I think and hope, we see a lot less of that now that Ireland's gone Rich, as a franchise you always want pay a player what he's worth per year, so a 6 mil per player, should make 6 mil per, in a perfect world.
The main reason is because it sucks to have to pay players like Wallace, Hartline, Ellerbe and Wheeler balloon payments, or simply being overpaid for 4 years and underpaid for 1, because of a low cap number for year 1, it's really more of a desperation move to create more cap space in the short term, this is a big reason why we're in trouble right now.
So we know it's not a perfect world, but those type of desperate cap moves should be saved for when your on the cusp of a SB, Ireland was doing it to get a winning record, it's like going all in after the turn, still needing cards, it might work, but it's not a smart game plan.
We've been conditioned to expect it as Fin fans though, thanks to Ireland.
This is not an Ireland thing. This is an NFL thing. Every NFL team uses signing bonuses and guaranteed money as tools to pay a player upfront and protect themselves in the long run by fluffing up base salaries when the penalty for cutting a contract short is diminished. Contracts with a low base salary the first year and high base salaries towards the back of the contract are not a new concept that Ireland invented (as a matter of fact, it is Dawn Aponte who structures the contracts and she is still with the team).
To prove my point, look at Branden Albert's base salaries. They escalate every season. Albert was not signed by Ireland.
The cap issues caused by Ireland were not because of the contract structures, the backloaded contracts, balloon payments or escalating base salaries that almost every single NFL team uses in their contracts.
The cap issues are caused by the need to sign free agents to keep the team competitive because of the number of draft picks that have not panned out for this team over the last decade. And this problem precedes Ireland. The number of missed 2nd and 3rd rounders and even 1st rounders this team has experienced over the past 10+ years is why we're in the midst of gutting the roster and getting rid of dead weight.