The Indianapolis Combine is a time for teams and agents to gather in the same town and hold face-to-face discussions on multiple topics. Those conversations will be starting as early as today in Indy.
And those talks often range from interest in looming free agents (yes, this is tampering and yet everyone does it), talks about players about to get cut, talks about players the team has identified for salary cuts, talks for contract extensions.
In the next few days I expect Joel Segal, the agent for center Mike Pouncey, to meet with the Dolphins and talk about a new contract for his client.
This is going to happen this offseason, folks.
Why do I know this?
Well, I know Segal, based in New York, and new Dolphins executive vice president for football operation Mike Tannenbaum have worked on multiple deals in the past. I know they have a high degree of respect for one another. I know the two typically get things done when both are of the mind to do so.
And both are of the mind that Pouncey's future is with the Dolphins.
And both believe it is in their best interest to get this done.
Pouncey, due $7.4 million for 2015, wants to be among the highest paid centers in the NFL. And that means he wants to be in the same neighborhood as his brother Maurkice Pouncey, who last June signed a five-year contract extension worth $44,136,625 with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Maurkice got a $13 million signing bonus. And the contract calls for roster bonuses of $3.75 and $3.5 million in 2015 and 2016 if he is on the roster in March of those years -- which he will be, at least in a couple of weeks.
Base salaries of the contract are $1 million in 2014, $1.75 million in 2015, $3.5 million in 2016, $7.5 in 2017, $7 million in 2018, and $7 million in 2019.
And if Mike gets in that orbit, I imagine he will be satisfied.
The Dolphins, on the other hand, would like to not carry a $7.4 million cap number for Pouncey this year. They do that by, for example, giving Pouncey a $12 million signing bonus that prorates over the next five years at $2.4 million per season. If the team adds Pouncey's required minimum salary of $745,000 for 2015, his cap number would be $3.145.
That's a lot more palatable for the salary cap strapped Dolphins than $7.4 million.
Why would Pouncey go for that? Because he's getting a lump sum check for $12 million (minus federal tax) that's why. And $12 million is more than $7.4 million.
Obviously the cap value will go up in the coming years. Well, that's what happens when you are paying a player. The salary cap may be higher those years as well.
This is simply an example of the numbers can work. But the actual numbers should be fairly similar to manage.
That's why a source close to Pouncey told me recently a new deal "shouldn't be too hard."
I've been told the Dolphins agree.
So it is only a matter of time.