I’ve seen people ask me questions here on The Corner Forum about Center David Baas’ contract, and it’s impact on the team going forward. His contractual breakdown is pictured above, courtesy of Baas’ salary cap page from overthecap.com. Let me point out the three most likely ways how his contract can be dealt with (meaning ’86ed). Baas has two years left on his deal after this season. He restructured this past off-season, moving dead money further down into his last two years, making it more difficult to cut him. One way that the Giants could deal with his situation is to cut him after this season, and gain $1,775,000 in cap space this off-season. The second course of action that they can take is to wait until after 2014 to cut him, when they could gain significantly more cap space – $5,250,000 to be exact – and have less dead money on the books as well ($3,225,000 compared to exactly double that amount if the Giants cut him after this year).
This brings me to the third option…(somehow Heisenberg’s voice during his conversation with Gustavo Fring from Breaking Bad out in the desert is rattling around in my head as I type this).
If Baas continues to be a liability by not being able stay healthy, or play well when healthy, then they might have to go with the first option – something which is becoming increasingly apparent. A third way that they could do this AND gain MORE THAN $1,775,000 in cap space would be by releasing him this off-season and designating him as a post-June 1st cut. Teams can do this with up to two players a year. The Dolphins did this with two of their own this past off-season when they designated Linebackers Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby as such; you can read about it by clicking HERE.
Teams that use this strategy won’t reap the cap benefits right away though. They have to wait until June 2nd to do so; however, the players who are released under this designation are free to sign elsewhere as free agency starts when more money is available, and teams are ready to flex their wallets, so to speak. This is advantageous to the player in that it gives them a much better opportunity to find a job elsewhere at a higher salary, instead of waiting until after June 1st when teams have shot their collective wads.
As of June 2nd, the team can then gain room from not only the regular cap savings (which after 2013 in Baas’ case would be $1,775,000), but they’d also be able to spread out the remaining dead money - provided the player has at least 2 years left on his deal and has not completed his 4th year with the club (as per the present CBA, NFL contracts can’t be prorated more than 5 years). If the Giants were to exercise this option with Baas this coming off-season, they’d be able to split up his Dead Money over the course of two seasons – 2014 and 2015.
That Dead Money amount, if he were to be released this off-season would be $6,450,000. The Giants would be able to evenly spread this amount out over those two years of 2014 and 2015. They would also GAIN an extra $3,225,000 in cap space in addition to the regular amount of cap savings mentioned above ($1,775,000) if they were to release him under normal non-post-June 1st standards. Their cap savings in this case would be $5,000,000 in 2014 with only $3,225,000 in Dead Money remaining on the books for 2014 – half the original amount. The other $3,225,000 will be added to the 2015 season’s Dead Money total.
This third option that I described in detail above will be seriously considered after the season, as the Giants evaluate Baas’ future on the team. Suffice it to say, due to a combination of his injuries and consequent subpar performance in comparison to this contract, he won’t be here past 2014 at the LATEST. Hell, he’ll be lucky to be here next year the way things are going. To wrap this up, and paraphrase Heisenberg in the process, let me go on record as saying that as of this moment, I prefer option 3.