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The Athletic's "Choose Your Own Adventure" Off Season Simulator
I'm not 100% sure if this belongs in the NFL draft section because it deals largely in free agency, but it's also an off season simulator, which is what most people use this draft section for nowadays anyway.

So a few days ago, Paul Dehner Jr and Jay Morrison posted this article to the Athletic calling it a "choose your own adventure" mock offseason generator.

Essentially, they made an excel sheet that has the Bengals Depth Chart with entrenched starters at their positions and then a select box at the positions that are currently TBD. From those cells are drop downs that list the prominent free agents and a conservative estimate of what they will cost per year in free agency and then also an option for first, second or third round pick.

They have given what they believe to be the Bengals' actual budget for free agency as $29 million dollars. They explain how they got to that number here:
Quote:A few facts to keep in mind as we lay out these numbers. The Bengals don’t like to restructure contracts and kick money down the road for future teams to overcome. They always keep money behind to keep room for draft pick allocation, potential injuries, paying practice-squad players and an assortment of other future expenditures, so the money you would add directly up to the cap number doesn’t apply in the basic math sense.

Traditionally, you subtract somewhere around $10 million to $15 million from the cap space to get the true amount of money the Bengals expect to spend.

People might not agree with the philosophy or math, this is merely years of history speaking.

The league sent out a memo to clubs on Thursday stating the floor for the cap this year is now set at $180 million. The number landed at $198 million last year. It’s unlikely the cap goes much north of that figure. For the purpose of this exercise, we’ll call it $181 million.

The important base starting numbers are these, via the NFLPA public salary-cap report:

Current top 51 owed for 2021: $153 million

Salary-cap space for this exercise: $28 million (sixth most in NFL)

Rollover from 2020: $10.8 million

This leaves you at the generous estimate of $29 million of actual money you would see the Bengals spending (taking out the money traditionally held back), with a conservative estimate in the $23 million range, when looking at team history.

The bottom line for this choose-your-own-adventure starting point: $29 million

So they're basically holding 10 million dollars back from free agency, expecting that the Bengals will save that for rookies and mid season signings similar to what we did with Spain this season.

Then the excel sheet takes all the cap hits you "signed" via the drop downs and subtracts it from this 29 million dollar mark to see how much money you need to generate via cuts, which they have in a section to the right.

For example, I came up with this off season:
[Image: CbSfrIo.png]

I know it's technically over the cap, but they have Carl Lawson and WJIII as 14 million per year, but if those are the AAVs, they could technically do what they did with Waynes last season for one of them and have a cap light year 1 relative to the contract and have one of those guys only have a 10 million cap hit for 2021. There's also some slack in the cap number (10 million) that exists so there's still some room for shifting that around a bit.

It's really cool and a lot of fun to play with. Just wanted to share it with the forum :).
[Image: bbek5yvab9u41.jpg?width=640&crop=smart&a...1533a8d2a4]

#1 Tee Higgins Stan 

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