ProFootballTalk.com has reported that the Falcons have only $5.8 million to spend to stay underneath the $120.6 million cap. There is a little debate as to exactly how PFT has calculated this number and whether or not this is a "guesstimate" with some contract numbers unknown. PFT is quiet on how the number is measured, potentially because they are not calculating the cap, but are simply reporting cap numbers thanks to a league source.
Atlanta still has time to cut high priced players like Michael Turner, Ovie Mughelli, and hopefully Sam Baker. They may have not been cut yet if the front office is attempting to bring them back at significantly less money, as I believe they are all on the last year of their contracts and therefore cannot shift around money through bonuses.
If Dimitroff wants to make a run at a big name free agent, he will continue restructuring contracts of certain players to drop their cap number, similar to what the Lions are doing today and what Atlanta did with Dunta Robinson on Friday.
It should be mentioned that ESPN believed Atlanta to be "a good bit under the cap" prior to Dunta restructuring, and the Saints beat reporter is showing the Saints have a few million more than PFT reported.
Update: D. Orlando Ledbetter is saying the Falcons have $5.7 million in cap space, suggesting the PFT report of $5.8 million is at least very close. He specifically says this takes Atlanta out of the "Mario Williams derby." If Atlanta plans on being active in free agency they will have to make some moves today.
Update 2: Ledbetter has our free space down to the dollar amount at $5,723,709.00.
Update 3: Ledbetter says the numbers are from the "salary report from the league."
Update 4: So each team receives $1.6 million from Washington and Dallas for pushing huge cap hits to the uncapped year in 2010, according to Adam Schefter. If I interpret this correctly, as adding to cap space to this year, Atlanta may have $7.3 million in cap space. I have never heard of such a thing before and fully expect to see some appeals, if the NFL has not yet heard them... but WOW.
Similar to the cap credits we (should sometime) receive from Michael Vick, the extra cash should come at the time we receive it. It is not clear if we receive actual cash or just extra space, or both. Left with plenty of questions at this time.
@mFalcons5 @GritsBlitzBlog with the added cap space from penalizing the Cowboys and Skins we're at 7.32.
I'm wondering if we can restructure some important contracts and also have the prior restructuring of Robinson's contract along the signing of Grimes (not being tagged). Would that help the gap range of being able to go after Mario. One other question is we are supposed to lose some pricey players to free agency as well. My question is are they still incorporating them into our salary because we have not yet hit free agency day yet?
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I'm pretty sure that the guys that we will be losing and have not re-signed (Abe, Lofton, etc) do not count against the cap. Here's a Q&A that kind of answers that question in that it says that RFAs do count but not unrestricted. It's from 2011 so it's a little fuzzy on the dates. http://www.askthecommish.com/salarycap/faq.asp
I would expect that the Falcons are busy right now trying to re-negotiate contracts with the likes of Michael Turner and maybe even Matty Ice (but I think that might be more of a longer term negotiation). I also expect there to be some cuts...possibly Sam Baker and Ovie Mughali.
So the Falcons get $1.6 million in additional cap space because the Cowboys and Redskins are idiots? Is that what I'm hearing?
@CFBZ I'm wondering if he is simply guessing (which he frequently does) or is reporting both are highly interested in Mario. If only Peyton Manning was not taking up the time of 98% of football reporters.
@CFBZ @bradyhenderson @claytonespn Yes I thought that DLed put the Mario comment in for views and attention
In other news this is quite possibly the most active article we've had. hopefully this trend continues
In Feb, john Clayton had us at 30.6 million http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7570116/nfl-plenty-cap-room-improve
He also mentioned that unused cap from 2011 can be rolled over into 2012. So is this just 2012's number or does it include any roll-over if we have any?
@CFBZ Oh, the PFT article said it included roll over. I believe I saw the number a few days ago, and it was only a few million.
@CFBZ Wow, huge change since then I suppose. I guess that Gonzo ($7 million) and Grimes ($10.2) and Snelling, Tatupu, DeCoud and Biermann would bring us down to about here.
@Zach K. Very true, the number includes the franchise tag. Unless Atlanta pulls the tag before he signs, we cannot spend that money.
@mFalcons5 Or if we sign him long term. I think we can spend the money if he doesn't sign the tag. Also DLed is assuming we don't cut, restructure, or extend anyone esle.
@mFalcons5 The Mario statement is DLed being DLed, realistically we could get Mario for a 10-12 mil cap hit this year
@Zach K. How exactly would this work if he doesn't sign the tag? I know we could sign him long term to knock down the cap number...but that does us no good if hes not signed before tomorrow. Really, there still doesnt apoear to be money for mario
Per Pat Yasinskas this morning after PFT's numbers came out "The Falcons have a bit more salary-cap room, but it looks like they might be preparing for a major splash (Mario Williams?). They already have restructured the contract of Dunta Robinson, and more moves could be on the way"
@brog I mentioned that in the article, but Yasinskas has not come up with even an estimation of the cap space. Seems to have thought we would have money, but two different sources pointing us at the same number seems legitimate.
I've followed those two sources (PFT & Pat Yas) and would like to subscribe to the numbers that ESPN provided, but I'm afraid reality is that they are closer to PFT's. I have scoured the web for up to date cap numbers and I think there is a reason we can't find definitive numbers and have this $5-10 million discrepancy: no team wants to let the others know what they have going on
@Greg Huseth I've had trouble finding actual numbers the past week as well, but PFT and now the AJC are saying we are at the $5.7 to $5.8 million number.
Geez, I sure hope that $5.8 million number isn't true. I projected it was around $12 million. This could be rough
@Greg Huseth yeah, I'm not buying that number or it seems like the Falcons would be working more aggressively (maybe they are) behind the scenes to free up some cash.
@CFBZ If it was not so terribly time consuming I would be up for it. Problem is the cap number was just released a few days before free agency, so there is little time for discussion on what to do and how to do it. Seriously, we have 28 hours until we find out what Atlanta actually plans to do.
@mFalcons5 Yep. It's about to hit the roof tomorrow at 4 PM. I like not having a midnight start this year.