General Manager Notes: Welcome to Cap Hell 2088
We've been here before and somehow crawled our way out of the deep hole we dug. This time around, it's a deeper hole than ever before. Let me take you through how deep it is.
* the salary cap is $483.8M and the 51 most expensive players will count towards that cap (player 52, 53 and during the pre-season 54 and up don't count towards the cap)
* we have $13.87M of dead cap space, leaving $469.3M to work with
* we have 8 draft picks (which combine for $19.82M of cap costs), which means after using those picks, we have $449.48M left
* we have 44 players signed, which means all but the least expensive one will count towards the cap [FOF's in game calculations are misleading in this area and will actually add the draft costs on top of whatever number of players that are signed, even if that number is already 51]
* the 44 players signed are already counting $291.65M in bonus money, this means we have $157.83M available for the base salary for these 44 players
* the 44 players on roster are due $389.43M in base salary, this means we're $231.6M over budget and need to free up that much of cap space by roster cuts or by renegotiations
So there we have it, we're $231.6M over a $483.8M cap. Yes, we're spending roughly 1.5 times what we are allowed to.
* breath in, breath out *
* if we trade all 8 draft picks, we clear that $19.80M of cap space, but would still need to sign 7+ undrafted rookies at $1.61M a piece to a full roster (remember, only the first seven count towards the cap, the last two will be the cheapest 2 players on roster), which actually saves only $6.91M
* we've talked with all 52 players on roster to find out their contract demands, which gives us a picture of 5 options for each player (excluding the 8 free agents): do nothing, give what he wants, offer what we want to pay (alteration of the request), cap out (available for only 12 players) or release the player.
* after applying the optimal cap number (without any releases) and removing all draft picks, we'll still be $88.44M short, which means we'll have to release a number of players and will save their base salary minus the rookie minimum in cap space. As it appears to me, we'll have to release 4 of our 5 most expensive players and will still come short. Those five are DT Heath Oliver, CB Kirk Hitchcock, WR Theo Bondy, QB Ellis McAlister and MLB Craig McCorkle. Cutting them all would give us a positive figure of $10.4M.
* all this taken into consideration, we'll have several underpaid players desiring a very large increase in their cap figure (RB Reggie Thong', WR Tucker Gaylor, S Bart Farrell and RT Howard Humphrey). Combined, they want $33.78M more. Money we don't have, which means there's a big risk of them going into holdout mode, in which case we'll be forced to trade or even cut most of them. Especially Tucker Gaylor and his 51 catches for 720 yards and 2 touchdowns looks very likely to be off roster come opening day 2088.
I thought I had made up my mind yesterday and had everything under control, but that was far from the truth. After a truckload of moves and potential renegotiations, we would be $970K under the cap, but with only 34 players signed and thus still needing to find room for 17 minimum salary rookies (which is $27.37M) and no cap room for any of our draft picks. Early reports of McAlister leaving Maassluis look like it's a done deal, no way around it. The "nine other long term veteran players" to be released would get us to that $970K situation, but still far away from what we need to do.
So, that pretty much sums up our cap situation.
Is there a door number two? Theoretically, we could use the picks, as such get up to 52 players signed and see what the league office will do about us being $230M over the cap. Quite simply, we wouldn't get away with it, as league rules are pretty clear: "Each team must be under the league salary cap when Regular Season Week 1 is [played]. Failure to do so will result in league mandated cuts and a possible loss of draft pick(s)."
So there you have it.
It's time to announce a big trade block to the rest of the league's general managers...
* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail