Bears Phillips Says Shorter-term Deals Are The Future

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Bears President Phillips: Shorter-term contracts will be the norm
    November 21, 2013, 11:45 am

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    The Bears have about half of a roster under contract beyond this season, but team President Ted Phillips not only evinced no concern over the situation, but noted that a projected flat salary cap over the next several years will make this a more common situation around the NFL.

    Phillips, talking with “The Mully and Hanley Show” on WSCR-AM on Thursday morning, noted that the spate of short-term/one-year deals like those of linebackers James Anderson and D.J. Williams and guard Matt Slauson last offseason will become something of a norm. And that was not necessarily a bad thing, at least for the teams.

    The situation, which put the likes of GM Phil Emery in the position of playing fantasy football with real money, allows teams to fine-tune rosters with productive players, Phillips said.

    [RELATED: Bears-Rams more than a football game to Long brothers]
    That also includes positions like quarterback, where both Jay Cutler and Josh McCown will be coming out of contract after this season.

    “I think there’s going to be a time to talk about contracts, but it’s not now, for Jay or anyone else,” Phillips said. “We’re obviously aware of the number of players that we have whose contracts are expired. We’ll deal with that accordingly.”

    As to what the organization thinks of Cutler as its franchise quarterback, Phillips echoed sentiments expressed at various times by Emery and coach Marc Trestman.

    [MORE: Bears: Cutler on the mend]

    Unless everyone is laying down a smokescreen, the organization will have him as its starting quarterback in 2014, one way (multi-year deal) or the other (franchise tag).

    “When Jay was playing, he did a really good job, was improving every week,” Phillips said, then added the ultimate prerequisite: "We were winning. We’re happy to have him and we’re happy to have Josh as his backup. There's not a lot of teams in the league that can say they have a starting quarterback who they believe in and then a backup who can win football games when needed
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  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    If Phillips hunch is correct more and more rank and file vets will be playing under one or two year deals with little or no guaranteed money. My guess is that this is gonna create more vet free agents each year and by the laws of supply and demand the offers they get will be far less lucrative than they have been over the past decade. This should make it easier for teams to find experienced players to fill holes while they develop younger draftees and UDFAs.

    Key vets and QBs will get more of the money and longer term deals with some guarantees but the current economics point towards teams getting younger with fewer long term vets. Ten year journeyman guys like Garza may become virtually extinct over the next few years even with the incentives provided in the CBA that cuts their cap costs in half if they accept minimum salary deals. With the limits now placed on rookie deals if just makes far more sense to draft well each year and constantly be in a state of restocking your team with draftees and younger less expensive vets.

    Given the number of players the Bears have coming out of contract after the season ends it looks to me like they're already in this mode and for Emery and Trestman the future is now. More and more vets in their 30s who are approaching the end of their careers are gonna be offered less money than their previous contracts might have paid them and we'll see those guys become FA teams will "rent" for a year or two like the Bears seem to be doing with players like D Will, Anderson, McBride, and I imagine Ratliff as well if he ever gets healthy enough to play.

    Overall this doesn't seem like it bodes well for some of the long term Bears vets like Peanut, Briggs and even Peppers either playing out their deals or being offered extensions there willing to accept. It seems there'll even more situation like Urlacher faced last spring. I expect we'll see that defense being completely restructured next spring and the following and it probably pays to watch how Emery goes about it because I still believe he intends to run a 3-4 before too much longer. JMHO
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  3. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Teams with solid GM's and coaches can use this situation to their advantage. It's going to be a tougher situation for vet players. Players are going to have to produce every season, or get replaced. Solid guys who can play, will do okay. We could end up with this being a blessing for the 2014 overall team talent.
  4. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros Staff Member SuperFan

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    Ok, i dont see how they are going to give him a huge deal after he's been injured and McCown has played so well in his absence. So, looks like Jay will be getting the ol' Franchise Tag in the off-season. Unless he seriously reduces his contract offer to the 8 figure range.
  5. DaTreeBears

    DaTreeBears Pro-Bowler

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    If you're a young probowl player or specialized player I believe long term deals will be struck but not very many in the likes of Peppers contracts anymore. This will effect parity in the NFL just like we see with KC, teams will be coming out of nowhere because most players will be playing on year to year contracts. Madden NFL is loving it these teams will be changing players maybe swap an entire D or O out in a season.
  6. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    The best/better organizations will continue to build their rosters via the draft. That is the fundamental change not mentioned here, we intend to give the longer term deals to our own draft picks.
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  7. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    And the CBA has helped structure the draft contracts better than a few years ago when crazy money was thrown at some draft picks.
  8. JPosh2012

    JPosh2012 Pro-Bowler

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    This is the way to do it. Build via the draft and sign some depth guys to help fill out the roster.
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  9. Blue Horse-shoe

    Blue Horse-shoe Veteran

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    So it's gonna become more like baseball . Draft well and plug holes w good vets . The gravy train is gonna end for some , but the truly good will cash in .
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  10. tbear1

    tbear1 Veteran

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    A little OT:
    I hope this does not eliminate franchise/career players that are connected to a team; like Payton-Bears, Urlacher-Bears, etc. I personally think the league should expand the roster and raise the salary cap. When a team sustains injuries, there chances at play-offs is greatly reduced. The salary cap, (high QB salaries), and limited roster have all contibuted to lowering the bar and making mediocre teams competitive. When you add injuries, cap, and limited roster, factors you can have some pretty boring weekend match-ups.
  11. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Well the term "huge" is pretty nebulous Jimmors. If huge means a deal like Flacco or Brees got then no, he won't get that kind of an offer. But if huge is in the range of what it's costs to tag him, say in the range of a $15 mil average a year, then that I think will happen and I believe Cutler will accept that. I don't see him being a problem to sign and holding out for top money. It's a situation not too dissimilar from Forte's. I think they figure they may as well offer what it would cost to tag him anyway and that probably means around a 4 yr/$60 mil deal with roughly half guaranteed in some way but it also may be tied to games played because of these consistent injuries. Beyond what's fair and reasonable to a QB with his talent I don't think he cares. He's already rich. Now he wants a championship to prove his doubters wrong.

    JMHO
  12. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    It's pretty much what they've begun doing already on the defense JP drafting Bostic and Greene yet having Anderson and D Will signed to play this season while those guys got their feet wet. It hasn't worked out exactly as planned but you can see what the plan was. I think they really did expect Webb to manage RT this year too while Mills learned his role and there we got really lucky because I can't recall the last time I've seen a Bears rookie OT play as well as he has. In his own way he's been just as effective as Long.

    It pretty much has to go this way. The NFL is now a passing league so QB and top WRs will be pulling down deals that average 8 figures annually and with the cap projected to be relatively flat for another year or two that money has to come from somewhere. Now that the CBA has put a lid on the cost of signing draftees those guys, UDFA rookies and second tier younger vets you can find to fill backup and ST roles are where the value is.

    I think what has to happen with these 10 year plus vets is they have to swallow a little pride and not be so quick to attach their worth to the offers they get and end up insulted by them as Urlacher was initially. It's gonna be a bit of shock for those guys and take a while to sink in to their agents too but it's far more a matter or economic reality than it is a sign of disrespect for the players and they need to understand that. Most of those guy have already gotten at least one career contract and as their effectiveness begins to lessen with age their paychecks need to reflect that.

    With so many Bears playing out their year it's gonna be a very interesting winter in 2014.
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  13. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    The only adjustment I could see the owners willing to accept might be some kind of cap relief when you place a player on the IR for the year. Take Melton for example. His tag cost the team $8.5 mil in cap space and none of that can be recovered to use on his replacement so what happens is you end up with having to play rookies and sign guys like Landon Cohen because there's no money for an experienced vet unless it's a guy with dubious prospects anyway like Ratliff.

    My suggestion would be to allow the team a cap credit for some portion of that guys salary to be added to the cap for use in that year only. It only applies to players who are placed on permanent IR and won't play again that year and it can't be carried forward to the following cap year like other excess amounts can but by making it available for the year that player is on IR at least teams would be able to restock themselves more effectively after injuries like the Bears have suffered and remain more competitive.

    I agree that's it's tough to watch a team that has done well personnel and coaching wise lose their competitive edge because of a rash of injuries to key players. How much better off might the Bears be right now if they hadn't lost Melton, Collins, Briggs and Williams? At the very least I think they would have won the Washington game and maybe the Lions game as well although that one was more on the offense and Trestman's mistake in leaving Cutler in the game.

    That's at least one more win and a 7-3 record now and looking at the balance of the schedule four more wins would seem pretty likely if not more so maybe with the defense intact they end up 11-5 or 12-4 and that surely gets them into the playoffs. As it stands now they almost have to hope Detroit continues to lose games they should be winning like that last one because if both teams end up 10-6 the Lions take the NFCN and I doubt the Bears get a Wild Card berth.
  14. tbear1

    tbear1 Veteran

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    Soulman, The cap certainly benefits the owners. The IR issue should be addressed. I would really like to see the roster expanded. It would help teams make it through injuries as well as allow more projects like late round picks and UDFA's.
  15. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    But for the most part tbear the cap is nothing more than an accounting number. It has little to do with actual dollars spent in that year or any year which may be far more than the cap or less than it. In the NFL there's really no lack of money to spend since even the poorest teams make huge profits. In reality it's just a way to keep guys like Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder from buying there way to a SB the way Eddie De Bartolo was able to do out in SF in the 80s.

    I don't disagree with the need for the cap just the way it limits the options of teams who suffer significant injuries. In many cases it takes what would ordinarily have been a very good team out of contention for the post season entirely. If that team received a partial credit of the injured players cap costs to use on replacements the team might remain competitive. It's just one of those things that seems to make too much sense not to be considered.

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