Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Contract Status

Although the playoffs are just beginning, I can't help but think forward to next season and the thoughts of RSL being able to keep their core group together. I was curious about the contract status of all the players on the team. After asking around, here is what I was able to find out:

All players will be either under contract, or the team will have an option on them, with the following exceptions:
  • Players currently on loan: this would mean Jamison Olave and Fabian Espindola. The team is working hard on Olave and believes that they will be able to work something out. It's a matter of cost, but there are also some complications related to this. In the case of Espindola - the deal is much more straight-forward and affordable. If the team is interested (why wouldn't they be?) then the deal will get done. We'll have to see if there is a no-backflip clause in his contract going forward.
  • Players graduating from Generation Adidas: the contracts for these players will now count against the salary cap. Look for Nik Besagno and Yura Movsisyan (who is in a similar category for foreign internationals) to both be graduation candidates.

There will be a couple of other contract considerations that will come into play for next season:

  • Bonuses: A number of players may have bonus structures which may be based on team performance, or some personal performance measures.
  • Allocation Dollars: RSL had a significant treasure chest of allocation dollars prior to the start of this season. The team spent a significant amount of these dollars during this season. These dollars are typically used to either pay acquisition costs (transfer fees) or to "buy-down" players salaries to assist with salary cap compliance. This may put a squeeze on the salary cap without the same level of allocation dollars available for 2009.
  • New acquisitions: Of course the team will want to bring in some new players in the offseason. The tricky part will be finding salary cap space (and roster spots) to accomodate these additions. Naturally this will require strategic releases of certain players, and salary will be a key component of this.
  • Expansion draft: With the Seattle Sounders joining the league they will have the opportunity to poach 1 player from each team in the league. All teams will be allowed to protect 11 players from this draft.