With training camps underway we now begin a phase of the NFL offseason where transactions pick up and players are routinely cut and signed from the various teams. On days when the transactions are a bit more meaningful to everyone I’ll try to do a bit of a recap of the moves and the finances behind them.
The Kansas City Chiefs reworked the contract of star running back Jamaal Charles to immediately squash a potential holdout by Charles. I had discussed yesterday how underpaid Charles was relative to his peers and while this helps bridge the gap it is far away from making Charles a high priced player. The Chiefs will increase the payments to Charles over the next two seasons by $5 million, which would increase the annual value on his original contract from $5.6 to $6.6 million, still nowhere near the top of the position. Charles will be able to earn an additional $13 million in 2016 and 2017, but considering he’ll be hitting 30 at the end of 2016, those years are likely there more for salary cap purposes and to keep the player happy by inflating the overall contract value, even though the odds of those years being earned are minutiae. We’ll hopefully have full details of the deal by tomorrow.
The New York Jets signed veteran pass rusher Jason Babin to a two year contract. Babin has re-signed with the Jagaurs this offseason and earned a $500,000 bonus before quickly being released. He was set to earn $1 million in base salary and up to $850,000 in roster bonuses, $650,000 in playtime incentives, and $100,000 in Pro Bowl incentives. Though terms of the new contract were not released one would guess that there would be some similarities in the amount of money he could earn, albeit at lower numbers. The move could indicate that OLB Antwan Barnes, set to make $1.2 million in 2014 and coming off injury, is still unhealthy and/or in danger of being cut. Barnes was put on PUP today. It is hard to imagine the Jets keeping both players in September.
Veteran corner DJ Moore was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Moore was playing on a minimum salary benefit contract so releasing him will not change the salary cap situation for the Bucs.
Did Not Report
The San Francisco 49ers officially placed G Alex Boone on the Did Not Report list, indicating the first holdout of the season. Boone is unhappy with his contract and the fact that he will only make $3.7 million over the next two seasons. Boone basically has five days to hold out before he is subject to forfeiture clauses in his contract. The extension recently given to Joe Staley likely represents the type of deal the 49ers would be willing to do with Boone, one in which Boone does not receive much now but will earn more in the future.
The Cleveland Browns were awarded tackle Abasi Salimu from the Rams. The Browns have been one of the most active teams in the NFL when it comes to waiver claims. Salimu was an undrafted free agent and had received a $2,000 signing bonus from St. Louis. .
Wide Receiver Sidney Rice officially retired from the NFL today. Rice was one of the prized free agent acquisitions of the Seahawks a few years back and never quite lived up to the expectations that were set following a strong season playing with Brett Favre in Minnesota. It was a risky signing as Rice was coming off injury and the injuries continued for the next three seasons before being released. Rice had re-signed with the Seahawks following the release and received a $150,000 bonus.
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.