The Salary Cap and Why I Just Took a Flier on Jamison Crowder

Below is a table with data courtesy of Spotrac that shows some of the top savings that can be had by cutting WRs.

Hit is the player’s 2016 cap hit, dead is the amount of dead money the team will realize by cutting the player, save is the amount of salary cap savings from cutting the player.

NAME HIT DEAD SAVE SAVEPCT YDS TRGS
CALVIN JOHNSON $24,008,000 $12,916,000 $11,092,000 0.46 75.88 9.31
VINCENT JACKSON $12,209,777 $2,432,000 $9,777,777 0.80 54.30 6.20
PIERRE GARCON $10,200,000 $2,200,000 $8,000,000 0.78 48.56 6.94
DESEAN JACKSON $9,250,000 $2,500,000 $6,750,000 0.73 58.67 5.44
VICTOR CRUZ $9,900,000 $3,800,000 $6,100,000 0.62
MICHAEL CRABTREE $11,000,000 $5,500,000 $5,500,000 0.50 57.63 9.13
EMMANUEL SANDERS $6,000,000 $1,000,000 $5,000,000 0.83 75.67 9.13
ANDRE JOHNSON $7,500,000 $2,500,000 $5,000,000 0.67 31.44 4.81
DANNY AMENDOLA $6,804,166 $2,733,334 $4,070,832 0.60 46.29 6.21
GREG JENNINGS $5,500,000 $1,500,000 $4,000,000 0.73 17.33 3.00
DOUG BALDWIN $5,600,000 $1,600,000 $4,000,000 0.71 66.81 6.44
ERIC DECKER $8,000,000 $4,500,000 $3,500,000 0.44 68.47 8.80
DWAYNE BOWE $8,000,000 $4,600,000 $3,400,000 0.42 7.57 1.86
MARQUES COLSTON $5,900,000 $2,700,000 $3,200,000 0.54 40.00 5.15
HARRY DOUGLAS $4,483,333 $1,466,666 $3,016,667 0.67 29.36 5.14
BRIAN HARTLINE $3,750,000 $750,000 $3,000,000 0.80 43.58 6.42

You can see from the table that two of the top four WRs in terms of salary cap savings in the event of a cut are Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. I don’t really know where the WAS front office is at with these two receivers but I do know that Pierre Garcon was never a great receiver, and when he was kind of good it was mostly due to volume. Jamison Crowder’s rookie year was better from an efficiency standpoint than Garcon’s age 29 season was.

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It seems like a longshot that WAS will cut Jackson, although if they do that then they should absolutely also cut Garcon since the latter’s cost is greater while he’s also a lesser receiver.

If WAS does cut Garcon then it’s possible that almost seven targets per game would be opened up in that offense. It’s only a possibility even then because they could also just sign another wide receiver. Another possibility is that they simply renegotiate Garcon’s contract.

But if Garcon’s seven targets per game leave the offense then I like Jamison Crowder’s chances to capture some of them. Keep in mind that he just had a 70+ target season as a rookie, and while he’s definitely in Jarvis Landry/Kendall Wright territory in terms of fantasy efficiency, even those guys can have value. I just traded a 2016 second round pick and a 2016 fourth round pick for Crowder. I don’t think the fourth round pick really has much value at all, so I really only looked at it as a late 2nd round pick (26th overall) in exchange for Crowder. The question I asked myself when I made that trade was whether I’d be able to find anybody in that range that had a 70 target rookie season in them, and/or, the potential for a number of targets opening up in their offense. Maybe a reasonable response to that question is that Tyler Lockett was available in that range last year. Well if you look at the most targeted rookies I think that will illustrate my point:

Name Age Tm G GS Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD Y/G Y/Tgt
Amari Cooper 21 OAK 16 15 130 72 1070 14.86 6 66.9 8.23
Stefon Diggs 22 MIN 13 9 84 52 720 13.85 4 55.4 8.57
Jamison Crowder 22 WAS 16 6 78 59 604 10.24 2 37.8 7.74
Tyler Lockett 23 SEA 16 8 69 51 664 13.02 6 41.5 9.62
Dorial Green-Beckham 22 TEN 16 5 67 32 549 17.16 4 34.3 8.19
Devin Funchess 21 CAR 16 5 63 31 473 15.26 5 29.6 7.51
DeVante Parker 22 MIA 15 4 50 26 494 19 3 32.9 9.88
Nelson Agholor 22 PHI 13 12 44 23 283 12.3 1 21.8 6.43

Crowder already out-targeted Lockett and also could have the more favorable target situation going forward. The difference in PPR points between Crowder and Lockett comes down entirely to the difference in touchdowns.

The person that I made this trade with isn’t a dummy, it’s Mike Clay from PFF. So I think that a lot of the objections that people would have to making this trade probably have merit. You could say that Crowder is a low ceiling player, that he’s lacking in talent as illustrated by his late draft position, and that the only reason he saw those 78 targets is because DeSean Jackson was out (Crowder was on a 110 target pace when Jackson was out). To be honest, I’m sort of scratching my head wondering how the hell I’m writing about Jamison Crowder.

But I do think his rookie year was better than people think, he has potential to see more targets in 2016, and in general I value those late second round picks less than most.

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