Today was quite the day of activity as teams look to gain as much cap space as possible before the beginning of free agency tomorrow. I am going to break things down by conference in two posts to keep things from getting too long. As for the salary cap charts please note that I will be doing my best to keep them updated and current over the next week but I’ll be playing catchup on some days so bear with me on it. Also the league has made more adjustments to the cap that I am unaware of for most teams so if you have any information please email me.
Dallas Cowboys– The cap disaster that is the Cowboys did make their way under the cap today with more restructures and the release of LB Dan Connor. The release of Connor saved the team $3 million. Dallas’ decision to restructure the contract of 32 year old Jay Ratliff is probably one of the worst decisions of the season, showing the severity of the Cowboys cap and their mishandling of the situation. Most of the offseason Dallas management complained about Ratliff an Ratliff had all kinds of problems both on and off the field. While I don’t know the exact specifics yet this will more or less assure Ratliff of a roster spot in 2014 whose dead money will now be over $5 million.
Washington Redskins– The Redskins released CB DeAngelo Hall creating $8 million in cap room in the process. Hall had been at the center of the cap penalties against the Redskins when they used void clauses to accelerate all the prorated money from his 6 year, $54 million dollar contract into the uncapped season. His release at least offsets some of that. The Redskins also reworked the contract of always injured Adam Carriker and placed some incentives into the deal to help reduce his cap hit but give him the chance to earn back money by remaining on the field.
Minnesota Vikings– The Vikings got the heist of the century when they traded disgruntled WR Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks for a 1st round pick plus some mid round selections. To get that kind of price for a player that is essentially no different than a Restricted Free Agent is unheard of. The Vikings will save $2,782,500 in cap with Harvin’s trade.
Arizona Cardinals- The Cardinals released RB Beanie Wells clearing $1,457,500 in cap room.
San Francisco 49’ers– The 49’ers traded a late round pick for Anquan Boldin from the Ravens. The 49’ers will take on Boldin’s $6 million dollar salary and cap charge. Boldin who works the sidelines well and is a good blocker should be a fit in the style of offense that the 49’ers run. If the trade goes through I would think it would spell the end of Mario Manningham as a 49’erReleasing Manningham would free up close to $4 million in cap almost offsetting the acquisition of Boldin.
Seattle Seahawks– This was the team on the other end of the Harvin deal which has really left me scratching my head. Supposedly the Seahawks are about to lock him up for upwards of $12 million a year which is an absolute market changer. Harvin is a slot receiver who primarily catches short little passes. Harvin has never had a 1000 yard season or a double digit TD season. I know some will argue that he is a triple threat (receiving, running, and returns) but it’s just wasted money, IMO. They already had a good return player in Leon Washington who will likely be released now and for the most part players don’t return once they are established as offensive weapons. Seattle was a terrific team last year and probably would have won the Super Bowl if they escaped Atlanta and maybe this puts them over the top, but this reeks of a move that will be a contract albatross 2 or 3 years down the line.As a Jets fan I sure wish the Seahawks needed a disgruntled cornerback.
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.