At What Cost? A Breakdown of What Potential Free Agents Carl Nicks and Dwayne Bowe Could Cost:

Earlier this week UKRedskin and Ronnie Adkins took a look at perspective free agents G Carl Nicks and WR Dwayne Bowe respectively. Now it is time to look at what their additions could mean to the Redskins overall cap situation. It's important to remember that the Redskins do have a good amount of cap room for next season (at least $40 million), and for a more detailed report on the Skins cap situation go here. So knowing that the Redskins can afford these players is one thing, but the true question becomes 'At what cost?'

Carl Nicks:

Chance He Re-signs: 35%, there is little doubt that Drew Brees and the Saints want to have their All-pro lineman back, the question is can they afford him. New Orleans isn't in the strongest cap position to begin with, and they have to re-sign Drew Brees, Nicks, Marques Colston, Robert Meachum, Tracey Porter and a couple of other players. Now it is going to be impossible for them to bring back everyone, so some decisions will have to be made.

Chance He is Franchised: 10%, Now you might be asking why is his chance of being franchised so much smaller than his chance of re-signing? Well the answer is simple: Drew Brees. Until Brees is back in the fold it is inconceivable to even consider franchising anyone else. Even if Brees is re-signed early, the Saints might not have the cap space to commit that franchise value to Nicks. All offensive linemen get the same franchise tag, meaning Nicks's tag value is inflated due to premium LT contracts. The Saints could actually bring Nicks back on a contract that makes him the richest guard in the league that is paid out evenly, and it would cost less than the franchise tag value.

What Will He Cost?: Given the incredible season that he is coming off of, his age, and the open market, I don't think it is a stretch to imagine that Nicks will get the highest contract for a guard ever. Right now the current standard is Logan Mankins' 6 year $51 million deal, with a $20 million signing bonus and $30 million guaranteed. That guarantee is a bit high so I'd guess Nicks would get more like $25 million guaranteed, and he might have a 7th year included in his deal.

How Does This Affect the Cap: Now with such a big contract you don't want to pay too much early on, but you also don't want to backload the deal too much. My guess is Nicks will look for a big signing bonus ($20+ million). To make it easy I'll say a $21 million SB, that counts $3 million against the cap per year. As for the other $4 million guaranteed, I'd guess it would be evenly split in his first two years basic salary (so $2 million a year will be guaranteed).

Year by Year breakdown: Sal=salary for that year, SB=signing bonus allotment, OB= any other bonuses, Cap hit=what he costs vs the cap, REL=what it would cost to cut a player in a given year

2012: Sal: $3 mil; SB: $3 mil; OB:$0; Cap hit: $6 million, REL: $25 million

2013: Sal: $3.5 mil; SB: $3 mil; OB: $0: Cap hit: $6.5 million; REL: $20 million

2014: Sal: $4 mil; SB: $3 mil; OB: $0; Cap hit: $7 million; REL: $15 million

2015: Sal: $6 mil, SB: $3 mil; OB: $0, Cap hit: $9 million, REL: $12 million

2016: Sal: $4.5 mil, SB: $3 mil; OB $0.5 mil, Cap Hit: $8 million, REL: $9 million

2017: Sal: $ 7.75 mil; SB: $3 mil; OB $1.25 mil; Cap Hit: $12 million; REL: $6 million

2018: Sal: $ 8.75 mil; SB: $3 mil; OB $1 mil; Cap Hit: $12.75 million; REL: $3 million

Dwayne Bowe:

Chance He Will Re-sign: 25%, I think Bowe is going to capitalize and basically go to where the money and fit is the best. If the Chiefs were a better team or it was a better situation for Bowe then maybe he'd be more likely to stay. But he's got a new coach, some uncertainty at QB, and a situation whee the Chiefs are maybe a year or two away from contending.

Chance He Will Be Franchised: 55%, I think the Chiefs have a decision to make in regards to franchising either CB Brandon Carr or Bowe. I think the team is less prepared to sustain the loss of Carr, so he might be their top priority (though that is a lot of money for their corners). If they can get Carr in the fold the team might figured to franchise Bowe, since the tag value ($9.4 mil) will likely be below the $10-12 million annual average a top receiver will probably be looking for. Also, given how teams make major trades consistently for receivers the Chiefs could tag him in the hopes of dealing him sometime between now and next October's trade deadline.

What Will He Cost?: While some think the deep WR market could depress contract values, I don't see any of the top receivers having any struggles in landing a top level contract. A lot of teams out there need to add at least one starting receiver, and quite a few of those teams have the cap room necessary to grab one of these guys. Conventional wisdom would say that we should use the contract values of last year's top receivers, Santonio Holmes (5 years $45 million) and Sidney Rice (5 ) as a starting point, but I really don't see those contracts applying. Holmes was coming off a season where he was suspened for part of the year and had some major off the field red flags. Rice was coming off a major injury and really only had one good year to his credit. Bowe has a far better resume, with less medical and off the field baggage than either player. While I don't think he will challenge Larry Fitzgerald's receiver record of $15 million average, an $11 million average is probable. I'll say he comes in at about $11.25 million per year over 6 years, or $67.5 million. I think the guarantee will be around $30 million.

How does he affect the cap: Now you are going to want to back load a good chunk of this, but I'd guess you are looking at an $18 million signing bonus and his first three years guranteed.

Year by Year breakdown: Sal=salary for that year, SB=signing bonus allotment, OB= any other bonuses, Cap hit=what he costs vs the cap, REL=what it would cost to cut a player in a given year

2012: Sal: $3.5 mil; SB: $3 mil; OB:$1 mil; Cap hit: $7.5 million, REL: $30 million

2013: Sal: $4.5 mil; SB: $3 mil; OB: $2 mil: Cap hit: $9.5 million; REL: $23.5 million

2014: Sal: $4 mil; SB: $3 mil; OB: $3.5 mil; Cap hit: $10.5 million; REL: $16 million

2015: Sal: $8.5 mil, SB: $3 mil; OB: $2.5 mil, Cap hit: $14 million, REL: $9 million

2016: Sal: $8 mil, SB: $3 mil; OB $1.5 mil, Cap Hit: $12.5 million, REL: $6 million

2017: Sal: $10.5 mil; SB: $3 mil; OB $0; Cap Hit: $13.5 million; REL: $3 million

Steve Shoup will be covering Senior Bowl Live this year for his own site Fanspeak.com, but will provide write-ups on players for the Redskins here on Hogs Haven as well. Check out his NFL Draft Page for more details and updates throughout the draft season! HTTR!

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