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Old 10-29-2009, 03:13 AM   #1
meangene
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Default Broncos Lead League in "Dead Money"

Broncos' ascent even more stunning because of "dead money" burden
By Mike Klis
The Denver Post
Posted: 10/29/2009 01:00:00 AM MDT
Updated: 10/29/2009 01:17:30 AM MDT

The Broncos had $3.6 million less to spend on salaries in 2009 because of the Travis Henry contract. Not even federal prison in Yazoo City, Miss., can shackle Travis Henry from becoming part of the NFL's feel-good story that is the 2009 Broncos.

Henry has long been removed from the Broncos' roster, but he still is a strong presence on their books. The former running back and current convicted drug dealer counts $3.6 million against the team's $128 million salary cap budget this year.

"He's on somebody else's roster right now," cornerback Champ Bailey said with a chuckle. "I learn something about the salary cap every year. I can understand it counting maybe for the following year, but this far down the road? The system is crazy."

Imagine, Josh McDaniels' first day on the job as Broncos coach and finding out 3 percent of his salary cap payroll would be allocated to a guy wearing a jumpsuit in Yazoo.

The absurdity doesn't end with Henry, who will celebrate his 31st birthday today as an inmate.

In listing the most stunning aspects about the 6-0 record the Broncos will take into their game Sunday at Baltimore, the efficient play of quarterback Kyle Orton, dramatic defensive transformation and attitude U-turn of receiver Brandon Marshall are often cited.

Nothing may be more amazing than this: The Broncos lead the NFL with $29.6 million in "dead money."

Dead money does not necessarily mean a team continues to pay cold, hard cash to players it no longer employs. The Broncos have long stopped writing enormous checks to Henry.

But oftentimes, prorated bonuses that become part of the NFL's salary cap formula serve as a reminder of costly past mistakes.

Most of the Broncos' dead money is allocated to players who essentially are dead to the NFL — 11 of the 16 most expensive players on their "dead money" payroll are no longer in the league.

And some people claim McDaniels inherited more talent than did the first-year coaches in Kansas City, Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland and Tampa Bay?

"There's nothing you can do about those situations," McDaniels said. "You understand what you're dealing with, and you move on. We never one time thought of it as a limitation in terms of putting together the most competitive team we could possibly have."

All that dead money conversely means no team has done more with less than the Broncos. Essentially, the Broncos built their undefeated 61-man roster (including the eight-man practice squad) on $92.4 million in salary cap dollars.

Not bad, considering some teams had roughly the full $128 million salary cap at their disposal.

"Put it this way: If they were 1-5 or 0-6 instead of 6-0," said one NFL agent, "they would be using all that dead money as a valid excuse."

Teams with the next four highest amounts of dead money — Oakland, St. Louis, Detroit and Kansas City — are a combined 4-23.

The two teams with the least amount of dead money — Minnesota and Green Bay — are a combined 10-3.

So how did the Broncos become such a stirring exception?

"It tells you they have a lot of quality players on rookie contracts," former NFL general manager Charley Casserly said.

"And they picked up some veterans in the offseason for not high-dollar amounts."

Within the first five days of free agency — as the Jay Cutler saga exploded to cast an ominous cloud over the Broncos' 2009 expectations, as the New York Giants gave a $42 million contract to Chris Canty, as the Washington Redskins gave $41 million guaranteed to Albert Haynesworth — McDaniels and general manager Brian Xanders signed 12 free-agent players for a combined $36.62 million in guaranteed money.

All but two of those players — backup quarterback Chris Simms and running back J.J. Arrington, who was signed to a conditional contract based on a physical he eventually did not pass — have made a significant on-field impact this season.

Among the Broncos' initial free-agent group, Casserly said the Broncos found their greatest value in defensive backs Andre Goodman, Brian Dawkins and Renaldo Hill.

Those three players in the secondary replaced Dre Bly, Marquand Manuel and Marlon McCree.

Not only did the Broncos considerably upgrade those three positions in terms of performance, but the $7.55 million in combined cap salaries of Goodman, Dawkins and Hill is 20 percent less than Bly's $9.45 million cap figure alone.

"It's easy to sit here and say now I understood what they were doing, but I think we did understand what they were doing," Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "A lot of people in football did. Obviously the quarterback thing, they made a decision there and Josh knows what kind of situation he wanted to have there, and he knew exactly what he was looking for and got that done.

"And then the defensive side is what's really impressive. They went out and brought in a bunch of guys that, for whatever reason, they were available. I think they really selected carefully for the specific things they could do, and they've done such a great job of molding them together."

Mike Klis: 303-954-1055 or mklis@denverpost.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm wondering when some of these guys stop counting against the cap. We have some key guys who will become free agents of some sort (depending on the CBA). Some of these signing bonuses are real head scratchers!
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:19 AM   #2
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:47 AM   #3
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Wow thats a lot of guys not playing anymore. Honestly it makes Shanny look like a fool when it comes to being a GM. That's embarrasing for him IMO. That many players that other teams felt not even good enough to be 3rd or 4th string in the NFL is a slap in Shanny's face.

Mcdaniels really cleaned house. Thank you football gods for bestowing him upon us.
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:01 AM   #4
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Yeah, that is really where Shanny failed miserably! It also gives some perspective to what McDaniels was up against in rebuilding this roster and makes it even more impressive.
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:21 AM   #5
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I believe pretty much all of those guys where cut before the June 1st deadline that lets you split the cap hit over two seasons, and I don't recall us using the option on some players that lets you cut them early but treat their cap number as a June 1st cut.

Wouldn't surprise me at all if Xanders and McDaniels chose to swallow the cap hit this season right out of the gate and get the books clean before going forward, and so left as much as possible on the '09 budget.

Next year will probably be uncapped, but we won't want to add a ton more payroll because eventually a cap will be back in place and teams that jumped payroll hard will probably get screwed over on some kind of luxury tax. What would be interesting is if all this freed up money counts towards the 1:1 dollars lost vs. dollars spent on free agency for next year. If we have a big chunk of it come off the books and we're sitting on nearly $30M in money that can actually be spent on FAs while other playoff teams are stuck with a quarter of less of that we could have a real competitive advantage.
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:39 AM   #6
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I believe pretty much all of those guys where cut before the June 1st deadline that lets you split the cap hit over two seasons, and I don't recall us using the option on some players that lets you cut them early but treat their cap number as a June 1st cut.

Wouldn't surprise me at all if Xanders and McDaniels chose to swallow the cap hit this season right out of the gate and get the books clean before going forward, and so left as much as possible on the '09 budget.

Next year will probably be uncapped, but we won't want to add a ton more payroll because eventually a cap will be back in place and teams that jumped payroll hard will probably get screwed over on some kind of luxury tax. What would be interesting is if all this freed up money counts towards the 1:1 dollars lost vs. dollars spent on free agency for next year. If we have a big chunk of it come off the books and we're sitting on nearly $30M in money that can actually be spent on FAs while other playoff teams are stuck with a quarter of less of that we could have a real competitive advantage.
No split this year Drek because there's no cap to split it with in 2010.

Everything hit the cap this year including LTBE Incentives, bonuses, the works. If it's in your contract for 2009 it hit this year.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:39 AM   #7
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I know some of those players needed to go, but almost of the players on that list were either cut or traded by McD. The article makes it sound like Josh had to build a roster with all of that dead money when in fact McD created a lot of that dead money.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:41 AM   #8
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I know some of those players needed to go, but almost of the players on that list were either cut or traded by McD. The article makes it sound like Josh had to build a roster with all of that dead money when in fact McD created a lot of that dead money.
youre saying youd rather see those players still on the team then create dead money...
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:47 AM   #9
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I like how the article makes it seem McDaniels hasn't left any dead money with the "running back J.J. Arrington, who was signed to a conditional contract based on a physical he eventually did not pass" line....But there he is, on the list for $100,000(peanuts, but still)
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:52 AM   #10
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I don't forsee Bowlen or any other owner screwing themselves into a luxery tax, they'll put an exemption in if neccessary.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:57 AM   #11
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I know it does not count against the cap, but I wonder what Shanny is getting paid?


BTW, I could really use some dead money.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:07 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by chanesaw View Post
I know some of those players needed to go, but almost of the players on that list were either cut or traded by McD. The article makes it sound like Josh had to build a roster with all of that dead money when in fact McD created a lot of that dead money.

Don't get in the way of some good Shanny hate coming.

It doesn't matter that Josh created a lot of the dead money space to build a team his way....or the fact that Shanny drafted a lot of guys performing well above their pay grade still on rookie deals.

Haters going to hate.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:25 AM   #13
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Don't get in the way of some good Shanny hate coming.

It doesn't matter that Josh created a lot of the dead money space to build a team his way....or the fact that Shanny drafted a lot of guys performing well above their pay grade still on rookie deals.

Haters going to hate.
That's just dumb, name me one of the players that were released by McD that you'd rather he kept?

Or are you talking 'bout the disastrous decision to sign an injured Arrington that has doomed us with 100.00 in dead money?
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:26 AM   #14
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He created that dead money because all the players on there, with exception of Cutler, are absolutely ****ing useless.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:28 AM   #15
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Too many times when Shanahan spent money on players from other teams, it didn't work out as this attests to. It helps explain what happened the last decade he was the coach.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:28 AM   #16
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does this bear into BMarshall not getting extended? Especially w/ the ghost of Travis Henry floating around, I can understand Bowlen being nervous about creating another potential issue...
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:29 AM   #17
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Wow thats a lot of guys not playing anymore. Honestly it makes Shanny look like a fool when it comes to being a GM. That's embarrasing for him IMO. That many players that other teams felt not even good enough to be 3rd or 4th string in the NFL is a slap in Shanny's face.

Mcdaniels really cleaned house. Thank you football gods for bestowing him upon us.
Rep! That graphic is downright embarrassing. What in the heck was Shanny thinking?!
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:30 AM   #18
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I know some of those players needed to go, but almost of the players on that list were either cut or traded by McD. The article makes it sound like Josh had to build a roster with all of that dead money when in fact McD created a lot of that dead money.
Shanahan created the majority of the dead money with his horrendous signings and contractual offers. McDaniels created the majority of the available cash by releasing their asses to the scrap heap thus freeing up the cash to sign players like Goodman, Hill, Dawkins etc etc.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:33 AM   #19
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I know some of those players needed to go, but almost of the players on that list were either cut or traded by McD. The article makes it sound like Josh had to build a roster with all of that dead money when in fact McD created a lot of that dead money.
There’s not one guy on that list that I would want or take back. Would you rather we keep the same **** and go 8-8 every year? I think the point you are overlooking is why the hell did we give 15 million 2009 dollars worth of contract to Bly and Boss Bailey to begin with? Is that McDaniels’ fault? I’d rather those guys be counted as dead money instead of dead weight.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:38 AM   #20
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I know it does not count against the cap, but I wonder what Shanny is getting paid?


BTW, I could really use some dead money.
I thought it was $7MM a year.

Shanny's stock is dropping like a rock IMO.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:46 AM   #21
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:47 AM   #22
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That's just dumb, name me one of the players that were released by McD that you'd rather he kept?
Bly is the only one that you could perhaps argue as being as good as the guy that replaced him.

Beyond that though. This team has some valuable assets playing on rookie contracts.

Josh deserves all the credit in the World for reshaping this team in his image...but he DID have an advantage in having rookie contract players being able to perform well above their pay.

If you are going to slam Shanny for this list of Dead Money..then you need to credit him also for the picks (specifically in '06) that are performing.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:54 AM   #23
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Amazing how many of these players are no longer playing. Shanny sucked at choosing talent. Josh is the man!
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:02 AM   #24
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Within the first five days of free agency — as the Jay Cutler saga exploded to cast an ominous cloud over the Broncos' 2009 expectations, as the New York Giants gave a $42 million contract to Chris Canty, as the Washington Redskins gave $41 million guaranteed to Albert Haynesworth — McDaniels and general manager Brian Xanders signed 12 free-agent players for a combined $36.62 million in guaranteed money.
It's too bad McD and Xanders don't know what they're doing according to all of the offseason drama queens...
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:17 AM   #25
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No split this year Drek because there's no cap to split it with in 2010.

Everything hit the cap this year including LTBE Incentives, bonuses, the works. If it's in your contract for 2009 it hit this year.
Good to know, so we should be working with a clean slate in that regard from here on out with this new management team.
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