Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

21 Mar 2016

ESPN: Who Won Trades Based on Cap Space?

The analysis of trades based on the value of draft picks and cap space appears on ESPN Insider this year. This article looks at four big recent NFL trades. Given the amount of cap space they gave up, the Maxwell/Alonso trade will only work for the Eagles if Byron Maxwell can become a Pro Bowl cornerback. Also, the Chandler Jones trade works out well for both sides, but even better for Arizona if they allow Jones to leave after one season and get a (likely very high) compensatory pick.

Posted by: Andrew Healy on 21 Mar 2016

7 comments, Last at 23 Mar 2016, 6:36pm by Andrew Healy

Comments

1
by Hummingbird Cyborg :: Mon, 03/21/2016 - 1:54pm

I like this sort of analysis of trades. On a Broncos fan site, the topic of the Mark Sanchez trade came up. Now, the compensation isn't that important because a conditional 7th rounder simply isn't much to give up for a player, but Sanchez was definitely going to be released if no partner could be found and some people were wondering why Elway didn't simply wait for him to be released and sign him then.

And my thought was that if he was released and signed with Denver, I think they might not get him for the salary that he is due. It's my opinion that Denver gave up a conditional 7th rounder to buy the contract, not for the player.

And, as much as Sanchez might really suck, having a starting QB (shudder) of his quality for less than 5 million isn't as much as a problem as it would have been more worrisome to have Osweiler signed at three times the cost.

I like how Elway manages the cap. I think it's good to hedge your bets and avoid too much guaranteed money to players who may or may not earn the contract.

I just wish that Elway traded Clady right before signing Okung, but you can't have it all.

3
by Will Allen :: Mon, 03/21/2016 - 3:03pm

That's why I love what the Vikings have done since the Super Bowl with regard to their o-line. They have signed two free agents, one average to good, one average at best, but the good one can be cut after 2016 without any dead cap hit, and the other one can be cut this year with very little pain. Kalil is expensive this year, but then his contract is done. Loadholdt, Sullivan , Harris, Berger and Fusco, the other veterans, are all cuttable this year, and the young guys are all cuttable, meaning 14 guys competing for roster spots, only 2 who would be painful cuts , 8 of who who have had at least average seasons as a starter, and 4 or 5 who have been average or better within the last two years. They are pretty likely to be at least average on the o-line this season, which would be big step up, and they haven't mortgaged the future at all.

2
by Tomlin_Is_Infallible :: Mon, 03/21/2016 - 2:51pm

"Given the amount of cap space they gave up, the Maxwell/Alonso trade will only work for the Eagles if Byron Maxwell can become a Pro Bowl cornerback"

What?

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The standard is the standard!

4
by Lebo :: Tue, 03/22/2016 - 4:34am

Haven't read the article, but am guessing that part of the Eagles' compensation is dependant on the quality of Maxwell's play. In other words, if he plays well and makes the Pro Bowl, the Eagles' receive higher compensation. And, without that higher compensation, the trade does not work for the Eagles.

5
by mehllageman56 :: Tue, 03/22/2016 - 11:39am

But if Maxwell doesn't play well, his cap number is that much more out of line with his play, and the Eagles got him and his contract off the team. Perhaps it's just an editing mistake and they meant the Dolphins in that sentence.

6
by Tomlin_Is_Infallible :: Tue, 03/22/2016 - 12:29pm

That was my thinking

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The standard is the standard!

7
by Andrew Healy :: Wed, 03/23/2016 - 6:36pm

That's right. It should say the trade will only be a win for the Dolphins if Maxwell/Alonso play at that level.