Originally Posted by thunderkyss
Then in reality we need to be projecting our payroll through the next 3 years & consider the additional cost of signing players this year.
The cap space we have right now only affects right now. Players like Antonio, Wade Smith, & OD will be coming off the books, or change over the next three years. IMO, unless you have that information, or at least a pretty good idea, it doesn't make sense to say, "We can't sign so & so now because we have to lock up Watt in the future."
& just like any other player, there is a line where Watt will be too much. That needs to be decided over the next couple of years, but Watt will have to want to be here, because where ever that line is, he'll be able to get more from a more desperate team.
Dutch did a little study; and I checked out some numbers as well.
I think we should be fine unless something extra-ordinary happens.
Some of the important points:
Antonio Smith is taking up $9.5 in cap space.
When his contract is up, we should be able to use that money to find a competent replacement (may be even a better, younger talent.)
Cushing is taking up nearly $5M in cap space.
It shouldn't take a whole lot more to re-up him unless he blows up this season, which would mean less needs for high-paying players around him.
For every player that will see an increase in cap, there's one that we're on the way to phase out due to their age or performance level.
Assuming we replace Wade Smith with a young guard (Jones of Brook) in 2014, for example.
O.D. will never get more than what his cap hit is at the moment.
Manning and Joseph can be replaced with the money that their cap hits are right now (among the top at their positions.)
The key for us is to keep hitting in the draft such that we stay ahead of the curve. The better we do in the draft, the more chance we have to replace people when their contract require a significant raise, or the level of cap hit rises close to the red level.
For example, if we can replace Schaub with either Keenum or Yates in 2014, we will spare changes to keep.