Vikings Cut Guard Brandon Fusco
The retooling of the Vikings offensive line began today when the team officially released Fusco from his five year contract that he signed in 2014. Fusco was considered one of the worst linemen in the NFL by Pro Football Focus so the release should come as no surprise. Fusco was 1st on our list of likely cuts on the interior offensive line. Fusco only completed 2 years of his 5 year contract. The Vikings will save $3.2 million in cap space and $4 million in cash commitments with the release.
Vikings Cut Michael Harris
The Vikings had re-signed Harris to a one year, $2 million contract in 2016, but Harris never played a down for the team, spending the entire season on the NFI list. Harris had been scheduled for free agency but due to spending the season on the NFI list his contract was to toll with Harris remaining on the Vikings roster in 2017. By cutting Harris the Vikings will save $2 million in cap room.
Julius Thomas earns $3M Salary Guarantee
Julius Thomas’ contract with the Jaguars has been one of the worst in the NFL over the last two years and they look to continue to sink funds into Thomas with the decision to not release him today. Thomas had received a $3 million injury guarantee on his $7.1 million 2017 salary upon signing his contract in 2015 and that guarantee would become fully guaranteed if Thomas was on the roster today. There was some confusion on Twitter over the date of this guarantee but based on the information I have I believe today is the correct date unless Thomas agreed to push the date back. While this doesn’t prevent the Jaguars from releasing Thomas at a later date, they would now take a $6.6M dead money charge rather than the original $6.6M one. Thomas was number one on our list for likely cuts at TE and Id consider that pretty unlikely at this point.
Palmer and Fitzgerald Earn Big Salary Guarantees
Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald both said a few days ago they did not plan to retire and when you consider the two were slated to earn $15.5 million and $11 million respectively in guarantees today its pretty understandable why. This could be the last hurrah for Arizona and their veterans if the team fails to make the playoffs again. Palmer is under contract for one more season while Fitzgerald will be a free agent in 2018.
Jeremy Lane earns $4M Salary Guarantee
The Seahawks generally utilize waiver period vesting guarantees and that was the case with Lane, whose $4 million salary became fully guaranteed. Lane played in a career high 16 games and 9 starts but did not have a good season and was one of the lowest rated cornerbacks on the season. Still $4 million is not that expensive for a corner so this is not really a big surprise.
Ryan Fitzpatrick’s Contract Officially Voids
I’m only mentioning this because I know its been talked about a lot in NY, but it really means nothing. Fitzpatrick already counted $5M on the Jets cap before today and will continue to count for $5M. If the Jets for some crazy reason wanted to re-sign him the net impact on the cap would be zero even if the accounting is different. Fitzpatrick’s void does not mean he is free to sign a contract today- he has to wait until the start of free agency just like any other free agent.
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.