The Dallas Cowboys officially released DT Jay Ratliff, terminating what I had considered the worst contract on the Dallas Cowboys. Because Ratliff has his contract reworked this offseason his dead money charge in 2014 will be $6,928,000, putting the Cowboys dead money for 2014 already over $11.5 million per our salary cap estimates. That said this actually improved Dallas’ 2014 salary cap situation by $1.304 million. The Cowboys had restructured Ratliff’s contract earlier this season due to their difficult salary cap situation, essentially deferring $2.928 million to the 2014 season.
The Cowboys should not see any much, if any benefit, to releasing Ratliff in 2013. Ratliff had already collected $472,941 of his 2013 salary and was scheduled to earn an additional $867,059 over the course of the season. I admittedly am a bit hazy on how Termination Pay works for players on PUP and I don’t know for certain if Ratliff’s contract was guaranteed this year. I’ll try to look into that over the next day. The Cowboys can attempt to get out of these payments if they feel Ratliff was not making a good faith effort.If his salary is guaranteed either through contractual mechanisms or CBA regulations his release will create no cap space in 2013.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.