The Reality of CAP vs CASH charges

The Reality of CAP vs CASH charges
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I’m reading articles calling for the Patriots to cut either Amendola and/or Kyle Arrington as a way to save money in 2014. Some of us need a quick review on the difference between cap and cash accounting. I’m not getting into the conversation of whether he should even be considered for release but only the analysis of the money involved.

Kyle Arrington’s contract:

3/15/2013: Signed a four-year, $16 million contract. The deal contains $7.5 million guaranteed, including a $6.5 million signing bonus and Arrington’s first-year base salary. Another $1 million is available through not-likely-to-be-earned incentives. Salaries are 2014: $2 million, 2015: $3 million, 2016: $3.5 million, 2017: Free Agent

2013 1,000,000 1,625,000 2,625,000 7,500,000
2014 2,000,000 1,625,000 3,625,000 4,875,000
2015 3,000,000 1,625,000 4,625,000 3,250,000
2016 3,500,000 1,625,000 5,125,000 1,625,000

Yes, from a cash perspective the player received his signing bonus of 6.5 Million plus his 1 million in salary in 2013 and the contract contains no more guaranteed money. In the article below the author calls for cutting Arrington to save the 2 million in salary due in 2014 and use the money to sign a cheaper player.

The problem is for cap savings purposes the Patriots have spread out accounting for the 6.5 million signing bonus over the 4 years of the contract. While cutting him now would save the 2 million in cash it would accelerate charging the remainder of the signing bonus ($4,875) to the 2014 season. Cutting him would mean the team not only does not have the player but they also have 1.25 Million less to sign another player with.

This may seem to be pretty stuff to most fans but I continue to stumble across articles similar to this one posted yesterday. Technically the writer’s not wrong as far saving 2 million in cash but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

 Kyle Arrington Should Be Released By New England Patriots

Now that the New England Patriots‘ season is finally over, it is fair to form a complete opinion on the players on the roster. In the case of Kyle Arrington, the common opinion has not changed. He is still a below-average cornerback, and for some reason is still on this team. Many people did not expect Nick Caserio to go out and re-sign Arrington once the beleaguered cornerback hit unrestricted free agency last offseason. Yet, to the chagrin of these folks, Arrington was re-signed to a four-year, $16 million contract with $7.5 million guaranteed. Luckily, Caserio only guaranteed Arrington’s $6.5 million signing bonus and first base salary ($1 million).

What that means is that Arrington’s base salaries are non-guaranteed from here on out. Up next is a non-guaranteed base salary of $2 million in 2014. Some people would look at that figure and think that it is not too hefty. Well, it is time to think again. In terms of sheer talent, Arrington is the fourth-most valuable cornerback on the Patriots’ roster. If one is to do good business, then he or she would want to pay the fourth-best cornerback less money than the three cornerbacks that are better than him. But that would not be happening in New England, as Arrington’s base salary would surpass that of Logan Ryan’s ($495,000) and Alfonzo Dennard’s ($480,000).

The reality of the fact was that Arrington was one of the three starting cornerbacks for most of the season, but that was when his base salary was guaranteed. Now Caserio and/or the coaches owe Arrington nothing, so he must be evaluated for his subpar play on the field. And if that evaluation is to truly be made, Arrington must be released.

Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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