Schaub’s Contract Means Little for the Texans Future
There has been plenty of criticism on the contract that Matt Schaub signed prior to the 2012 season, a 5-year $66.150 million contract with $29.15 million of that deal guaranteed. The Houston Texans gave a middle of the road contract to a middle of the road quarterback and his contract is not in the top 10 paid quarterbacks for the duration of the deal.
Pro Football Talk had a post about how the Texans could escape Schaub’s current contract, so we decided to look at this a little further.
The contract is set to expire in 2017, but there are some positives that the Texans front office put into effect with this deal.
1. The Texans still owe Schaub $50.5 million in his contract IF he stays on the team until the end of 2016.
2. If the Texans cut Schaub prior to June 1, 2014, they will save $11.5 million for the 2014 season and $40 million in non-guaranteed money.
3. The Texans would owe Schaub $10.5 million for the last three seasons of the deal for putting his name to paper ($3.5 a season of dead money).
4. Schaub’s cap hits increase up to $19 million by 2016.
5. The rookie wage scale on drafted rookies make this situation manageable for the Texans.
Take a look:
We decided to look at the contracts of drafted rookie quarterbacks in the past two drafts.
1. We looked at a top (#1 overall), middle (#15 overall) and bottom (#22 overall) of the first round drafted quarterbacks.
2. We added a second round pick (#39 overall) quarterback to also look at those numbers.
3. The rookie wage scale and the contracts that rookies would get in that comparable spot are fairly accurate.
4. Dead Money has to be put into a lump sum within the first two seasons. So within the first two seasons the Texans will have to spread out $10.5 million.
The rookies we looked at were
Andrew Luck #1 overall (2012 NFL Draft)
E.J. Manuel #15 overall (2013 NFL Draft)
Brandon Weeden #22 overall (2012 NFL Draft)
Geno Smith #39 overall (2013 NFL Draft) *2nd round pick
1. We took the base salaries plus signing bonus and put together the cap hits of each quarterback.
2. The cap numbers look small compared to what Schaub is currently making for the Texans, and this is even with a number one overall pick in the equation.
3. We then added each quarterback’s cap numbers with the dead money “if” Schaub was cut by the Texans prior to June 1st.
The Numbers Should Ease the Minds of the People
If the Texans opted to draft a quarterback in the 2014 draft (at any spot of the draft) and cut Schaub, the Texans would be making a responsible financial decision. They would save money based on Schaub’s cap number if he stayed with the team, and this decision is based on what is best for the future of the franchise.
To make the argument more attractive, the Texans in 2017 would save even more money when Schaub’s dead money would come off the books and drop their quarterback cap number even lower.
No matter what drafted rookie quarterback’s name is plugged into Luck, Manuel, Weeden or Smith’s spot in the chart above from the upcoming draft class, this is all about the rookie wage scale and how it helps the Texans in the long run. Draft spot does not matter at this point either, just the decision on Schaub’s future with the team prior to June 1st.
Despite what people say, the Texans are not tied to Schaub and his contract does nothing to prevent the Texans from making moves for the future. A quarterback is going to get paid at the NFL level and the Texans cap figure will go down with a simple move. Whether the Texans make the move or not is still up for debate, but Schaub’s contract is not hard to get away from.
Draft position or name does not matter for the Texans’ future because, combined with dead money, releasing Schaub hurts the Texans cap number less than actually keeping him in Houston. The 2014 off season is a while off but, to make sure it is clear, no one is tied to Matt Schaub and his contract.