitts (big contract here), Chaun Thompson, Kevin Walter, Matt Turk, Mike Brisiel, Tim Bulman, Ryan Moats, and some back-up fodder. Not too shabby, I think.

After 2011 is even more hypothetical, as there are so many variables as to who will even be here in two years, but for S&Gs let’s take a gander.

2011 is where it starts to get interesting. Mario Williams' cap number is $17-20 million, Andre Johnson’s is $8.675 million, and Schaub’s is $6.86 million, Antonio Smith is going to be about $6 million, and, by now, I bet we have given Steve Slaton a new deal.  Lots of money there, plus Leach, Fred Bennett, Bentley, and a whole bunch of backups need new deals.

2012, I firmly believe, will suck. A lot. First, Mario needs a new deal. My stomach turns thinking about how much money I am absolutely willing to spend to keep Mario here:  6 years, $80 million is probably the price tag we will be looking at (if not much more). Schaub, AJ, Antonio Smith, Winston, DeMeco, Dunta, and Owen will all be making a lot of money. We will probably be paying Cushing quite a bit on his rookie deal here as well.  We will need to resign Eugene Wilson, Apostrophe, Chris Myers, Dan-O, David Anderson, and if they haven’t already, Steve Slaton. Something’s gotta give, methinks.

 

The next few years look to be pretty interesting. We have finally reached the negative part of no longer sucking – paying the players who don’t suck. Managing contracts and acquiring cheap talent are going to be important parts of the future. We are going to see our first money casualties in the next few years, and watching one of our real stars leave for cash elsewhere for the first time is going to blow. Hopefully, this gave you guys and gals a little bit better idea of what the future may look like for our Houston Texans.

Sound off below.

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