Falcons’ salary cap standing after recent cuts

ccr191027059 sea at atl

Terry Fontenot has already started addressing the Falcons’ salary cap by cutting bait on many Thomas Dimitroff-era players, i.e., Ricardo Allen and Allen Bailey.

These were two cuts that were very much expected. By cutting Allen, Atlanta saves $6.25 million with a dead cap charge of $2.125 million. By releasing Bailey, the Falcons save $4.5 million with a dead cap charge of $1.625 million. The move saves Fontenot and the Falcons just under $11 million against the 2021 cap, but that’s not the only news that affects Atlanta.

Last summer, the NFL negotiated its rules changes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, one important condition involved the salary cap for future years. The NFLPA and the league came to an agreement that they would eat much of the reduction in 2020 revenues for the 2021 season. That will reduce the salary cap for the next year in a larger increment rather than spreading it out evenly. At the time of the agreement, the two sides settled on a compromise that the cap would not drop below $175 million, with any additional reductions being accounted for in 2022 and beyond. Thankfully, for the Falcons, we know it will be at least a little higher than that now.

According to Adam Schefter, the NFL informed teams that the salary cap floor this season will be $180 million.

There is still not a final number, but giving teams a floor allows for those franchises to go ahead and start signing, extending, restructuring, or cutting players. This is roughly $18MM lower than 2020. Expect more frugality than usual, but kicking the can down the road via restructures will become a league-wide trend.

Falcons fans can expect more cuts and a few restructures to break in the coming weeks. Dante Fowler, James Carpenter, and Tyeler Davison are all — in my eyes — possible cut candidates. If all were released, the Falcons would save around $10 million against the cap. After that, restructuring the Falcons remaining top-five contracts — Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Jake Matthews, Grady Jarrett, and Deion Jones — would save the organization around $40 million more. So, don’t let anyone tell you the Falcons are lacking the money to sign free agents.

With that being said, Terry Fontenot knows, given his experiences in New Orleans, restructuring will eventually result in having to pay the piper at some point in time. I could see Jarrett and Debo as likely candidates to be restructured because they’re younger than Ryan, Jones, and Matthews. Fontenot will likely see it as a reasonable investment to kick their salaries down the road. He can extend both before having to pay the piper.

There will surely be more transactions as the offseason is just beginning. Some might be surprising as the recent release of backup quarterback Kurt Benkert shocked many given his low yearly salary. There will be more. Maybe some even more shocking than Benkert or the quick trigger pull on Allen. We will constantly be updating you on the Falcons’ standing with the league’s salary cap.


Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: