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Saccopoo Memorial Draft Forum>Production Per Unit Salary Cap: The Frank Clark Excercise
kccrow 05:15 PM 11-13-2021
I know that Beuhler is especially big on production per unit salary cap and so that got me thinking about the impact of cutting Frank Clark and it led me to re-ask the question: is it worth cutting Frank?

When you look at Frank's production, in and of itself, it obviously does not give you a good return on units of salary cap. However, there's more, in my opinion, to cutting Frank than meets the eye.

When you cut Frank, you have to look at replacement cost and the production per unit of salary cap you get by doing so. Cutting Frank in 2022 forces the Chiefs to eat $13.6 million in cap space. As for the replacement, you're likely looking at at least $7.0 million of new contract costs. That means, to replace Frank it will cost you $20.6 million, as a very likely minimum.

So, the question is do you keep Frank's production at a cap number of $26.3 million in 2022, or do you feel like you can get more production at a minimum cost of $20.6 million?

When you start looking at options in 2022 free agency, the decision does become a bit muddy from the perspective of purely replacing Clark. If you can get Emmanuel Ogbah to come back for the price, it makes sense. I think you get more production. If you look at guys like Barnett and Fowler, they aren't producing at a better pace, and then it becomes an equation looking at whether they are producing more or less per unit of cap. If you look at Barnett, as a case study, and extrapolate his 2021 production over 17 games applied to $20.6 million in cap, that means each tackle costs $389k, sack $10.9m, and QB hit $1.36 m. Frank, similarly, would cost $773k per tackle, $9.3m per sack, and $1.33 m per QB hit. Frank is better from an "affecting the QB" standpoint, but not significantly, and he certainly is failing in the tackles department.

With the limited difference in production per unit of potential cap based solely on Clark v other options, I think you have to look at additional factors.

Obviously, you have the off-the-field situation but I think the bigger item we have to consider is the opportunity cost of keeping Frank because he frees up enough cap space, theoretically, to add another starting-caliber player when you look at a potential $5.7 m in leftover cap to get from $20.6 million to $26.3 million.

What can $5.7m buy you? Most things, I'd argue. Certainly a starting Safety, Linebacker, or Defensive Tackle. Nick Morrow signed for $4.5 million on a 1 year deal with LV this year (unfortunately for him and them he was injured). Jarran Reed signed with us for $5.5 million (unfortunately for us, he's been nothing like his former self). The point is though, both Morrow and Reed were attractive free-agent options with productive, starting-caliber pedigrees. The space could also go towards snagging a quality free agent. You look at Matt Judon going to NE, his first year is only $6.2 million. Bud Dupree's contract was only $5.1 million in 2021.

And, we can certainly combine the net $12.7 m in whatever way we want but the theory here is that the Chiefs should be able to get 2 solid starters that at least replace Frank's production while adding production elsewhere which makes eating $13.6 million palatable. Even then, you have $12.7 m to get better production than the $26.3 Frank would cost, and I don't see that as some impossible task.

I just wanted to share this as I started thinking about applying it to other players moving forward.
[Reply]
DJ's left nut 08:22 PM 11-18-2021
Originally Posted by Nightfyre:
You carry that dead cap saved from June 1 designation into 2023. The designation is cap neutral when looked at from a two year perspective.
Correct. Which is why reviewing the amount of cap saved in any given year isnít the way to go anymore.

Just focus on the base salary you clear off. The pro-rated bonuses are sunk costs.

The only question worth asking is if itís worth an additional $19 million in base salary on the cap to keep Frank Clark. That answer is unequivocally ĎNoí.
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Dante84 06:23 PM 11-22-2021
So this offseason, the "gotta do it, extremely likely" moves are:

- Franchise Orlando Brown Jr. (Not good enough to commit to, Not bad enough to part with, and this buys us more time for options to develop).

- Cut Frank Clark (Unless he decides to restructure and take a serious haircut. The cost for production isn't there).

- Extend Tyreek (enough said).

- Try to extend Tyrann (unless price & negotiations get ridiculous. The turnaround for our secondary likely has some to do with his leadership, though, and that can't be understated).

- Sign a true, high-quality WR #1B or #2 (Juju, Godwin, Robinson)
[Reply]
duncan_idaho 10:07 AM 11-23-2021
I messed around with a Clark "haircut" extension the other day. I think if he hits the market, Carl Lawson is a good comparison for the top end of his contract options (3 years, $40-45 million). Both are Es who don't have huge sack production but who have a rep as above-average players who do some things to help you win.

So Clark has the following structure left:

2022: 19M base | 6.8M Prorated Bonus | 500k other bonuses
2023: 20.5 M base | 6.8 M Prorated Bonus | 500k other bonuses

If the Chiefs were to walk, I think they'd be doing it with him as a June 1 cut to spread the bonus dead caps evenly. So you're down $6.8M in dead cap in 2022 but gain $20M cap dollars. That's a LOT.

That's what I still think happens. BUT I do wonder... if he keeps playing this well, the defense keeps playing this well, and they make another SB run... what does it look like if they decide to bring him back with a fair other that works both ways? (This assumes his legal problems clear).

So what about this structure:

25M signing bonus, extend 3 years

2022: 1.5M base | 11.8 M prorated | 500k other bonuses (cap hit 13.8M)
2023: 1.5M base | 11.8M prorated | 500k other bonuses (cap hit 13.8M)
2024: 4M base | 5M prorated | 8.5M other bonuses (cap hit 17.5M, dead cap $15M if cut)
2025: 6M base | 5M prorated | 9.5M other bonuses (cap hit 20.5M, dead cap $10M if cut)
2026: 8M base | 5 M prorated | 10.5M other bonuses (cap hit 23.5M, deap cap $5M if cut)

That puts Clark in the same general price range as Lawson (5/75) and kicks the dead cap can down the road a lot. You still end up saving basically 1/2 his cap hit in 22 and 23 and have freed up $13M in 2022 and $14M in 2023. He becomes a similar June 1 cut cost before 2024.

You might need to guarantee him more than just the signing bonus to make it worthwhile from Clark's end.

After working through the numbers, my preference would be to turn the page.

But I can see a scenario where the team thinks it is worthwhile to do something like this. Worst case scenario, they've cut his cap hit in 1/2 for 2022 and 2023 and for all intents and purposes purchased him for 2/14M over those two years. No clue if that makes sense from Clark's end (all depends on how much he thinks he can get guaranteed on the open market).

The dead cap hit if you move on after those years would be more than if they June 1 cut him in 2022, but not drastically so (a June 1 cut in March 2024 would cost them $7.5M in 2024 and 2025 vs. a June 1 cut in March 2022 costing them $6.8M in 2022 and 2023)

I don't know. You pair that franchise tagging Orlando Brown Jr, extending Hill on a rough 5/100M structure, and re-signing Mathieu on a rough 4/60 structure, along with a cut of Hitchens, and the numbers are going to end up with around $30M in cap room (based on a 211M salary cap projection).

That's a small amount of cap after you reserve $8M for rookies. They could do a restructure of Mahomes or Jones to free up some more wiggle room, if needed, I guess.

But it feels like they'll have to pick which pairing they want most:

Clark and Orlando Brown
Clark and Mathieu
Brown and Mathieu
[Reply]
DJ's left nut 10:13 AM 11-23-2021
I don't disagree that structurally it could be done.

But if you bring Clark back, even under that structure, after you franchise Brown you're essentially looking at 'run it back 4.0'.

That's just too much roster stagnation. Clear the cap space, move in new talent who hasn't started to tune out the coaching staff and who has a little more tread on the tires.

I just don't think you can bring back the same veteran core next season and that's effectively what keeping Clark would require you to do. There's just too much sniping. This team was 1 bad bounce against the Giants or Packers from imploding, IMO. They were right on the edge.

That vaunted 'leadership' from guys like Hitchens and Mathieu has been notably absent. When the defense was playing poorly, were Mathieu and Clark out there answering questions from the media? Nope - they were sending Danna and Bolton out to the pressers while Mathieu sniped away on social media and Clark stayed hidden.

I just can't envision a scenario where I'm interested in bringing back Clark next year, let alone 2 more with a big dead cap hit in year 3. We need to turn the roster over and Clark's the biggest impediment to doing so.
[Reply]
duncan_idaho 12:50 PM 11-23-2021
Originally Posted by DJ's left nut:
I don't disagree that structurally it could be done.

But if you bring Clark back, even under that structure, after you franchise Brown you're essentially looking at 'run it back 4.0'.

That's just too much roster stagnation. Clear the cap space, move in new talent who hasn't started to tune out the coaching staff and who has a little more tread on the tires.

I just don't think you can bring back the same veteran core next season and that's effectively what keeping Clark would require you to do. There's just too much sniping. This team was 1 bad bounce against the Giants or Packers from imploding, IMO. They were right on the edge.

That vaunted 'leadership' from guys like Hitchens and Mathieu has been notably absent. When the defense was playing poorly, were Mathieu and Clark out there answering questions from the media? Nope - they were sending Danna and Bolton out to the pressers while Mathieu sniped away on social media and Clark stayed hidden.

I just can't envision a scenario where I'm interested in bringing back Clark next year, let alone 2 more with a big dead cap hit in year 3. We need to turn the roster over and Clark's the biggest impediment to doing so.
If you're going there, it kind of means you walk from Mathieu, too. I'm good with that approach.

It might be harder to sell - both internally and to fans - if they make a Super Bowl run with this unit and with this defense playing as well as it has of late.
[Reply]
DJ's left nut 02:48 PM 11-23-2021
Originally Posted by duncan_idaho:
If you're going there, it kind of means you walk from Mathieu, too. I'm good with that approach.

It might be harder to sell - both internally and to fans - if they make a Super Bowl run with this unit and with this defense playing as well as it has of late.
Indeed I am. I wasnít alive for the end of the Stram/Dawson era but Iíve heard plenty about what happens when you try to hold a roster together for too long. And Iíve seen it happen elsewhere.

Gotta keep the roster refreshing.
[Reply]
Chris Meck 05:49 AM 11-24-2021
yep. Earlier in the season, it appeared that Spags had lost the guys. They've been motivated since getting skewered in the press and on social media-but I don't like that they could start phoning it in again.

I think you've got to ditch Clark June 1, and 3 of your 4 safeties are FA's. Ingram will be a FA. Your corner room looks ok, and Bolton and Gay are good foundational pieces. Jonesy, Saunders, Danna, Wharton, Kaindoh all stay. Nnadi you could keep at a decent price.

I think Mathieu depends on the length of the deal. If you could get him for 3 that has an out after 2 maybe you consider it.

If you think Key can at least be Watts then you need to draft Sorensen's replacement and sign a bargain FA.

I'd bring Ingram back, sign an Ogbah type, and draft a DE high. But that's just me.
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