How can teams "cheat" the cap?
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07-15-2005, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
in the nfl, they have signing bonuses and roster bonus. Both are paid up front, however signing bonuses are spread out through the life of the contract for cap purposes. Roster bonuses count against that years cap in total.
This is why the eagles can cut TO and not take a cap hit. His contract was structured so he received a roster bonus in year 1, but doesn't get a signing bonus until year 3. The roster bonus already counted in full. The signing bonus doesnt kick in until year 3. They had so much cap room last year, they did it thinking, if he becomes too much of a head ache, we have 2 years to cut him before he becomes a problem.
If you cut a player who still has a signing bonus that has not counted against the cap, it all gets accellerated to that year, hence the term cap hit. So, TO signing bonus kicks in. He plays year 3 and the eagles to decide to drop him. Well, anything left on the signing bonus will count against year 4's cap.
I have not seen how signing bonuses will count. My guess is they will be spread out over the life of the contract, but who knows Bettman may have gotten it so it counts in the first year. If it is spread out, it gives the wealthy teams a distinct advantage. For example, Thornton is available. Market says he is going to get 6 years, 6MM per year. Well the rangers can give him a 30MM signing bonus up front ad 1mm year salary. Not every team will be able to do that.
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