Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 Draft Order As Of Now, and Why 2010 Free Agency Is A Bust

By now, unless you've been living under a rock, or just generally don't read the news or listen when people talk, you know that there is no CBA agreement in place for the 2010 fiscal year.  What does that mean?
  • If no new agreement is reached by spring of 2010, the rules of free agency change. The salary cap vanishes, allowing teams to spend as much or as little as they please. The top eight teams face several restrictions in pursuing players, and players would need six years of credited service, instead of the current four, to be unrestricted free agents.
Yes, that's right - every player who was scheduled to enter their 5th season and become an unrestricted free agent this year (including Ronnie Brown, Anthony Fasano, and key FA-hopeful, Vincent Jackson, the Chargers WR) as of now, would have to accumulate 6 total years of NFL service to qualify.  It's important to note that this would actually work in favor of the 'elite' teams out there because they wouldn't lose any of their young talented 5th year players, and they could keep them at a reduced rate of pay.  Obviously, that doesn't work in the favor of the players themselves, and their has been talk of a strike/walkout for months now.  Of course, the NFL is the most successful franchise in American sports, so if such a thing were to go down, they would bring in Bill Clinton to intervene and make sure we didn't miss any football in 2010.  I know that sounds like a joke, but I bet they would.

What this all ultimately means, is that with an uncapped year, a top pick rookie, say like Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska is likely to be in April, could walk away with the largest contract on NFL history because: a) there will be very few high-priced free agents out there so teams will have the cash, b)  A team could pay Suh (for example) a massively front-loaded contract, thus protecting against any future cap restrictions, and c) the effects of a) and b) combined will drive the contract price of all rookies upwards dramatically.  

There is a minimum limit on rookie wage scale, but there is no maximum.  So Jake Long's salary could look like chump change after this year.  OR teams could decide that since they're not required to spend over a certain amount, that they could actually put a kibosh on spending altogether.  One thing they cannot do is just cut high-priced players with no repercussion.  Any players released in an uncapped year, would immediately have their remaining bonuses hit the 2009 salary cap.  We saw this happen last summer with the Dolphins release of Ernest Wilford.  That transaction was most of the reason why we came so close to our salary cap limit (unsubstantiated reports had us as close as $1 million under).

So, while there will be some quality older players, and the opportunity to bid on 'tagged' players and restricted free agents, the waters will be relatively thin for young, NFL-proven talent unless a new CBA agreement is reached.  According to some of the articles I've read, the chances of such an agreement happening are between slim and none. 

This is why the 2010 draft will be like no other.  I expect it to be absolutely cut-throat and there to be more Draft-day trades than ever before.  Below is the current top 20 draft order.  The final 12 are to be decided by playoff loss order.

1. St. Louis (1-15)
2. Detroit (2-14)
3. Tampa Bay (3-13)
4. Washington (4-12)
5. Kansas City (4-12)
6. Seattle (5-11)
7. Cleveland (5-11)
8. Oakland (5-11)
9. Buffalo (6-10)
10t. Denver (Traded from Chicago) (7-9)
10t. Jacksonville (7-9)
12. Miami (7-9)
13. San Francisco (8-8)
14. Seattle (Traded from Denver) (8-8)
15. New York Giants (8-8)
16t. Tennessee (8-8)
16t. San Francisco (Traded from Carolina) (8-8)
18. Pittsburgh (9-7)
19t. Atlanta (9-7)
19t. Houston (9-7) 

Miami is sitting pretty with the 12th pick, with strong trading partners in Kansas City sitting with the 5th pick.  NFL Draft Scout currently lists Clemson OLB/DE Ricky Sapp listed as the 12th best talent in the draft.  That will change if Alabama ILB, Rolando McClain declares for the draft (which he will probably do if he wins the National Championship on Thursday (which he probably will do).  McClain and Florida MLB Brandon Spikes are the clear logical targets at #12 for Miami.  Obviously McClain would be first choice considering he already plays in a 3-4.

Stay tuned for more information on free agency and the draft.


  1. My hunch is that Parcells will stay on just for the opportunity to operate in an uncapped year. The draft will be good for the Dolphins because it will invigorate a nearly good talent pool that is a couple of playmakers short. The Dolphins are sitting pretty good at #12. There are more college bowl games to be played and opportunity for someone to jump into the discussion at the top of the draft. Top talent will slide Miami's way. 

  2. Jeez, your pool is tough!

  3. My pool? I only swim in the ocean....

  4. I read it... and it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, either! :-[

  5. tin,

    wouldnt any rookie contract be the biggest in history since they take last years contract and add for inflation and why would a team front load one, when the rookie in question may be a bust.  if they back load it like they always do (other then the signing bonus) and the player is a bust, they dont have to pay him once they cut him

  6. just wondering if you passed your test

  7. I took NT Terence Cody over S Taylor Mays... I was leaning towards a Polamalu-type impact player, but realized that a NT will solidify the defense and pressure the pocket, taking a lot of heat off the secondary.

  8. not necessarily, ffr. It isn't a guarantee that the next year's top pick
    gets a bigger contract than the previous year. QB's tend to get higher
    contracts than anyone. Jamarcus Russell got a bigger contract in 2007 than
    Jake long in 2008. Matt Ryan got more than both of them and he was the 3rd
    Reggie Bush's contract for being 2nd in 2006 is was higher than Chris Long's
    contract for being 2nd in 2008.
    And I think you circumvented my point about the front-loading. The signing
    bonus is going to affect the cap no matter what, even if you cut him after
    his rookie season, the entire bonus still counts, and it counts
    immediately. So instead of a large bonus spread out over five years, you'd
    bump up his salary. Here's an example:
    Normal contract: Total Value (not including incentives) - 5 years, $55
    Mill, $20 guaranteed
    2010: Salary: $6M Bonus $4M Cap Hit: 0M - due to no CBA
    2011: Salary: $6.5M Bonus $4M Cap Hit: $10.5M
    2012: Salary: $7M Bonus $4M Cap Hit: $11M
    2013: Salary: $7.5M Bonus $4M Cap Hit: $11.5M
    2014: Salary: $8M Bonus $4M Cap Hit: $12M
    Same Contract front loaded: Total Value (incl up front incentives) - 5
    years, $55 M
    2010: Salary incl incentives: $15M Bonus $3M Cap Hit: $0M - due to
    no CBA
    2011: Salary: $5.5M Bonus $3M Cap Hit: $8.5M
    2012: Salary: $6M Bonus $3M Cap Hit: $9M
    2013: Salary: $6.5M Bonus $3M Cap Hit: $9.5M
    2014: Salary: $7M Bonus $3M Cap Hit: $10M
    So you'd save $2M a year on the cap hit just from that one player. The
    agent would go for it because it's $15M guaranteed on the bonus, plus $20.5
    M in salary in the first two years. Player would qualify for $48M vs $47M
    after first four years. The 5th year would almost undoubtedly be either an
    extension or release year anyway. The team would go for it because they'd
    save $8M on future cap space.

  9. Oh I should clarify the incentives would have to be met, thus protecting
    against any 'bustness'.

  10. "Bustness"?  You are making up words again.  ;)

    I say draft that dolphin up there in the pic, apparently has some great leaping and diving ability, not to mention can catch the ball.  Whaddaya say?

  11. With each passing second, I'm accepting the fact more and more that there is no way in hell Parcells is going to let us draft a WR in the first round. 

    With that said I went McClain in the poll (hopefully he's there).  I like Spikes as our 2 option though.
    In Rd. 2, I'm thinking A Benn (hope he's there), Demaryius Thomas, Jeremy Williams (can return kicks too) or even Eric Decker if he's not playing baseball.

    My sleeper pick and I'd like to see him gain steam on FIn blogs is Casey Matthews out of Oregon. Obviously, the heritage but I also believe he's flying under the radar a bit and could be a steal in the 4th or 5th.

  12. My bad faulty info from my Oregon Alum boss. Casey Matthews is only a junior, he prob will stick around one more year.

  13. He's only a redshirt freshman...

  14. Decker has 100% committed to football and the NFL.
    He said he has never had any intention of playing pro-baseball.

  15. was up tin thank u for all ur hard work man really enjoyed coming here and reading everyones input compared to the other news papers. i feel like when i go to them it is a black hole just tring to suck your energy away lol. Thank u again good sir. on a side note- does everyone think if dez bryant is there we take him cause i hear he is pretty good.

  16. tin,

    some discusson on the ss now about selvie and Jason-pierre paul.  as to if JPP would be good for the fins at 12.  and some discussion about if they will be as LB's of Linemen

  17. At this point, both players are not worthy of the #12 OVR pick. At least one of them (maybe both) should be available when we pick in Round 2 (#44 OVR). Also, we still have Cam Wake as a pass rushing prospect, so we have more pressing needs on the roster.

  18. I came around on JPP later than some, and I definitely see the potential and
    athleticism (did you see the video of him doing backflips in Toronto?) but I
    really don't see how he'd be able to squeeze all the way up to 12th. He
    just doesn't have the recognition/numbers to warrant that. Plus I see him
    as a 4-3 DE. I bet Buffalo takes him in the 2nd round.
    Selvie is quite the conundrum...did you see them still double/triple teaming
    him in the International Bowl? This guy has really been shut down in the
    last two years, but every team seems to fear him the most and gameplan
    against him. I hope he stays healthy for the workouts, because I think he
    will really shine in them. He's going to play in the Senior Bowl too, with
    Nate Allen and Murphy. Unlike Pierre Paul, I see Selvie exclusively as a
    3-4 pass rusher, ala Joey Porter though he is a bit better vs the run than
    I would like either or both on the Dolphins, but I am a little biased.

  19. well you certianly told me

  20. I'll just hope they go for a need position, and we need Linebackers.  My guess is they will pick up some FAs where ever they can to create some competition in those need areas. Then draft the best player available.  If some one like CJ Spiller fell in our lap for some reason I think the trifecta would take him.  I'm hoping they stay on the defensive side of the ball, but what ever happens I'd like to see a solid draft, with no boneheaded picks.

  21. yeah, that one can catch and leap, but the one he had on last week had some the ability to stick and actually wrap up someone when it was tackling them.  i mean it really had that woman laid out

  22. i agree with tin, i would like either of both for the same biased reason, but not at 12.  i dont think either is a first round pick and even if they were it is not our main need.

  23. I was wondering if was one and the same? Then we'd be talkin! ;)

  24. The Knight who says Ni!January 6, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    Or in a pond where some watery tart throws swords at you.  :-D

  25. The Knight who says Ni!January 6, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    Does bustness mean plentiful bust action?

  26. "If some one like CJ Spiller fell in our lap for some reason I think the
    trifecta would take him."
    Oh, hell yeah. Bottom line, with the 12th pick the Trifecta would have to
    go out of their way to screw it up. No matter what the position, they
    should be able to acquire a real contributor and definite future starter.
    The only way they could screw it up is by drafting a QB, or a fullback.
    Speaking of full-backs, Salguero just reported the Dolphins signed a new FB
    today. WTF?

  27. No, that is "bustiness". 

  28. The Knight who says Ni!January 6, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    Spiller at #12?

  29. I wouldn't take CJ Spiller if he was available at #12. RB is not an urgent need for us (R.Brown, R.Williams, P.Cobbs). Sure, Spiller could be the next Chris Johnson but he could just as well end up being the next Reggie Bush. I'm not completely sold on him being an every-down NFL Running Back. And you don't spend a mid 1st rounder on a player you're not completely sold of...

    I know you all love CJ Spiller. Don't get me wrong, I think he might end up being a stud. But he also might end up being only a 3rd down back and return guy.

  30. Spiller would probably be a utility player ala Harvin or Cribbs. He would
    be an absolute steal at 12 because he's faster than both those guys and
    catches better than Cribbs, and if he *were* available at 12, the least we
    could do is trade the pick.

  31. If he's available, take McClain at #12! If he's not, try to trade down a few spots (into the 15-18 region) and pick (in this particular order) Cody (NT), Spikes (ILB) or Dan Williams (NT). Then go WR or FS in rounds 2 and 3...

  32. I was thinkin you'd reply,schisssssssshhhh sorry I asked, ""welll you certainly told me""

  33. The Knight who says Ni!January 6, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    Don't forget Hilliard. He's good. Big, physical back who runs downhill and catches the ball well. RB is not a priority for us. We can run the ball and the OL is getting better and deeper. We need playmakers who change games on defense and at WR. An upgrade at TE would be nice. Henne needs targets that can make some YAC. Hartline is one. We need another guy. is Spiller worth the #12 pick? I'd say know. I want a top defender.