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Salary Cap - Is Whaley Allowed to Spend It All?


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#1 mjt328

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:02 PM

I did some research on the Bills salary cap figures over the past few seasons.

> In 2012, we started the league year (March) with about $23 million in cap space.  After free agency and draft signings were completed, we started the season (September) with about $13-14 million in cap space.

> In 2013, we started the league year with about $17-18 million in cap space.  We started the season with about $9 million.

> We currently (January 2014), sit at about $18 million in cap space.


I've heard the excuse over and over.  We couldn't sign "X" player to a new contract, because we need to save the money for "Y" player next year.  This excuse is already being thrown around on why we can't muster up another $1-2 million to bring back Jairus Byrd (because we need the money for Marcel Dareus, CJ Spiller or Jerry Hughes next year).

It's a total bullcrap excuse.  This team is never in salary cap trouble.  Even after making Mario Williams the highest paid defensive player in football, we still went into the 2012 season with a comfortable cushion of more than $10 million!!!

So my question is...  Does Doug Whaley have the permission from his superiors (Russ Brandon, Jim Overdorf, Ralph Wilson, etc.) to spend up to the maximum of the salary cap?  Because if he DOES, then why are we squabbling about re-signing a 3x Pro Bowler?

The Saints currently sit at about $640 THOUSAND over the salary cap, but you better believe they will find a way to keep Jimmy Graham on that roster.  Why can't things work like that around here?

#2 papazoid

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:21 PM

So my question is...  Does Doug Whaley have the permission from his superiors (Russ Brandon, Jim Overdorf, Ralph Wilson, etc.) to spend up to the maximum of the salary cap?

Whaley, 40, says he doesn't spend much time thinking about his added power.

The major difference is I'm the final one with the say now, Whaley said after watching the South teams practice.
Whaley said the Bills should have enough salary cap space to do what we need to do to get better.

Whaley said he has a good grasp of the salary cap, which is managed by Jim Overdorf, Bills senior vice president of football operations. Overdorf handles contract negotiations, but Whaley said he has relationships with the agents with whom the Bills deal.

I know what I need to know, Whaley said regarding the cap, and anything thats really intricate, thats when we lean on J.O. What we like to do is he gives us a spreadsheet of where we are cap-wise, what we can spend, what everybodys cap number is, potential accelerations, potential escalators. So you've got to be cognizant of all that information, because you have to put value on our free agents and free agents we may be looking to sign.

Some cap chiefs report to the GM. Overdorf reports to team president Russ Brandon. Whaley said he is completely comfortable with the chain of command because the three of them work so closely together.

Absolutely, because we have one singular focus, to win, Whaley said. No one has a hidden agenda in that building.


http://www.buffalone...he-man-20140121

Edited by papazoid, 22 January 2014 - 05:23 PM.


#3 mjt328

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:32 PM

We all know what the Bills organization says.

Is it the truth?

#4 NoSaint

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:34 PM

View Postpapazoid, on 22 January 2014 - 05:21 PM, said:

So my question is...  Does Doug Whaley have the permission from his superiors (Russ Brandon, Jim Overdorf, Ralph Wilson, etc.) to spend up to the maximum of the salary cap?

Whaley, 40, says he doesn't spend much time thinking about his added power.

The major difference is I'm the final one with the say now, Whaley said after watching the South teams practice.
Whaley said the Bills should have enough salary cap space to do what we need to do to get better.

Whaley said he has a good grasp of the salary cap, which is managed by Jim Overdorf, Bills senior vice president of football operations. Overdorf handles contract negotiations, but Whaley said he has relationships with the agents with whom the Bills deal.

I know what I need to know, Whaley said regarding the cap, and anything thats really intricate, thats when we lean on J.O. What we like to do is he gives us a spreadsheet of where we are cap-wise, what we can spend, what everybodys cap number is, potential accelerations, potential escalators. So you've got to be cognizant of all that information, because you have to put value on our free agents and free agents we may be looking to sign.

Some cap chiefs report to the GM. Overdorf reports to team president Russ Brandon. Whaley said he is completely comfortable with the chain of command because the three of them work so closely together.

Absolutely, because we have one singular focus, to win, Whaley said. No one has a hidden agenda in that building.


http://www.buffalone...he-man-20140121

even reading a quote that he has final say its difficult to walk away with the impression that he has final say. it still surprises me that all these years in - all these GMs, and coaches, and team presidents later.... the one constant seems to be that overdorf negotiates the contracts. im not normally a blow it up for the sake of change guy, but man....

Edited by NoSaint, 22 January 2014 - 05:38 PM.


#5 Dibs

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:38 PM

View Postmjt328, on 22 January 2014 - 05:32 PM, said:

We all know what the Bills organization says.

Is it the truth?

We won't know till some time has passed.

If we do everything we can to sign Byrd......I will be leaning heavily towards "truth".
Conversely, if we don't.......and don't spend the $9m(?) saved on an equivalent player....."not truth".

#6 75Bills

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:55 PM

What is it Marv Levy used to say "Cash to Cap"?

#7 TXBILLSFAN

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:00 PM

View PostNoSaint, on 22 January 2014 - 05:34 PM, said:

even reading a quote that he has final say its difficult to walk away with the impression that he has final say. it still surprises me that all these years in - all these GMs, and coaches, and team presidents later.... the one constant seems to be that overdorf negotiates the contracts. im not normally a blow it up for the sake of change guy, but man....
I'm sure Brandon (before him Wilson) sets a budget each year on what team can spend in "cash" and "to cap" -- if Brandon truly is CEO of organization that would be his responsibility.  Overdorf, I believe would then try and maximize the effectiveness of the spend against player objectives set by Whaley.  My issue is that the number that is set is more than likely based on the team showing a certain level of profit and that number happens to be BELOW the cap.  That, to me, is the biggest liability Brandon is giving his football guy.  So, in simple terms, the Bills GM goes shopping with $100 to buy his team and most of the other GM's go shopping with $120.  Not a recipe for success, long term and on a consistent basis, as is seen in the record over the past 15 years.

#8 K-9

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:01 PM

View PostDibs, on 22 January 2014 - 05:38 PM, said:

We won't know till some time has passed.

If we do everything we can to sign Byrd......I will be leaning heavily towards "truth".
Conversely, if we don't.......and don't spend the $9m(?) saved on an equivalent player....."not truth".

I am not looking to rekindle the great Byrd debate from last summer but I have to ask: Is "doing everything we can to sign Byrd" the same as just giving him what he wants?

GO BILLS!!!

#9 Dibs

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:05 PM

View PostK-9, on 22 January 2014 - 06:01 PM, said:

I am not looking to rekindle the great Byrd debate from last summer but I have to ask: Is "doing everything we can to sign Byrd" the same as just giving him what he wants?

GO BILLS!!!

I'd say market value.
So, if what he wants equates to market value.....then yes, pay him what he wants.

#10 NoSaint

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:06 PM

View PostK-9, on 22 January 2014 - 06:01 PM, said:



I am not looking to rekindle the great Byrd debate from last summer but I have to ask: Is "doing everything we can to sign Byrd" the same as just giving him what he wants?

GO BILLS!!!

i think he very much left the door open with his, OR spend in other aggressive ways to upgrade the roster. if we sit with 10M unspent yet again, AND let him walk over 1M a year, that would be disheartening.

#11 TXBILLSFAN

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:09 PM

View PostK-9, on 22 January 2014 - 06:01 PM, said:

I am not looking to rekindle the great Byrd debate from last summer but I have to ask: Is "doing everything we can to sign Byrd" the same as just giving him what he wants?

GO BILLS!!!
That's the follow up question that was never asked of Whaley, and should have been asked, even though it wouldn't have been answered --- when Whaley says things like that, it's always in context of the budget they have for players and more specifically positions on the team --- in Whaley's mind, he knows how far they are willing to go -- he also knows how much Byrd man wants -- another good question would have been "Doug, you must know by now how much money Byrd wants, does your statement mean you are prepared to meet his demands or are you confident you will have a meeting of the minds and get a contract done" --- in reality, Whaley already knows the answer because he already knows Byrd's number and his own --- he just won't ever tell the rest of us ---

#12 3rdand12

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:28 PM

View PostDibs, on 22 January 2014 - 05:38 PM, said:



We won't know till some time has passed.

If we do everything we can to sign Byrd......I will be leaning heavily towards "truth".
Conversely, if we don't.......and don't spend the $9m(?) saved on an equivalent player....."not truth".
Its really his first year at the helm. Whaley , imo
I think we can learn alot watching his moves this year. and his guy he brought in... Monos is it ? sorry eludes me at the moment.
But Dougs right hand man .I dont want to get ahead of myself but , so far so good in gaining some talent last season as in Branch Lawson and Hughes .
the pronouncement that Byrd wants top pay and 20 M secured making him the highest paid safety is going to be a serious marker for this group.

View PostDibs, on 22 January 2014 - 05:38 PM, said:



We won't know till some time has passed.

If we do everything we can to sign Byrd......I will be leaning heavily towards "truth".
Conversely, if we don't.......and don't spend the $9m(?) saved on an equivalent player....."not truth".
I also agree we wont know for awhile yet .
This might apply to other facets of the Bills right now but especially Player aquisition and retention

#13 TheMadCap

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:31 PM

The Bills would be CRIMINALLY negligent and Beyond idiotic not to sign Byrd long term this offseason. You do not let Pro Bowlers in their prime leave and get better as a team...

Edited by TheMadCap, 22 January 2014 - 06:31 PM.


#14 jeremy2020

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:02 PM

View PostNoSaint, on 22 January 2014 - 06:06 PM, said:

i think he very much left the door open with his, OR spend in other aggressive ways to upgrade the roster. if we sit with 10M unspent yet again, AND let him walk over 1M a year, that would be disheartening.

I haven't been a fan of paying Byrd top dollar, but I'd agree if he walks and the money isn't spent somewhere then that would be...unimpressive.

Being a 'Pro Bowler' means absolutely nothing. Why do people keep using as some sort of judge for talent?

#15 TXBILLSFAN

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:22 PM

View Postjeremy2020, on 22 January 2014 - 07:02 PM, said:

I haven't been a fan of paying Byrd top dollar, but I'd agree if he walks and the money isn't spent somewhere then that would be...unimpressive.

Being a 'Pro Bowler' means absolutely nothing. Why do people keep using as some sort of judge for talent?
+1, you spend to cap, whether that plan includes Byrd is not as important to me as seeing a commitment from this FO to do what is necessary to win -- if they don't resign Byrd, but extend Glenn, add a FA LG and WR etc. it would pass mustard.

#16 K-9

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:24 PM

View Postjeremy2020, on 22 January 2014 - 07:02 PM, said:

I haven't been a fan of paying Byrd top dollar, but I'd agree if he walks and the money isn't spent somewhere then that would be...unimpressive.

Being a 'Pro Bowler' means absolutely nothing. Why do people keep using as some sort of judge for talent?

It means a ton in terms of written language in player contracts. All sorts of bonuses are tied to All Pro and Pro Bowl honors.

I agree that it doesn't always mean much in terms of the best players being in the game.

GO BILLS!!!

View PostTXBILLSFAN, on 22 January 2014 - 07:22 PM, said:

+1, you spend to cap, whether that plan includes Byrd is not as important to me as seeing a commitment from this FO to do what is necessary to win -- if they don't resign Byrd, but extend Glenn, add a FA LG and WR etc. it would pass mustard.

And a number of other condiments as well.

GO BILLS!!!

#17 OldTimer1960

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:02 PM

View PostTXBILLSFAN, on 22 January 2014 - 06:00 PM, said:

I'm sure Brandon (before him Wilson) sets a budget each year on what team can spend in "cash" and "to cap" -- if Brandon truly is CEO of organization that would be his responsibility.  Overdorf, I believe would then try and maximize the effectiveness of the spend against player objectives set by Whaley.  My issue is that the number that is set is more than likely based on the team showing a certain level of profit and that number happens to be BELOW the cap.  That, to me, is the biggest liability Brandon is giving his football guy.  So, in simple terms, the Bills GM goes shopping with $100 to buy his team and most of the other GM's go shopping with $120.  Not a recipe for success, long term and on a consistent basis, as is seen in the record over the past 15 years.

So, double or triple the ticket prices and everyone here pony up the money to fill the stadium.  That seems reasonable - until not enough people in Buffalo can afford to go, attendance dwindles and the team ends up in Toronto or LA.

I won't purport to know for sure if the TV revenue is enough for the Bills to spend to the full cap every year without losing money, but I definitely believe that the playing field is not level in terms of team revenue and profits.  I am very comfortable guesstimating that the Bills are in the lower 25% of the league in profitability.

#18 NoSaint

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:05 PM

View PostOldTimer1960, on 22 January 2014 - 08:02 PM, said:



So, double or triple the ticket prices and everyone here pony up the money to fill the stadium.  That seems reasonable - until not enough people in Buffalo can afford to go, attendance dwindles and the team ends up in Toronto or LA.

I won't purport to know for sure if the TV revenue is enough for the Bills to spend to the full cap every year without losing money, but I definitely believe that the playing field is not level in terms of team revenue and profits.  I am very comfortable guesstimating that the Bills are in the lower 25% of the league in profitability.
I'd guess we are in the upper half, as we aren't paying off a billion dollar stadium or newly purchased franchise and associated interest.

Edited by NoSaint, 22 January 2014 - 08:07 PM.


#19 808

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:06 PM

last year didn't whaley say overdorf handles all the contracts and what not? he said he tells JO who they want and he tries to hammer out a contract and if he can't than they move on. iirc he said that in one of his post promotion videos. I've been saying it for a little while now that i really think the problem is all these middle men. he gets the word from ralph on money and thats what he can work with and the GMs try to get players but if overdorf doesn't get it done than they move on.
i also think that in my conspiracy world that eugene parker really has a problem with overdorf not the bills and its become such a stagnant cesspool of a relationship they cannot work together to get a deal done.

#20 OldTimer1960

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:29 PM

View PostNoSaint, on 22 January 2014 - 08:05 PM, said:

I'd guess we are in the upper half, as we aren't paying off a billion dollar stadium or newly purchased franchise and associated interest.

Other than the Cowboys, how many teams are paying off stadiums that they paid for?  I may be wrong, but I don't think many teams pay for their own stadiums, especially $1B ones.

Now, I am not saying that the Bills don't have a good stadium deal, but it isn't likely any better than most teams get (especially considering that the stadium is what, 43 years old). i don't think that you can ignore that ticket prices are among the lowest in the league, they have almost no luxury box income (which teams like Dallas, Jets, Giants, Washington don't share with other teams) and their merchandise sales are surely among the lowest in the league.  

I am just not seeing how the Bills have the finances to spend like the Cowboys, Jets, Giants, Redskins etc can..  Beyond that, I don't see where that spending has gotten the Cowboys, Jets and Redskins very far anyway.

Sure, I'd love it if the Bills could go on a spending spree this offseason and nail some high priced free agents like the Dolphins did last year, but where did that get the Dolphins?  I would argue that the Bills approach to FA (which mirrors that of the Steelers and Pats in terms of signing mid-tier players) is as effective as big-splash free agent signings (Of course, there are exceptions like Peyton Manning).