Jets Cut Gilchrist

In discussing the Jets potential cuts this offseason Gilchrist was on the top of the list because of his bloated salary of $6 million, health status, and low level of productivity. When the Jets drafted two safeties with their top two draft picks it seemed clear that Gilchrist was done with the team and the Jets made it official today. A bit surprising to me, though, was that this was listed as a post June 1 designation on the official transaction wire.

While the Jets are towards the bottom of the NFL in cap space there is nothing that should have forced them to use a June 1 designation on Gilchrist. The June 1 is generally used when the salary cap impact of cutting a player is simply too high and the team needs to find a way to spread that hit across two seasons. Cutting Gilchrist outright frees up a pretty healthy $4.6 million of cap space, but instead the Jets will now free up $6 million for this year and take a $1.375 million cap charge in 2018 for Gilchrist. I estimated that the Jets had in the ballpark of $7.9 million in cap room before cutting Gilchrist. $12 million in cap room should have been more than enough to cover rookie signings (about $4.8 million) and for expanded accounting in September.

So why use the June 1? My guess is there are two considerations that the Jets have. One deals with injury protection that likely will allow Gilchrist to collect $1.15 million this year. Gilchrist was seriously injured last season and would qualify for injury protection under the CBA because of that. He was cut with a failed physical designation so unless he is able to pass a physical and sign a contract with another team the Jets will be on the hook and deferring the bonus charge until next year kind of offsets the immediate impact and gives the Jets more flexibility.

The other consideration may lie with some other veteran decisions the team could make. If the team trades away Sheldon Richardson it is probable that they would eat $4 million of his salary in order to facilitate a trade. While that would still create a good deal of cap room this would give them a little added breathing room. Though there has been zero indication that the team is considering moving on from Matt Forte he is a player who could be released and cost the Jets on the cap.

Of the two, the part about the injury protection makes far more sense as to why to use the designation since the others wont really cost the Jets anything (Richardson would still save some cap room and they could just June 1 Forte too) while the injury protection liability was out of the Jets control.

For what its worth the Jets restructured Gilchrist’s contract last year to gain cap relief by converting $2.25 million of salary to bonus money, a move that probably would have been better done with another player. The Jets initial contract with Gilchrist for $5.5 million a season was pretty bullish at the time and seemed to represent the front offices faith in the head coach to get better play out of Gilchrist. This was something that seemed to be a constant with Bowles’ defenses in Arizona.

Thus far that has not really worked out for anyone in the secondary on the Jets. Neither Gilchrist nor cornerback Buster Skrine ever justified the cost while Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie were both released after two and one seasons with Bowles. In addition Bowles was unable to make anything out of Dee Milliner (admittedly a major reclamation project) and has yet to do anything significant with Calvin Pryor. The Jets have to hope things turn around with their two new additions to the secondary.

Chargers Release Donald Butler

The cuts continue to roll in as the Chargers have released linebacker Donald Butler. This was an expected move as Butler was set to count for nearly $9.3 million against the cap and had more or less been relegated to the bench. Butler was just two years into a big $1.8 million contract that he signed in 2014 that was one of the more unique contracts in the NFL. Butler’s contract was truly a contract within a contract that called for earning $19.8 million over the first three years of the contract with the Chargers then having an option to kick in another four years at $32 million. As things turned out he didn’t even make it through the initial contract phase. Continue reading Chargers Release Donald Butler »

Giants Cut Beatty, Beason and Schwartz

According to multiple news outlets the Giants will be releasing linemen Will Beatty and Geoff Scwartz and linebacker Jon Beason today. All three dealt with injuries last season.  The moves, which were not really unexpected, will save the Giants $11.575 million on the cap and bring their expected cap room somewhere between $52 and $55 million for the year. That will rank in the top 5 in the NFL. No word yet on Victor Cruz who is the other likely release.  Continue reading Giants Cut Beatty, Beason and Schwartz »

NFL Cutdown Day 2015 Part II: Salary Cap Considerations

With the second round of cuts occuring as teams trim their rosters to 53 players I’ll create another thread to discuss any notable releases. So check back often as Ill update whenever a name player or two is released with some quick thoughts on the salary cap implications of the release. Continue reading NFL Cutdown Day 2015 Part II: Salary Cap Considerations »

NFL Cutdown Day 2015 Part I: Salary Cap Considerations

Its not often that the first cutdown day in the NFL brings with it much news, but over the last 24 hours there have been a few moves with cap implications and there may be more to come as teams need to reach 75 players by Tuesday at 4PM. I’ll keep this as a running thread for updates on some of the name players that are moving on from their teams over the next day so to discuss the cap implications so check back every now and then for updates. Continue reading NFL Cutdown Day 2015 Part I: Salary Cap Considerations »

Bears to Release Tim Jennings

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter the Bears are going to release veteran cornerback Tim Jennings in the first suprise, big name release of the preseason. It is a somewhat surprising move because Jennings had his entire $4.4 million base salary guaranteed for the year and the Bears will be on the hook for that money once they cut him. His guarantees do have offsets, meaning the Bears obligation will be reduced by the amount he is paid by another team, but most likely that amount will be for the minimum.  Continue reading Bears to Release Tim Jennings »

Colts Release Gosder Cherilus

The Colts have announced the release of right tackle Gosder Cherilus. Cherilus had signed a $35 million contract in 2013 that made him the highest priced right tackle in the NFL. It was a bit of a head scratching move at the time and given the fact that they released him just two years later likely indicates that they regretted the decision. Because the release occurs after June 1, the $8.7 million in dead money in his contract will split across the 2015 and 2016 seasons with $2.9 million counting in 2015.  Continue reading Colts Release Gosder Cherilus »