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  1. #76
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    Thanks LD, good stuff.

    I'm confident Kruger will be wearing purple for the foreseeable future.
    “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

    –Eleanor Roosevelt




  2. #77

    Re: Jason La Confora: Kruger looking for 9m/year...

    Quote Originally Posted by Section 502 Raven View Post
    i remember when adalius thomas left. i thought that was the end for the ravens and the patriots would take off. my concerns never materialized. most players performance drops off after their second contract.
    The Ravens actually got lucky and re-signed Adalius after his rookie contract because he was still kind of under the radar. Once he played out that second contract he had been a Raven for 7 years and the Patriots signed him for 5/35 million. Ozzie couldn't afford him, but I think it turned out to be a good move as Thomas never lived up to the big money and was released after 3 seasons with the Pats.

    Kruger had 3 tackles and no sacks in the Denver game. He's been mainly invisible for 3 and half seasons, breaking out for half a season at the very end. I don't see him as being worth breaking the bank for.




  3. #78

    Re: Jason La Confora: Kruger looking for 9m/year...

    Quote Originally Posted by LukeDaniel View Post
    Suggs' cap number is 13 which is huge. Ngata's is 11.5 and Yanda's is 8.5 Those are the only 3 contracts on the books for next year in excess of $6 million, other than Boldin's 7.5, which is not likely going to stay that amount either due to a release or restructure. Flacco's 2013 # may not be that crippling. I would expect the contract value to be around $14.5 to $16/year, with his 2013 cap figure being in the $7-9 range.

    Assuming:

    Birk is released/retires (saves $2.75)
    Williams is released (saves $1.2)
    Jacoby Jones is released-hard to say that happens for sure, but I'm just speaking theoretically (Saves $4)
    Boldin is extended/restructured (what I proposed today-saves $2.3)
    Suggs is extended/restructured (what I proposed on Monday. Saves roughly $2M)
    Reed is not brought back (have to consider that likely at this point). No cap penalty since he is a UFA.
    Flacco's first year cap # is $8.5 million
    Let's say we keep Jameel and Vonta at their current contracts for argument's sake

    Under this scenario, that leaves us roughly $13 million under the cap. That is enough room to handle the first year contract amounts of whatever market-average contract they'd need to give to Kruger. I'm not lobbying giving $9 million over 6 years to Kruger. However, I'm saying if it takes $32.5 over 5, we easily have the cap space to do it. Additionally, if Ellerbe is going to command $25 over 5, we can easily fit him in as well (if we're creative) and still have room for one more $2-$3 million free agent. Keep in mind that Kruger getting $6.5/year and Ellerbe getting $5/year doesn't mean the 2013 cap will reflect the total of their $11.5 million combined salaries. Their contracts would be structured so that their 2013 #s would probably be in a way that you only have about 2/3rds of their yearly average on the books in the first year.


    By my rough 12:26 AM spreadsheet tallies, if we could get Kruger for 5/32.5 with a $4.75 2013 cap # and get Ellerbe for 5/25 with a $3.5 2013 number, that would leave us roughly $4.5 under the cap (again, operating under the assumptions that we release/restructure the players above). You probably need to factor that $2 million of that will go to salary upgrades from the 2013 draft class, which still leaves us $2.5 to go after one solid Free Agent.
    I cut Vonta and McLain. With a tight cap you can't afford to pay a full back over 4m. Boldin either restructures adding a year and bringing his cap number down to 4m or I would cut him as well. It is probably more important to keep Ellerbe than it is to keep Kruger. Although I am torn on this because rushing the passer is a premium. Without Ellerbe in the middle the Ravens are starting over completely inside. Upshaw should be able to man the position opposite to Suggs. Hopefully he would come into camp in better shape and be able to pressure the QB. Also getting a healthy McPhee, Ngata and Suggs back should increase the pass rush.

    Had hoped Doss would be ready to takeover for Boldin but that does not seem likely. Boldin is a warrior and makes some clutch grabs but he is not worth 7m as he is unable to consistently get separation.

    I am hoping with Caldwell or a new OC they go to more of an hback hybrid TE over a fullback. I would rather use his salary to fortify the line or upgrade the receiving core. That being said Leach is the type of player that Harbaugh loves and he may not want to part ways.

    The key to having any flexibility is signing Flacco to a long term contract. If that does not happen it will be tough to keep any of our own.




  4. #79
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    Re: Jason La Confora: Kruger looking for 9m/year...

    Quote Originally Posted by srobert96 View Post
    I cut Vonta and McLain.
    I don't think either is an easy decision.

    With Leach, you either keep him for a cap number of $4.33, or you cut him, save $3 million, and have a dead money amount of $1.33 million. I don't like the idea of cutting him, but that $4.33 is definitely a bit higher than I would want on my ledger too. It's a tough call. A natural solution is to just extend/restructure like I mentioned above with Boldin.

    McClain is an easier call in my opinion. I don't think he is a good player at all, but I think the position he plays combined with the absence of a "cut friendly" contract makes me think you just keep him.

    These are the LBs under contract for next year: OLB Suggs, OLB Upshaw, OLB McAdoo, MLB McClain, OLB/MLB McClellan, MLB Ayanbadejo, MLB Bynes, OLB Hamilton

    That's not a bad list of talent, but we are surely thin at MLB. Ayanbadejo will be 37 and is not even certain to make the squad next year. Even if he does, his value from scrimmage is minimal. Bynes earned the right to get more snaps, but I suspect he is not viewed as a starting option for next year. If we cut McClain and miss on resigning Ellerbe, we are left with Bynes/Dejo/McClellan/rookie as our 4 inside LBs. I think the only way we cut McClain is if we sign Ellerbeast. McClellan/Ellerbeast as our starters next year would give us two solid guys, ages 27 and 28 respectively. Bynes is a promising depth guy. I am 90% certain we are drafting a MLB with one of our first 5 picks of the upcoming draft, but getting Ellerbe back probably drops it back in priority to looking for a backup in round 3-5. If McClain is back, it's a priority because I simply don't think he's that good.

    From a dollars and cents standpoint, Jameel's cap # is $4.2 for next year. That's a $3 million salary and a $1.2 signing bonus. If we cut him, though, we also have $1.2 dead money from his 2014 cap number that we would have to eat. So, essentially we can keep him for $4.2 or cut him and have $2.4 in dead money. Given those figures, I think keeping him makes more sense.




  5. #80
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    Re: Jason La Confora: Kruger looking for 9m/year...

    Luke- have you allocated money for draft picks?




  6. #81
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    Re: Jason La Confora: Kruger looking for 9m/year...

    Quote Originally Posted by ursula View Post
    Luke- have you allocated money for draft picks?
    Yes, I estimated about $2 million uptick on the salary cap as a result of the incoming draft class. Look in post #75. Naturally, the contracts to all of our rookies is going to exceed $2 million, but that's deceiving. Really the only impact of the rookie class is having your higher rounders replace a lower-priced player already counting towards your 51.

    As an example, I'm going to go back to the 2011 draft class. Jimmy's Smith's rookie cap # was $1.35 million ($375k base salary+ $980k bonus). That $1.35 doesn't all count against the cap. Only the difference over the player he's replacing on the 51 counts. So if Jimmy Smith's $1.35M replaced a guy who had a cap # of $500k, the cap increase would be $835k.

    Torrey Smith's rookie cap # was $620k. Let's say he replaces someone who made $480k. There's an additional $140k, taking the cap increase up to $975k. Jah Reid's rookie contract was for $515k. He likely went on to the 51 using that salary, but the increase of the guy going off the 51 was quite minimal. Our 4th rounder, Doss, had a cap # as a rookie of $480k. This likely had no impact on the cap at all. So, in 2011, the rookie class probably only altered the cap position of the club by $1-1.2 million.

    Last year in 2012, with having two 2nd rounders and no 1st rounders, the increase was probably even less.

    I am using $2 million this year because I suspect that the Ravens might possibly wind up with 3 picks in the 2nd round or higher, possibly even four. At a minimum, I expect at least 5 picks in the first 3 rounds (assuming we do indeed get a supplemental 3rd rounder for Grubbs).

    Rookies really don't impact the salary cap that much. Even 4th round draft picks make about as much as rookies as your undrafted 2nd and 3rd year veterans like a Hamilton/Laquan Williams/ Justin Tucker/Deonte Thompson/Josh Bynes. Really it's just small incrimental increases brought to the cap by your 1st and 2nd rounders.

    Now for a team that has cap issues and drafts higher in round 1 and 2, it's a bit more problematic. For Instance, in that same 2011 draft, the Niners took Aldon Smith at #7. His first year cap # was $2.6 million, nearly double that of Jimmy Smith. The Niners needed to have $2.1 million available just to handle Aldon's first year. They then took Kaepernick in the 2nd round and his first year # was $1.2, very close to what we were giving to Jimmy Smith, our first rounder. If you are a team that knows you will be drafting highly in the first and second rounds, you may want to clear more than $2 million in your cap structuring. We've been blessed that the Ravens haven't been in that position for half a decade.




  7. #82
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    Re: Jason La Confora: Kruger looking for 9m/year...

    It might be helpful to try and compare Kruger to some other similar players and their recent contracts.

    Chris Clemmons in Seattle was entering his eighth year in the league this offseason when he signed a 3-year $22 mil contract with $10 million guaranteed (and about $4MM in incentive bonus money based on sack totals). He had just completed two consecutive seasons of 11 sacks and got 11 again this year before being IR'd with a knee. I am guessing his contract will be a regret for the team. Clemmons had bounced around the league starting with the Skins where he didn't do much for two years and then broke out for Oakland with 8 sacks in his third year. The Eagles signed him and for two years he averaged a mere 3.5 sacks before taking off with Seattle.

    Kruger enters his fifth year after putting up sack totals of 0,1, 5.5, 9. His track record isn't as impressive as Clemmons, but I suppose you could project him to be as productive. Still hard to figure how Kruger deserves a bigger payday than Clemmons' $7MM per year. I think I'd be around that total for four years for a younger player, with a bunch of incentives.

    Mark Anderson is another player you can look at (and who the Ravens did look at in the offseason). He is one of those part-time rush specialists. He had 12 sacks for the Bears as a rookie and then didn't do much at all until he got 10 sacks for New England in 2011.

    So then, entering his eighth season he signed with the Bills this year, getting a four-year $19.5 million contract with $7.9 million guaranteed and no guaranteed money past his first year of the deal. So for those who look at averages, it averages $5 million a year. After only appearing in five games and getting one sack for the Bills this year it will be interesting to see what they do with him. He could be back on the market as a right player right price option.

    I actually think Kruger is probably more of a complete player than people here are giving him credit for because he is an okay run stopper and pretty good in coverage.

    If you want to look at better comparison to Krugher look at the Lions Cliff Avril. He just finished his fifth season with the Lions with 9.5 sacks .

    He was looking for a new contract in the offseason after registering nine sacks in his third year and 11 in his fourth (and, like Kruger, a propensity for the big play with nine deflected passes, seven forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in those two seasons). But the Lions couldn't come to terms with him and he was forced to sign a $10.6 franchise tag to play this season. He and his agent were looking for $10 million per year for four years. The Lions were offering $8 million per year.

    Of course Avril is a 4-3 DE, and by design gets fewer tackles and a bit more sacks. But he's pretty comparable, with a slightly better track record given Kruger has produced at a high level for 1/2 a season, not two, and now three seasons for Avril. Avril will probably set the market and Kruger will get something not too far below that I suspect.

    I think $9 mil is a reasonable ask, and his true maximum value is something closer to four years at $7 mil, plus or minus depending on guarantees -- that's giving him full credit for this half a season being projectable and totally overlooking the first three and a half years with near-zero production.

    One final guy to consider is Calaise Campbell as a 3-4 OLB for the Cardinals. He was much more consistent in his second, third and fourth years in the league with 7,6 and 8 sacks and 48, 60 and 72 tackles (and coming off 10 passes defended, 1 INT, and 2 forced fumbles last season). Kruger's sack and tackles numbers are 1, 5.5, 9 and 1, 15 and 42 in his second, third and fourth season.

    Coming into his fifth year with the Cardinals Campbell signed a five year deal that averages $11 million a year. $31 million of the $55 million is guaranteed. Kruger isn't asking for that kind of money, if LaCranfora's report is right. And he didn't rack up Campbell's stats, either. But is Kruger on track to do that over the next three or more seasons and could he be a bargain if the Ravens could pay him less than Cambell's contract and get Campbell's production?

    The Ravens will have to decide if they want to give Kruger close to what he's asking for and end up with a bargain in the process relative to what Avril and Campbell will be paid -- assuming he starts consistently producing like them.

    Or, they will have to decide he has not been consistent enough yet to chase a bargain by betting on him early.




  8. #83
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    Re: Jason La Confora: Kruger looking for 9m/year...

    Avril is also going to be on the market. The Lions said they wouldn't franchise him for a second straight year.
    He Who Dares.....Wins




  9. #84
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    Re: Jason La Confora: Kruger looking for 9m/year...

    Quote Originally Posted by GOTA View Post
    Avril is also going to be on the market. The Lions said they wouldn't franchise him for a second straight year.
    Right, I do think Avril sets the market. The Ravens won't go after him, but they will have to wait to see what he gets I would think before they can reach a deal with Kruger for something below that.




  10. #85
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    Re: Jason La Confora: Kruger looking for 9m/year...

    Quote Originally Posted by GOTA View Post
    Avril is also going to be on the market. The Lions said they wouldn't franchise him for a second straight year.
    As will a fair amount of other rush OLB's/3-4 OLB's/DE's.

    Connor Barwin comes to mind.
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  11. #86

    Re: Jason La Confora: Kruger looking for 9m/year...

    Where are people getting this notion that Kruger is "inconsistent" and "has only had a half season of production"? Do you guys not watch the games? He's consistently produced every time he's been on the field playing his natural position.

    His first two years in the league the Ravens tried to make Kruger into a 5-tech DE. It didn't work. Forcing someone to play outside of their natural position isn't going to work sometimes and I don't think you can hold that against Kruger at all. I don't hold the team that much at fault because they had Jarret Johnson still playing at a fairly high level and in Mattison's defensive scheme they did not take Jarret off the field at all. They wanted a pass rushing force at 5-tech, took a big gamble on a questionable fit, and got it wrong.

    Then, last year Pagano returns to a more traditional 3-4, allows Kruger to return to DE/OLB, and starts rotating Kruger in on passing downs (while smartly keeping JJ, the Ravens' BEST run defender, in on run downs). On a per-play basis Kruger was EXCEPTIONAL last year. In fact, Pro Football Focus rated him as one of the best per-play pass rushers IN THE LEAGUE both this year and last year. I understand that the stat sheet doesn't blow you away for 2011, but judging Kruger's "action plays per snap" he was a very solid defender last year.

    This year, Kruger played the rotation role at times, but over the last 10 games I believe he's played 60+ defensive snaps per game, which is starter's snaps, and once again he's been the team's best per-play pass rusher as well as (believe it or not) one of our better LBs in coverage. I think you can make a solid case for Kruger as the Ravens' Defensive MVP this year honestly.

    At this point if I'm an NFL Pro Personnel exec evaluating Kruger as an FA option I have a hard time not ranking him VERY highly. He's proven for 2 straight years he's very effective rushing the passer and at this point he's also proven he's very comfortable handling starter's snaps. Kruger has been highly productive since he's been allowed to play his natural position and at this point has proven he's a good-to-excellent option at DE/OLB.




  12. #87

    Re: Jason La Confora: Kruger looking for 9m/year...

    Ravens keep players they want to keep, always do. If they want Kruger he will be a Raven. Cary might be expendable though however with Smith, Graham and Brown and Webb coming back from injury. Grubbs, they lost....but they gave a lower offer than NO only to drive up NO offer, they knew he wanted to go south. In driving up his offer to make NO increase thiers they gave themselves a 3rd round comp pick, which they wanted in the first place. Grubbs was decent not worth the $, Osmele is just as good and more versatile. I expect Kruger back. Cary is gone.




  13. #88
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    Re: Jason La Confora: Kruger looking for 9m/year...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shas View Post

    I actually think Kruger is probably more of a complete player than people here are giving him credit for because he is an okay run stopper and pretty good in coverage.


    completely agree Shas.
    Milk is for babies. When you grow up, you have to drink beer.

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  14. #89

    Re: Jason La Confora: Kruger looking for 9m/year...

    Quote Originally Posted by LukeDaniel View Post
    Yes, I estimated about $2 million uptick on the salary cap as a result of the incoming draft class. Look in post #75. Naturally, the contracts to all of our rookies is going to exceed $2 million, but that's deceiving. Really the only impact of the rookie class is having your higher rounders replace a lower-priced player already counting towards your 51.

    As an example, I'm going to go back to the 2011 draft class. Jimmy's Smith's rookie cap # was $1.35 million ($375k base salary+ $980k bonus). That $1.35 doesn't all count against the cap. Only the difference over the player he's replacing on the 51 counts. So if Jimmy Smith's $1.35M replaced a guy who had a cap # of $500k, the cap increase would be $835k.

    Torrey Smith's rookie cap # was $620k. Let's say he replaces someone who made $480k. There's an additional $140k, taking the cap increase up to $975k. Jah Reid's rookie contract was for $515k. He likely went on to the 51 using that salary, but the increase of the guy going off the 51 was quite minimal. Our 4th rounder, Doss, had a cap # as a rookie of $480k. This likely had no impact on the cap at all. So, in 2011, the rookie class probably only altered the cap position of the club by $1-1.2 million.

    Last year in 2012, with having two 2nd rounders and no 1st rounders, the increase was probably even less.

    I am using $2 million this year because I suspect that the Ravens might possibly wind up with 3 picks in the 2nd round or higher, possibly even four. At a minimum, I expect at least 5 picks in the first 3 rounds (assuming we do indeed get a supplemental 3rd rounder for Grubbs).

    Rookies really don't impact the salary cap that much. Even 4th round draft picks make about as much as rookies as your undrafted 2nd and 3rd year veterans like a Hamilton/Laquan Williams/ Justin Tucker/Deonte Thompson/Josh Bynes. Really it's just small incrimental increases brought to the cap by your 1st and 2nd rounders.

    Now for a team that has cap issues and drafts higher in round 1 and 2, it's a bit more problematic. For Instance, in that same 2011 draft, the Niners took Aldon Smith at #7. His first year cap # was $2.6 million, nearly double that of Jimmy Smith. The Niners needed to have $2.1 million available just to handle Aldon's first year. They then took Kaepernick in the 2nd round and his first year # was $1.2, very close to what we were giving to Jimmy Smith, our first rounder. If you are a team that knows you will be drafting highly in the first and second rounds, you may want to clear more than $2 million in your cap structuring. We've been blessed that the Ravens haven't been in that position for half a decade.

    This is fascinating stuff. Thanks.

    I'm curious to what a conservative estimate is of the Ravens' draft pick situation for this upcoming year.

    I've heard as high as 11.

    What do you think we're looking at? Again, conservatively?




  15. #90
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    Re: Jason La Confora: Kruger looking for 9m/year...

    Quote Originally Posted by Boulderraven View Post
    Ravens keep players they want to keep, always do. If they want Kruger he will be a Raven. Cary might be expendable though however with Smith, Graham and Brown and Webb coming back from injury. Grubbs, they lost....but they gave a lower offer than NO only to drive up NO offer, they knew he wanted to go south. In driving up his offer to make NO increase thiers they gave themselves a 3rd round comp pick, which they wanted in the first place. Grubbs was decent not worth the $, Osmele is just as good and more versatile. I expect Kruger back. Cary is gone.
    With Ray retiring and McClain coming off an injury and so-so season, I would say that Ellerbe is even a bigger priority than Kruger. He and Flacco have to and will get done. Kruger will depend on what the market offers him. It's hard to see Cary coming back, I agree. Cory Gaham is a $2.4 million hit next year, the final year of his deal. Will be interesting to see if Asa Jackson can step in behind Brown on the depth chart as everyone moves up. Ideally, Gaham is in the slot, Lardarius is on one side and Smith and Brown compete for the other.




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