It’s almost June 1, which is a big day on the NFL calendar. It’s a big day for the Eagles too.
What is the significance of June 1?
Well, there’s a difference in the NFL between trading or cutting a player before and after June 1 and it deals with the salary cap.
In general terms, if a player is cut or traded before June 1, all the remaining prorated salary bonus money left on his contract accelerates to that current year. After June 1, just the current year’s signing bonus money counts and the rest accelerates to the following season.
Here are two major reasons this date matters to the Eagles:
1. The Eagles restructured the contracts of Alshon Jeffery and Malik Jackson and then released them with post-June 1 designations when the new league year began on March 17. Teams get just two post-June 1 designations and the Eagles used them on Jeffery and Jackson.
Even though the Eagles used post-June 1 designations on Jeffery and Jackson, they still had to carry their current cap numbers through this date. As of June 2, the Eagles will wipe away their $2 million base salaries. That’s a cap savings of $4 million that the Eagles knew was coming.
Back in February, we took a closer look at the unique contract restructures the Eagles used with Jeffery and Jackson. They restructured their deals to get immediate cap savings with the plan to use June 1 designations on them.
In the case of Jeffery, the Eagles are left with $5.5 million in dead money for 2021 and $5.4 million in 2022. Jackson leaves around $3.6 million in dead money this year and just over $9 million in dead money in 2022. These designations simply allowed the Eagles to kick the can into a year where they have a much more manageable cap situation. Once their base salaries are wiped out, Jeffery and Jackson will be tossed into the dead money bucket, along with Carson Wentz and DeSean Jackson.
2. If the Eagles trade or release Zach Ertz after June 1, they’ll get much more cap relief in 2021. Here’s the difference.
Trade/cut before June 1: Cap saving of $4.95 million, dead money of $7.77 million in 2021
Trade/cut after June 1: Cap savings of $8.50 million, dead money of $4.22 million in 2021
So waiting until after June 1 to make a move with Ertz will free up around another $3 million in salary cap space for the Eagles this season.
If the Eagles cut or trade Ertz after June 1, they will be left with a dead money figure of $3.55 million in 2022. Again, this basically just pushes some of that dead money into next year.
Remember, the Eagles still haven’t signed their draft picks yet, so this added cap space is important. OverTheCap estimates it will take around $4.6 million in cap space to sign their draft class. The Eagles are likely waiting until after June 1 to get some of these savings. The Eagles entered today with $3.8 million in cap space and will be over $7.8 million after the Jeffery/Jackson savings. We know some extra space will be created now and more if/when a move comes with Ertz.
So once we hit June 2, it could mean we see the Eagles make some moves.
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