According to multiple reports the New York Jets released WR Jason Hill and promoted TE Hayden Smith to the active roster. Hill was signed as a street free agent four weeks ago when the Jets receiving core was decimated by injury. Hill dropped a critical pass in his first Jets appearance and his playing time had dwindles since then, appearing in just 46 snaps over his three game stint with New York. By waiting until Saturday to release Hill the Jets likely cost the team a few extra dollars as Hill will be paid his full weeks salary even though he is not on the team.
Under terms of the CBA Hill was eligible, as a vested veteran, to guarantee 25% of his base salary, $535,294, for the entire season. Had the Jets released him on Tuesday Hill could have filed a claim to collect an additional $10,294 from the Jets. The Jets will instead pay him $41,176 for the week. This could also be a gesture that the Jets are open to bringing him back in the future as it leaves both sides leaving on good financial terms as Hill was likely going to remain unsigned if the Jets released him early in the week.
Smith is a former rugby player who had a tough time getting play time even in the preseason. The Jets had guaranteed Smith $98,500 for the season on his original contract. His Practice Squad pay rate was $6,875, which was higher than the $5,700 minimum paid for most players. There was a thought that he had only earned his spot due to the guarantee in his original deal, but he will now have an opportunity to show his worth on the 53 man roster. Smith will earn $229,411 in salary if he remains on the team throughout the season. The last time the Jets made a move like this, releasing veteran Bryan Thomas for one week to promote a Practice Squad player, the PS player did not dress for the game. It cost the Jets approximately $17,241 in salary cap space for what amounted to a non-move.
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.