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What is dead money in the NFL?

NFL offseason has the potential to be great for some teams
NFL offseason has the potential to be great for some teams
Walter Sharp
ANALYST
Modified 15 Jan 2021, 01:31 IST
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With the NFL Playoffs moving along quickly, and the NFL offseason approaching, we as fans will start to see the term "dead money" flying around when it comes to NFL franchises. The big question everyone will be asking is what does the term "dead money" mean?


What is "dead money" and how does it impact NFL teams

The NFL term "dead money" is when part of the salary cap that an NFL team has is going towards a player that no longer plays for the franchise. For example, if the Cowboys sign Dak Prescott to a new deal that is only two years and that two years has a $10 million dollar signing bonus which is prorated over the two year length.

If the Dallas Cowboys release Dak after the first year because he was not performing, they would still be responsible for the second half of that $10 million dollars on their salary cap. Which brings the term "dead money" because its just sitting there dead and not being of any use.

This impacts NFL teams because when Free Agency comes around. The "dead money" could hurt a team that is low in salary cap space. That NFL team could potentially miss out on a free agent because of the "dead money" sitting as a cap hit.


Which NFL Teams have the most "dead money" hitting their salary cap in 2020

There are five teams that have a lot of dead money in the 2020 NFL Season. Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Football Team, New York Giants and Miami Dolphins. Carolina is holding a big hit from Luke Kuechly and Matt Kalil.

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List of NFL teams with the most dead money:

-- Carolina Panthers: $34.9 million

-- Jacksonville Jaguars: $12.5 million

-- Washington Football Team: $11.1 million

-- New York Giants: $10.9 million

-- Miami Dolphins: $10.7 million

Here is how the Carolina Panthers reached the big number of $34.9 million dollars in dead money.

-- Luke Kuechly: $11.9 million (retired)

-- Matt Kalil: $9.8 million (released by Panthers)

-- Trai Turner: $9.6 million (traded by Panthers)

-- Greg Olsen: $3.7 million (mutually agreed to part ways)

-- Mario Addison: $1.5 million (free agency signed with the Buffalo Bills)

Carolina is still being hit for Cam Newton when it comes to dead money. They will enter free agency with $10.2 million dollars in cap space. Majority of their cap room is taken up by their offense. The offense is taking up $82.4 million dollars in cap space for the Panthers.

Published 15 Jan 2021, 01:31 IST
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