The NFL offseason could see a spike in activity in the early days of June. With teams looking to cut costs and rearrange their rosters ahead of training camp, June 1 is a significant date in the NFL, as it will trigger cap space savings on the cuts and trades of notable contracts.
Notable NFL candidates for post-June 1 trades or releases
Following June 1, teams can split dead money charges — brought on by prorated signing bonuses — over the span of two years. Instead of taking on the entirety of a dead money charge this offseason, teams can push part of the charge into next year with a release or trade that takes place on June 2 or beyond. Here are some notable players who could be turned loose in the coming days and weeks.
Dee Ford, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers
Post-June 1 savings: $1.12 million
Dee Ford has been an abject disaster since arriving in San Francisco. He’s played in just seven games over the past three years, and the end seems to be near. At 31, Ford is an aging player and a perennial sunk cost.
The 49ers drafted defensive end Drake Jackson to take Ford’s place in the pass-rushing rotation. That said, it’s hard to replace a player when they’ve barely played for the team.
Isaac Seumalo, G, Philadelphia Eagles
Post-June 1 savings: $5.6 million
Isaac Seumalo is coming off a brutal Lisfranc injury that cost him most of last season. With last year’s second-round pick Landon Dickerson thriving at left guard, Seumalo has been supplanted from his longtime spot. Coming off a major injury and being forced to find a new job on the line, Seumalo could end up becoming a cap casualty, as the Eagles look to keep a fluid outlook on spending.
Seumalo has long been seen as a potential heir to All-Pro center Jason Kelce, but the second-round selection of Cam Jurgens seemingly leaves that option off the table. With offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland developing talent on an annual basis, the Eagles could look to save money on Seumalo and roll with the youngsters like Jack Driscoll, Jack Anderson, and Kayode Awosika.
Deion Jones, LB, Atlanta Falcons
Post-June 1 savings: $1.07 million
Deion Jones was recently ruled out for the offseason program after undergoing shoulder surgery. While Jones probably won’t be moved right away, once he can pass a physical, the writing will likely be on the wall. A savings of $1.07 million isn’t a lot, but it allows the Falcons to look towards the future at linebacker.
Jones signed a long-term extension with the previous brass and hasn’t looked the same ever since. There are plenty of whispers out of Atlanta that signify that Jones is likely to hit the road sooner than later.
Chuck Clark, S, Baltimore Ravens
Post-June 1 savings: $2.75 million
After signing Marcus Williams to a massive contract in free agency and drafting standout Kyle Hamilton in the first round, the Ravens don’t have a ton of use for Chuck Clark. With a cap number that hovers around $5 million, dropping the veteran could make sense, especially if they can trade him to a safety-needed team (like the Eagles?) this summer.
Clark has been a quality starter for the Ravens over the past two seasons, but the room has clearly been upgraded. Look for the Ravens, who are needing space, to make a move.
Robert Quinn, EDGE, Chicago Bears
Post-June 1 savings: $12.9 million
Robert Quinn was outstanding in Chicago last year. However, with the Bears undergoing a massive rebuild, the veteran, at 32 years old, seems fairly out of place. Quinn should have some trade value this summer, as playoff contenders look to reinforce their rosters.
While the Bears shouldn’t cut Quinn, a trade would be a logical solution. They could save a fortune on the cap by moving Quinn to a contender.
Nelson Agholor, WR, New England Patriots
Post-June 1 savings: $4.88 million
The Patriots signed Nelson Agholor to be a starting wideout last season. While he was a good veteran presence at the position, Agholor’s output wasn’t on par with his salary. In 15 games (13 starts), Agholor caught just 37 passes for 473 yards and three touchdowns. That’s not worth the $9 million salary that Agholor is set to collect this season.
While a release isn’t likely, the Patriots could look to trade Agholor ahead of training camp. With Jakobi Meyers and DeVante Parker on the depth chart, the Patriots can afford to see what’s out there for Agholor. New England could use an influx of cap space this summer.
Explaining how pre and post-June 1 cuts work
The reason why the date of June 1 is so crucial in the NFL is the impact it has on how a player’s contract falls after being traded or released. Before June 1, any remaining prorated money on the player’s contract accelerates onto the cap in the year they are cut or traded. That changes after June 1, however.
If a player is released or traded after June 1, no further prorated money accelerates onto the cap. Instead, that money accelerates onto the following year’s cap.
For example, a player has four years remaining on his deal and $2.5 million in prorated money in each of those years. If his NFL team cuts him before June 1, 2022, his cap number in 2022 would be $10 million. Contrarily, if the team releases him on June 2, his cap number in 2022 would then be $2.5 million. The remaining $7.5 million impacts the 2023 salary cap. — Ben Rolfe, PFN’s Informational Content Director