colt rings might freeney dwight?

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by joelmunroe, Feb 5, 2007.

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  1. Gut

    Gut Starter

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    Not really...

    While there is that mindset, that is NOT the reason we didn't tag Kearse. We didn't tag Kearse because we couldn't afford to...if you can believe that. We were so tight against the cap that every year we needed to restructure contracts to get under the cap. 2 issues arise now (for Freeney...and then, for us.

    If you want to put a franchise tag on someone, you have to have ALL of the cap room for that contract (since it's one year and can't be spread out) and you need the player to sign it. We didn't have the cap room to franchise Kearse so Reese thought one of two things would happen. First, Kearse will sign a new contract which will have his cap hit spread out over the length of the contract. If Kearse didn't sign a new cap-friendly deal, we could restructure the contracts of 2 players in order to free up cap space in order to franchise Kearse.

    Unfortunately for the Titans, there was another issue going on. Eddie George wanted a new contract even though it appeared at best he'd have to fight for a starting job with Chris Brown. Since he wouldn't be THE feature back anymore, Reese (rightly so) wasn't gonna offer him big money to come back. EG wanted big money. EG also happened to have the SAME agent as Mason and Rolle...the two players Reese needed to restructure. The agent saw that he had Reese over a barrel. While no one can confirm this exactly, the gist of the story is that Mason and Rolle wouldn't restructure unless Reese caved to EG's contract demands. In short, give EG the money or have fun blowing up your team. Reese didn't blow up the team yet (though that was the tipping point and meant we had a fixed timetable for when the team would be blown up). But that meant we didn't have enough cap room to franchise Kearse. Knowing that Kearse would get more money on the open market, Kearse and his agent either wanted a huge contract from Reese or would wait the Titans out. Kearse walked and signed a huge deal with the Eagles.

    In Freeney's case, the franchise tag is roughly $8mil. The Colts have less than that in cap room and that's NOT including money for any of the free agents or the rookie pool (for draft picks). If Manning restructures $10mil of his money this year, that gets spread over the next 5 years but saves them an additional $8mil this year...with which they could franchise Freeney. Does Freeney have a say in this? Yes. When the Colts hit him with the Franchise tag, they have to have the cap room for him...but he doesn't have to sign the contract. So let's say Freeney doesn't like the money they're offering him in contract talks so they franchise him. That 8mil is locked up whether Freeney signs the tag or not so they can't use it on other free agents (unless they remove the tag). The Colts can then do 3 things. Hope they can workout a contract so they can remove the tag and get some of that cap room back, wait Freeney out and hope he'll sign the tag rather than sit out, or let Freeney explore a trade to another team.

    Last year, the Bills and Clements were in a similar situation. Clements wanted a lot more money than the Bills were willing to give him so they tagged him. He wasn't happy with that either because first, he was making LESS money than he thought he should be, and second, if he got hurt he stopped getting paid (no signing bonus or guaranteed money off a tag contract). So he gave the Bills one condition under which he'd sign the franchise tag contract...they wouldn't tag him the next year. The Bills agreed, Clements played for that money last year and they'll let him walk this year.

    So as I said, if Freeney wants the big bucks, he should ask the Colts for it, hold out, or ask to explore a trade. If Freeney is happy with his situation and willing to avg say...8mil a year (ala Tom Brady) to stay and be a team player, he'll stay. If he wants the big bucks, it doesn't make sense for Freeney to stay (cause he won't be happy) and if he follows Clements, he'll only sign if they agree to let him walk and that's a waste of talent for the Colts. They'd be MUCH better off then exploring a trade.

    Gut
    #51
  2. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

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    Good post, Gut.

    I really don't fault Reese for not offering Kearse a big deal. He'd only played four games in '02 and didn't look close to his old form in '03. The guy was too injury-prone, IMO. But Reese has to plan ahead better to find a way to franchise him and get some value in a trade.

    Based on what he's produced for the Eagles, it's hard to justify the contract they paid. 31 games in three seasons. We'd be all over Reese for paying Kearse with a big long-term deal with that little production in return.

    My beef is Reese got nothing for him. I think it remains his biggest blunder.
    #52
  3. Gut

    Gut Starter

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    Thanks...

    EXACTLY!!!:yes:

    Gut
    #53
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