Since the start of the 2013 league year, ten NFL teams have released a total of 11 players with a "post-June 1" designation. By using this designation, teams are able to spread the cap hit from releasing that player over the 2013 and 2014 seasons. A caveat for using this designation, however, is that teams are required to carry that player's current salary on their cap until June 1.
Here's a list of the ten teams and the amount of cap space they'll gain on Sunday, June 2:
Miami Dolphins: $10.4 million — The Dolphins released inside linebackers Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett with "post-June 1" releases and, as a result, will pick up $10.4 million in cap space on June 2. Dansby, who has since signed with his original team, the Arizona Cardinals, was scheduled to earn $6.05 million in base salary, while Burnett, who signed with the Oakland Raiders, was due $4.35 million in salary in 2013. Combined, the two veteran linebackers will earn a maximum of $4.75 million from their new clubs in 2013.
The Dolphins had $7.066 million under their adjusted cap number of $128.223 million and have three picks in the first three rounds of the 2013 NFL draft to sign before training camp. Those players are scheduled to count $4,832,672 against the team's 2013 cap. The downside to gaining an additional $10.4 million in cap space on June 2 is that Dansby and Burnett will combine to count $3.575 million in "dead" money against the Dolphins' 2014 salary cap.
Oakland Raiders: $8 million — No NFL team has, or will have, more "dead" money on their 2013 salary cap than the Raiders, who are paying the piper for some serious cap mismanagement in recent seasons. For example, former Raiders defensive tackles Richard Seymour ($13.714 million) and Tommy Kelly ($6.324 million) will combine to count over $20 million (15.8 percent) against Oakland's salary cap in 2013. Quarterback Carson Palmer ($9.34 million) and Darrius Heyward-Bey ($5.26 million) are two more former Raiders taking up huge space on the team's 2013 cap. The second-largest cap number on the team (behind Seymour) belongs to current Baltimore Ravens safety Michael Huff, who counts $11.288 million against the Raiders' cap. That sum includes $8 million — comprised of a $4 million roster bonus and $4 million base salary — that will come off the books on June 2, providing the Raiders with much-needed cap relief.
According to salary data maintained by "Shutdown Corner", the Raiders had less than $300,000 in cap space entering the weekend and have yet to sign any of their 10 picks from the 2013 draft. Oakland's "rookie pool" number, which is the first-year cap hits of their picks, is $6,405,868, so the cap relief on June 2 will certainly help the Raiders get some rookie deals done.
Buffalo Bills: $7.25 million — The Bills parted ways with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, designating their starter from the previous four seasons as a "post-June 1" release. Fitzpatrick, who signed with the Tennessee Titans, was scheduled to earn $4.25 million with a $3 million roster bonus, both which remain on the Bills' books until June 2. Once that $7.35 million is removed, the Bills will have over $18 million in cap space in 2013, though $1.615 million is earmarked for first-round quarterback E.J. Manuel, the team's lone unsigned 2013 draft choice.
Pittsburgh Steelers: $5.5 million — The Steelers were less than $100,000 under their adjusted cap number of $124.422 million entering the weekend. Substantial relief will come on June 2 as Willie Colon's base salary is wiped from the books. Colon, who has since signed a one-year, $1.2 million contract with the New York Jets, is taking up $7.65 million in space on the Steelers' cap, much of that coming in the form of $5.5 million in base salary. That $5.5 million will be shed on June 2, lowering Colon's 2013 cap hit to $2.15 million. Next season, Colon will count $4.3 million in "dead" money against the Steelers' cap.
The $5.5 million in cap space will help the Steelers get deals done with first-round linebacker Jarvis Jones and second-round running back Le'Veon Bell, who will combine to count $2.332 million against the Steelers' cap in 2013.
Atlanta Falcons: $4.5 million — Free agent defensive lineman Richard Seymour, who we mentioned earlier as having the largest cap number on the Raiders ($13.714 million), has drawn some interest from the Falcons, who lack the cap space to make a serious run at signing the former University of Georgia standout. As of May 31, the Falcons were $1.9 million under their 2013 adjusted cap number, but will gain $4.5 million in cap space when offensive tackle Tyson Clabo's base salary comes off the books on June 2. The Falcons released Clabo on April 4 and the veteran tackle signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Miami Dolphins on May 5.
Though the $4.5 million could help get a deal done with Seymour, the Falcons still have to sign first- and second-round cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, who will count $2.1 million against the team's cap in 2013.
San Diego Chargers: $4.5 million — San Diego entered the weekend with less than $150,000 in 2013 cap space, but will gain $4.5 million in cap space on Sunday. The Chargers released offensive tackle Jared Gaither after the first season in a four-year, $24.5 million contract extension that included $9 million in guaranteed money, all of which was paid out in 2012. Gaither was due $4.5 million in base salary in 2013, which remained on their cap following his release. Injuries limited Gaither to just 243 offensive snaps, which means he earned $37,037.04 for each snap last season. Of the 11 players to be released with a "post-June 1" designation, Gaither, who has battled injuries throughout his career, is the only one who remains without a contract.
Part of the cap savings on Gaither will be used on first-round offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, who will have a first-year cap number of $2,073,182 once he signs his rookie contract.
Arizona Cardinals: $2.9 million — Arizona released guard Adam Snyder one season into a five-year, $17.5 million contract that included $2.9 million in base salary in 2013. Had Snyder been released without a "post-June 1" designation, the Cardinals would not have saved any cap room in 2013 as the $4 million in signing bonus proration that remained on his contract was equal to the $4 million that Snyder was set to count against the cap this season. By using the "post-June 1" designation, however, the Cardinals chose to split that $4 million over the 2013 and 2014 seasons. $1 million will be applied to the 2013 cap, while the remaining $3 million accelerates onto their 2014 cap.
Snyder's $2.9 million base salary has remained on the Cardinals' salary cap throughout this offseason, but will come off on June 2, creating $2.9 million in additional cap space this season. With that added room, the Cardinals will be $11.51 million under the cap, but still need to sign first-round guard Jonathan Cooper (who will have a $2,645,273 cap number this season) as well as fourth-round picks Earl Watford and Alex Okafor.
Carolina Panthers: $2.9 million — The Panthers have signed their entire 2013 draft class and were $6.716 million under their $126.232 million adjusted cap number entering this weekend. Most of the cap management measures the Panthers took this offseason involved renegotiations, with running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, offensive tackle Jordan Gross and center Ryan Kalil restructuring their deals to free up cap space. The Panthers also released outside linebacker James Anderson, using the post-June 1 designation that will result in $2.9 million in additional cap space on June 2.
Anderson was scheduled to earn $2.9 million in base salary in 2013, the third of a five-year, $22 million extension from 2011. The Panthers could have used a straight release on Anderson, which would have saved $200,000 in cap space in 2013 and had him off the cap completely in 2014. Instead, the Panthers used the "post-June 1" designation, which means they'll save $3 million in overall cap space in 2013 (in addition to his $2.9 million salary, there was a $100,000 workout bonus), but Anderson will occupy $2.8 million in "dead" space on their 2014 cap.
Baltimore Ravens: $2.5 million — One of the many veterans purged from the Ravens' roster following their win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII was safety Bernard Pollard, who was let go with the "post-June 1" designation. Pollard was due $2 million in base salary with a $500,000 roster bonus, both of which continue to count against the Ravens cap. On June 2, that $2.5 million will come off the books, giving the Ravens $2.5 million in cap space.
The Ravens were $1.728 million under the cap, which was barely enough to sign both of their remaining unsigned draft picks. First-round safety Matt Elam will count $1,230,364 against the cap, while third-round defensive tackle Brandon Williams will have a first-year cap number of $533,750. The additional $2.5 million in cap space from Pollard will give the Ravens some room to get those deals done.
Dallas Cowboys: $2 million — Finally, we have the Cowboys, who through pay cuts, extensions and renegotiated deals were $7.77 million under their $119.495 million adjusted cap number with four "Top 80" picks from the 2013 NFL draft left to sign. The Cowboys gain $2 million in additional cap space on June 2 as defensive end Marcus Spears received the "post-June 1" designation when he was released in March. The Cowboys could have saved $600,000 in cap space without that designation, but chose instead to save $2 million in cap space in 2013 and have Spears count $1.4 million against their 2014 cap.
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