Posts Tagged #Bonus Proration

Steelers Multiple Restructures Of Timmons’ Deal May Not Impact Him The Way Many Think

Posted by on Tuesday, 20 October, 2015

Timmons return Lions

I have this dream that one day Steelers fans will cease from looking at a players Salary Cap figure, conclude that figure is what he makes that season and then decide if his play meets that figure’s worth.

Alas, it will probably never happen. Most fans do not understand the NFL salary cap and most who have no understanding, also have no desire to gain one. And that’s ok. However, if you are going to take a hard stance on player worth, you should know what goes into a Player’s Cap Charge.

Take for example the most recent target of many Steelers fans’ perceptions of NFL contracts and their cap implications: Lawrence Timmons. Timmons IS NOT scheduled to make $15 million plus in 2016, contrary to what many believe. His total compensation will be $8.75 million. That’s still a lot, but it’s right in line with the other top ILBs in the league as you can see below in a screen shot table from Over The Cap that differentiates Cap Figure from Cash Expenditure for 2016.

ILBs-2016-Cap-vs-Cash

I should first explain that the annual cap figure for a player consists of his base salary, plus any bonuses due, plus any bonus proration scheduled to be accounted for in that given year. It’s understanding how bonus proration works and how it is applied that is key to understanding how teams manipulate their cap each season.

A player is not going to willingly agree to push his earnings into a future year when he can be cut at any time and end up having to forfeit those earnings. In order to create space teams use accounting loopholes put in place by the CBA. Key among them is bonus proration.

If you have no desire to know why $8,381,250 of Timmons’ follow site past (this is the key and operative word) earnings count on the 2015 salary cap, stop reading. But, if you do have a desire to know how NFL contracts are frequently structured and restructured to “kick the can down the road”, read on. It should be pretty simple to understand by the end of this.  Read the rest of this entry »