It seems many people feel that if we were to let Neil walk as a ufa this summer, he will inevitably get signed for upwards of $2mil dollars. And probably due to the likely bidding war for him, it will probably be a very long term contract.
This would suggest then that if we did sign him for lets say more than you initially expected, say $1.9mil, then we would have a very valuable tradeable asset. Meaning it might be better asset and cap management to "overpay" Neil (in cheapskate terms), and then trade him after a year, rather than let him walk as a ufa for nothing.
Its fine to suggest we shouldnt pay this much for a specific role, because in the ideal cap model, your 4th line roles should only be allocated so much cap space. But we arent likely to be approaching the cap anyway. How do you know we will need the extra say $700k of cap space from signing Bass instead of Neil? We may not need that $700k of cap space at all the next couple of years and then would have traded a valuable aset for nothing too.