NFL Salaries | Player Contract Updates
By Chris Barry, PowerHouseGM.com
With the flurry of activity during Free Agency, it’s a big challenge to stay on top of contract details. Those of you managing a virtual NFL team in iGM have probably seen at times that maybe some of your players have had (or still have) incorrect or missing cap values for this year, even though you know they are under contract.
We have been working hard over the past week or two to close the gaps in our database, and will continue to do so in coming weeks as another wave of free agents signs in the period following the NFL Draft. Hundreds of undrafted free agents will sign with NFL teams, and teams will also turn to veteran free agents (mostly on one-year deals) to fill holes they were unable to fill in the Draft.
The challenge in managing this process stems from there being no single, publicly-accessible NFL player contracts database. The NFL Players’ Association does have a database, but they do not allow the public or the media to access it. Player agents can access it, and have gotten in trouble in the past for not keeping the data secure.
So, those of us who are interested in having accurate contracts data to a very high level of detail have a lot of work to do!
Fortunately for us, we have the help of Jay Hurley, who runs Niner Cap Hell, a 49ers fan site with a definite leaning towards salary cap issues. Jay volunteers his time to help us with this data, and I wanted to thank him publicly here on our site.
Jay also gets help from Jason Fitzgerald, who runs the website Over the Cap, a great blog about all issues related to NFL contracts and the Salary Cap. Sincere thanks on behalf of the PowerHouse community for all Jay and Jason do for us.
Jay and Jason are also going to join us during the Draft in PowerHouse’s chat room.
A few prominent players for whom we still don’t have up-to-date numbers are: Mohammed Massaquoi, Evan Moore, Heath Miller, and Shaun Phillips.
If you see a $0 for a player who is showing as being on an NFL roster, it’s also possible that he does not have a new contract, but was tendered a qualifying offer in free agency. A good example of this is Sam Shields of Green Bay. This is just an odd case of a player still being controlled by his team despite not having a contract in place.
Even if we do a near-perfect job staying on top of the contract details, there will still be many times that we don’t have them updated when you’re facing the decision to sign a player or not.
This is why we urge caution in free agency. Even if all the details aren’t immediately available, you should have a sense of how big a contract a free agent signs. Take a moment to review your Salary Cap page and make sure you’re not taking on a contract that is too big. In that case, you’ll sign in one day and suddenly find that you’re over the Cap (because we updated the contract data for the player in question.)
Finally, while we’re discussing contracts, I’d like to mention one of the most interesting contracts in recent memory: the deal that Darrelle Revis signed with Tampa. He’s getting paid $16M a year (mostly salary, some annual bonuses, but no signing bonus.)
None of it is guaranteed, which is very unusual for a player of this stature. Because he’s a veteran player, his annual salary will become fully guaranteed when he is on the roster for week one each year.
Revis is still a young man, and is likely to play at a high level for years to come, assuming his health is OK. However, he’s placing a huge bet on himself and his health, because as soon as his play falls off – and they all do eventually, the Bucs have a very easy out.