Vikings Trade Matt Cassel to the Bills

The Bills makeover continues. Just one day after agreeing to a trade with the Eagles for running back LeSean McCoy they are back in the trade market, this time acquiring quarterback Matt Cassel from the Minnesota Vikings.

Cassel will carry a $4.75 million cap charge for the Bills this season. He is due a $500,000 roster bonus on March 17 and can earn up to $1.25 million in incentives. Unlike what I speculated about McCoy, I do not believe the Bills would even consider extending Cassel.

Cassel is kind of an odd choice for the Bills, but I guess it indicates that they did not see a better option in free agency where they would have likely taken a run at either Mark Sanchez or Matt Moore.  The last time Cassel started more than 9 games in a season was 2010, so it is hard to picture Cassel lasting in a starting role for the Bills either. The Bills had looked at Josh McCown, but he selected the Browns, who offered a three year contract.

Given the trade for McCoy and money the team will likely need to spend on the offensive line the Bills may have decided that a lower cost, one year contract was better than having to get into a two or three year one with those players mentioned above.

Minnesota, who I believe is a darkhorse team to be surprisingly active in free agency, creates an additional $4.75M in space with the trade. They have a lot more money they can free up by working with the deals of Chad Greenway, Greg Jennings, and Adrian Peterson.

McCoy for Alonso has Chip Kelly Singing Sister Hazel to Marcus Mariota

I was shocked to see that LeSean McCoy was traded to Buffalo for former Oregon Duck Kiko Alonso, but it’s a move that I think makes sense for both sides.

As Jason states in his article regarding this trade, this move is a major win for the Eagles in the sense that McCoy was set to have a cap hit of $11.95 million this year and if the cap is $143 million, that means that McCoy would have taken up 8.36% of their cap, which is about what Reggie Bush made in 2009 for the Saints as the second highest paid Super Bowl champion running back of the cap era, 8.61% of the $123 million cap that year. The highest paid Super Bowl champion running back was Emmitt Smith in 1995 with a salary of $3,400,600, 9.17% of that year’s cap of $37.1 million.

Due to Darren Sproles being on the books for $4.1 million in 2015, the Eagles had $20 million committed to the running back position group, which is 13.99% of the cap. That 1995 Dallas Cowboys backfield is the only Super Bowl backfield that cost more at $5,553,700, which was 14.97% of the 1995 salary cap.

The 1990s were a different era completely with Daryl “Moose”Johnston as their seventh highest cap charge at $1,402,900, which was 3.78% of the 1995 cap. Although Johnston was an extremely productive fullback with 359 total yards and three touchdowns, it’s a position that the Eagles don’t even have on their roster and production that they easily make up with tight ends and receivers. So comparatively, the Cowboys halfbacks cost 11.19% of the cap compared to the 13.99% that the 2015 Eagles were slated to spend.

But considering that Johnston was productive and had only ten less catches than Sproles had in 2014, let’s include him in this discussion. The Eagles 2015 backfield would have cost 93.45% of what the 1995 Cowboys backfield cost, so for arguments sake, all things being equal the Eagles would have had to produce 93.45% of what the Cowboys backfield produced. This doesn’t take into account that Michael Irvin and Troy Aikman, two Hall of Famers, had the best seasons of their careers in 1995. Nor does it take into account the defense that ranked third in the NFL in points allowed led by Hall of Famers Deion Sanders and Charles Haley.

Figure 1: 1995 Cowboys vs. 2015 Eagles (Click on the figures to enlarge them)

1995 Cowboys vs. 2015 Eagles RBs

Now, McCoy would have cost the Eagles 91.17% of what Smith cost the Cowboys, so I put together this figure to show what 2015 McCoy would have to produce to be at 91.17% of Smith’s stats that year. I also show what he did in 2014 and 2013, which was the best season of his career and resulted in only two less total yards than Smith’s 1995 season.

Figure 2: Emmitt Smith vs. LeSean McCoy

Smith vs. McCoy

Considering that Nick Foles, Marcus Mariota, Bryce Petty or whoever starts for Philadelphia isn’t going to be Troy Aikman, I think that the Eagles backfield of 2015 would have had to be better than the 93.45% that I stated above. I think that McCoy would have to be more like 2013 LeSean McCoy, which is similar to the 1995 Emmitt Smith outside of his insane touchdown production, but I don’t know if he can do that for a few reasons.

First, McCoy only cost the Eagles 4.01% of the salary cap in 2013, which, if that was the case in 2015, would allow the Eagles to build a stronger team around him. Second, with Darren Sproles taking up 2.87% of the cap, they’re expecting him to produce, thus taking away from McCoy’s production and because of this among his decline in play last season, I feel like Jason’s right when he mentions that he probably would have been asked to take a pay cut if they didn’t make this trade.

While the Eagles did have a lot of issues on the offensive line this season, they did have some strong players on the line. Their best line combination was Peters at left tackle, Evan Mathis at left guard, Jason Kelce at center, Andrew Gardner at right guard, and Johnson at right tackle. Mathis missed Weeks 2-9 and Kelce missed Weeks 4-9 with injuries, while Johnson missed Weeks 1-4 with a suspension for PEDs.

According to Pro Football Focus, Kelce had a 7.5 rating at center, Gardner had a 1.2 as a guard, Johnson was the second best right tackle in the NFL, Peters was the best left tackle, and Mathis was the best left guard. From Week 10 on, McCoy had all five of his best linemen and he performed well with 87 yards a game at a 4.56 average and four touchdowns. With Sproles bringing in 20 catches for 143 yards over the last eight games, McCoy only had eight catches for 61, which illustrates his reduced role in the passing game with Sproles.

A huge indicator for me is that he went from the best rated running back in football in 2013 according to PFF, to the third worst rated back in 2014. This was indicative of what I saw when I watched him, he didn’t look like the same player as the guy in 2013 and he didn’t look comfortable in the offense this year, always seeming to look for home runs rather than taking what he was given. While I think he can rebound in 2014, he was nowhere near worth 8.36% of the Eagles cap, when they have other needs to fill and could easily replace him with this deep running back draft.

I think a change of scenery will do him well and that cap number will be better utilized in Buffalo with Rex Ryan. While McCoy excelled in Chip Kelly’s offense in 2013, I think the Ryan’s ground and pound style that utilizes the fullback will better suit McCoy’s style. McCoy was drafted by the previous regime and Andy Reid uses the fullback. According to PFF, going back to 2009, the starting fullback for the Jets played 355 snaps a season, while the starting fullback for Reid’s teams played 313 snaps a year. McCoy will be back in his comfort zone as this is also more similar to the offense he ran at Pittsburgh in college.

In 2009, Thomas Jones had over 1402 yards and 14 touchdowns, which are numbers I could see McCoy eclipsing. Brandon Spikes played well last year with Alonso out and Nigel Bradham and Preston Brown played well on the outside. The Bills were fourth in the NFL in points allowed and yards allowed and they did it without Alonso. I think that Rex decided to ensure he had a top-flight runner for the first time in his career as a head coach. If Shonn Greene can run for 1000-yards twice in Ryan’s ground-and-pound offense, what can McCoy do?

Like Jason said, McCoy will now take up one-third of the Bills projected cap room and should rework his contract for more cap relief as he’ll be 27 at the start of this season. Since none of the money in 2016-17 is guaranteed for McCoy and he’ll be 30 the next time he’s projected to hit free agency, it’s in his best interest to rework a deal with another year or two on the back end.

On the Eagles side, my first thought was that I’d really like to see them take Melvin Gordon in the first round, but was is everything that they’re doing right now posturing to set themselves up for Mariota…?

Could they trade the Jets something along the lines of Nick Foles, this year’s first rounder, next year’s first rounder and a second rounder to get him?

Considering how well Mariota knows the offense and his talents, I think it’d be a good move for the Eagles and Mariota as we can at least project him better in Philly than anywhere else and he will hit the ground running as he won’t have to learn a new offense.

With all the cap space the Eagles have and the solid team they have right now, I think the writing is on the wall for a deal like the one I just threw out there. The biggest thing for the Eagles right now is ensuring that Mariota will be available where they’re looking to deal.

Their four biggest needs are at cornerback, safety, outside linebacker and now running back. Since they keep going down to Houston to sign away Texans, I could see them getting Kareem Jackson to play corner and/or Brooks Reed to play outside linebacker. It’s a pretty deep outside linebacker group and considering the amount of money they’ll have to spend, they have their pick of a group that includes the Ravens Pernell McPhee, who was the second best 3-4 OLB according to PFF, Jason Worilds and Arthur Moats from Pittsburgh, and the brother of Eagles’ linebacker Emmanuel Acho, Sam.

The big get this offseason for safeties is Devin McCourty and the Eagles would be wise to go after him with the cap space they have. At corner, I would go after Jackson like I said above and Bryon Maxwell would be a great pick up. I could go on and on with predictions, but the real story is that the Eagles now have $40 million in cap space and they could get $6.9 million more by releasing DeMeco Ryans after this deal as they now have Mychal Kendricks (the sixth best ILB in the NFL last year by PFF), Kiko Alonso (the ninth best in 2013), Brad Jones is a great back up and they could resign Casey Matthews at a reasonable price.

So this deal for Alonso could allow them to open up around $18 million worth of cap space when it’s all said and done. That’s what great organizations do.

Mark my words…Chip Kelly is going to get the quarterback that he calls the best he’s ever coached. The quarterback position is too important for the Eagles not to get Mariota now that they’ve set themselves up as well as they have. If you can trade away a quarterback your staff isn’t confident in, two first rounders and a second rounder for the pick that will secure the player you see as the face of your franchise for the next 15 years, you do that. And from the Jets standpoint, with everything they need, it’s a good deal for them. Nick Foles is a good quarterback and I think he’ll fit well with what they’re trying to do offensively.

So with that…take it away Sister Hazel!

I hope you enjoyed some of the Super Bowl stats and analysis that I started the article off with. I’ve been working with Jason to put together our First Annual Caponomics book that will be done in May where we analyze the 21 Super Bowl winners of the salary cap era and create theories based off of the data provided. We then use that data to analyze what teams did right and wrong in 2014 and will do that on an annual basis. If you’re interested in purchasing this book when it comes out or pre-ordering it once we get the link ready, please e-mail me at Let me know if you have any questions if you’re interested.

It’s been a lot of fun to research and write, plus everyone I’ve spoken to about it has been intrigued, so I really think we’re onto something and I’m confident that it’s something all you CapHeads will enjoy. Feeling very good about it and look forward to sharing the things I learn through the process on Twitter and here as we launch this book.


RGIII Benched…Whats Next for the Redskins QB?

The Washington Redskins have benched Robert Griffin III, which likely indicates the end of the road for Griffin with the Redskins organization. Let’s look at the financials of his contract, what might happen in the future with him, and what a mess it was that got them to this point.

Releasing Griffin is not going to be a popular option for Washington next season due to the guarantees in his contract. Griffin was lucky enough to be drafted in the 2012 season when the concept of “no offsets” became a big clause in highly drafted rookie contracts. What that means is if the Redskins were to release Griffin, he would collect money from the Redskins and whatever other team in the NFL sign him. His fully guaranteed salary is  $3,269,877 in 2015. That makes the Redskins preferred option is the trade of Griffin where the guaranteed salary will transfer to the new team and thus save the Redskins a $3 million charge.

Finding a trade partner might not be the easiest thing for Washington. It is already a given they will not get value for RGIII. Not only does he look like a broken QB, but he only has one more season under contract. A team can exercise an option for 2016, but the cost of that option is the cost of the 2015 Transition tag for QBs, which will likely be in excess of $15 million. A team only has until May 3 of 2015 to exercise the option and while it is only initially guaranteed for injury, Griffin’s injury history will likely make the price too steep.


So any team trading for him will almost certainly look at this as a one year marriage and not pick up the option. That means you need to have the confidence that your organization can spend the time “fixing” him and signing him long term to a reasonable contract if you do fix him. When Mark Sanchez was released by the Jets this season he found lukewarm interest in free agency, eventually settling for a low guarantee/cost contract from the Eagles who were willing to take that chance due to his potential upside. His most likely destination would be to a team with no quarterback that may not have the potential to draft one this season. Teams like the Jets, Rams, and Texans would be the most likely fits to take a one year flier on him. You might throw the Vikings and even Eagles into that mix, though I cant see another Washington/Philadelphia trade occuring.

Washington has come under a great deal of scrutiny for this decision. A number of people believe you should make him play through this and force him to learn while others realize he wasn’t playing at an NFL level and needed to be benched. The Redskins needed to make this move for the future of their team, as crazy as it sounds. They have 52 other players on that team to consider and the way Griffin acted at times after these games he likely alienated every one of them.  It is one thing to believe in a young, potential superstar, but its another to have a failing player bring down a whole organization.

Playing him at this point was not going to help or hurt his trade value, but the threat of injury was real and that would destroy any trade value which made this move a must in my opinion. His lack of awareness was startling last week and there is almost no chance his body would hold up to that beating again. To get anything for him he has to be healthy and this is the only way to accomplish this.

Thats not to say Washington has handled him well. They are the most dysfunctional organization in the NFL and everything they did with him just added to the mess. The Redskins gave him the keys to the kingdom before he really ever took a snap in the NFL. Head coach Mike Shanahan tailored an offense to his skillset in 2012 and Griffin exceeded all expectations as he was clearly the most successful of the top QB’s drafted that season. But success seemed to go to his head and the Redskins protection of him just fed into that. Shanahan had a similar issue with Jay Cutler in Denver where his constant praise just added to an attitude that still follows Cutler to this day.

RGIII was injured and had a falling out with Shanahan that offseason. Washington’s handling of the QB at that point was ridiculous. Because of his shortcomings in running a pro style offense he needed a real offseason of work to continue to grow in 2013. The injury made that impossible, at least from a physical standpoint. They still decided he should be the starter at the opening of the regular season, a decision that seemed to come from the owner. Griffin didn’t look healthy and regressed, falling far behind fellow draft mate Andrew Luck who improved tremendously in year 2. Eventually RGIII got the coach fired.

Under new coach Jay Gruden, RGIII looked even more unprepared than he did under Shanahan. He looked terrible and these last few weeks looked as if he was mentally checking out of the games. His coach undressed him in a press conference after Griffin ripped the effort level of his team, in a bizarre scene that showed how far this rift had gotten. Gruden made a stand and had to have ownerships back at this point to keep the other 52 guys focused on a future that would include the coach but not the QB.

The trade for RGIII will likely go down as one of the worst draft trades in the NFL. Though I do think a fair argument could be made for the Rams not trading away that pick the fact was they fleeced the Redskins in terms of value. The trade illustrates the premium that teams put on the QB position as no other recent trades have come close to that kind of one sided nature.  RGIII has now failed with two coaches, both of whom could not stand him by the end of the season, and rubbed most of his teammates the wrong way. Its a disaster.  In the end the Redskins paid a huge price, got one playoff game, and two years of headaches and drama because of it.



Buccaneers Trade Barron and Casillas


While not much was expected at the deadline the Buccaneers made some noise by selling off former first round draft pick saftey Mark Barron to the Rams and linebacker Jonathan Casillas to the Patriots.

The trade of Barron is the interesting one because again it shows how the new CBA allows first round picks to be traded away rather than being forced to keep an unwanted player on the roster. I would expect more of these in the future.

Barron still has two years remaining under contract, both fully guaranteed, as well as an option year that can be picked up for 2016 after this season. The Rams will take on $902,719 in cap charges in 2014 and $2,362,704 in 2015. The Rams released Case Keenum to make make room for Barron which saves them $262,059 against ths salary cap. The Rams only had about $540,000 in cap room as of today so they likely had to restructure a contract to fit Barron on the roster. In the past the player they always go to in these situations is Chris Long so I would not be surprised if his deal was tweaked today as well.

Casillas was signed this year as a free agent and had received $200,000 in an offseason bonus. The Patriots will take on the the balance of his salay, $582,353, for this year.

The Buccaneers will keep a $2,240,273 dead money charge against their 2015 cap for Barron. They will avoid $902,719 in payments this year for Barron and $582,353 for Casillas which will boost their miniscuke $410,000 in cap room that remained following the extension of Gerald McCoy. This should give them the breathing room they need for the rest of the year.


A Look at Trading Vincent Jackson


The NFL trade deadline is fast approaching and one of the names being rumored as available is Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson. Jackson’s name is one that I have thrown around here for over a month due once it was clear that Tampa Bay was not going to fire this season.

Though big trades in the NFL are rare, especially during the season, Jackson is the perfect candidate. He is still productive, but at 31 years old will likely not have many top seasons left in him, which may not be the best fit for the Bucs moving forward. He does not seem as productive in this offense which has not really featured his best trait of going vertical down the field. He is putting up the lowest numbers of his career in terms of YPC, but that has improved over the last two games with Mike Glennon at QB. So if the Bucs will look elsewhere in 2015 its best to get something in return for him.

A team that acquires Jackson would be responsible for 9/17 of his $10 million base salary, which amounts to $5,294,118 in salary. Since he would replace someone on the roster a team would need about $5.1 million in cap space just to execute the trade. Jackson’s 2015 salary is a non-guaranteed $9.777 million salary so a team could also consider prorating some of this years salary to make the deal work within the salary cap.  Though the Buccaneers often work with all cash contracts, the Bucs prorated a large amount of money with Jackson in 2012 as preparation to make a move on Darrelle Revis in 2013. The dead money charge for the Bucs in 2015 would be $4.864 million.

The competitive teams in the NFL that could need a wide receiver and also have the cap room to execute the trade would be the following:

Browns ($19.0M)

Eagles ($16.3M)

Patriots ($9.0M)

Seahawks ($8.7M)

Chiefs ($5.4M)

For the Chiefs such a move would likely be a one year rental. They have a very tight salary cap situation in 2015 and need to re-sign Justin Houston, so taking on any additional salary would compromise their future. Seattle just traded away Percy Harvin which created the room they would need if they wanted to bring in a true vertical threat like Jackson and work him into their system. Philadelphia would be an interesting landing spot as they have been overly reliant on Jeremy Maclin and Jackson would give them a devastating group of players at the position.

Harvin, a disgruntled and overpaid player, was traded to the Jets for a 6th round pick that could escalate to a 4th rounder based on contract status. A few years back the Patriots acquired a 33 year old Chad Johnson from the Bengals for a 5th and 6th round pick. Jackson is younger and more productive than Johnson but probably does not have the long term upside of a Harvin. I would lean towards most teams considering no higher than a 4th round pick for him or maybe a conditional 3rd rounder. I would be pretty surprised if Tampa received close to their rumored asking price of a 2nd round pick.


@ZackMooreNFL’s Take on Harvin to the Jets


The Seahawks and Jets just rocked the football world with the rare in season trade as the Jets have just received Percy Harvin for a conditional pick. 

It seems like a strange move considering the Seahawks gave up a first, third and seventh rounder for him and they’re a team that highly values their draft picks, along with the fact that he’s one of the most explosive playmakers in football, but it also makes complete sense when you look at some of the numbers along with how the Seahawks are constructed. 

According to ESPN’s fantasy department, “Harvin only played 59.5 percent of Seattle’s snaps this year — nearly 30 percent less than both Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse — and Harvin doesn’t have the blocking skills a run-heavy offense like Seattle’s would ideally feature at receiver.” Considering that he’s also owed a non-guaranteed $41.5 million over the next four years, they must have decided that Paul Richardson was a better move for them financially. 

I think the writing was on the wall when they drafted Richardson with a second round pick last May, he’s the same kind of explosive playmaker, but he’s playing on a four year, $4.7 million deal, while Harvin is in the middle of a five year $64.2 million deal and playing less than 60% of the team’s snaps. They must feel that Richardson is ready to step into that role sooner than expected.

The fact that Harvin is one of the most injury prone players in the league must have also factored into this decision, on both ends as he is apparently only worth a mid-round pick which I think is a reflection of his injury history. We can all agree that he’s one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL and while I know he hasn’t performed very well this year, if a player like Antonio Brown or Emmanuel Sanders was traded mid-season in this way, they’d command much higher than a mid-round pick.

While I do think that Harvin is a difficult player to deal with as a team because of how much time he misses, the Jets are well equipped to handle him missing time with Jeremy Kerley. I think it’s a great move for the Jets, when you can get one of the biggest playmakers in the NFL for a mid-round pick and you have the salary cap space to do it, it’s a great move for your team, I just wish it came before they sank to 1-6 on the season. 

I think he’ll fit in well with what Rex Ryan does with his offense as well and what I like most about this move is the fact that after this season, they’ll know for sure if Geno Smith is the quarterback of the future. While I know the team hasn’t performed as well as an optimist would hope, they’ve got a lot of weapons around Geno Smith now. 

Pretend this isn’t the New York Jets and all the negativity that creeps into your mind just at the sight of their name in text, think of their skill players right now. The running backs are Chris Ivory with the power, Chris Johnson with speed, Bilal Powell as the number three after rushing for 697 yards last season. 

They’ve got Eric Decker on the outside finally healthy after a hamstring issue to start the season, a guy who had 2,352 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns in 2012 and 2013. Now, you’ve got Percy Harvin as your #2 guy which will open Decker up to more single coverage and freedom to make plays. I know we haven’t seen Harvin play 16 games since 2011, but at least he’s well rested, am I right?!?!?! 

In 2011 though, Harvin was one of the best players in the league with 87 catches, 967 yards receiving, 345 rushing and 8 offensive touchdowns. In 2012, he played 9 games and had 62 catches for 677 yards and 3 TDs, which over 16 games would give him 110 catches for 1,203 yards. 

There are some guys who are just too explosive for their own good almost, I’ve seen it at DeFranco’s Gym with guys like Michael Smith who was a 7th rounder in 2012 and a running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but just hasn’t been able to stay healthy during his time in the NFL. Harvin might be one of those guys, but with the right training and care, we could see him blossom in this new opportunity.

Let’s not forget that the Jets still have Jeremy Kerley who is a nice supplement to this offense, but shouldn’t be a focal point like he’s had to be at times this season. Falling back into a role more suited for him, we will see him benefit from this as well. Greg Salas and David Nelson are good role players in the 4th and 5th receiver spots, which is more suited for who they are as players right now. 

At tight end, I think the Jets have a future All-Pro type player in Jace Amaro, I love what he did at Texas Tech and he fits exactly what the Jets needed going into the draft, so I’m very happy to see the hometown green team making some savvy moves after the mockery that the last few years have been. Jeff Cumberland is a very good second tight end, so there’s another guy that the Jets have put in a better place to succeed through good decisions. 

One thing that I really like about the Seahawks is their open mindedness and ability to admit they made a mistake and rectify it. Considering the way the Seahawks manage their team, spending $64.2 million on an oft-injured, risky player like Harvin is outside of what they normally do, a mistake they already made with Sidney Rice. They saw an opportunity to rid themselves of a contract that wasn’t working out for them, you just don’t pay someone that kind of money to play 60% of your snaps. It’s not Harvin’s fault either, he just didn’t seem to be the right fit for that kind of money. 

The Seahawks are the kind of team that sends a brochure to agents of undrafted free agents to show them how they let the best players play no matter where they’re drafted. Simply put, they might just be the most well managed team in all of football right now, so they just cut costs with a player who wasn’t fitting in well anyway.

I see some people questioning this move considering that the Seahawks gave up three picks for Harvin to get him, but they just became so much more flexible heading into the future and they won a Super Bowl last season. Sure, Richardson might not be Harvin, but they must have decided that he is a good enough substitute after a cost-benefit analysis. They won a Super Bowl with Harvin playing one regular season game and the Super Bowl, they must have decided that getting rid of this contract was the right move.

Overall, I rate this as a great trade for both sides and I’m excited to see how the Jets use him. Dear Rex Ryan, don’t Tebow us with this one, I can feel the excitement of Jets fans bursting through my social media networks, don’t break their hearts my good man!

@ZackMooreNFL Total Human Optimization 



Seahawks Trade Percy Harvin to the Jets


According to Jay Glazer the Seattle Seahawks have traded wide reciever Percy Harvin to the New York Jets for a mid round draft pick. In my opinion this is one of the rare actual “work out best for both sides” trades.

The Seahawks acquired Harvin via trade in 2013 from the Minnesota Vikings in what was a bit of a head scratcher. Seattle gave up their first round pick in 2013 and a mid round pick in 2014 for the rights to Harvin. Harvin had worn out his welcome in Minnesota due to his unhappiness with his contract following an injury filled season. The Seahawks would turn around and sign him to a $67 million, 6 year contract that contained $12.85 million per year in new money. The salary moved him, depending on how one valued it, into either the top 3 or top 5 at the position in salary despite never having a 1,000 yard season.

The Seahawks paid Harvin $14.5 million in 2013 to catch 1 pass for 17 yards in an injury filled regular season. Harvin would have two big runs and a kickoff return for a TD in the Super Bowl that year. Since the Jets played their game this week Harvin I believe will be paid by Seattle, leaving Seattle with a $4.5 million bill for 22 receptions for 133 yards. This will likely go down as one of the worst trades in NFL history.

Moving on from the contract and getting anything in return was good for the Seahawks. It seemed clear he did not fit in their offense and they had no idea if there was a way to utilize him. Seattle will now save $6.47 million in salary cap space and salary this year by trading him, money that can be rolled over to the 2015 season and used for the Wilson extension. Harvin will carry a $7.2 million dead money charge on the Seahawks 2015 salary cap, which represents another $5.7 million in freed up cap space, though it was likely they were releasing him next year anyway.

From the Jets perspective the team was devoid of talent and it was worth taking a risk on a player like Harvin. His ability in the short passing game should fit with what the Jets are currently running on offense and allow Eric Decker to see less help when he goes down the field.  In theory it can open up two layers of field if teams still have any fear of Harvin or he re-earns the fear of defensive coordinators.

The Jets had the lowest payroll in the NFL and one of the largest cap surpluses in the league. Harvin will eat up $6.47 million of the Jets cap room this year in what will amount to a half season audition to keep his contract. In 2015 Harvin will carry a $10.5 million salary and salary cap charge.  None of that money is guaranteed so if Harvin fails to perform the Jets can either release him or look to renegotiate the salary back down to a more reasonable price range that fits with his performance. Harvins total contract value over the next four seasons works out to $10.375 million per year so there are many ways to work within the contract to reduce the salary while keeping his value at a high level to keep any egos happy.


For the Jets there is no risk here. He is not displacing anyone of importance on the team. He can be released at any time. The Jets cap space was projected to be so high that there was likely no way they could spend all of it so even if he stays at his full price it does not make a material impact in any plans moving forward. The Jets also are in a position where thy will need to spend money just to meet the salary minimums in the CBA so this gives them a chance to see a player in uniform before commiting that money to him, which is always a plus. I would assume that this does mean Jeremy Kerley will not be back with the Jets next season.

Harvin will get to be one of the rare players in the NFL that will be paid for two bye weeks. The Seahawks already had their bye week while the Jets is still upcoming.

I’ll update Harvin’s contract to reflect the trade later tonight or early tomorrow morning. But for now you can view is old contract here