Originally Posted by tru80texan
Now here is were I'm not quite sure why you believe it effects the next 3 years? If it's converted to a bonus that is spread out over years then my understanding is it only comes back to haunt you IF the player is eventually cut & then it becomes "dead money". Please correct me if I'm wrong, but if that is the case then that's were the GM must be careful on whom he restructures especially if it's a player w/ a lengthy contract or a player who wont make it past a year or 2 on the team. It seems players that are "core" players that you plan to build around would be the focus to ensure they stick around & the converted bonus won't come back to haunt them.
Well, by my spreadsheet of the cap, the Texans have 99.135 million in caphits due in 2014 from 23 players, so they will have 24 million to work with next year if nothing changes. However, there are 53 players on an active roster, so if they signed another 30 players at near minimum for 500k a piece average, they would use up 15 of that 24 million. Then you figure in performance escalators that might kick in, high round draft pick costs, IR players and their replacements, etc etc, and it gets gloomy. We simply don't have the future capspace to push 15 million (say 5 a year) to 2014/15/16. On top of that, if you want Cushing to make 8 million a year, then you have to start adding that to those caps too. If Quin costs 3m a year for 4 years, then you need to add that in. We simply don't have the wiggle room as it stands.
The problem is that if they start pushing more money to the future, they will have trouble re-signing players, or they won't be able to make cuts/trades as necessary to protect them from caphell, which is what you see happening to the Jets, Eagles, Cowboys, etc. As an example, let's look at PK's idea for JJo and see what his cap hit would be:
JJo next 3 year's caphits: 11,250,000 11,250,000 12,250,000
Restructure 2013 salary from $7,500,000 to $940k = 6,560,000/3 years = 2,186,666 per year change.
So his new caphits would become: 5,936,666 13,436,666 14,436,666.
With the restructure you are adding that 2.186m to each of 2014 and 2015's caps in order to save 4.373m this year. You are also risking more by giving him all of that 5.9m in restructure money as guaranteed money. If he has a career ending injury, it will be that much more costly to cut him. The bottom line is that if you are going to do this kind of caphit shell game, you better have a good reason to do it. Pushing all this money to the future ensures you won't be able to get free agents, and it ties the hands of the GM from making any significant moves.
Edit: Meant to add that with an aging player like AJ, you also have to be aware of retirement. If the player retires, I believe any guaranteed money gets accelerated to the current year and that hits the team's cap. That's a big issue with a guy like Tom Brady, who may not even play out his contract that is entirely guaranteed now. Converting more of AJ's money to signing bonus just means we have to keep him even longer if his skills go downhill. It's just more risk to consider.