How Fletcher Cox’s reconstruction effects the Eagles cap space in 2020 and beyond
Last Wednesday Fletcher Cox recently reconstructed $7 million of his 2020 contract into a bonus to create $6 million in salary cap room. There is a lot of confusion about what this allows and how it changes the future so hopefully, this can explain a bit.
Howie has done this maneuver multiple times in the past with his players to bend the rules on the salary cap. What Howie did exactly was convert a little over $7 million of Cox’s 2020 contract into a bonus. What this does is take away that $7 million from game checks and turns it into a bonus for Cox spread out each week. So instead of receiving one game check with his entire game salary on it, Cox will receive a game check and a bonus check, that adds up to the same amount.
What this does for Philadelphia is it provides a loophole to open up cap space for trades or signings. Headed into the trade deadline the Eagles have an extra $6 million in space.
Now the negative often heard is this just means the Eagles are deeper in the hole next year, that isn’t exactly true. Cap space in the NFL rolls over to the next season if it isn’t used.
So while it might seem the restructure is to make a move now, it helps the future. By creating cap space now, this essentially adds more cap space to the next few years. After this move, the Eagles have $23 million in cap space in 2020. While there might be a negative effect on the salary at first, the rollover combined with the freed up space in 2021 combines for much more salary cap room.
Another negative brought up is the years being added to the deal. These years aren’t actually real though. For the sake of spreading the $ out against the salary, they are created and called “Dummy Years”. When the players contract is supposed to be over they cut the end of the deal and pay the player what he is owed.
This makes a lot of sense for how the Eagles always seem to create salary-cap space out of nowhere because they basically do. By rolling over their current open space to 2021 along with the usual rise in the salary cap, almost $30 million is created in cap space.
One might think why isn’t every team doing this and the answer is pretty simple. By converting the money to a bonus it likely becomes guaranteed meaning the team is liable to pay the entire contract. So some owners might not want to pay the extra money if it isn’t necessary. Not every team is able to do it and some teams could prefer a total rebuild instead of keeping a group together and trying to stay competitive.
Now, this is an ugly process, most of the time teams are dealing in the red pushing contracts back and throwing money around to different places. The Eagles are still projected to be $50 million over the cap but with expected cuts, salary conversions, and increased salary cap you will likely see that number go down a lot more. The moving of Zach Ertz, Desean Jackson, and Alshon Jeffery will ease a lot of those woes so don’t get too worried and just trust in Howie.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline USA Today Sports