Just wanted to post a brief update on the status of some salary cap related stuff on OTC over the next few weeks. This time of year is filled with all kinds of rumors, announcements of signings, possible trades, cuts, etc….and it always causes all kinds of confusion so here is how we plan on handling the various items in the offseason.
Trades can not be processed until the beginning of the league year so from a technical standpoint all of these players should remain on their current team until March 18th at 4PM. During the next few weeks its always possible that the trades can fall through or a new trade partner pops up essentially making the trade announcement nothing more than a fantasy. In the past trade agreements during February and March were pretty rare but it picked up steam last year and we did adjust the way we handled them last year. Provided that the trade is reported by a reputable source (Adam Schefter for example)or announced by the team we will process it within a day or two of the announcement even though we may need to revert it if the trade falls through.
There is always talk of players that are being released. We will not process any cuts unless officially announced by the team either through a press release or the official NFL transaction wire.
Retirement announcements often occur in February and March, but until these are official with the NFL we will not process these. We will treat it this way even if the team and/or player announces it. Why? There are cases that arise where a player realizes that retiring is not in his best financial interest and ends up not retiring. From a cap perspective teams may want to hold off on officially placing someone on a reserve list until June 2.
Unless we confirm the numbers with someone we will not process any rumored signings. We may, during free agency, put in some placeholder numbers based on reports that assign the player to the right team and put his overall reported contract numbers into our rankings, but please remember that often reported values end up very different than the actual ones so if you see numbers change over time that may be why.
Players with voids (like Tom Brady) often have cap dollars that may accelerate into 2020 if they do not sign an extension. This acceleration doesn’t happen until the first day of the league year and we will not adjust until that date. For players with voids earlier than that we will accelerate it once the void occurs and move the player from the active list to the “dead money” list. We never count fake base salaries (contracts will usually have a large salary in the contract) at any point for voidable contract years.
With NFL rules changes these options will likely soon come to an end, but for the next year or two they have to dealt with. The declined option, despite the nicer sounding words associated with it, is nothing more than a cut. The only difference is that the player wont be free until the start of free agency. As long as the news of the declined option comes from a reputable source we will process this as a cut,
Because of the difference in the way we will be treating this versus how others will and specifically how the NFL will when you see wild differences between reported numbers this is likely a main reason why. Also remember that things are always very fluid this time of year and while we do our best to keep up with contract announcements and details there is always going to be some lag especially with new rules possibly in place this year. So just stick with us while we get it all sorted out.
Thanks as always for making OTC a small part of your football world and lets get ready for another wild free agency period.
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.