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Thoughts on Brian Winters Contact

There is a thread in our forums right now that was started by Doggin94itHe takes a look at the contract that Brian Winters received from the Jets before free agency began, and compares it to what other guards have received on the open market. I read it and felt it was worth sharing. Hopefully signing Brian Winters when they did saved the team some money. Read it and decide for yourself.

Winters:

Overall: 4/29M, 7.25M Per, 15M Guaranteed

Cumulative Cash Flows: Year 1: 8M; Year 2: 15M; Year 3: 21.5M; Year 4: 29M

Cap Management: The first 2 years of Winters’ salary (8M & 7M) are guaranteed, and there’s no signing bonus. He can be cut after 2018 with no dead money.

Bitonio:

Bitonio was still under contract for 1.164M in 2017; his 5 year extension included new money this year, so it’s a 6 year cash flow on a 5 year extension.

Overall: 5/51M, 10.2M/Yr extension, plus pre-existing 2017 contract, 17M guaranteed

Cumulative Cash Flows: Year 1: 12.237M Year 2: 18.237; Year 3: 25.237M; Year 4: 33.737M; Year 5: 42.737M; Year 6: 51.737M

Cap Management: Bitonio can be cut with no dead money at any point after 2017, has escalating cap hits during those years from 6M in 2018 to 9M in 2022.

Duvernay-Tardif:

Like Bitonio, Duvernay-Tardif was extended with a year left on his deal; he was still under contract for 690K in 2017, and his 2017 salary was not adjusted.  Again, cash flow is over 6 years.

Overall: 5/42m, 8.4M/Yr extension, 4M guaranteed (10M signing bonus)

Cumulative Cash Flows: Year 1: 10.69M Year 2: 14.05M; Year 3: 20.3M; Year 4: 27.3M; Year 5: 34.55M; Year 6: 43.05M

Cap Management: With the 10M signing bonus, Duvernay-Tardiff carries hefty dead money through the first 3 years of the deal, and only saves 2.5M in cap space if cut before year 3 (the first 2 years are negative), creating a roughly 20M virtual guarantee.  If cut before year 4, the Chiefs eat 4M in dead money and create only 5M in cap room.  This contract really shows the value of extending a player on their rookie deal; building in the 690K salary he was due in 2017, the contract value goes from 5/42 to 6/42.6 – essentially saving the Chiefs about $1M per year in average cap cost for Duvernay-Tardif , without even factoring in how much more the Chiefs would have had to pay for 2018-2022 if they’d let him hit FA.

Warford:

Overall: 4/34, 8.5M/Year, 17M Fully guaranteed

Cumulative Cash Flows: Year 1: 10.1M Year 2: 17M; Year 3: 25.5M; Year 4: 34

Cap Management: Warford doesn’t become a cap-positive cut until year three, and that year he saves only 6M in cap room while leaving 4+M in dead money.  This is a deal the Saints really hope lasts all 4 years.

Leary

Overall: 4/36M, 9/Year, 18.65M Fully Guaranteed

Cumulative Cash Flows: Year 1: 11M; Year 2: 19M; Year 3: 27.5M; Year 4: 36M

Cap Management: Huge dead money hits in years 1 and 2 make him a cap-negative cut until year 3, when he can be cut for 7M in cap savings and just under 2M in dead money.  His salary takes a jump to the 9+M range for years 3 and 4, so if the “starter on the bench” view of Leary ends up being wrong, he’ll never see year 3.  But they’re locked in for 2 years.

Zeitler:

Overall: 5/60, 12M per, 23M fully guaranteed

Cumulative Cash Flows: Year 1: 18M Year 2: 28M; Year 3: 38M; Year 4: 48M; Year 5: 60M

Cap Management: Wow is this a huge win for Zeitler.  This isn’t a “funny-money at the end” contract; he actually beats his per-year average for the contract as a whole (12M) over the first 3 seasons as the contract comes into balance at 12M per for years 4 & 5.  As a result, Zeitler’s not a viable cut until year 4, when cutting him would save 7.6M in cap room (while leaving 4.8 in dead money).  This is a contract meant to last all 5 years.

Thoughts:

Winters’ contract actually seems like a bargain, looking at the money being thrown around in free agency.  His first-year payout is about 20% less than the lowest Year 1 payout in the recent guard contracts (Duvernay-Tardif & Warford). He’s not in Zeitler’s class, but he’s an improving young player and it looks like the transition from college Tackle to pro Guard has been successfully completed.  Last year, PFF had him ranked as their number 32 overall guard, meaning he was already grading out in the top half of starting guards in the league; for comparison, LDT was their No. 26 pass-blocking guard, but struggled in run blocking (I don’t pay for their site so I’m going based on reported numbers, and don’t know Winters’ run/pass breakdown or LDT’s overall number). And it’s reasonable to project continued improvement.  Wish we had extended him in the middle of last year, but we likely did not have the cap room and we’re not really paying a premium for that failure, even comparing him to the extended guards (Bitonio and Dr. Duvernay-Tardif).

This Article Was Written By Phil Sullivan

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Phil Sullivan -

I started JetNation in 2005 and have been a New York Jets season ticket holder since graduating from high school. My dream is to see the New York Jets win the Super Bowl. Until then, I will be right here on JetNation writing, dreaming and talking NY Jets football.