Denver Broncos Won't Count "Dead Money" Towards 2011 Salary Cap Figure

KANSAS CITY MO - DECEMBER 05: Quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs loses the ball as he is pressured by Mario Haggan #57 and Justin Bannan #97 of the Denver Broncos during the game on December 5 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Article 11 of the new CBA contains the rules that will allow the league to transition into the new league year, and buried among the many items within it is the following subsection:


Section 5. Salaries and Salary Cap Accounting:

....(b)     Proration From Preexisting Contracts.   ....(i) No signing bonus proration to the League Years of this Agreement shall apply for any Preexisting Contract that was terminated, traded or assigned via waivers prior to March 11, 2011....

 What this means for Denver is that the proration cap penalty of Jamal Williams, Justin Bannan, and Daniel Graham, who were all cut on March 3rd will not apply.

This frees up $11.676million to be used immediately in free agency, though the approximate cap hit of $900,000 for Correll Buckhalter will still apply (total cap savings of $1.45mil from cutting Buck)

The salary cap breakdown for the Broncos continues after the jump...

  Denver's current position against the cap (top 51 salaries) is approximately $100.55mil against a total cap of $120mil.  However, we still need to sign our rookies, at an estimated $5.024mil.  That will supplant the bottom salaries of the 51, which offset it by about $3.6mil total , so we can expect that signing our rookies will put us at about $101.974 against the cap.

Additionally, Prater and Woodyard are officially signed to their tenders, which are 2nd round tenders and will be treated as $1.835mil qualifying offers until they renegotiate contract extensions.  That $3.67mil total will be offset by approx. $900,000 in bottom end contracts, for a total against-the-cap adjustment of $2.77 mil.  Total Salary cap number at this juncture is approximately $104.744mil.

The following items can be accounted at this point as well:

  •  $3mil cap credit for 3 players making a minimum of $1mil over the minimum wage and having at least 5 years of accrued service.  The player must remain on a roster designation (PUP counts) and the team will get docked a weekly prorated amount from the credit for every week the player is not on the roster.  In short, whomever gets the credit, don't cut them.  This credit will get prorated on the team's terms over the course of the 2014-2017 league years.
  • $3.76mil performance contract adjustment for Brian Dawkins.  This isn't etched in stone, but it would be very surprising if it didn't go through.

So until further notice, the Broncos are sitting at $97.984mil against a $120.375mil cap.  That equals $22.931mil in room to spend in free agency, along with a 2011 requirement to spend 99% cash towards the cap, or a current minimum of $21.216mil.  Still to come are decisions on Kyle Orton ($8.87mil) and several other vets.  Stay tuned to MHR for the latest.

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