Veldheer restructure would help cap space

Posted by Darren Urban on August 9, 2016 – 9:01 am

The Cardinals have been tight up against the salary cap — estimates they have (had?) only about $2.2 million in space, the NFLPA puts the number around $3.4 million — and usually at this time of year, GM Steve Keim likes to have more wiggle room than this. That’s partly to account for unknowns (IR players, needing to sign veteran help) and for potential other plans (like a contract extension.)

That’s why it was interesting but not altogether shocking to see the Field Yates tweet this morning saying the team had converted $6M of left tackle Jared Veldheer’s $7.25M salary into a signing bonus. It would be an immediate win-win. Veldheer gets his money now instead of in 17 installments over the season, the Cardinals create $4M more of salary cap room (although they push some of Veldheer’s cap hit into future years, so there is a down side.)

It becomes a little more interesting after Bruce Arians’ comment on Arizona Sports 98.7 Monday that the Cardinals are hoping to have another three or four extensions done at some point. That may be overly optimistic, but we will see — the Cards certainly have a laundry list of players who are up after the season. The Cards also might want to add a vet for depth on the offensive line too, although in my opinion D.J. Humphries is progressing just fine at right tackle. But the final decisions at center and right tackle remain up in the air for now.

There’s another point to be made about extensions too, and that’s any bigger one probably could lower the current salary cap number for a particular player, say a Chandler Jones (who I would guess be next of the big names the Cards would want to try and lock up) or a Michael Floyd or Calais Campbell. Their cap numbers for this year, respectively, are $7.8M, $7.3M and $15.25M. The recent Palmer and Fitzgerald extensions didn’t impact the cap. Those moves were about gaining roster certainty for 2017.

In any event, Keim now would have some room to do any number of things as the Cards set up for what they hope is a deep run this season.


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Posted in Blog | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Veldheer restructure would help cap space”

  1. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 9, 2016 | Reply


    You know me, I like to try and read between the lines.

    Campbell’s contract is crazy at 15 million. It would seem that is the most logical one to extend and lower the cap number.

    So, with the drafting of Gunter and Nkemdichi, (and emergence of Mauro) do you think they are waiting to see how these young players do to determine if they want to make a extension to Campbell. If those three can hold down the fort and they can use vets for rotation, maybe they can get away from the big bucks Campbell demands.

    Any validity to that train of thought?

  2. By Darren Urban on Aug 9, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Campbell

    As much as I love Calais, and I think he’s an important part of this team, the reality is he will soon be 30 and they have a lot of young DL, as you mentioned.

    You can’t pay everyone.

  3. By Joe C. on Aug 9, 2016 | Reply

    Darren, you’ve directed me to a couple times. What a great resource. The cardinals are really in great shape. I like looking at the dead money since that represents players you’re stuck with. Palmer and Fitz are at $4m each in 2018 and then its Honey Badger and PP after that. very interesting to compare cap hits and dead money. There is definitely a method to the madness of salaries. I remember Kiem saying it would take three years to work the cap properly. Does he think he got it?

  4. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 9, 2016 | Reply

    Best tweet of the year

    .@AZCardinals TE Troy Niklas, happy to hear Arians said he’s playing well: “He gets my name confused with dumb mother(expletive) a lot.”

  5. By Darren Urban on Aug 9, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Tweet

    I got it in — with a little more context — here:

  6. By NYCardinals on Aug 9, 2016 | Reply

    Joe C.

    Another useful resource, in my opinion, is for individual player salaries and contract details on actual cash payouts, cap hits, and dead money.

    You can never have too much info.

  7. By Mike on Aug 9, 2016 | Reply

    I agree fully about Calais and I’m glad you said it. It’s a reality and I hope they can work out an extension/restructure. Watching every game this year it was clear to see he wasn’t the dominant force he once was. He had a similar amount of tackles this year compared to previous years but I remember him being a better run stopper. Having said all that I’d hate to see them without Calais.

  8. By CARDS62 on Aug 9, 2016 | Reply

    I have seen C. Campbell dominate for weeks on end and then disappear for weeks so I plan on watching him closely this season. We have to admit our pass rush this year will have much more talent than years past. Will be interesting to see if Campbell can flash a lot more with Chandler Jones, Robert N., and others. Would have loved to have been able to write in Dwight Freeney name.

    Always liked the big guy Campbell and I feel he is definitely one of our better draft choices over the years so looking forward to watching him play this year and hope to see him flash in every game we play this year.

    Almost game day. Go Cards!.

  9. By Joe C. on Aug 10, 2016 | Reply

    Not to jinx CC but he would be a trade chip that would get you a contributor in return. But depending on what he sees as his future he could also be a veteran you sign at reasonable dollars to anchor your line for a few years while these young guys go through any growing pains. Don’t ask me what reasonable is, its relative!

  10. By Sunday on Aug 14, 2016 | Reply

    The way front office taking care of the players it’s amazing and has to be motivating for players. The ball is on their court and if they can work something with Calais it will be regendary .Go cards

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