Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, May 3, 10 days before the Washington Redskins hold their rookie minicamp.
—The Redskins last played a game 114 days ago. It will be 132 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.
—Days until: Rookie minicamp 10; OTAs start 21; Redskins training camp starts 86
The Redskins have indicated all offseason that they did not plan to let go of Chris Culliver despite his $8 million salary and unproductive, injury plagued 2015 season.
However, things change quickly. Within a span of seven days, the team signed Josh Norman to a big free agent contract and drafted Virginia Tech cornerback Kendall Fuller. Those acquisitions pushed Culliver, who is still rehabbing from a torn ACL he suffered on Thanksgiving Day, back to at least the third corner and maybe the fourth.
And whether it’s third or fourth, an $8 million salary is too much for that spot on the depth chart. So the Redskins decided to release him on Monday.
They released him with a post-June 1 designation. The Redskins haven’t done that in a while so here is what that means.
Culliver had three years remaining on the four-year contract he signed last year. He was paid a $5 million signing bonus so the cap charge was split with $1.25 million hitting each of the four years on the deal.
That means that the Redskins still have to account for $3.75 million in signing bonus. Had they cut him without the June 1 designation all of that would have hit their salary cap this year. You would subtract that from the $8 million they save by not having to pay his 2016 salary and the net cap savings would have been $4.25 million. The books on the Culliver contract would have been closed.
But the Redskins designed post-June 1. That means a couple of things. The cap charge for the last two years gets pushed to the 2017 cap. So they get $8 million in 2016 cap savings, his $9.25 million cap number minus the $1.25 million signing bonus proration. The signing bonus charge goes into this year’s dead cap. There will be a $2.5 million dead cap charge next year.
So they don’t “save” any money with the June 1 designation. The accounting for the money is all that changes.
There’s one other important thing to know. A catch of using the designation is that the player’s contract remains on the books until June 1. So the Redskins don’t immediately have any additional cap money available as a result of this move. The will have the $8 million credited to their cap on June 2.
It's important to note that the cap space being locked up will not prevent the Redskins from signing any or all of their draft picks. As I wrote here last week the Redskins will need about $1.4 million in net cap space to sign their draft picks. They currently have $4.2 million so they can make it with room to spare.
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