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Inside the uncapped year with capologist J.I. Halsell

Hope you had a chance to peruse today's stories on the Redskins' ever-changing situation and the league-wide uncertainty that surrounds free agency which begins at midnight. Without a salary cap in 2010, free agency is a little unpredictable. Some front office members say teams might be willing to shell out a lot more money than usual with no cap in place. Many others, though, think owners might go a more conservative route, worried about paying for long-term contracts when there might not even be football in 2011.

To help understand what could happen, we consulted J.I. Halsell, the resident salary cap expert for FootballOutsiders.com who spent four years as a cap analyst for the Redskins. Halsell can be seen later today on "Washington Post Live" on Comcast SportsNet.

Question: How will free agency and the contracts that are passed
around in the next few days be impacted by the labor dispute and the current cap situation?

Halsell: In general, the conservative in me feels -- just from talking
to guys I know around the league -- there's not going to be stark differences in how teams operate in the uncapped year. That's not to say there won't be some little nuances that are different. But on the whole, you're not going to see teams go and blow out their whole team salary by signing a bunch of guys. Those teams that have historically done that, that have been big spenders -- Washington, even the Jets a
couple years ago -- those teams are going to spend money. The teams that historically don't spend money -- Pittsburgh -- they won't. So I don't think you'll see teams operate drastically different in an uncapped year than they would if there was a salary cap.

Q: But talking to coaches and front office people in Indianapolis last week, it doesn't seem like anyone really knows.

Halsell: That's the thing: Nobody really knows. No one knows what the future holds for 2011. So because of that, no team wants to be stuck in a pickle come 2011 because they incurred a whole bunch of team salary in 2010. The vast majority of these teams tend to operate conservatively. If there's uncertainty, it's only going to heighten their sense of conservatism. The cap guys I've talked to have said
they aren't operating any differently.

Q: How might contracts be structured differently with no cap to worry about?

Halsell: You might see some teams bring money into the uncapped year, 2010, that might otherwise have been out in the future years. If you have a young, core member of your team and he's going to be a part of your team for the foreseeable future -- if you know he's going to be around for the next few years -- you might want to bring that money into the uncapped year. But to a certain extent, do you really want to
incur a high team salary in 2010? You might get penalized for it, come 2011 if a salary cap comes back. Theoretically, you might see some teams see that to a certain extent, but I don't know how wide-spread and rampant it's going to be.

Q: With the possibility of a lockout in 2011, do you think we'll see a rash of one-year deals?

Halsell: I don't think so, no. You wouldn't have seen a rash of one-year deals if there'd been a cap, right? Except for the guy who needs to prove himself. Teams don't make roster decisions based on making a run in one year.

Q: What are you most curious to see once free agency begins?

Halsell: It'll be interesting. I'm curious -- not just in that I want to see how crazy teams get -- but I'm curious to see how much movement we really have. I want to see if we see restricted free agents change teams. Historically, we haven't seen those guys move. You see one or two guys move every offseason. It'll be interesting to see if more than two or three guys move this time. The guys who are likely to move
would be the ones who get low-level tender -- the original-round tender. Maybe the guy that was a former third-round pick.

Q: As tenders come out this week, what does that mean? It doesn't necessarily mean that a team is crazy about a guy, right?

Halsell: Just because a kid gets tendered at a first- and third-round
level doesn't mean the team isn't entertaining offers to trade for a third-round pick one year and then a third-round another year. If you see a former first-round pick who's got a second-round tender, well that tells everyone what the team thinks of the guy. That's saying, 'Hey, we actually might be willing to take a fifth-round pick for this guy.'"

In the Zone

The topic of the day in the Redskins Tailgate Zone: how aggressive should the team be in this uncapped year? Discuss with Matt "Bobby" McFarland.

By Rick Maese  |  March 4, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Free agency  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Anthony Montgomery hopes to return to Redskins
Next: Expect Jason Campbell's name to continue to be mentioned in trade rumors

Comments

Slow and steady wins the race..

Posted by: skinball77 | March 4, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I have a feeling that the skins will have extra draft picks this year. Don't know why but I have a funny feeling that our RFAs's get raided.

Could just be gas, though. I had eggs for breakfast.

Posted by: Original_etrod | March 4, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand the tenders. I thought a 2nd round tender meant we HAD to get at least a 2nd round pick for him?

Its negotiable?

Posted by: Rypien11 | March 4, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Cleveland Browns expected to be active in trade market, release center Hank Fraley
By Tony Grossi
March 04, 2010, 1:14AM
UPDATED: 9:33 p.m.

Cleveland Browns photoHank Fraley's four-year career with the Browns ended when he was released on Wednesday.CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Browns are involved in trade talks with more than one team that could bring a new quarterback -- or two -- to town.


According to a league source with knowledge of the situation, the Browns are discussing quarterbacks "on different levels." It appears the Browns have concluded they are more apt to upgrade the quarterback position through trade rather than free agency.

Trades and free agent signings can occur beginning at 12:01 Friday morning. The class of quarterbacks available in free agency is not great. But the new order of life in the NFL without a salary cap could result in teams willing to trade big names, and big contracts, without financial penalties.

Since President Mike Holmgren and General Manager Tom Heckert joined forces to take over Browns operations, they have talked of improving the offense in general and the quarterback position in particular. They naturally have been linked to passers on their former teams -- Matt Hasselbeck of Seattle, and Donovan McNabb or Kevin Kolb of Philadelphia.
==========================================

Does Campbell fit anywhere here?

Posted by: 4thFloor | March 4, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Slow and steady wins the race..

Posted by: skinball77 | March 4, 2010 9:20 AM

You sound like the agent for a guy who just ran a 5.40 forty at the combine.

Posted by: League-Source | March 4, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Does Campbell fit anywhere here?

Posted by: 4thFloor | March 4, 2010 9:25 AM

That would depend on what Zorn tells Holmgren. Do you think Zorn would recommend trading for Campbell?

Posted by: League-Source | March 4, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Browns are releasing olineman left and right. Wonder why?(He said facetiously)

Posted by: scampbell1975 | March 4, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

That would depend on what Zorn tells Holmgren. Do you think Zorn would recommend trading for Campbell?

Posted by: League-Source | March 4, 2010 9:30 AM |

HA!

Posted by: scampbell1975 | March 4, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Mort said on ESPN last night that the Rams are definitely picking Bradford - unless he has a really bad pro day. Of course, Mort has been wrong before. This is music to my ears - unless the Skins are idiotic enough to go for Clausen.

I'm pretty darn sure of one thing. If Vinny were still here, we would be drafting Clausen with #4 even if Bradford,Suh,Berry, and G. McCoy were available.

Posted by: Lisa_R | March 4, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

That would depend on what Zorn tells Holmgren. Do you think Zorn would recommend trading for Campbell?

Posted by: League-Source | March 4, 2010 9:30 AM

Do you think Holgrem will listen to Zorn about anything???? The only reason Zorn got the job was because he was in theSeahawks ring of fame....I'm sure it wasn't Holgrem's idea to hire the guy.....

Posted by: 4thFloor | March 4, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Wow, this guy doesn't seem to "hate" Jason Campbell....he must be a capologist.

Thank you.

Posted by: dlhaze1 | March 4, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Browns are releasing olineman left and right. Wonder why?(He said facetiously)

Posted by: scampbell1975 | March 4, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Because they think the draft and trades could net better thasn what they have now? Or, they're positioning for a potential lock-out in 2011?

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 4, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

They should then sit Los down, and make him watch it, and then ASK him if he still feels like the team is getting him on the cheap.

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | March 4, 2010 9:08 AM |

Right. Because management really cares what Carlos thinks. And because if Carlos watched the tape he'd say "Oh, man! You are way right! How could I have been so stupid? Let me sign that tender before you change your mind."

If they gave Carlos a pen to sign a four-year contract with a $20 mill. signing bonus, he'd drop the pen.

Posted by: League-Source | March 4, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Its negotiable?

Posted by: Rypien11 | March 4, 2010 9:25 AM

It can be...

...A team can sign them for whatever the tendor is..

...or they can negotiate the draft terms if said team is willing to take less in return....

Posted by: 4thFloor | March 4, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

That would depend on what Zorn tells Holmgren. Do you think Zorn would recommend trading for Campbell?

Posted by: League-Source | March 4, 2010 9:30 AM

Do you think Holgrem will listen to Zorn about anything???? The only reason Zorn got the job was because he was in theSeahawks ring of fame....I'm sure it wasn't Holgrem's idea to hire the guy.....

Posted by: 4thFloor | March 4, 2010 9:36 AM |

Uh...what? Where have you been? Zorn worked for Holmgren for years. If he didn't want him, he wouldn't be there.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | March 4, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Beep Beep

Posted by: Flounder21 | March 4, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Uh...what? Where have you been? Zorn worked for Holmgren for years. If he didn't want him, he wouldn't be there.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | March 4, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

7 yrs, same job never given any additional responsibility. I think that tells you all you need to know about what Holmgren thinks of Zorn's FB knowledge.

Holmgren may like Zorn as a person, that doesn't mean he would go to him for football advice.

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8 | March 4, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

CR22 needs to quit whining and remember that he did not play well last year. His performance did not warrant a long term contract.

If he's upset that management got him on 'the cheap' then maybe he should do something about it. I don't know...work harder and play like an all pro.

P.S. I know people are down and Monty, but I'm holding out that he can hold up well at the NT. If he can, that will really push our 3-4 transition up some.

Posted by: Devo2 | March 4, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Do you think Holgrem will listen to Zorn about anything???? The only reason Zorn got the job was because he was in theSeahawks ring of fame....I'm sure it wasn't Holgrem's idea to hire the guy.....

Posted by: 4thFloor | March 4, 2010 9:36 AM |

Zorn always got props for his qb coaching.
But you say "you're sure" he was forced on Holgrem. How are you so sure?

Posted by: mack1 | March 4, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Its negotiable?

Posted by: Rypien11 | March 4, 2010 9:25 AM

Do you remember Brandon Lloyd? 49ers tendered him at either first or second round level. Redskins traded for him -- gave up a third plus a fourth in the next year's draft. Looked like a steal at the time. Later we learned it was a steal but that we were the ones who were robbed.

Posted by: League-Source | March 4, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Shouldn't the uncapped year lead to more veterans getting cut who have contracts with large bonuses? Normally these bonuses would accelerate and be counted against the cap so sometimes they aren't "cuttable". They should go now, right? Also, shouldn't there be more trades? Again, trades are inhibited because contracts with large signing bonuses accelerate upon the trade's completion.
I don't hear much talk about either of these things - am I wrong on this?

Posted by: agrawog | March 4, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

a) everything is negotiable

b) zorn is in baltimore, not cleveland.

Posted by: TampaBayareaRedskinsfan | March 4, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

why are people talking like Zorn is on Holmgren's staff??? He is not with the Browns...well, kinda - he's a Raven

Posted by: Notorious_LMG | March 4, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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