Yesterday we had mentioned that Rams G Harvey Dahl had restructured his contract to provide cap relief for the team and today we have the details of the move. According to a league source with knowledge of the contract Dahl actually took a pay cut of $1.25 million on the season with an opportunity to earn that money back via incentives based on playing time.
Dahl was scheduled to earn a non guaranteed base salary of $4 million in 2013. His new base salary is a fully guaranteed $850,000 and he was also given a $1.9 million dollar roster bonus to bring the full guarantee to $2.75 million for the season. Because the contract was signed after the final preseason game the roster bonus should be prorated for salary cap purposes, which was not the Rams intention. To avoid the proration the Rams placed a player controlled void clause in the contract to allow the full roster bonus to count on the cap in 2013. To void the deal Dahl would be required to pay back the roster bonus.
The Rams moved $1.5 million of Dahl’s 2014 base salary into a roster bonus due on the 3rd day of the League Year, which is Dahl’s reward for accepting a potential pay cut. This forces the Rams to either pay Dahl $2 million in March or release him early in the free agency period. Such a move helps Dahl avoid being put in a similar position in 2014 if he is still in St Louis where he is asked to take a pay cut in early September.
The renegotiation was important for the sides to get done when they did as incentives placed in contracts during the season are treated as likely to be earned for salary cap purposes. By signing the contract before Week 1 they could still place NLTBE incentives into the contract.
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.