Ron Borges really thinks I hate him, poor guy, but I don’t. Regardless I find it necessary to keep pointing out things that aren’t quite right. Simple things, like facts. In yesterday’s football notes, Borges took a mini shot at Patriots owner Bob Kraft, when he said:
The annual NFL owners meetings begin tomorrow in Phoenix, with several key issues to be debated. One is a plan floated by Patriots owner Bob Kraft as well as Chiefs boss Lamar Hunt to expand the playoff system by adding a wild-card team in each conference. Surprise of surprises, last year that team in the AFC would have been New England.
I need to get the WEEI announcer boy to send me a clip saying “Sorrrry, Borges” so I can imbed it into posts whenever there’s something needing to be straightened out. According to the tie breakers as they are now, the Patriots would not have been that seventh playoff team. Tiebreakers are first applied within the Division. Jets beat out the Patriots, Patriots beat out Miami, by virtue of the better record within the division. So the Patriots then move onto the Wild Card tiebreaker. Denver beats the Patriots because of a head to head matchup, which is the first tiebreaker. Denver didn’t get in this year, because they lost a tie breaker to Cleveland. But Denver would’ve been the seventh playoff team this year. So Borges’ mini shot accusing Kraft of sour grapes for missing out on the playoffs by one slot doesn’t hold water.
Next item. Over the weekend, I posted about Nick Cafardo saying the Patriots couldn’t sign any more players because they were too close to the cap. I intimated that he was critical of the team for blowing all their money and not being able to sign players who might suddenly become available. Larry Centers was the name they were talking about on WWZN that day. Nick said that would have to cut or restructure someone in order to be able to sign another player. Borges indicates the same thing yesterday:
As of late last week, the Patriots were only $494,000 under the salary cap, which put them all but out of the free agency market, despite their courting of Rams center Andy McCollum.
Then the Patriots go this weekend, and reportedly agree with fullback Fred McCrary on a 2 year contract worth “slightly more” than $725,000 a year. So, people are now waiting for the Patriots to make a move and clear space to make the signing official. Well, they might not.
Why’s that, you ask? Well the answer is quite simple, and it’s something Borges, Cafardo and the rest of that crowd has forgotten, or perhaps never knew, even though it has been the case since the salary cap was implemented. From now until the final cuts of training camp, only the top 51 salaries count towards the cap. If you’ve got 60 players signed, you count only the 51 highest salaries. Borges reported that the Patriots were only 494K under the cap. He’s probably right. So how could they sign McCrary to a $725K per year deal? Let’s say the 51st player on the roster was making 300K. By signing McCrary for $725, you displace the 300K player, making the net on the cap only 425K, keeping you under the cap. (725 – 300 = 425) Likewise, if the 51st player was making 300K, and you signed someone else for 250K it would not count towards the cap right now. These are all hypothetical figures, but used in this way, I think you get the idea of how the process works.
As of today, the Globe still has not mentioned the name Fred McCrary. The Patriots have announced the signing, as of this afternoon. They also brought back and signed Maugaula Tuitele once again.