Per LaCanfora: Jaguars and Cardinals Prepaid Money Before Trades

According to Jason LaCanfora the Jacksonville Jaguars and Arizona Cardinals both pre-paid significant portions of Eugene Monroe’s and Levi Brown’s salaries to facilitate a trade to the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers respectively.

This makes the trades much more reasonable for the capped out Steelers and Ravens, whose trades at full prices for these players made little sense. Based on LaCanfora’s tweets my assumption is that the teams have reduced the base salaries to the mandated CBA minimums which should actually result in larger bonuses being paid by the original teams.

In the case of Brown he will have earned 4 weeks of salary at a rate of $4.75 million and the remaining weeks at a base of $715,000. His effective salary will be $1.76 million, meaning the Cardinals should have paid a bonus of $3.086 million to make the contract whole. Teams can not use any bonus mechanisms during the season to avoid proration treatment of these prepayments, unless they were to void the remaining years of the contract. What that means is that the Cardinals should now carry a dead money charge in 2014 of $6,514,191 for Brown. His final cap charge in 2013 for the Cardinals should be $3,539,044. The Steelers should only be responsible for $546,765 in salary cap charges for 2013, making the cap effect of trading for him almost negligible. The signing of Brown looks to have been a disaster for the Cardinals based on the financials now.

In Monroe’s case he will earn $715,000 for the remaining 13 weeks of the season and will have earned $894,118 prior to the trade. It is likely that the Jaguars paid him $2,359,117 in a bonus, half of which should count in 2013 and half in 2014, unless the 2014 season was void allowing it to all accelerate into 2013. Considering Monroe’s contract was set to void it is possible that the Jaguars could have done this rather than carrying dead money in 2014. At worst they will now carry $2.577 million in dead charges for Monroe in 2014. The Ravens should only be responsible for $546,765 in cap charges.

When the trades are made official and the true cap numbers come in we’ll get the correct figures in for both players rather than the guesswork contained in the post.

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Steelers Trade for T Levi Brown


One day after the Baltimore Ravens made a trade to attempt to fix their offensive line, the 0-4 Steelers got into the mix trading for Arizona Cardinals starting LT Levi Brown.

This is a trade that is hard to make sense of from either side. Arizona, who is 2-2 and could easily be 3-1, will be moving their starter in what is essentially a salary dump and I have to imagine an admission that the offense is not getting any worse without him there. The Cardinals must have planned on releasing him next season and this at least saves them the balance of his salary for the year. Arizona will save $3,623,353 in cap and cash space by trading Brown, who they has signed just last year to a contract that contained a $7 million dollar signing bonus. He will count for $4.2 million in dead money against the Cardinals 2014 salary cap.

Pittsburgh will now further compromise their salary cap with the addition of Brown. Brown’s cap number will add $3.6 million to Pittsburgh’s current payroll. As of Tuesday they only had $1.86 million in cap space meaning they will need to create nearly significant cap space to execute the trade. The Steelers have already gone to the restructure route multiple times in the last two years which has left them with a difficult cap situation again in 2014, where they are estimated to already be a few million over the cap with just 40 players under contract. The addition of Brown will add another $6.25 million to the teams payroll in 2014 plus whatever money is pushed from 2013 to 2014 via a restructure.Possible restructure candidates could be Ike Taylor or Troy Polamalu while they could also consider extending Ryan Clark for some cap relief.

If Brown fails the Steelers can cut him next year with no penalties, but at 0-4 its hard to see why the team would choose to waste $3.6 million in cap room on a player that has played poorly in Arizona. Brown had to be aware of the fact that the Cardinals could have cut him next season and made him a free agent so he was not a player who felt added protection based on his contract and wasn’t giving 100% as is sometimes the case. Maybe this proves to be a better system for Brown or acts as a wakeup call but it just seems like too much to invest considering the issues with the teams’ salary cap moving forward and their status in 2013.

View Levi Brown’s Contract and Salary Cap Page

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