With many of our favorite teams out of the playoff chase and fully in preparation for 2016 free agency obviously the salary cap becomes a big topic of conversation for many teams. While we have our team calculators to help manage the entire roster and also pair with fanspeak to help run a free agency simulator, we thought having a reference table for all players under contract who have cap charges in excess of $4 million would be a huge help when discussing moves that involve one specific player and laying out most options for a specific contract. So Nick was able to put this together to help everyone out in the prep for free agency.
So how do you read the tables? Let me break it down.
The first three columns are self explanatory. It is the players name, his current team, and his salary cap figure for 2016.
The next three columns show what cap space would be gained or lost by removing the player from the roster. The three ways to remove a player from the roster are to release him outright, designate him a June 1 cut, or to trade him to another team. So for Jay Cutler of the Bears they would gain $4 million in cap room by cutting him, $6 million if they designated him a June 1 cut, and $14 million if they traded him.
The final two columns show the two ways teams can keep the player on the roster and save cap space without really negotiating a new contract. The first column is a restructure, which is simply converting their salary to a signing bonus and prorating it over the life of their contract. The second is an extension which is effectively what the savings would be if the team added the maximum number of years to a contract so they can prorate the current salary over the maximum number of years. In essence this would be like adding voidable contract years. So for Drew Brees there is $0 that can be gained in a restructure because this is the final year of his current contract, but if they added four more years on to his contract they could save over $15.2 million.
The table columns I believe sort if you click on them and I will link the table up to one of our menus through the start of the new League Year.
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.