View Full Version : Colts over cap; cuts are possible

Kaiser Toro
03-02-2006, 10:13 AM

A ruling Wednesday by an NFL arbitrator specifically regarding the contracts of quarterback Peyton Manning and wide receiver Marvin Harrison could result in several significant player cuts by the Indianapolis Colts as they attempt to comply with the league's projected 2006 salary cap of $95 million.

"They're in a tough spot,'' said Mark Levin, director of salary cap and agent administration with the NFL Players Association.

Instead of being sufficiently under the cap so they could re-sign some of their remaining free agents without cutting players under contract, the Colts are $6 million over the cap after the decision by special master Stephen Burbank, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Burbank's decision could be a devastating blow to the Colts' financial planning. That could change, however, if the NFL's owners and players reach an 11th-hour deal to extend the collective bargaining agreement.

At issue, for now, are roster bonuses of $9 million due Manning and $10 million due Harrison. The Colts intended to implement a normal bookkeeping maneuver that converts a roster bonus into a signing bonus and prorating it over the next four years. That would have lowered Manning's '06 cap number from $17.766 million to $10 million and Harrison's cap hit from $14.4 million to $6.9 million.

03-02-2006, 10:17 AM
Good find--I only caught the tail end of the discussion about this on ESPN. This is huge if it has any application league wide. This would affect the cap efforts of a lot of teams--ex. Washington just converted a $6 mil bonus in this fashion on Portis' contract. Indy is so strapped by the inability to pull this with Manning and Harrison that they are planning to go to a federal court to get a reversal of the ruling. Mort was saying they may only be able to carry 33 guys on their roster until this issue is resolved.

03-02-2006, 10:38 AM
These guys really need to get the agreement worked out. Both sides. This posturing before they finally do come to the inevitable compromise could really hurt a lot of teams and veteran players.

By the way, has hockey ever started to play again? I lost track.

03-02-2006, 12:16 PM
As I understand it, the conversions are only disallowed if they violate the 30% rule (which most mega contracts would anyway).

03-02-2006, 12:26 PM
As I understand it, the conversions are only disallowed if they violate the 30% rule (which most mega contracts would anyway).

How does that work? I thought the 30% rule applied to the base salaries and the bonuses were separately accounted--the players still get the same money it just prorates differently

03-02-2006, 05:28 PM
Some of the roster bonus would have to get converted to base while the rest is converted to signing bonus. For it to be a signing bonus, I think a contract change has to be executed (or signed). I don't think you can just trade off one bonus for the other and call it something different. When they execute the change, the current base can only increase by 30%. It sounds backwards from the way it's usually done (converting high base to bonus). Dunno.