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. Cutting Cherilus will save the Colts $4 million in cash and cap this year and another $4.1 million in cap room in 2016. Given the timing of the release it is likely the Colts approached Cherilus about a paycut this season which he refused. He was slated to earn $7 million in 2016 with a $9.9 million cap hit so the odds of him ever having been a member of the Colts roster next year were slim, so this was a proactive move on the part of the Colts. Many teams would throw another year’s salary on the player, but Indy elected to save $4 million, which can help fund the eventual massive extension that will come Andrew Luck’s way.
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.