By Sperm Edwards
ESPN had us at about $21M under the 2007 back in January. Since then we’ve seen cuts (or upcoming cuts/trades) of:
Barlow $2.9M cleared
Teague $0.7M cleared
Blaylock $0.6M additional (no savings)
Hamilton $1.5M cleared
Ramsey $1.7M cleared
Kimo $1.4M cleared
Total = $7.6M cleared = $28M under the 2007 cap
Further, cutting these players also clears up $1.5M (Hamilton) + $2.8M (Kimo) + $4.0M (Barlow) + $1.5M (Blaylock) = $9.8M on the 2008 cap. (Teague & Ramsey were only under contract through 2007.)
Martin is harder to figure out because he was restructured so many times. Aec4â€™s figures for him retiring after July 1st are $3.25M net savings in â€™07 and $3.6M net savings in â€™08 ($2.25M residual cap hit subtracted from his cap #, if kept, of $5.84M).
So far (with Martinâ€™s upcoming retirement) they haveÂ slashed ~$11M off the 2007 cap and ~$13.5M off the 2008 cap.
This doesnâ€™t include other possible departures of Barrett (clears $2.1M in â€™07 and $4.3M in â€™08) and McCareins (clears $0.9M in â€™07 and $4.1M in â€™08). Those two would bring the 2-year cap savings to $14M in â€™07 and $22M in â€™08).
Iâ€™d sure like to think theyâ€™re saving it for SOMETHING. And the league mandates that they do under the new CBA. I think every team is required to have a total cap # of at least $92.8M or so. With all these cuts weâ€™ll be at around $77M give-or-take ($32M under the cap limit of $109M) for 2007. When you have this kind of space, this isn’t “we don’t need to cut player-x” space; it’s “we’re going to sign players x, y, and z” money.
A quick way of eating that up for â€™07 (while simultaneously keeping space clear for the future) is to give new contracts like Cotchery & Hobson roster bonuses instead of signing bonuses; in the future, their cap # would just be their salary & nothing more. They could also use some space to restructure players like Robertson (move some 2008 salary to 2007 roster bonus) so his cap hit next year won’t be a full $9M. Don’t know if either of these are their plans. Eventually you have to spend the money.
But this is a good “problem” to have for a change.