Falcons received salary cap credit from Vick

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) fumbles the ball, stripped by Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (56). (Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) fumbles the ball, stripped by Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (56). (Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

The Falcons, who were up against the salary cap after trading for cornerback Asante Samuel, recently received about $3 million in salary-cap credits from the league.

After Samuel was signed by the Falcons last Wednesday, the team had just over $1 million of salary cap space. On Monday, the team had $4,068,441 million in salary cap room for 2012.

ESPN, in a sourced report, stated that the relief came from money former quarterback Michael Vick owed the Falcons after he declared bankruptcy in wake of going to prison on federal dogfighting charges back in 2007.

The Falcons were Vick’s biggest creditor in bankruptcy. They were owed $7.5 million from his signing bonus after he defaulted on his 2005 contract, a 10-year, $130 million deal.

In April of 2009, Vick and the Falcons reached a settlement on the salary cap refund. The Falcons have sought salary cap credits from the league since August of 2011, when Vick signed a six-year, $100 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Offensive tackle Tyson Clabo, left, and offensive guard Justin Blalock, right, who had just signed a contract with the Falcons on Aug. 1, 2011. The contract has since been restructed to help the team acquire Asante Samuel. (Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com)

Offensive tackle Tyson Clabo, left, and offensive guard Justin Blalock, right, who had just signed a contract with the Falcons on Aug. 1, 2011. The contract has since been restructed to help the team acquire Asante Samuel. (Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com)

At that time, Greg Aiello, the NFL’s vice president of public relations, noted that salary cap credits are decided on a case-by-case basis and acknowledged that the Falcons’ case was under review.

The Falcons focused on re-signing their own players this offseason and struck deals with defensive end John Abraham, safety Thomas DeCoud, wide receiver Harry Douglas, defensive end Kroy Biermann, center Todd McClure and quarterback Chris Redman. They also signed linebacker Lofa Tatupu and guard Vince Manuwai as free agents.

The team also placed the franchise tag on cornerback Brent Grimes, who’s set to make $10.281 million after signing his tender.

Also, the team was not able to re-sign middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, who signed a modest five-year, $27.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. He was a four-year starter and team’s leading tackler in each of the past three seasons.  

The issue of the tight salary cap may have led the Falcons to selecting Wisconsin fullback Bradie Ewing in the fifth round of the NFL draft. Fullback Ovie Mughelli’s $3.7 million cap number might be too high for the team to carry in 2012.

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff did not want to address Mughelli’s status or the team’s financial situation after the conclusion of the draft on Saturday.

“I don’t want to comment on financial situations and our cap situation publicly,” Dimitroff said. “That’s what we discuss back in our offices. Suffice it to say, we feel like this opens up competition at the position. We have three solid fullbacks here that

Dunta Robinson signed a six-year, $57 million contract  with the Falcons on March 6, 2010. The contract was recently restructured. (D. Orlando Ledbetter, dledbetter@ajc.com )

Dunta Robinson signed a six-year, $57 million contract with the Falcons on March 6, 2010. The contract was recently restructured. (D. Orlando Ledbetter, dledbetter@ajc.com )

we hope will compete very strongly for the job. Really, we don’t have any plans right now to do much of anything else but to step back and look at our roster and see who is going to fit in where.”

To make all of their offseason moves, the Falcons have been scrambling. They’ve had to restructure cornerback Dunta Robinson and left guard Justin Blalock’s contracts.

In order to free up some salary cap space to fit in Samuel’s three-year, $18.5 million contract under the cap, the Falcons restructured Blalock’s contract.

Blalock was a free agent last season and signed a six-year, $38 million contract. Before the restructure, Blalock’s cap number was $5.3 million for 2012. It is now $3.86 million, a cap savings of $1.44 million.

Earlier this offseason, the Falcons restructured Robinson’s contract, to provide the team with an additonal $1.55 million in salary cap space in 2012.

On Jan. 25, Robinson’s cap value number for 2012 was $7.55 million. His current cap value number for next season is $6 million.

Robinson passed on a $3 million option bonus in favor of having $5 million in base salary guaranteed this year and another $3 million guaranteed next year.

The Falcons could use the space to fit in the rookie class. Over the past four years  under Dimitroff, the team has reserved enough funds to pursue veteran salary cap casualties near the end of training camp.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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60 comments Add your comment

ClassicFalcons

May 1st, 2012
12:58 am

McNeil & Abrayo. That sounds about right. & Good Vet Safety.

hbcuclassics

May 1st, 2012
12:59 am

HBCU Classic Sports
2012 Draft Update:

Christian Thompson, S, SC State – Baltimore
Ryan Davis, DE/OLB, Bethune – Jacksonville
Mario Louis, WR, Grambling – Houston
Marquette King, P, FVSU – Oakland
James Dekle, G, Prairie View – Arizona
Kevin Elliott, WR, FAMU – Jacksonville
Demario Pippen, RB,Tuskegee – Denver
LaMont Bryant, TE, Morgan St – Baltimore
Bryan Tymes, TE, FAMU – San Francisco
Jared Green, WR, Southern – Carolina
Donovan Robinson, DE, Jackson St – New York Jets
Adrian Hamilton, DE, Prairie View – Dallas
Antonio Dennard, CB, Langston – Jaguars
Paul Cox, WR, Mississippi Valley St – Chargers
Nicolas Cooper, RB, Winston Salem St – Packers
Jean Fanor, S, Bethune – Chiefs
David Legree, QB, Hampton – Chiefs
Dominique Ellis, CB, SC State – Chiefs
Donovan Richard, S, SC State – Jags
Calvin Middleton, RB, Jackson St – Rams
Willie Carter, WR, Howard
Rico Council, LB, Tennessee St – Falcons

http://www.hbcuclassics.com

Mike Nolan

May 1st, 2012
12:59 am

Now let’s go trade for Osi Umenyiora

MrShields

May 1st, 2012
1:05 am

So is this new Cap space or is it been applied and used? Nobody seems to want to make that clear to the Fans

[...] Falcons received salary cap credit from VickAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)At that time, Greg Aiello, the NFL's vice president of public relations, noted that salary cap credits are decided on a case-by-case basis and acknowledged that the Falcons case was under review.and more » [...]

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 1st, 2012
1:21 am

MrShields — It’s new. I’ve been checking their salary report daily. They were down to just over $1 million on the first day of the draft. With the credit the number is at $4-million plus as stated in the second paragraph.

Greg

May 1st, 2012
1:38 am

So $4M including Samuels 2012 contract, and likely picking up more space pending decision on Mughelli. If what I understand is correct we are in great salary cap position.

ATLJBO

May 1st, 2012
1:38 am

If the rooks shine… Ovie and Baker could be out the door and thats around 10 mil of cap space in out pocket (roster cuts + cap) … Its going to be interesting to see what happens

I know TD is watching the waiver wire…

ATLJBO

May 1st, 2012
1:40 am

By the way DLed… Im working on a Samuel and Grimes pick 6 factory video when i have time… ill drop that soon

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 1st, 2012
1:51 am

ATLJBO – Sweet! I’ll be looking for it.

Greg – Samuel’s deal is on the books. His cap number is $2.875 million. So it’s $4 million and change plus Ovie if they pull on the trigger on that.

MrShields

May 1st, 2012
1:56 am

D Led, dont get snappy with me. When I first read this article, (From the link from your twitter) that second paragraph, along with most of the other paragraphs, wasn’t there. Dont edit your post then try to play me man. I can read very well.

MrShields

May 1st, 2012
1:56 am

Also there wasn’t any pictures either

Willy

May 1st, 2012
2:06 am

That second paragraph was there the whole time! I saw it!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 1st, 2012
2:07 am

MrShields — Sorry if I came off a little snappy. Thanks for reading. Yeah, I was adding stuff, tying some of the facts together and well, I like to drop the pictures in there, too.

MrShields

May 1st, 2012
2:13 am

Its ok DLed no harm no foul. Having a bad night, netflix, went out on me in the middle of Scrubs. I just been looking for that information since the news first broke. Thanks for providing it.

MrShields

May 1st, 2012
2:15 am

@Willy, sorry pal but your mistaken. It was not.

clay

May 1st, 2012
4:19 am

So if they cut ovie, then that’s over 7 mil. to spend still. That’s another solid player for the o line

clay

May 1st, 2012
4:21 am

with that they could cut sam to and make it over 10 mil to spend still, which would make for a star or two solid players

YourPoliticalAnimal

May 1st, 2012
4:58 am

Marquette King, P, FVSU – Oakland…and the FORT VALLEY HITS KEEP ON COMING !!!…

SeenThisBFalcon

May 1st, 2012
7:31 am

AWESOME THX MIKE VICK FOR THE PRESENT!!!!!

Jtothed83

May 1st, 2012
7:44 am

Correct me if i’m wrong…and I usually am but wouldnt cutting Baker this year actually count against our cap ? Probably playing a factor in keeping him around.

Jtothed83

May 1st, 2012
7:46 am

and Dled, what are you doing up so late dawg? Get some sleep.

[...] charges back in 2007. The Falcons were Vick's biggest creditor … Read more on Atlanta J [...]

jalex49

May 1st, 2012
8:02 am

It would be nice to see Aubrayo Franklin as a Falcon. But only if there is $$’s to sign their draft picks and possibly some undrafted free agents that prove they can play in the NFL.

After looking at the unsigned free agent lists, I think there are some of these guys that will make the team and challenge some of the draft picks and possibly a veteran or two! Atlanta needs players that will take this team over and past the first round-hopefully too and win the whole thing?

Best of luck Falcons and thanks for “no bounties” baggage. Play hard and win. GO FALCONS!!

Falcon Fan

May 1st, 2012
8:20 am

I think Ovie and Sam will be cut. I hope someone steps up in preseason and takes those two jobs. I could also see Konz taking that RG spot this year and learning from McClure and then taking over Center next year. I think it was a good solid quiet draft, which is what this team needed. Now a few more Big Uglies and we are all set!

REASON

May 1st, 2012
9:23 am

now try to get freeny from the colts

Headmofo

May 1st, 2012
9:29 am

If we are able to jettison Baker and Ovie this should give us room to pursue Left Tackle Marcus McNeil. If McNeil checks out medically we can let McNeil and Svitek battle it out for our starting LT spot. This should give 3rd round pick Left Tackle Lamar Holmes a chance to develop behind the vets. The word on the street is Holmes is a project and is not ready to start this year.

THE INFAMOUS DK

May 1st, 2012
9:48 am

USE THE RODGERS BROTHERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! James and Quizz

NORRIS CHUCK

May 1st, 2012
10:18 am

Has anyone heard anymore news on Aubrayo Franklin from San Fran?

Mike

May 1st, 2012
10:24 am

I think if that Falcons is in “All-win” mode and they are going to have some cap space coming back, would it be wise to go after Osi if that is a case.

Franklin and McNeil would be great as well.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 1st, 2012
10:30 am

Mike — I think Osi is killing himself by continuing to attack the affable Mr. Reese. He needs to quietly go about his business. McNeil is a health issue.

D man

May 1st, 2012
10:31 am

This Vick money should have been given to us earlier this year. The league has known about it for years and choose to delay releasing it to us until now. We would have made different decisions that could have brought Carl Nicks to us if we would have had that money, then we could have drafted different. The league doesn’t want the Falcons to be a power team and they are dictating who has advantages and who doesn’t. If a New York or Dallas, or Pitsburgh team were due Salary Cap money, they would have received it long before we did. The Vick issue hurt our team and set us back. We should get restitution that will help us be a stronger team but the league wouldn’t let it happen. Why didnt we get a salary ap credit of 7.5M since that is part of what it cost us? Because we are not Pitsburgh or Dallas…

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 1st, 2012
10:32 am

NORRIS CHUCK — Nothing to report on Mr. Franklin. Everyone — agents and teams — have been busy with the draft. We’ll check in with his agent.

D man

May 1st, 2012
10:37 am

We should have received this money before now. The league should have given us $7.5M too. That’s what the idiot owed us for his mistakes that really set our franchise back. If we were a bigger market team like Pit, Dal, or NY, we would have been treated more favorably.

Now, let’s take the money we got and make our team better. If we would have had this 3 months ago, we would have got Carl Nicks and our draft would have been much different.

D man

May 1st, 2012
10:45 am

DLed, sorry about the duplicate posts. The first one didn’t show up so I shortened it a bit and re-posted. But, point made about the league…

JoBoo

May 1st, 2012
11:08 am

Just curious…if you guys had a choice, would you take Freeny or Osi?

J-Lo

May 1st, 2012
12:11 pm

Money Money Maaney! Maaney! Get some more, one more vote to let baker and ovie go regardless of the way that training camp unfolds, ovie is ovie the the hill, and baker has never been a true left tackle – Ryan has spent his entire career running from the right defensive end

J-Lo

May 1st, 2012
12:13 pm

ATLJBO

May 1st, 2012
1:01 pm

D-Led… PFT is saying that this was added to the cap in march.. Not now…

http://wp.me/p14QSB-2IDZ

” The headline of the item at ESPN.com potentially creates the impression that the Falcons are receiving the credit now. They’re not. The Falcons got the credit in March; thus, it was included within our various reports regarding the cap space that the Falcons had.”

Willy

May 1st, 2012
1:03 pm

@ Mr Shields: Oh yes it was! Ledbetter doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It was there.

Nique

May 1st, 2012
1:03 pm

I agree with everyone else, if we’re really serious about winning it all & doing so now, we cut Ovie & maybe even would be willing package Ray in a deal for Osi in need be, because that brother wants to get paid, but he deserves it. & while he probably should shut up, he’s right, if they offered him half the guaranteed $ as Mathis, i’d be upset to! I’d also bring in Franklin & Channing Crowder. What happened to that D-led, any leads?

BigGAdawg

May 1st, 2012
1:12 pm

DOL–pardon my ignorance here but I have never quite got a grasp on the new cap rules. Is it like baseball where you get penalized if you go over, OR is it just that no one can go over Period–you just can’t sign that last guy that puts you over or he is inelligible, OR is it something else entirely?

Roswell Falcon

May 1st, 2012
1:17 pm

I saw the PFT article as well. Do we have the extra cap space or not?

Chop

May 1st, 2012
2:08 pm

What salary report are you looking at D-led……….

The NFL granted Atlanta the credits in March, before the start of the league year.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d828c6acb/printable/atlanta-falcons-reportedly-get-3m-in-cap-credit-for-vick-debt

CuseFalcon

May 1st, 2012
3:49 pm

DLed……do you think Jabbar Gaffney would be a good fit here?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 1st, 2012
5:23 pm

CuseFalcon – I liked him at Florida. He’s been an average pro.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 1st, 2012
5:30 pm

Roswell Falcon – It’s not that complex. Falcons had a little over $1 millon after signing Asante. They just got the $3 million in credit from Vick and now have $4,068,441.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 1st, 2012
5:32 pm

BigGAdawg — The NFL has a HARD cap. You can’t go over and under the new CBA rules there is a minimum or floor that teams must meet.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 1st, 2012
5:33 pm

Nique — Checking some things out on both of those players.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 1st, 2012
5:34 pm

ATLJBO — It was recently added, retroactive back to March is my understanding.