2013 Team Dead Money Rankings
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2013 NFL Dead Money

Now that teams have for the most part completed the team-building portion of their season, it's a good time to assess just how much damage they've done in terms of dead money against their salary cap.

What is Dead Money?
Simply speaking, dead money refers to the money guaranteed to a player (in terms of base salary, signing bonus, option bonus) that has yet to be charged to the team's salary cap. For example, if a player receives a 5 year contract with a $10 million signing bonus, each of the 5 years will contain $2 million in pro-rated signing bonus against the salary cap. If that player is cut or traded prior to the 4th season, $4 million of that signing bonus still remains in terms of cap-allocation, and turns into "dead money".


Can this money be split?

If a player is cut/traded prior to June 1st his remaining dead money will accelerate entirely into the current season's salary cap. The only exception to this comes from a recently added "June 1st Designation" clause, which allows teams to designate two players they've cut before June 1st, as a June 1st release. Why is this important?

Any cut/trade on or after June 1st allows the dead money to split over two years, the current and the next. Any bonus pro-ration for the current season stays in the current season. Any guaranteed salary (from any remaining year of the deal) also accelerates into the current season's salary cap. Any remaining bonus pro-ration can be pushed into next year's salary cap.


Trent Richardson's Dead Money
The most recent major example of this comes from the Trent Richardson trade. Richardson's $20.4 million contract with the Browns was fully guaranteed, and carried a $13.341 million signing bonus. This bonus splits into $3,335,250 each season according to the salary cap. Because his 2013 base salary of $1,321,354 is fully guaranteed, the two weeks he's played as a Brown this season also becomes a factor in terms of dead money.

2013 Dead Money:
$3,335,250 (signing bonus pro-ration) + $1,321,354/17 weeks in a season * 2 weeks played
= $3,490,703

2014 Dead Money:
$3,335,250 (2014 signing bonus pro-ration) + $3,335,250 (2015 signing bonus pro-ration)
= $6,670,500

2013 Dead Money by Team
A quick breakdown of the Team Dead Money against current 2013 cap figures.
Rank Team Dead Money
1 Oakland Raiders $50,321,847
2 Jacksonville Jaguars $27,029,986
3 New York Jets $22,021,612
4 Philadelphia Eagles $22,021,612
5 Arizona Cardinals $14,206,525
6 New England Patriots $13,288,525
7 Atlanta Falcons $13,287,839
8 Buffalo Bills $13,075,308
9 Cleveland Browns $11,703,413
10 Carolina Panthers $11,558,281
11 Baltimore Ravens $11,239,294
12 St. Louis Rams $11,225,096
13 San Diego Chargers $10,576,927
14 Tennessee Titans $10,288,495
15 Detroit Lions $9,992,358
16 Dallas Cowboys $9,670,214
17 Denver Broncos $9,482,751
18 Miami Dolphins $9,244,144
19 Indianapolis Colts $8,662,608
20 Pittsburgh Steelers $7,754,799
21 New York Giants $7,353,666
22 Seattle Seahawks $6,648,934
23 Kansas City Chiefs $6,352,335
24 Washington Redskins $5,361,752
25 Chicago Bears $3,940,932
26 Cincinnati Bengals $3,746,212
27 Minnesota Vikings $2,610,513
28 Houston Texans $2,307,300
29 Green Bay Packers $2,153,945
30 San Francisco 49ers $2,114,286
31 New Orleans Saints $1,841,726
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers $1,659,992
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