Quick Spots


The Brewers and Astros both entered the season with some question marks. Could the Milwaukee offense support their dominant pitching staff? How would the Astros respond to the loss of Carlos Correa? Both teams have shown those uncertainties were likely over exaggerated as they currently hold small leads in their respective divisions.

Milwaukee is the NL Central favorite at (-270). These odds imply a 73% chance they win the division but FanGraphs projects their odds of winning at 88%. It’s pretty clear this division will be won by the Brewers or Cardinals.

Houston is a (-210) favorite to win the AL West which translates to a 67% implied probability. FanGraphs has their projection much higher at 81%. This division is also a two team race between the Astros and Angels.


Spotrac’s Season Long Odds

The MLB regular season is a marathon, but betting on it doesn’t have to be. Keeping a close eye on data, trends, and specific lines can allow for great value on a week to week basis. Our Season Long Odds series will focus on a variety of year end bets, including Division, Pennant, & World Series winners, MVP & Rookie of the Year candidates, and plenty more.

Our process will include analyzing real-time odds from FanDuel Sports Book, predictive odds from FanGraphs, & a little logic based on schedules, standings, injuries, etc… We’ll identify teams who are in a strong window to place a season-end bet on based on the difference between current actual and expected odds, with a nod to parlay every now and then for even more value as well. 


Interested in this stuff? We’d love to hear from you.

A visual look at the numbers behind Jaire Alexander's top of the market extension in Green Bay, including an historic $30M signing bonus. View the Full Contract

Kevin Gausman Over 7.5 Strikeouts


Drew Rasmussen Over 4.5 Strikeouts

As the Tampa Bay Lighting and Toronto Maple Leafs head north for a decisive game 7 matchup, the Blue Jays and Rays are in Florida for an important divisional series with both teams looking to keep pace with the AL East leading Yankees.

In previous seasons, the Tampa Bay offense feasted on RHP but struggled to put the ball in play against LHP. Those numbers have completely flipped this year as they own the highest K% against RHP and 2nd lowest vs LHP. On Friday, they’ll face RHP Kevin Gausman who has a 31.3 K% to start the year so I expect more of the same from both sides.

TBR K% vs LHP:   

2019:  25.7%

2020:  28.5%

2021:  25.6%

2022:  18.0%

TBR K% vs RHP:

2022:  25.8%

The opposite matchup has Drew Rasmussen battling the surprisingly inconsistent Blue Jays offense. It’s no secret Toronto is a sleeping giant but they’re currently striking out 23% against RHP. Rasmussen has flashed elite strikeout upside at times although Tampa rarely lets him go deep into games. I expect him to clear 5 strikeouts if he can go 5+ innings.

Check out the Blue Jays vs. Rays Same Game Parlays on FanDuel

A visual look at the numbers behind Grady Jarrett's somewhat surprise extension with the Falcons, including $34M fully guaranteed at signing through 2023. View the Full Contract

A visual look at the numbers behind A.J. Brown's extension with the Eagles, including $39M fully guaranteed at signing, & $57M+ through 2024. View the Full Contract

The Baker Mayfield dilemma refuses to go away, and as the NFL enters the one true "quiet phase" of their season, a story about an embattled QB and a team who just fully guaranteed $230M to another one - will only gain steam.

But who really holds the leverage in this particular scenario? It's easy to look at this from a contractual angle, and assume that the $18.8M fully guaranteed to Baker Mayfield gives him all of the power here. But a recent ESPN article, and subsequent response, brings to light an item that I've been reluctant to approach with this disagreement yet - the Personal Conduct clause.

In short, the rumors are starting to swirl that this situation may be approaching a point at which the Browns may be able to build a case to prove that Mayfield's "antics" are violating the conduct clause in his contract. Should this be adjudicated, the $18.8M guarantee on the contract could potentially be voided, offering Cleveland a free out (no dead cap or cash to release him outright). It's an ugly path to take, and frankly it seems a weak case to be made from the outside looking in as well - but it's not something that should be ignored completely.

What Haven't They Just Accepted a Low-Ball Deal?
Yes, the Browns are in a financial pinch here, with the league's highest cash payroll, and a whopping $71.2M cash currently allocated to their QB room (Watson, $46M; Mayfield, $18.8M; Brissett, $4.65M; Dobbs: $1M).

But it should also be assumed that Deshaun Watson stands to miss games in 2022 due to suspension. So while paying Mayfield $1.05M per week on the active roster is costly, it may provide Cleveland the best chance to win ballgames early on. 

Furthermore - and potentially offering even sooner relevance, the NFL unfortunately sees a few prominent players lost to injury in training camps each year. As we saw with Teddy Bridgewater/Sam Bradford just a few years ago, it only takes one team in panic mode to turn an awful situation into an easy sell. 

Where Does this Wind Up?
While the right move might be to hang on to Mayfield, both for Watson protection and to wait out the best possible trade opportunity, the social media/player empowerment age will likely not allow things to hold out that long. Now that the "conduct" clause has reared its head, Baker and his people need to tread lightly with their disdain for the situation, but Odell Beckham Jr. likely paved the path for how to get off this team - both from a stirring the pot and a financial compromise standpoint. 

OBJ agreed to forfeit $3M of his guarantee in order to gain his release from Cleveland at the trade deadline last year. He went unclaimed on waivers, signed an incentive loaded deal with the Rams, and moved on with his career. 

Will Baker choose the same path? Cleveland likely has a strong handle on what other teams are willing to pay Baker for 2022, based on trade & split salary discussions they've had this winter. Is the next step to simply ask Baker to chop off what he'll likely earn elsewhere, and outright release the 27 year old QB?

Possibly, but if he wants to start football games in 2022, mending fences with Cleveland, and using Deshaun Watson's suspension as a "final showcase" to the rest of the league may actually be his best career move.

The Diamondbacks had a quiet offseason but did make one major acquisition with the addition of former Astros pitching coach Brent Strom. That move has paid immediate dividends as Arizona starters have the second lowest ERA in MLB behind only the Dodgers. You read that correctly - a rotation consisting of Madison Bumgarner, Merrill Kelly, Zach Davies, Zac Gallen and Humberto Castellanos is massively out performing all pre season expectations.

Merrill Kelly takes the mound Friday night for an appealing matchup with the Rockies. He has never been a dominant pitcher but looks great early, owning a 1.27 ERA (2.11 FIP) across 28.1 innings. Now he gets an inconsistent Colorado team who has struggled away from Coors field and more specifically strikes out a ton (24% on the road vs RHP since the start of 2021.) For those reasons  interested in the over on his strikeout total (4.5).

The NWSL and NWSLPA ratified the first-ever CBA in Feb 2022 and will run through Dec 31, 2026. The details of the actual CBA can now be viewed: click here


Minimum Salaries

2022: $35,000

2023: $36,400

2024: $37,856

2025: $39,370

2026: $40,945 


Any player who had a salary in 2021 over $22,000 will have their 2022 salary increased by a designated amount based on a predetermined range. For example, $22,000-$22,999 will have their 2022 salary increased by $13,000.

Any player who has a salary lower than $22,000 in 2021 will begin the 2022 season no lower than $35,000.


Competition Bonuses

Awarded to each Player on applicable Team:

NWSL Shield: $5,000

NWSL Champion: $5,000

NWSL Runner-Up: $3,750

NWSL Semi-Finalist: $2,500

NWSL Quarterfinalist: $1,250

Challenge Cup Champion: $1,000 (if held)

Challenge Cup Runner-Up: $500 (if held)


Awarded to selected players:

Best 11 Award: $5,000

Rookie of the Year: $5,000

Most Valuable Player: $5,000

Golden Boot: $5,000

Defender of the Year: $5,000

Goalkeeper of the Year: $5,000

All-Star Bonus: $2,000



The 2022 NFL draft saw nine QBs selected from pick #20 to the very last #262 slot. We breakdown the finances for each selection, and the surrounding QB situation for each of their respective teams.

Related Links:
2022 NFL Draft Tracker


Pittsburgh Steelers

Kenny Pickett unsurprisingly joins Pittsburgh at #20 overall and will get every opportunity to win the starting role out of the gate. He projects to sign a fully guaranteed 4 year, $14M contract in the coming weeks.

Pittsburgh signed Mitchell Trubisky to a 2 year, $14.285M this past March, and for all intents, he’s projected to be the Week 1 starter. The contract suggests a slightly overpaid backup QB however, with $6.285M of cash this year, and $8M non-guaranteed for 2023.

Mason Rudolph has been with the Steelers since 2018, and enters 2022 on a non-guaranteed $3M salary. There’s a chance Pittsburgh moves on here, freeing up that $3M of cap and cash.

Pittsburgh added Chris Oladokun with pick 241, a slot that comes with a projected 4 year, $3.7M contract, only $90,000 of which is guaranteed. He’s a camp body with a chance to make the practice squad.


Atlanta Falcons

Desmond Ridder was the second QB selected, going to Atlanta at #74 overall. The slot comes with a projected 4 year $5.3M deal with a $1.1M guarantee. Ridder will likely hold a clipboard for 2022, learning the ropes and the offensive system from Atlanta’s other new QB1, Marcus Mariota.

Atlanta signed Marcus Mariota away from Las Vegas this past March, to the tune of a 2 year, $18.75M contract. The deal includes $6.75M guaranteed, all in 2022, putting him on a 1 year showcase - with his likely replacement Ridder, now positioned behind him.

Felipe Franks was an undrafted signing last May, and should find himself on the practice squad for the 2022 campaign.


Tennessee Titans

If you had Malik Willis dropping deep into the 3rd round to the Titans on your board, you made a lucky guess. Most evaluators say Willis has the highest ceiling of this new QB group, and he’ll have all of 2022 to dig into Tennessee’s system, and work alongside Ryan Tannehill. The #86 slot comes with a projected 4 year, $5.1M contract, including $921,000 guaranteed.

Ryan Tannehill may be the next big name to leave Tennessee, following the release of WR Julio Jones, and trade of WR A.J. Brown in the past few weeks. Barring a trade, he’ll get the 2022 campaign to further his future case, but his 2 year, $56M contract offers no guarantees after this season, and Tennessee can free up $17.8M of cap to move on next March.

Logan Woodside latched on with Tennessee back in 2019, and has served in the backup role ever since. The selection of Willis puts his roster spot in jeopardy, though it’s perfectly possible that the Titans roster 3 QBs, or try to shelve Woodside on the practice squad. His 1 year, $895,000 contract is non-guaranteed.


Carolina Panthers

It wasn’t Malik Willis at #6. It wasn’t Baker Mayfield via trade. It wasn’t anything we expected. It was Matt Corral at the back end of the 3rd round. The #94 slot comes with a projected 4 year, $5M contract, $875,000 guaranteed, offering a pile of value if he can find his way onto the field for the Panthers.

Sam Darnold still projected to be the Week 1 starter for Carolina, as his fully guaranteed $18.8M (and the draft compensation the Panthers gave up to acquire him) make him a difficult player to move on from. Barring a resurgent season, Darnold is now on a 1-and-done pattern.

Phillip Walker joined the Panthers back in 2020, and has 9 games under his belt, including 2 starts. Though his 1 year, $895,000 contract is non-guaranteed, Carolina may be poised to keep all three of these QBs as their future with this position remains unsettled.


New England Patriots

The Patriots raised a few eyebrows with a 4th round selection of Bailey Zappe, one year after taking Mac Jones to be their next QB1 of the future. But all of the analysis leans to Zappe being a perfect complement to Jones for the next few years, with similar pocket presence, patience, and touch in the passing game. He’s likely been drafted to be the QB2 of their future, with Brian Hoyer on a short deal, and Stidham likely falling off of the roster. Zappe’s #137 slot comes with a projected 4 year, $4.3M contract, $650,000 guaranteed.

Mac Jones enters year 2 of a fully guaranteed $15.5M contract, with a 5th year option that keeps him under team control through 2025. His play leveled off a bit as the 2021 year progressed, but he appears to be the right player to develop in the Bill Belichick system.

Brian Hoyer was signed back to New England on a 2 year, $4M contract that includes $1.4M fully guaranteed in 2023. The 36-year-old’s roster spot will be as much about leading the QB room as it will be about acting as a potential veteran presence on the field as needed.

The Jarrett Stidham project appears to be nearing the finish line. The Patriots can free up $965,000 of cash/cap space by moving on from the final year of his rookie contract.


Washington Commanders

Washington brought in Sam Howell with the #144 overall selection this weekend, and will soon lock him into an estimated 4 year, $4M contract, $360,000 guaranteed. It’s a low-risk financial move, giving the Commanders an outside chance of grooming Howell into an NFL-ready product come 2023 or so.

Carson Wentz and his $28M+ salary were acquired from Indy this March, putting him in line to start for his 3rd team in 3 years. With no other viable starting options currently on the roster, it appears that Washington will be giving Wentz a chance to win this job for the long term. His contract carries 3 years, $81.705M remaining, and $9M of his 2023 compensation locks in on the 3rd league day of 2023.

Taylor Heinicke was bumped back to QB2 per the acquisition of Wentz, and his 1 year, $3.1M contract aligns with that role. There’s a good chance he’s competing for a starting job elsewhere in 2023.


Miami Dolphins

Skylar Thompson joins Miami at the #247 pick, a slot that carries a projected 4 year, $3.7M contract, $82,000 guaranteed. Thompson overachieved at Kansas State, and shows a lot of NFL-ready ability, but he’s almost certainly a practice squad candidate on this beefed up Miami roster.

Tua Tagovailoa enters the all-important year three of a rookie contract that now includes 2 years, $8M + a 5th year option remaining on it. With plenty of new toys and an upgraded offensive line, it’s a no-excuse situation for the 24 year old, especially as the Dolphins added Teddy Bridgewater to compete this summer.

Teddy Bridgewater signed a 1 year, $6.5M contract to join Miami this past March, and while all signs point to Tua keeping the QB1 reins out of the gate, it stands to reason that the Dolphins can keep him on a short leash this season, with Bridgewater certainly capable of stepping into a starting role at a moment’s notice.

Chris Streveler spent 2021 on the Ravens’ practice squad, and his $895,000 salary for 2022 is non-guaranteed in Miami. He’s a camp body until he’s not.


San Francisco 49ers

Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy, projects to a 4 year, $3.7M contract, including $86,000 guaranteed. He joins a complicated QB situation (at least on the surface), with Trey Lance supposedly poised to take over the reins, and Jimmy Garoppolo too injured to trade currently.

Trey Lance enters year two of a rookie contract that now has 3 years, $11.28M fully guaranteed, plus a 5th-year option remaining on it. For all intents and purposes, he’s the QB1 entering camp, though Jimmy Garoppolo’s future, and Lance’s ability to settle into the role, all appear to be question marks as of now.

Jimmy Garoppolo enters the final year of his contract, with a chance to add $25.6M to his career earnings. An injury to his throwing shoulder kicked in a $7.5M guarantee on his 2022 salary, putting his ability to be moved on hold, either via trade or outright release. With Nate Sudfeld and now Brock Purdy on the roster, it appears as though the Niners’ plan is still to move on from Jimmy once he’s healthy, but stranger things have happened.

Nate Sudfeld signed a 1 year, $2M fully guaranteed contract to join San Francisco back in March, and projects to be the QB2 once Jimmy Garoppolo is moved on from.

Cincinnati currently owns the worst record in MLB and Joey Votto has started ice cold but they head to Colorado for a weekend series with the Rockies and it’s a prime spot to get the offense going. The Reds lineup is uninspiring but they have some sneaky power throughout which could surface at notoriously hitter friendly Coors Field. Votto has a career .232 ISO against RHP and posted a .355 ISO in 2021 (4th in MLB). The Reds will face righty Antonio Senzatela on Friday and I like Votto to pop his first HR(s) of the season.

To Hit a Home Run:  Joey Votto (+360)
To Hit 2+ Home Runs:  Joey Votto (+3500)

Joey Votto Betting

The first round of the NFL Draft was highlighted by the wide receiver position - everywhere you looked. For the first time in history, 6 WRs were selected in the Top 20 of the draft, with all of them picked between #8 & #18 overall. Of the 6, 3 were traded up for to select:

  • New Orleans jumped up 5 spots for Chris Olave
  • Detroit jumped up 20 spots for Jameson Williams
  • Tennessee added #18 for Treylon Burks

But the bigger news of night probably wasn't the 6 receivers who were drafted, but the two currently NFL wideouts who were traded amidst the selections.

The Cardinals acquired WR Marquise Brown from the Ravens with a 3rd round pick in exchange for the #23 overall pick last night. Brown reunites with college QB Kyler Murray, joining DeAndre Hopkins & A.J. Green to fortify a strong pass-catching arsenal in he desert. Arizona subsequently exercised Brown's 5th year option for 2023, locking him in at 2 years, $15.5M.

Not to be outdone, the Eagles soon after made an even bigger splash, acquiring WR A.J. Brown from the Titans for the #18 & #101 overall picks this year. Philly announced a 4 year, $100M extension for Brown shortly after, guaranteeing the 24 year old $57M according to initial reports. Tennessee used the #18 overall pick to select Treylon Burks out of Arkansas, who should come with a 4 year, $14.3M contract through 2025.

The run on WRs likely isn't done, as teams like Buffalo, Kansas City, Green Bay, & Baltimore should all be seeking another wideout Friday.


Best Available WRs (ESPN)

  • Christian Watson, North Dakota State
  • Skyy Moore, Western Michigan
  • John Metchie, Alabama
  • George Pickens, Georgia
  • Alec Pierce, Cincinnati

Subsequently, the immediate futures of both DK Metcalf (SEA) & Deebo Samuel (SF) remain in question, as the former may not want to extend amidst a rebuild, while the latter has reportedly asked out of his role with the Niners.


Trade Compensation for Recently Traded WRs

A.J. Brown: 2022 1st, 2022 3rd (extending to $57M guaranteed)
Marquise Brown: With a 2022 3rd, for a 2022 1st (exercised $13.4M option)
DeVante Parker: With a 2022 5th, for a 2023 3rd (no financial change)
Tyreek Hill: 2022 1st, 2022 2nd, 2022 4th, 2023 4th, 2023 6th (extended to $72M guaranteed)
Robert Woods: 2023 6th (no financial change)
Davante Adams: 2022 1st, 2022 2nd (extended to $65M guaranteed)
Amari Cooper: With a 2022 6th, for a 2022 5th, 2022 6th (no financial change)

With the 2022 NFL Draft upon us, Spotrac researcher Scott Allen has uncovered the highest earning player in league history selected at each of the Top 32 picks, led by former Giants QB Eli Manning.

Related: All-Time NFL Career Earnings



All-Time NFL Career Earnings

Bradley Beal (SG, WSH)

The 2021-22 season was Bradley Beal’s 10th year in the NBA. That’s a milestone in terms of longevity and in terms of contract tiers. For Beal, he’s now eligible for the largest maximum deal possible. But it’s also an important marker for a player whose health concerns were once so real, it was fair to question if he’d make it this far. At any rate, one thing is certain: Bradley Beal will be a free agent this summer. With that in mind, here are the various contract options for the Wizards franchise player this summer. Read the Full Evaluation


Deandre Ayton (C, PHX)

When Deandre Ayton and the Phoenix Suns couldn’t come to an agreement on a rookie scale contract extension, it was fair to question the commitment from one party to the other. While the breakdown seemed to be more about years than dollars, there was still a gap that couldn’t be overcome. Now, Ayton is wrapping up his best season, while the Suns have rampaged to the NBA’s best record. That begs a chicken/egg set of questions: Is Ayton good because of the Suns? Or are the Suns good because of Ayton? Read the Full Evaluation


Jalen Brunson (PG, DAL)

Despite having nearly $137 million committed to their 2022-23 roster, Cuban says the Mavericks intend to do “whatever we have to” to keep guard Jalen Brunson. Let’s examine what Brunson’s options for his next contract are. He’s got a handful of ways he can go, either before this season ends or this summer. Read the Full Evaluation


Jordan Poole (SG, GSW)

The Golden State Warriors face some decisions with Poole. This offseason, he’s extension-eligible for the first time. This season, Golden State will pay over $170 million luxury taxes and repeater penalties alone. That’s on top of over $175 million in salaries. That’s just shy of $350 million in salaries plus taxes for one season. That’s going to factor into a possible extension for Poole. Either with how much the team is willing to pay or with future roster decisions down the line. Read the Full Evaluation


Kyrie Irving (PG, BKN)

Irving has a $36.9 million player option for the 2022-23 season, as the final year of the four-year deal he signed with Brooklyn in the summer of 2019. The most likely course of action is that Irving will decline that option and become an unrestricted free agent. But whatever you think is most likely to happen and Kyrie Irving don’t always go hand in hand. Read the Full Evaluation


Tyler Herro (SG, MIA)

Tyler Herro of the Miami Heat is probably going to win Sixth Man of the Year. Actually, remove the probably. Herro will win Sixth Man of the Year. Herro has been dominant off the bench for Miami this season. He’s averaged 21 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game for the Heat in his third season. In a somewhat odd twist, Herro has been far more effective as a reserve than as a starter. His efficiency drops considerably as a starter, which leads to fall-off in overall production. That begs the question: How much do you pay a sixth man? Read the Full Evaluation


Zach LaVine (SG, CHI)

Zach LaVine has stayed mostly healthy during this season’s surprise Bulls’ run. That has helped him garner back-to-back All-Star nods. In addition, LaVine has shown he’s not just a “good stats, bad team” guy, as he’s been a big part of Chicago’s turnaround. This summer, LaVine will again hit free agency. The difference is this time he’ll be an unrestricted free agent. And the Bulls won’t get him on any sort of under-market, team-friendly deal. LaVine is likely to get paid. Read the Full Evaluation


Zion Williamson (PF, NOP)

Zion Williamson has played in a grand total of 85 games over his first three seasons. 85 games. Or just three more games than one standard NBA season. And thus come the complications with Williamson’s next contract. All signs point to Williamson wanting a full max deal. The Pelicans may be reluctant to go there. Read the Full Evaluation

A visual look at the numbers behind Denzel Ward's historic extension with the Browns, including $74M through 2025, & $44.5M fully guaranteed at signing. View the Full Contract

The NBA last expanded in 2004. The Charlotte Bobcats joined the league and spent a decade as the Bobcats before rebranding and bringing back the Charlotte Hornets.

Now, nearly two decades after adding their franchise, it’s time for the NBA to expand again.

No, expansion isn’t imminent. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has routinely shot down any rumor to that effect. But in recent years, Silver hasn’t completely brushed aside the idea as idle gossip. Instead, Silver has said the league “dusted off some of their analysis” on the topic.

This week, Silver’s new negotiating partner at the NBPA, Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio, said she is of the mindset that the NBA is ready to expand as well.

“We do want more teams, I think it's good for the business,’’ Tremaglio said during her opening keynote conversation with SBJ executive editor Abraham Madkour. “Ideally, we hope that there will be more teams popping up in the U.S.’’

What makes it time for the NBA to expand? Let’s break it down.


Labor Peace

The NBA and NBPA have established a long period of labor peace. The last CBA negotiations were barely a blip, despite some major changes to contract structures, and the like, being pushed through. That was nearly five years ago now.

Then, behind Silver on the NBA side and former Executive Director Michele Roberts on the NBPA side, the two parties managed to work through the pandemic. The 2019-20 season paused for roughly four months in 2020 before resuming and completing at Walt Disney World. That was no small task, and required immense coordination on the part of all parties involved.

The next season was full of challenges with various mandates, guidelines and laws, but the NBA played a full, if pared down, season. And the 2021-22 season has completed with very few postponements and a full 82-game slate.

None of that happens without the league and the players having a good working relationship. And that labor peace is necessary before you add any more parties to mix in the form of new teams.


Talent Pool

When the NBA has expanded in the past, it’s led to a somewhat watered-down product for at least a couple of years. The way the rules work for expansion, it’s hard for an expansion team to be good quickly. They work with limited resources, lower salary caps, draft handicaps and pick their initial rosters from the ends of benches around the league.

It’s that last part that matters though. The NBA is as deep in talent as it has ever been. There are quality players in the 11-17 (including Two-Way players) spots on each roster. Some of them just don’t play because the guys in front of them are that good.

In addition to that, it’s expected a new round of expansion would come with smarter run teams than in the past. They might be willing to eat a questionable contract or two for additional assets. That will lead to a handful of vets who need a fresh start popping up on expansion rosters.

And, as the expanded rosters during the pandemic-challenged seasons taught us, there are a lot of really good players on the fringes of the NBA just waiting for a chance.


Draft Reform

It’s expected that the NBA and NBPA will tackle draft reform sooner rather than later. It’ll probably wait until the next CBA negotiations, but could come before that. With the advent of the G League being a now stable minor league, and the creation of the G League Ignite for players who don’t want to attend college, it’s time to change things up a bit with entry into the NBA.

It’s expected that players will again be allowed to make the leap from high school to the NBA again. There may be parameters put around that to safeguard those players making that leap, but it’s expected to be pushed through. That further increases the pool of talent coming to the league, and is another indication that two more teams can be supported.


Cities Ready

There are several cities that are ready for expansion teams. Primary cities mentioned are Seattle and Las Vegas, but at least five or six others are considered viable candidates.

Seattle has upgraded Climate Pledge Arena (formerly Key Arena) enough to host an NBA team. There’s also talk of building an entirely new building in another area of Seattle, should they be awarded a team. In addition, Seattle’s major has continually said he regularly pushes for a team to be brought back to the Emerald City

In Las Vegas, there are plans to build a brand new, state-of-the-art arena, with the primary goal of getting an expansion team. In the interim, there are several sites that could host an expansion team, should that new arena not be ready.

If not one of those cities, then places like Louisville, St. Louis, Kansas City, Vancouver, Montreal and Mexico City have all been mentioned as potential expansion sites. Some of them are champing at the bit to get team, especially Louisville, which has been pushing for expansion for nearly a decade now.


Maintaining “Basketball” Cities

As it pertains to Seattle and Las Vegas, the NBA has seen those as “basketball” cities. Seattle has a long history of turning out great players and had the SuperSonics for years. Las Vegas is the home of NBA Summer League, as well a location where several players live and train in the offseason.

However, Seattle has the Seahawks in the NFL and the Mariners in MLB, and added the Kraken in the NHL this year. Las Vegas now the Golden Knights in the NHL and recently added the Raiders in the NFL. There are rumors that Las Vegas could be a relocation spot for an MLB team too.

Now, basketball isn’t likely to lose its foothold in either of those cities. But the NBA is cautious about letting new teams, especially in direct season competition like the NHL, gain too big of a following to be overcome. The league understands that consumers have only so much expendable income. Getting those dollars funneled towards the NBA is a priority.


Immediate Cash Infusion

When asked about potential expansion in 2021, Adam Silver said that the reported $2.5 billion expected expansion fee was “very low”. It’s now expected that the expansion fee for each team would be somewhere between $3 and $3.5 billion. That’s $6 to $7 billion dollars that goes directly into the league.

In addition, expansion teams often operate under reduced revenue sharing and the like in their initial years. Even with a new TV contract coming, and then being split 32 ways vs 30, that expansion fee is a hefty chunk of change.

And it’s that new TV contract that also makes expansion somewhat more likely. While that pie would get further divided with two more franchises and up to 34 more players, there’s expected to be more than enough to go around. In addition, two more teams would mean two more Regional Sports Networks added. That’s just further income into the NBA coffers.


Increased Interest in the NBA

The NBA just released that they pulled their highest TV ratings in three years. NBA League Pass subscriptions are at their highest levels in history. And social media engagement is through the roof.

The league is ready to bring in new markets, and it will be easier than ever because there are readymade fans in those markets already. There’s not going to be any selling anyone on the NBA game, as there was when Charlotte (the initial version), Miami, Minnesota and Orlando joined the team. And the game has grown enough internationally, and the Toronto Raptors having been such a success, that growing that way wouldn’t be any sort of worry either.


NBA Reform

The NBA is in a position to rework their current division and conference setup in a major way. The schedule continues to be a major topic of conversation. While no one is advocating for less overall games, expansion could be a way to keep the current number of total games across the league the same, while lessening them for each individual team.

If Adam Silver really wants to push through his in-season tournament, it could be easier with two new teams and an overhaul of the schedule. Mostly, the NBA will continue to tinker with ways to make their winter-time product (regular season) as meaningful and exciting as their spring-time product (playoffs) is. Two new teams would help with that.



If you add it all up, it’s time for the NBA to expand. It’ll have been over 20 years since the last new team joined the league by the time an expansion team takes the floor.

While neither the NFL or MLB have expanded in that time period, they have relocated teams, re-aligned divisions/conferences/leagues and undertaken other drastic changes, like postseason expansion.

The NHL has added two teams in that time period, in two prime cities of Las Vegas and Seattle. In addition, MLS has grown by leaps and bounds since the NBA last expanded.

Mostly, when both Commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio are openly admitting expansion is being discussed, it’s really time. Those are the two with the power to push expansion or block the discussions from even being started. It seems like both are ready to embrace the idea of adding teams to the league.

While expansion may not be imminent, it would be no surprise to get word within the next two-to-three years that the NBA is expanding with two new teams starting play within the next five years.

NBA Expansion

The Bills made good on their promise to keep Josh Allen & Stefon Diggs linked up for the foreseeable future, locking in the WR to a 4 yr, $96M extension which includes $47M fully guaranteed at sign. Here's a visual look at how it all breaks down.

View the Full Contract here: https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/buffalo-bills/stefon-diggs-16872/

Bobby Wagner's tumultuous exit from Seattle becomes the defending champion Los Angeles Rams' next prized possession. Our look at how his 5 year, $50M contract breaks down in terms of guarantee, cash flow, & available incentives.

2022 Financial Details

Purse (est.):

$11.5 million


Top 10 Payouts (based on 2021 purse):

Winner - $2,070,000

2nd place - $1,242,000

3rd place - $782,000

4th place - $552,000

5th place - $460,000

6th place - $414,000

7th place - $385,250

8th place - $356,500

9th place - $333,500

10th place - $310,500


Past Winners

2021 Hideki Matsuyama $2,070,000
2020 Dustin Johnson $2,070,000
2019 Tiger Woods $2,070,000
2018 Patrick Reed $1,980,000
2017 Sergio Garcia $1,980,000
2016 Danny Willett $1,800,000
2015 Jordan Spieth $1,800,000
2014 Bubba Watson $1,620,000
2013 Adam Scott $1,440,000
2012 Bubba Watson $1,440,000


Career Earnings

#1 Tiger Woods $9,544,736
#2 Phil Michelson $8,164,317
#3 Jordan Spieth $5,261,828
#4 Dustin Johnson $4,226,475
#5 Justin Rose $4,122,765

Related: Full Career Earnings at the Masters


Since 2017 - Last 5 Years

#1 Dustin Johnson $3,214,667
#2 Hideki Matsuyama $2,740,867
#3 Patrick Reed $2,667,988
#4 Tiger Woods $2,184,263
#5 Sergio Garcia $1,980,000


Since 2012 - Last 10 Years

#1 Jordan Spieth $5,261,828
#2 Dustin Johnson $4,108,600
#3 Bubba Watson $3,887,880
#4 Justin Rose $3,465,790
#5 Hideki Matsuyama $3,452,534


PGA Masters Tournament

World Series Odds vs. Opening Day Payrolls

The Dodgers are basically 1-2 favorites over the rest of baseball right now, while the Blue Jays, White Sox and Astros begin the year fairly even as the AL favorite. Only 3 of the Top 10 betting favorites don't possess a Top 10 payroll for 2022 currently.
Related: Current 2022 Payrolls

Top 10 Odds (FanDuel) Top 10 Cash Payrolls
Dodgers, +450 Dodgers, $279M
Blue Jays, +850  Mets, $251M
White Sox, +950 Yankees, $241M
Astros, +1000 Phillies, $221M
Braves, +1200 Padres, $208M
Brewers, +1200 Red Sox, $195M
Yankees, +1300 White Sox, $181M
Rays, +1500 Braves, $174M
Mets, +1500 Angels, $169M
Padres, +1700 Blue Jays, $166M


Masters Odds vs. 2020-21 Cash Rankings

Jon Rahm finished last season as the PGA money king, and he’ll enter Augusta as the favorite this week. The #2 money man, Patrick Cantlay, holds the 11th best Masters’ odds, while the 3rd highest earner, Bryson DeChambeau, sits 14th currently.
Related: 20-21 PGA Cash Rankings

Top 10 Odds (FanDuel) Top 10 20-21 Earners
Jon Rahm, +1300 Jon Rahm, $7.7M
Cam Smith, +1400 Patrick Cantlay, $7.6M
Justin Thomas, +1400 Bryson DeChambeau, $7.4M
Scottie Scheffler, +1600 Collin Morikawa, $7M
Dustin Johnson, +1600 Justin Thomas, $6.5M
Jordan Spieth, +1700 Jordan Spieth, $6.4M
Collin Morikawa, +2000 Louis Oosthuizen, $6.3M
Brooks Koepka, +2000 Harris English, $6.2M
Rory McIlroy, +2000 Cam Smith, $5.8M
Viktor Hovland, +2000 Abraham Ancer, $5.8M


Super Bowl LVII Odds vs. 2022 Cash Payrolls

Here’s how the last 5 top cash spenders have fared in that respective season:
2017: Carolina, 11-5 regular season, Wild Card loss
2018: Chicago, 12-4 regular season, Wild Card loss
2019: Atlanta, 7-9 regular season
2020: Houston, 4-12 regular season
2021: Tampa Bay, 13-4 regular season, Divisional loss

Related: 2022 NFL Cash Payrolls

Top 10 Odds (FanDuel) Top 10 2022 Cash Payroll
Bills, +650 Browns, $250M
Buccaneers, +700 Bills, $241M
Chiefs, +950 Rams, $235M
Rams, +1100 Dolphins, $233M
Packers, +1100 Saints, $229M
Chargers, +1500 Jaguars, $226M
49ers, +1500 Raiders, $225M
Broncos, +1500 Jets, $225M
Cowboys, +1500 Chargers, $223M
Browns, +1800 Titans, $220M


NBA MVP Odds vs. Season Pay Rank

Here’s how the last 5 MVPs have ranked financially in that respective season:
2016-17: Westbrook, $26.5M (5th)
2017-18: Harden, $28.2M (9th)
2018-19: Antetokounmpo, $24.1M (28th)
2019-20: Antetokounmpo, $25.8M (41st)
2020-21: Jokic, $29.5M (25th)

Related: 2021-22 NBA Salary Rankings

Top 10 Odds (DraftKings) Top 10 21-22 Salaries
Jokic, -280 Curry, $45.7M
Embiid, +230 Wall, $44.3M
Antetokounmpo, +600 Harden, $44.3M
Booker, +3500 Westbrook, $44.2M
Doncic, +8000 Durant, $42M
Morant, +10000 James, $41.1M
Tatum, +25000 George, $39.3M
DeRozan, +25000 Leonard, $39.3M
Durant, +25000 Lillard, $39.3M
Paul, +30000 Antetokounmpo, $39.3M

A look at the estimated Top 51 cap space needed for each team to sign its draft class during the offseason. These figures consist of the projected 2022 cap figure for each slotted draft pick in next month's draft.

2022 NFL Cap Tracker
NFL Draft Tracker


Team Top 51 Draft Pool
NY Jets $18,337,714
NY Giants $16,190,511
Houston $14,750,912
Detroit $13,427,922
Jacksonville $12,711,766
Philadelphia $12,472,018
Green Bay $10,528,499
Kansas City $10,314,691
Atlanta $10,142,209
Baltimore $9,074,441
Seattle $8,803,884
Tampa Bay $6,286,227
Minnesota $6,232,046
New Orleans $6,206,815
Dallas $6,055,564
Carolina $5,989,492
Buffalo $5,865,324
Cincinnati $5,376,199
Pittsburgh $5,287,658
LA Chargers $5,089,968
Denver $5,063,866
Arizona $5,019,984
Tennessee $4,752,126
New England $4,633,357
Cleveland $4,515,508
San Francisco $4,372,860
Chicago $4,362,598
Indianapolis $3,754,090
Washington $2,479,427
LA Rams $2,025,081
Las Vegas $1,369,344
Miami $586,474


Andy Dalton (QB, 34)
Dalton began 2021 as the starter in Chicago, but quickly gave way to Justin Fields after just 6 starts. There still remain a few solid backup homes for Dalton in 2022, but the Houston Texans seem like the best fit overall. Davis Mills will get every chance to be the QB1 again this season, but having a player of Dalton’s experience either to mentor and/or take over as needed makes too much sense.

Also: Blaine Gabbert, Josh Rosen, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, ALL


Running Back

Melvin Gordon (RB, 28)
After two solid seasons, and $16M earned, in Denver, Gordon is still looking for his next home in 2022. While a return to Denver makes sense, teams like Atlanta, Tampa, Kansas City, or even Buffalo could be in the conversation as well. Gordon may have to drop his asking price into the $4M range this time around.

Also: Sony Michel, Phillip Lindsay, Darrel Williams, David Johnson, ALL


Wide Receiver

Julio Jones (WR, 33)
Recently released from Tennessee, Jones has yet to resurface as an option for many WR-needy teams. Indy, Philly, & Cleveland seem like early logical fits, but Jones’ inability to stay healthy for a full season makes him a difficult sign, despite the obvious talent. He might be a better fit in an offense already flush with help at the wideout spot (Tampa, LA Chargers, etc…) where he can be used a bit more specifically and sparingly to maximize production. $2M of his 2022 salary in Tennessee is his, so a new contract should be relatively cheap.

Also: Jarvis Landry, Will Fuller, Cole Beasley, Odell Beckham, Jr., ALL


Tight End

Rob Gronkowski (TE, 32)
Gronk put together a much more productive 2021 than 2020, despite 4 less games played. With O.J. Howard now in Buffalo, Gronk would seemingly be welcome back to Tampa Bay with open arms if he still has a desire to lace them up. His 1 year, $8M contract from last year should do the trick once again.

Also: Kyle Rudolph, Jimmy Graham, Eric Ebron, Jared Cook, Blake Jarwin, ALL


Offensive Line

Duane Brown (OT, 36)
Russell Wilson’s former left tackle is still seeking work for the 2022 season, with links to Indy, Panthers, & Seahawks all obvious choices. Brown has been earning around $11M per year since 2018, and it stands to reason that with multiple suitors, he’ll remain in the $9M-$11M mark for his next contract.

Also: J.C. Tretter, Eric Fisher, Ereck Flowers, Daryl Williams, Trey Hopkins, ALL


Defensive Tackle

Sheldon Richardson (DT, 31)
Richardson has posted 700 snaps in 4 straight seasons, with 3-5 sacks, 40-60 tackles and a few forced fumbles annually over that span. He’s a strong plug and play option for a contending team, and shouldn’t command more than the $3.6M deal he played on in 2021.

Also: Ndamukong Suh, Eddie Goldman, Brandon Williams, Star Lotulelei, Linval Joseph, ALL


Edge Defenders

Jadeveon Clowney (DE, 29)
A return to Cleveland has been widely rumored for Clowney, who finished 2021 with 9 sacks, 38 tackles, and 2 forced fumbles for the Browns. It stands to reason that Clowney and his camp will be seeking more than the 1 year, $8M deal he completed last season, though the Browns, with plenty of mouths to feed, may not be in the market to offer that. A version of Hasaan Reddick’s 3 year, $45M deal in Philly makes sense for Clowney, and the Dolphins & Rams may join the conversation at some point soon.

Also: Akiem Hicks, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jerry Hughes, Melvin Ingram, Calais Campbell, ALL



Bobby Wagner (LB, 31)
The long-time Seahawk has been making the rounds (Dallas, LA, Baltimore), and should soon make a decision. Wagner was released out of a $16M+ salary this March, and carries a valuation around $10M on the open market, but it’s obvious that a move to a legitimate contender is in his plans. Baltimore probably has the most need here, but the Rams seem like a match made in heaven.

Also: Nick Kwiatkoski, Danny Trevathan, Dont'a Hightower, Anthony Hitchens, ALL



Stephon Gilmore (CB, 31)
There’s not a solid financial track record for 31+ cornerbacks, though Gilmore, Joe Haden, & Patrick Peterson all offer intriguing opportunities for teams despite their age. Gilmore has been linked to the Chiefs, & Eagles, though the Colts & 49ers should also be largely in the veteran CB conversation right now. With a 2 year, $24M contract do the trick? A massive jump in WR pay signals that the CB market could be soaring again very shortly.

Also: Trae Waynes, Joe Haden, Tavon Young, Patrick Peterson, Chris Harris, ALL



Tyrann Mathieu (S, 29)
Mathieu joins Tyreek Hill as another big name to depart the Chiefs in 2022, and is still making the rounds to secure his next home. Tyrann has been linked to at least a half dozen teams publicly, but the Steelers, Cowboys, & Broncos seem to make the most sense here. Pittsburgh needs a bevy of help in their secondary, and Mathieu’s versatility can cover plenty of that, while Dallas’ defensive backs were wildly exposed over the second half of 2021. Denver getting in the mix is on brand for how the franchise is currently operating: All-In. Mathieu is likely seeking $16M per year on the market.

Also: Landon Collins, Keanu Neal, Kareem Jackson, Rodney McLeod, ALL



Michael Badgley (K, 26)
Badgley played 13 games for the Colts in 2021, hitting 18 of 22 fieldgoals, and 98% of his point-afters. He’s been inconsistent for sure, but he’ll still find a roster by camp.

Also: Chase McLaughlin, Sam Ficken, ALL



Kevin Huber (P, 36)
After 13 seasons in Cincy, Huber has yet to be retained for 2022. The Dolphins, Browns, & Falcons also have needs at the position, making it likely that Huber finds a gig to latch onto if he desires.

Also: Thomas Morstead, Corey Bojorquez, Riley Dixon, ALL

Forbes released their annual MLB Valuations for 2022.

Here are a few notable items:

  • New York Yankees are the first MLB team to surpass $6 billion
  • 5 teams are not over $3 billion (NYY, LAD, BOS, CHC, SF)
  • Texas Rangers valuation increased the most year-over-year at 15%
  • Baltimore Orioles were the only team to have their valuation decreased by -4%
  • Miami Marlins are the only team not to reach the $1 billion mark ($990 million) AND their valuation stayed static at 0% change
  • Cleveland Guardians valuation increased by 12%, the most of any team in the bottom half of the valuations


#1 New York Yankees

Valuation : $6 billion

1-Yr Change: 14%


#2 Los Angeles Dodgers

Valuation : $4.075 billion

1-Yr Change: 14%


#3 Boston Red Sox

Valuation : $3.9 billion

1-Yr Change: 13%


#4 Chicago Cubs

Valuation : $3.8 billion

1-Yr Change: 13%


#5 San Francisco Giants

Valuation : $3.5 billion

1-Yr Change: 10%


#6 New York Mets

Valuation : $2.65 billion

1-Yr Change: 8%


#7 St. Louis Cardinals

Valuation : $2.45 billion

1-Yr Change: 9%


#8 Philadelphia Phillies

Valuation : $2.3 billion

1-Yr Change: 12%


#9 Los Angeles Angels

Valuation : $2.2 billion

1-Yr Change: 9%


#10 Atlanta Braves

Valuation : $2.1 billion

1-Yr Change: 12%


#11 Texas Rangers

Valuation : $2.05 billion

1-Yr Change: 15%


#12 Washington Nationals

Valuation : $2 billion

1-Yr Change: 4%


#13 Houston Astros

Valuation : $1.98 billion

1-Yr Change: 6%


#14 Toronto Blue Jays

Valuation : $1.78 billion

1-Yr Change: 6%


#15 Chicago White Sox

Valuation : $1.76 billion

1-Yr Change: 4%


#16 Seattle Mariners

Valuation : $1.7 billion

1-Yr Change: 4%


#17 San Diego Padres

Valuation : $1.575 billion

1-Yr Change: 4%


#18 Detroit Tigers

Valuation : $1.4 billion

1-Yr Change: 11%


#19 Minnesota Twins

Valuation : $1.39 billion

1-Yr Change: 5%


#20 Colorado Rockies

Valuation : $1.385 billion

1-Yr Change: 7%


#21 Arizona Diamondbacks

Valuation : $1.38 billion

1-Yr Change: 5%


#22 Baltimore Orioles

Valuation : $1.375 billion

1-Yr Change: -4%


#23 Pittsburgh Pirates

Valuation : $1.32 billion

1-Yr Change: 3%


#24 Cleveland Guardians

Valuation : $1.3 billion

1-Yr Change: 12%


#25 Milwaukee Brewers

Valuation : $1.28 billion

1-Yr Change: 5%


#26 Cincinnati Reds

Valuation : $1.19 billion

1-Yr Change: 10%


#27 Oakland Athletics

Valuation : $1.18 billion

1-Yr Change: 5%


#28 Kansas City Royals

Valuation : $1.11 billion

1-Yr Change: 5%


#29 Tampa Bay Rays

Valuation : $1.1 billion

1-Yr Change: 4%


#30 Miami Marlins

Valuation : $990 million

1-Yr Change: 0%

Forbes MLB

A list of active NBA players and their career earnings with respect to the NCAA Sweet 16 teams.


#1 Gonzaga

Kelly Olynyk, $70,356,906

Domantas Sabonis, $62,573,326

Zach Collins, $23,067,603

Rui Hachimura, $13,798,838

Brandon Clarke, $7,808,640

Jalen Suggs, $6,592,920

Corey Kispert, $3,383,640

Killian Tillie, $1,901,625


#1 Arizona

Andre Iguodala, $182,314,035

Aaron Gordon, $92,777,983

Deandre Ayton, $39,781,548

Lauri Markkanen, $35,749,302

Stanley Johnson, $21,419,703

T.J. McConnell, $18,752,881

Josh Green, $5,774,280

Zeke Nnaji, $4,878,600

Brandon Williams, $53,176


#1 Kansas

Andrew Wiggins, $137,224,484

Joel Embiid, $132,355,267

Marcus Morris Sr., $72,877,547

Kelly Oubre Jr., $50,251,988

Markieff Morris, $50,169,716

Ben McLemore, $30,891,878

Josh Jackson, $27,522,173

Devonte' Graham, $14,980,624

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, $6,209,071

Udoka Azubuike, $4,052,880


#2 Villanova

Kyle Lowry, $217,032,826

Josh Hart, $20,354,114

Mikal Bridges, $17,370,623

Donte DiVincenzo, $12,925,178

Ryan Arcidiacono, $8,028,681

Jalen Brunson, $6,024,217

Saddiq Bey, $5,514,240

Eric Paschall, $4,142,768

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, $2,000,000

#2 Duke

Kyrie Irving, $194,017,299

Brandon Ingram, $80,122,392

Mason Plumlee, $64,325,952

Jayson Tatum, $57,687,445

Austin Rivers, $54,453,395

Justise Winslow, $40,319,065

Marvin Bagley III, $35,602,717

Seth Curry, $33,050,810

Tyus Jones, $32,409,999

Zion Williamson, $30,126,480

Luke Kennard $27,623,622

Rodney Hood $27,552,690

R.J. Barrett $24,695,640

Wendell Carter Jr., $21,686,380

Gary Trent Jr., $19,830,624

Cam Reddish, $13,373,880

Grayson Allen, $10,951,898

Frank Jackson , $6,961,220

Vernon Carey Jr., $2,867,981

Jalen Johnson , $2,659,680

Tre Jones, $2,416,291


#3 Purdue

No active players


#3 Texas Tech

Jarrett Culver, $18,313,080


#4 Arkansas

Bobby Portis, $28,888,606

Daniel Gafford, $4,142,768

Moses Moody, $3,562,200

Isaiah Joe, $2,416,291

Mason Jones, $61,528


#4 Providence

David Duke Jr., $0 / Two-Way



Russell Westbrook, $288,581,670

Kevin Love, $235,261,434

Jrue Holiday, $186,069,405

Trevor Ariza, $116,874,668

Zach LaVine, $86,428,548

Lonzo Ball, $51,531,316

Norman Powell, $48,230,702

Kyle Anderson, $42,169,578

Kevon Looney, $19,538,458

Aaron Holiday, $10,477,351

Moses Brown, $3,143,453

Chris Smith, $0 / Two-Way

#5 Houston

Quentin Grimes, $2,168,640

Armoni Brooks, $1,660,221


#8 North Carolina

Harrison Barnes, $147,806,228

Danny Green, $91,692,990

Wayne Ellington, $47,587,347

Ed Davis, $46,486,744

Reggie Bullock, $28,343,804

Coby White, $16,385,865

Cameron Johnson, $12,453,510

Tony Bradley, $10,265,469

Cole Anthony, $6,734,520

Nassir Little, $6,500,805

Day'Ron Sharpe, $2,009,160

Theo Pinson, $1,558,838


#10 Miami

Lonnie Walker IV, $12,285,006

Bruce Brown Jr., $8,566,726

Davon Reed, $2,480,021


#11 Michigan

Tim Hardaway Jr., $100,906,220

Caris LeVert, $41,062,875

Trey Burke, $22,019,147

Duncan Robinson, $18,651,634

Nik Stauskas, $15,043,243

Moritz Wagner, $7,809,762

Jordan Poole, $6,189,480

Franz Wagner, $5,00,7840

Ignas Brazdeikis, $2,508,677

Isaiah Livers, $1,057,260


#11 Iowa State

Monte Morris, $13,411,128

Talen Horton-Tucker, $11,860,147

Georges Niang, $8,920,084

Tyrese Haliburto, $7,855,440

Matt Thomas, $4,029,325

Lindell Wiggington, $0 / Two-Way

#15 Saint Peters

No active players


A visual look at the numbers behind Tyreek Hill's historic extension with the Dolphins, including $72M through 2024, & $52M fully guaranteed at signing.

A look at the few dozen MLB players who couldn't come to an agreement before the March 22nd deadline, and the numbers exchanged going forward.

(Player's Filing/Team's Filing)


Atlanta Braves

Dansby Swanson ($10M/$9.2M)

Luke Jackson ($4M/$3.6M)

Adam Duvall ($10.2M/$9.2M)

Max Fried ($6.8M/$6.6M)

Austin Riley ($4.2M/$3.9M)

Baltimore Orioles

Trey Mancini ($8M/$7.3M)

John Means ($3.1M/$2.7M)


Chicago Cubs

Willson Contreras ($10.2M/$9M)


Chicago White Sox

Lucas Giolito ($7.5M/$7.3M)


Cincinnati Reds

Lucas Sims ($1.6M/$1.2M)


Colorado Rockies

Kyle Freeland ($7.8M/$6.4M)


Detroit Tigers

Spencer Turnbull ($2.1M/$1.3M)


Kansas City Royals

Andrew Benintendi ($8.5M/$7.3M)

Nicholas Lopez ($2.9M/$2.5M)


Miami Marlins

Jesus Aguilar ($7.7M/$7M)

Joe Wendle ($4.9M/$4.3M)

Jacob Stallings ($3.1M/$2.4M)

Pablo Lopez ($3M/$2.4M)


Milwaukee Brewers

Adrian Houser ($3M/$2.4M)


Minnesota Twins

Gary Sanchez ($9.5M/$8.5M)

Luis Arraez ($2.4M/$1.85M)


New York Mets
Chris Bassitt ($9M/$8.6M)


New York Yankees

Aaron Judge ($21M/$17M)


Philadelphia Phillies

Zach Eflin ($6.9M/$5.15M)


Pittsburgh Pirates

Bryan Reynolds ($4.9M/$4.25M)


Seattle Mariners

Adam Frazier ($8M/$6.7M)

Mitch Haniger ($8M/$6.7M)

Jesse Winker($7M/$5.4M)


St. Louis Cardinals

Harrison Bader ($4.8M/$3.8M)

Tyler O'Neill ($4.15M/$3.4M)


Washington Nationals

Victor Robles ($2.1M/$1.6M)

A visual look at the numbers behind Davante Adams' 5 year, $140M contract with the Raiders, including the cap breakdown, guarantee structure & our thoughts going forward. Related: View the Full Contract

A visual look at the numbers behind Von Miller's blockbuster free agent contract with the Bills, including $52M through 2024, and team-friendly cap hits over the next two seasons. Related: View the Full Contract

A visual look at the cap hits, bonuses, guarantee structure, and practicality of Maxx Crosby's $94M contract extension with the Las Vegas Raiders. Related: View the Full Contract

A visual look at the numbers behind Matthew Stafford's $160M extension with the Rams, including the double bonus structure, $120M guaranteed through 2023, and near $50M cap hits. Related: View the Full Contract

A visual look at the numbers behind Deshaun Watson's $230M guaranteed with the Browns, & how the cap hits may be managed over the next 7+ seasons in Cleveland. Related: View the Full Contract

Freddie Freeman (1B, 32)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  $27,135,000

It’s long been assumed that Freeman would return to Atlanta but minds will wander the longer he remains unsigned. If the player side has an internal number around Average Salary and simply wants the team to match, it’s likely a matter of time before this gets done. But if Freeman is truly available and intends on maximizing this next contract, it wouldn’t shock us to see a contender (Dodgers, Mets, Padres) make a huge offer to pull him away.


Anthony Rizzo (1B, 32)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  $21,700,000

Rizzo didn’t light it up as much as some anticipated he would in a lefty friendly Yankee Stadium, but a longer stint that would have to benefit him one would think. With that said, the Yankees are targeting Freddie Freeman as well, which may push Rizzo out to the open market for a new home. He may struggle to get to the $20M per year mark with this expedited free agency.


Carlos Correa (SS, 27)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary: $26,600,000

The perfect blend of age, talent, production and experience - Correa was the consensus top position player available entering November. While Corey Seager and Marcus Semien inked contracts first, it’s reported Correa rejected a 10 year/$275m offer from the Tigers ahead of the lockout. He has since switched agents - now represented by Scott Boras who brokered both the Seager ($325M) and Semien ($175M) mega deals. If he’s open to joining a rebuild as some have suggested, it’s likely at least one team makes an offer that exceeds $30m annually. If not, expect a deal littered with early player opt outs.


Trevor Story (SS, 29)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  $29,800,000

Another premier talent at the position that gets lost in the strength of this free agent class, it’s possible Story doesn’t find the salary + term he might command during a different offseason. Perhaps teams hesitate to commit long term if there are concerns about removing him from Coors, or how the skills will translate with age. If his market deteriorates, Story could target a short term deal and look to reenter the market in future years with weaker options at the position.


Kris Bryant (3B/OF, 30)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  $23,500,000

The market for Bryant might not be as big as once expected, as his short tenure in San Francisco didn’t exactly jump off the page. He’s still a versatile defender, and has batting title type discipline at the plate when he’s right. This seems like an Angels overpay if I’ve ever seen one.


Nick Castellanos (OF, 30)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  $21,300,000

Castellanos is perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the National League DH. While his quietly consistent offensive production would add value to any lineup, there are legitimate defensive concerns that previously limited interest. Expect there to be more suitors this time around.


Kyle Schwarber (OF, 29)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  12,900,000

Schwarber declined an $11M option for 2022 with Boston, as he seeks a multi-year guarantee on the open market. The Red Sox should be in consideration to bring him back, but likely not with any kind of impactful contract. He feels like a 3 year, $40M player right now.


Michael Conforto (OF, 29)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  $19,100,000

The market for Conforto seems stronger than anticipated, as many wondered if he would simply sign the one year qualifying offer with the Mets a few months ago. Contenders like the Yankees and Padres have already shown interest, so a $20M+ per year multi-year deal seems likely at this point.


Yusei Kikuchi (SP, 30)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:   $12,000,000

The Cubs have been linked with Kikuchi for some time now, and it's tough to see them not get to the finish line here. His walks are too high right now, but there's reason to believe he can settle into a nice role. The Mets & Blue Jays may also have him on the radar for depth.


Zack Greinke (SP, 38)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary: $10,000,000

Greinke has expressed interest in returning to the mound in 2022, but it's possible he remains unsigned for a few months to best target his next destination. A full year of work may not be in his best interest, but he carries a ton of value down the stretch. A 1 year, $9M-$10M contract with incentives to go higher makes sense for a contender.


Kenley Jansen (RP, 34)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  $10,000,000

Jansen has regressed, but he’s still a viable option out of the back of a bullpen. A return to the Dodgers for a bit of a hometown discount seems the right play here.


Seiya Suzuki (OF, 27)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary: $12,000,000

The Red Sox have long been focused here and this likely remains their top priority. Financially speaking he’s probably inline with the likes of a Schwarber or Castellanos, but the unknown ceiling and potential 5-tool capabilities will have the big teams favoring Suzuki in the end. 5 years, $60M?


Nelson Cruz (DH, 41)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  $14,000,000

Cruz is the bat that keeps on giving. Despite his age, Cruz pumped in 32 homers, 21 doubles, and an .831 OPS in 2021, putting him back in line for another contract. He earned $13M for his services last year, so a simple raise (especially with an expanded CBT), makes some sense.

Matt Olson (1B, OAK, 27)

Olson projects to a $12M salary in his second year of arbitration, with free agency not currently scheduled until 2024. This is generally the time the A’s begin to deal away their position players, and with major power & outstanding defense on his resume, Olson should bring back a nice package. If the Braves let Freddie Freeman get away, this is a slam dunk replacement. Olson projects to a 6 year, $136M extension in our system.


Dominic Smith (1B/OF, NYM, 26)

Smith’s role has been reduced more and more each season, and the infrequent hitting has led to inconsistent production. There’s a world where an everyday role elsewhere reignites his abilities, and this spring could be the time for us to find that out. Smith is under team control through 2024. Cleveland has long seemed a strong fit.


Matt Chapman (3B, OAK, 28)

Like Olson, Chapman is headed into his Arbitration 2 year, projected at around $9.5M for the upcoming season. The Gold Glove defender has consistently provided near 5 WAR production on average, and could have his sights set on one of the NY teams for the foreseeable future. Chapman projects to a 6 year, $138M extension in our system.


J.D. Davis (3B/OF, NYM)

Davis’ bat was always touted as his strong point, while defensively (especially at 3rd base) he was considered a liability. The power at the plate was evident in 2019, but hasn’t been back since, though a part-time role is certainly a factor in that conversation. Davis will be seeking a more full-time opportunity in 2022, and a change of scenery probably makes sense for both sides. Contractually he projects to a $2.5M arbitration salary for 2022, with two more years of arbitration eligibility still remaining.


Jose Ramirez (INF, CLE)

Cleveland is probably ready to move on from their long-time All-Star, but they won’t do it on the cheap. Ramirez holds a $12M salary for 2022, then a $14M club option 2023 - ideally friendly salaries for any team looking to take on the 29 year old’s services. The Blue Jays had plenty of interest in this move last year.


Kevin Kiermaier (OF, TB, 31)

Kiermaier missed 40 games in 2021, but still posted decent production, and a 3.4 WAR across the season. His contract carries a $12M salary in 2022, & a $13M club option for 2023, numbers that generally scream “get out” based on Tampa Bay’s financial limits. 


Sean Manaea (SP, OAK, 30)

The Athletics could be in store for a very busy spring with (at least) three notable trade candidates. Manaea will be entering the final year of team control, set to earn an estimated $10M in the final year of arbitration. He’s a more traditional pitcher in that his advanced metrics don’t exactly jump off the page, but he’s a perfect middle of the rotation add for some of the better teams in the game, if even for just one year. He aligns well with the 4 year, $44M contract Steven Matz just scored in St. Louis.


Sonny Gray (SP, CIN, 32)

While the home runs against are up, Gray made the most of his time in Cincinnati - after a tumultuous tenure with the Yankees. There's middle of the rotation value here, and with a $10.3M salary for 2022, plus a $12M club option in 2023, there's very little risk involved as well.


Craig Kimbrel (RP, CWS, 33)

The White Sox overpaid for Kimbrel last summer, and they’ll look to get some of that compensation back via a trade this spring. He’s on the books for $16M this season, but it probably takes Chicago eating a few million of that to get him out the door. The Rangers and Blue Jays seem to be in serious “all-in” mode this offseason for a move like this.


Josh Hader (RP, MIL, 27)

Hader’s been rumored in trades for the better part of two seasons now. He’s still under team control through 2023, headed for an arbitration 3 salary in the $8M range for 2022. Milwaukee will want a mix of top prospects and MLB ready talent back in a Hader move, and the Mets currently seem best positioned to offer that. Hader projects to a 4 year, $70M extension in our system.

A first round pick, a third round pick and a 6th round pick, for a second round pick, a seventh round pick, and the rights to pay Khalil Mack. That’s the move that brought the now 31 year old edge rusher from the Raiders to the Bears. Chicago in turn signed him to a 6 year, $141M contract extension, of which $91M has been paid out.

Mack offered up 36 sacks in 3.5 years, and until last season was largely available, consistent, and productive across the board. Was this the right time to move on? Much of the Bears current roster construction says yes, especially as much of the team’s focus will be on protecting, and offering weapons for their next attempt at a franchise QB.


Terms of the Trade

The Chargers send the Bears a 2022 2nd round pick (#48), & a 2023 6th round pick for the rights to Khalil Mack. The #48 pick projects to carry a cap hit of $1.4M in 2022, so LAC will free up a bit of space in that regard.


The Traded Contract

2022: $17.75M ($12.05M salary, $5.5M roster bonus, $200k workout bonus)
2023: $22.9M ($17.2M salary, $5.5M roster bonus, $200k workout bonus)
2024: $23.25M ($17.55M salary, $5.5M roster bonus, $200k workout bonus)

The Chargers agreed to take on all of Mack’s remaining contract, to the tune of 3 years, $63.9M. But - as with almost every NFL contract - not everything is as it first seems.

While a $5.5M roster bonus is due next Friday, the remaining contract offers no other “upfront” guarantees from here out. Even his $12.05M base salary for 2022 won’t fully lock in until Week 1. So theoretically speaking, the Chargers could walk away from this contract after 2022 with no financial impact.


Cap Flexibility

Not only does a Joey Bosa Khalil Mack combo on the field offer flexibility in terms of defensive rush scheming, but there’s plenty of wiggle room in each of their contracts for cap clearing as needed.

With Mack specifically, the acquired contract brings on zero dead cap with it. His roster bonus will vest next week, but it probably makes sense for the Chargers to restructure this a bit in the next few days to free up additional cap space for what seems like a major push this March.

Is it required? No, the Chargers currently rank 13th in terms of Top 51 cap space with just under $25M to work with, but if the plan is to add another piece to their secondary, or a notable TE for Herbert to utilize, more room will be required (not to mention Derwin James needs a top of the market extension).

Converting the $5.5M roster bonus into a signing bonus, spread out over the final 4 years of the contract frees up over $4M of cap space this year. That might be all the Chargers opt to do with this contract to keep the dead cap at a minimum.

However, a full restructure of all 2022 compensation, with another void year added, can drop his 2022 cap hit all the way down to $4.44M, freeing up over $13M of cap space for the Chargers to utilize.


Positional Spending

The benefit of a great QB on a rookie contract is of course the ability to overspend a bit elsewhere. Keenan Allen & Mike Williams now represent $33.2M of combined 2022 cap dollars. Joey Bosa & Khalil Mack now represent a whopping $46M of combined 2022 cap dollars.

And the Chargers aren’t yet done.


Minimum Salaries

The minimum salary in MLB for the 2021 season was $570,500, by far the lowest in all of the big four American sports. The new CBA addresses this undervaluation:

2022: $700,000
2023: $720,000
2024: $740,000
2025: $760,000
2026: $780,000

Not only have the salaries increased, but the annual increase in each year of this CBA has grown as well. From 2017-2021, the minimum salary went from $535,000 to $570,500, a 6.6% increase versus what will now be north of 11%.

Note: The $700,000 minimum salary still ranks last among the Big 4 for 2022
NBA: $925,000; NHL: $750,000; NFL: $705,000; MLB: $700,000

Minor Leaguers with major league contracts also see a strong increase in their base pay. First year players saw a minimum salary of $43,000 last year, with all other minor leaguers on a $93,000 pay grade. That now increases to:

2022: $57,200; $114,100
2023: $58,800; $117,400
2024: $60,300; $120,600
2025: $62,000; $123,900
2026: $63,600; $127,100


The Competitive Balance Tax

New Thresholds (Maximums)
The 2021 season held a $210,000,000 threshold for team tax salaries. This was one of the biggest battles throughout the negotiation process, but the final numbers ended up at:

2022: $230M
2023: $233M
2024: $237M
2025: $241M
2026: $244M

The tax threshold jumps up 9.5% immediately per the new CBA, but offers just 1.3%-1.4% increases annually from there (despite the minimum salary increasing at nearly 3%, like any normal working wage should).

Tax Tiers & Payer Rates
Teams that go over the tax threshold are now subject to four tiers (previously three) that dictate how they’ll be billed accordingly. Simply, every $20M a team goes over, the more they’ll be billed. And going over in subsequent years will mean even more pain (despite the fact that only 2-3 teams per year have been going over the threshold at any capacity).

Tier 2022 amount 1st-time payor 2nd-time payor 3rd-time payor
1st threshold (x) $230M 20.0% 30.0% 50.0%
2nd threshold (x + $20m) $250M 32.0% 42.0% 62.0%
3rd threshold (x + $40m) $270M 62.5% 75.0% 95.0%
4th threshold (x + $60m) $290M 80.0% 90.0% 110.0%


The $50M Pre-Arbitration Bonus Pool

This was one of the bigger new asks from the MLBPA, and the resulting plan is both well thought out, and effective for the game’s current model.

In short, Pre-Arbitration represents a player’s first three seasons of service time in MLB. For the most part these players are earning, or slightly above, the league’s minimum salary. With this pool, players who well outperform these salaries will now be compensated via bonuses after the season (throwing a bit of a wrench into some of these team’s CBT calculations I imagine).

Pre-Arbitration Bonus Allocations

League MVP or Cy Young

  • 1st: $2.5M
  • 2nd: $1.75M
  • 3rd: $1.5M
  • 4th-5th: $1M

Rookie of the Year

  • 1st: $750,000
  • 2nd: $500,000

All-MLB Selection

  • 1st Team: $1M
  • 2nd Team: $500,000

The rest of the bonus pool will be allocated to the Top 100 WAR players in a given season (actual allocation breakdown to be confirmed by 7/1/22).

Note: If a player qualifies for two of these bonuses, he will only be awarded the highest possible payout. So Vlad Guerrero JR. winning rookie of the year ($750k), but also being selected to 1st-team All-MLB ($1M), would negate his ROY payment.



Contracts for all arbitration-eligible players will now be guaranteed, perhaps putting a bit more onus on extended these players to a multi-year contract versus just the one year tender.


Service Time Adjustments

While the 6 year requirement before free agency wasn’t addressed, a few small tweaks were built in to help a small percentage of players progress toward a payday.

  • Pre-arbitration players who finish 1st or 2nd in Rookie of the year voting will automatically receive a full year of service (1.0), regardless of when those players were called up during that season.
  • Teams who promote their top prospects for Opening Day (Pete Alonso with the Mets) will be rewarded with additional compensatory draft picks for their gesture.


Minor League Option Limits

Prior to this new CBA, MLB players were offered three seasons with “options”, essentially allowing a team to move to and from the minor leagues an unlimited amount of times within those three years.

While the three option seasons remain, there’s now a 5-move limit on how many times a player can be sent down. After 5 demotions, a player will need to pass through waivers in order to be sent down for the remainder of that season.


MLB Amatuer Draft Lottery

Essentially the only change implemented to improve “competitive imbalance”, the MLB Draft will no longer be ordered solely based on a team’s record from the previous season.

The first 6 selections in each draft will be determined by a lottery (essentially ping pong balls), allowing all 18 non-playoff teams a chance to vie for these picks. The percentage at which these 18 teams will be weighted (more ping pong balls) will be based on their previous year winning percentage.

1: 16.5% 7: 5.5% 13: .9%
2: 16.5% 8: 3.9% 14: .7%
3: 16.5% 9: 2.7% 15: .62%
4: 13.25% 10: 1.8% 16: .48%
5: 10% 11: 1.4% 17: .36%
6: 7.5% 12: 1.1% 18: .23%

Once the 6 picks are chosen via lottery, the remaining draft order will be set based on previous year winning percentage.

Also of note, the amateur draft will revert back to 20 rounds, and slot values (signing bonuses) will have annual increases after a two year hiatus due to the pandemic.


Expanded Playoffs

The MLB Postseason is expanded from 10 teams to 12 teams, effective immediately. A few notable takeaways:

  • 163rd Game Tiebreakers are dead. Playoff spot tiebreakers will be decided based on a “system”, likely pulling from strength of schedule, divisional wins, run differential, etc…
  • Wild Card Games are now a Wild Card Series. The Top 2 overall teams in each League get a Wild Card bye. From there, the 3rd seed plays 6, 4th seed plays 5 in a Best-of-Three series. The higher seed will host every game in this round.
  • There will be no re-seeding when we get to the Divisional Round. The 1st seed will play the winner of the 4 / 5 matchup, and the 2nd seed the winner of the 3 / 6 series.


Roster/Schedule Changes

Universal DH
As expected, the Designated Hitter is now in place in both leagues, which should not only help NL batting averages rise, but also elongate a few more careers per year.

Roster Sizes
Roster sizes will remain at 26 players until September, at which time an extra two players will be added. Note: It should be assumed that for 2022, roster sizes may be adjusted to accommodate the expedited schedule.

Rule Changes
Though items like the pitch clock, banning shifts, etc…have not been immediately implemented, the opportunity for them to be has been expedited. Starting in 2023, a committee of active players, MLB execs, and an umpire will be tasked with considering gameplay alterations. Any change can be made effective within 45 days of notice to the MLBPA.

Doubleheaders & Extra Innings
Doubleheaders will be 9-inning games again, and extra inning games will no longer start with a runner at second base.

Games Schedule
Starting in 2023, the schedule will feature fewer divisional games, and every team will play at least one series against every other opponent, including in the other league. The exact format is still being determined.


The International Draft

This issue has been tabled for now, with a July 25th, 2022 deadline in place to negotiate its future. The negotiation will be VERY important from the player’s perspective for a few reasons:

  • International players do not want this at all. The opportunity for dozens of players to receive a bonus and at least get a shot to make a camp tryout will be extinguished, as the draft will likely only offer this opportunity to a select few. There’s also a major concern that international communities simply do not have a structure in place to prepare for this type of formal process.
  • If the MLBPA does not agree to implement the International Draft, then the current draft pick compensation tied to qualifying offers will remain in place, further jettisoning star player’s chances are getting the best deal possible in free agency.

Last week the PGA announced the results for the inaugural Player Impact Program for 2021.

For the 2021 calendar year (Jan 1, 2021 - Dec 31, 2021) there was a $40 million bonus pool that would be split up amongst the top 10 finishers.

The Player Impact Program Score as defined by the PGA Tour:

  1. Internet Searches: Number of times a player’s name is searched on the internet;
  2. Earned Media: Number of unique news articles that include a player’s name;
  3. Social Media: Social media score that considers a player’s reach, conversation and engagement metrics;
  4. TV Sponsor Exposure: Duration (time) that a player’s sponsor logo(s) appears on screen during Saturday and Sunday PGA TOUR telecasts;
  5. Awareness: A player’s general awareness score among broad U.S. population.


2021 Top-10 Finishers / Payouts

  1. Tiger Woods, $8 million
  2. Phil Michelson, $6 million
  3. Rory McIlroy, $3.5 million
  4. Jordan Spieth, $3.5 million
  5. Bryson DeChambeau, $3.5 million
  6. Justin Thomas, $3.5 million
  7. Dustin Johnson, $3 million
  8. Brooks Koepka, $3 million
  9. Jon Rahm, $3 million
  10. Bubba Watson, $3 million


Note: The 2022 bonus pool will increase from $40 million to $50 million.

PGA Player Impact Program

Starting with the 2018 draft, 5th year options for all 1st round selections took on a very different calculation process. The big deciding factor now? Pro Bowls. The valuation process for the 5th year option is broken down into 4 tiers:

Tier 1: A player is selected to 2+ Pro Bowls in his first three seasons (original ballot placement only)
Tier 2: A player is selected to 1 Pro Bowl in his first three seasons (original ballot placement only)
Tier 3: A player does not garner a Pro Bowl berth, but plays in either 75% of snaps in 2 of 3 seasons, or an average of 50% over all 3
Tier 4: A player does not garner a Pro Bowl berth, nor does he meet the necessary playing time criteria


1 ARI Kyler Murray QB $29,703,000
2 SF Nick Bosa DE $17,859,000
3 NYJ Quinnen Williams DT $11,500,000
4 LV Clelin Ferrell DE $11,500,000
5 TB Devin White ILB $11,706,000
6 NYG Daniel Jones QB $22,384,000
7 JAC Josh Allen OLB $11,500,000
8 DET T.J. Hockenson TE $9,392,000
9 BUF Ed Oliver DT $10,753,000
10 PIT Devin Bush ILB $10,892,000
11 CIN Jonah Williams T $12,604,000
12 GB Rashan Gary OLB $10,892,000
13 MIA Christian Wilkins DT $10,753,000
14 ATL Chris Lindstrom G $13,202,000
15 WAS Dwayne Haskins QB N/A (released)
16 CAR Brian Burns DE $16,012,000
17 NYG Dexter Lawrence DT $10,753,000
18 MIN Garrett Bradbury C $13,202,000
19 TEN Jeffery Simmons DT $10,753,000
20 DEN Noah Fant TE $6,850,000
21 GB Darnell Savage S $7,901,000
22 PHI Andre Dillard T $12,604,000
23 HOU Tytus Howard T $13,202,000
24 LV Josh Jacobs RB $8,034,000
25 BAL Marquise Brown WR $13,413,000
26 WAS Montez Sweat DE $11,500,000
27 LV Johnathan Abram S $7,901,000
28 LAC Jerry Tillery DT $11,500,000
29 SEA L.J. Collier DE $11,500,000
30 NYG Deandre Baker CB N/A (released)
31 ATL Kaleb McGary T $13,202,000
32 NE N'Keal Harry WR $12,425,000

March 8th is the deadline for teams to designate a franchise or transition tag.
Related: Projected 2022 Tag Values

Orlando Brown Jr. (OT, KC)

  • Has been offered a $16.5M tag by the Chiefs
  • Was acquired for a 1st, 3rd, & 4th (while also getting a 2nd & 6th)
  • Projects to a 5 year, $116.5M historic extension


Davante Adams (WR, GB)

  • Should be offered a $20.145M franchise tag (120% of his 2021 cap hit)
  • Packers are trying to avoid the tag, as they simply do not have the cap space to take it on
  • Aaron Rodgers’ March 8th deadline isn’t an accident, it’s the end of the tag window. He goes I go situation
  • Projects to a 5 year, $129M extension in our system, easily the largest total value for any WR in history (Calvin Johnson, $113.45M)
  • Adams is looking to surpass Julio Jones’ $64M of fully guarantee at signing


Chris Godwin (WR, TB)

  • May be offered a 2nd tag at $19.18M
  • Won’t be available all offseason, projects to return right at Week 1 (torn ACL/MCL)
  • Bucs smelling blood in a weak division? Band-aid QB with tons of weapons?
  • Projects to a 5 year, $103M extension (but might need to prove health?)


Mike Williams (WR, LAC)

  • Should be offered an $18.5M tag by the Chargers
  • Likely to play on it? (Feels Godwin-y)
  • Projects to a 5 year, $90M extension
  • LAC has the cap space to structure this as a “double-tag” extension with value in years 3-5 if they so choose.


Mike Gesicki (TE, MIA)

  • Will be offered an $11M tag by the Dolphins
  • Could argue that he’s a WR based on his formation numbers, but not likely ($7.5M difference)
  • Miami probably extends him, I would not. I believe the $11M tender is both fair and good business for a team with a lack of identity right now.
  • Projects to 4 years, $44M (same value as the tag)


Dalton Schultz (TE, DAL)

  • Should be offered an $11M tag by the Cowboys
  • Blake Jarwin’s injury status secures his spot
  • Projects to a 4 yr, $50M+ extension


Harold Landry (LB, TEN)

  • Should be offered an $18.5M tag by the Titans
  • TEN will need to restructure a few contracts to fit this in
  • Strong candidate to play on the tag
  • Projects to a 4 year, $68M contract (Shaq Barrett-y)


Jessie Bates (S, CIN)

  • Will be offered a $13M tag by the Bengals
  • Bengals possess around $49M of cap space
  • Projects to a 5 year, $74M+ extension
  • Probably plays on the tag, while Cincy focuses cash on the OL?


James Conner/Chase Edmonds (RB, ARI)

  • Arizona wants to keep both RBs, Transition Tag for one?
  • Keim has shown he’ll do this with Kenyan Drake
  • Is keeping one at $8.5M(ish) too expensive from a cap perspective?
  • I’d rather see them sign both at $5M-$6M multi-year extensions, with cap flexibility built in.

Major League Soccer is about begin its 27th season. We take a look at the top spending teams, highest paid players and top earning players over the last 10 seasons. Furthermore, Major League Soccer continues to grow with new investors/owners with the sale/purchase of current franchises, expansion of new teams and invest money into new training facilities and stadiums


Top Spending Teams

A list of the top spending MLS teams over the last five (5) seasons (2017 - 2021).

  1. Toronto FC: $108,084,199
  2. LA Galaxy: $86,459,201
  3. Chicago Fire: $70,462,404
  4. New York City FC: $70,342,221
  5. Atlanta United FC: $66,263,215
  6. Seattle Sounders FC: $65,429,082
  7. Orlando City: $58,667,789
  8. Portland Timbers: $58,159,350
  9. Los Angeles FC: $57,585,374 (since 2018)
  10. Sporting Kansas City: $56,899,623
  11. CF Montreal: $54,462,383
  12. Columbus Crew: $53,717,015
  13. Real Salt Lake: $50,356,616
  14. FC Dallas: $47,931,823
  15. New England Revolution: $47,587,639
  16. DC United: $47,325,453
  17. Minnesota United FC: $46,986,049
  18. San Jose Earthquakes: $46,363,499
  19. Colorado Rapids: $46,099,675
  20. Philadelphia Union: $44,860,472
  21. Vancouver Whitecaps FC: $43,758,670
  22. New York Red Bulls: $42,311,364
  23. FC Cincinnati: $41,937,683 (since 2019)
  24. Houston Dynamo: $41,471,442
  25. Inter Miami FC: $32,199,907 (since 2020)
  26. Nashville SC: $21,387,511 (since 2020)
  27. Austin FC: $12,652,387 (since 2021)


Top Earning Positions

The top earnings positions over the last five (5) seasons.

  1. Midfielders, $601,659,240
  2. Forwards, $450,423,060
  3. Defenders, $293,242,674
  4. Goalkeepers, $74,437,072


Top Earning Players

Players who have earned the most guaranteed cash over the last ten (10) seasons.

  1. Michael Bradley, $41,928,571
  2. Jozy Altidore, $32,986,750
  3. Kaká, $28,670,000
  4. Sebastian Giovinco, $28,462,224
  5. Clint Dempsey,  $26,488,574
  6. Carlos Vela, $25,192,500
  7. David Villa, $22,500,000
  8. Robbie Keane, $20,250,575
  9. Giovani Dos Santos, $19,850,008
  10. Bastian Schweinsteiger, $17,100,000


Top One-Year Salaries 

Players who have earned the highest one-year salaries over the last five (5) seasons.

  1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA, 2019), $7,200,000
  2. Kaká (ORL, 2017), $7,167,500
  3. Sebastian Giovinco (TOR, 2017 & 2018), $7,115,556
  4. Michael Bradley (TOR, 2017 & 2018), $6,500,000
  5. Michael Bradley (TOR, 2019), $6,428,571
  6. Jozy Altidore (TOR, 2019), $6,332,250
  7. Carlos Vela (LAFC, 2019, 2020 & 2021), $6,300,000
  8. Carlos Vela (LAFC, 2018), $6,292,500
  9. Bastian Schweinsteiger, (CHI, 2018), $6,100,000
  10. Javier Hernandez (LA, 2020 & 2021), Giovani Dos Santos (LA, 2018): $6,000,000



Major League Soccer continues to grow and has added six (6) teams in the last five seasons. Charlotte FC will begin the MLS journey with the start of the 2022 season and St. Louis City SC is set to join for the 2023 season.

  • Atlanta United & Minnesota United, 2017
  • Los Angeles FC, 2018
  • Inter Miami CF & Nashville SC, 2020
  • Austin FC, 2021
  • Charlotte FC, 2022
  • St. Louis City SC, 2023


Related MLS Article

Recent MLS and NWSL Investment Prices and Stadium Costs


All-Star Game Roster

A financial breakdown of the 2022 NBA All-Star Teams drafted by LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

Team LeBron 2021-22 Cap Hit   2021-22 Cap Hit


  $183,885,800 Starters $109,192,111  
LeBron James, LAL $41,180,544   $31,579,390 Joel Embiid, PHI
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL $39,344,900   $9,603,360 Ja Morant, MEM
Stephen Curry, GSW $45,780,966   $28,103,500 Jayson Tatum, BOS
DeMar DeRozan, CHI $26,000,000   $31,579,390 Andrew Wiggins, GSW
Nikola Jokic, DEN $31,579,390   $8,326,471 Trae Young, ATL
  $196,121,737 Reserves $201,333,380  
Jarrett Allen, CLE $20,000,000   $8,231,760 LaMelo Ball, CHA
Jimmy Butler, MIA $36,016,200   $31,650,600 Devin Booker, PHX
Luka Doncic, DAL $10,174,391   $35,344,828 Rudy Gobert, UTH
Darius Garland, CLE $7,040,880   $19,500,000 Zach LaVine, CHI
James Harden, PHI $44,310,840   $35,500,000 Khris Middleton, MIL
Donovan Mitchell, UTH $28,103,500   $15,428,880 Dejounte Murray, SAS
Chris Paul, PHX $30,800,000   $31,650,600 Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN
Fre VanVleet, TOR $19,675,926   $24,026,712 Draymond Green, GSW
  $380,007,537 Totals $310,525,491  
  $29,231,349 Average $23,886,576  


The following amounts are the payouts for each participation of game or skills competition:

All-Star Game

Winning Team: $50,000 per player

Losing Team: $25,000 per player


Rookie-Sophomore Game

Winning Team: $25,000 per player

Losing Team: $10,000 per player


Shooting Stars

Winning Team: $60,000 per player

2nd Place Team: $45,000 per player

3rd Place Team: $24,000 per player

4th Place Team: $24,000 per player


Slam Dunk

1st Place: $100,000

2nd Place: $50,000

3rd Place: $20,000

4th Place: $20,000


Three-Point Shootout

1st Place: $50,000

2nd Place: $35,000

3rd Place: $25,000

4th Place: $10,000

5th Place: $10,000

6th Place: $10,000



1st Place: $50,000

2nd Place: $35,000

3rd Place: $15,000

4th Place: $15,000


Related NBA Links

NBA 2021-22 Cap Hit Rankings

NBA NBA All-Star

At the trade deadline, there’s a rush to grade trades or to decide who won or lost deals. Sometimes, this happens before all the details are even out. “The Celtics are getting Derrick White? Winners! Oh, they gave up Josh Richardson? Still Winners! Wait…a first and a potential swap too? Losers!” And then you see it play out on the floor and all of a sudden, your opinion may completely flip again.

With the benefit of a week to clear our heads, gather all the details and even see some games with new faces in new places, it’s time to start evaluating who won and lost at the trade deadline.

But…it’s not really that simple. For some of these deals, it will take months or even years to see how they fully play out. With that, there’s a pretty big caveat to all this “winners and losers” talk. This is how we judge things today, in mid-February 2022. There’s lots of room and time to be wrong. But it’s up those teams to prove us so.

All that said, here’s who won, lost and sat out the 2022 NBA trade deadline. (Note: This will encompass trades in the weeks leading up to the deadline, not just trades near or on deadline day.)



Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks didn’t do much. They essentially swapped Cam Reddish for Kevin Knox and a protected first-round pick. Knox has little value to Atlanta, and he’s hardly played for them, and the pick is fairly heavily-protected. The part where the Hawks won is that it removed a potentially extension negotiation from their trade of Reddish. For a team that’s already expensive and flirting with the luxury tax, that’s notable.

Boston Celtics

Boston was pretty active. They moved a couple of rotation players, plus shed enough salary to put themselves in position to avoid the luxury tax. Most importantly, the players they got back are better fits for this roster than the ones the Celtics gave up. Derrick White’s defensive versatility and skill, along with his quick-processing offensive game is a perfect fit for what Boston needs out of a backup guard. Daniel Theis is the ideal fourth-big in the rotation, because he can execute the same scheme as the other three bigs Ime Udoka uses regularly. Yes, the Celtics gave up a first-round pick and a potential pick swap. And, yes, they took on long-term money. But that long-term money gives them flexibility to match salary in almost any possible trade construction Brad Stevens can dream up moving forward.

Brooklyn Nets

We’ll get to the Philadelphia 76ers later, but this seems like it could be the most blockbustery of win-win trades in NBA history. The Nets side just may take a little longer to play out than the Sixers side. It could take Ben Simmons a while to find his form and to fit in, but, lest we forget, he’s really good at basketball! Simmons might be a non-shooter, but he’s an elite passer and the most versatile defender in the NBA. And Brooklyn is getting a couple of picks out of this deal too. Also, don’t overlook Seth Curry. He’ll feast on open jumpers created by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. And the more shooting around Simmons, the better.

Charlotte Hornets

We can keep this one simple. The Hornets got Montrezl Harrell for two non-rotation players. Backup center has been an issue all season long. P.J. Washington does his best, but he’s a four masquerading as a five. Harrell will give Charlotte energy and scoring off the bench, and the cost was essentially nothing.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs did well to snag Caris LeVert for Ricky Rubio’s expiring contract. They also picked up Rajon Rondo for nothing a few weeks earlier. Those are rotation-stabilizing moves for a team that is in the mix for homecourt advantage in the East. And they have LeVert for next year, while nothing prevents Cleveland from re-signing Rubio as a free agent. Good stuff all-around.

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets got Bryn Forbes for two injured players. Considering they needed another shooter while Jamal Murray works his way back, that’s great work. But really, Murray, and potentially Michael Porter Jr., will be the big “additions” for Denver. The Nuggets are a team no higher-seeded team is going to want to see in the playoffs.

Houston Rockets

Houston got off long-term money for Daniel Theis, without taking any long-term money on. Sure, that’s an admission of guilt that they blew the Theis’ signing in the first place. But there’s no saving that by throwing good money after bad. Getting off that deal is a win for the Rockets. Now, about a John Wall buyout…

Indiana Pacers

Indiana reset themselves at the deadline as much as any team outside of Portland did. But getting back Tyrese Haliburton as a cost-controlled rookie scale guy that has All-Star potential is huge. The Pacers also got themselves a first-round pick for Caris LeVert, and they get to take a flier on Jalen Smith. But really, this is all about Haliburton, who has a chance to lead the next set of Pacers playoffs teams for years to come.

LA Clippers

The Clippers took on a good chunk of money, both this season and moving forward, but they did so for good players. Norman Powell got hurt, but that acquisition was only sort of about this year anyway. If everyone is healthy to begin next season, LA has the deepest team in the NBA and it’s not particularly close. And they’ve set themselves up with some good trade options if a third star wants to team up with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. When your owner makes millions per second, spending his money is never a bad thing.

Milwaukee Bucks

The trade of Donte DiVincenzo looks a little rough with the hindsight of Pat Connaughton getting hurt, but as long as Connaughton is back to himself by the playoffs, all is good. Milwaukee needed another big to ease the burden on Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bobby Portis. Serge Ibaka can do that. He’s a reasonable facsimile for Brook Lopez, in that he can protect the rim on defense and space the floor on offense. And DiVincenzo likely wasn’t getting re-signed, given the presence of Connaughton and Grayson Allen already on the roster. For a team that’s trying to repeat as champs, it’s perfectly acceptable to make win-now moves like DiVincenzo for Ibaka.

New Orleans Pelicans

This one is a little tricky and you have to be bought in that C.J. McCollum has at least a few good years left. And he should. That’s probably enough to give up a first-round pick and rotation player in Josh Hart. But add in Larry Nance Jr. (if he gets healthy!) and you’ve really got something working. New Orleans has chance to be eight or nine-deep in quality rotation players at the start of next season. That’s huge for battling their way through the Western Conference. But if Zion Williamson isn’t healthy, a whole new set of questions will start being asked in the bayou.

Philadelphia 76ers

As stated above, this could be a win-win blockbuster deal. James Harden is a massive upgrade over the exactly zero the Sixers were getting from Ben Simmons. MASSIVE. That’s all that really matters here. If Harden is healthy, he and Joel Embiid can parade their way to the free throw line on a nightly basis all the way into a deep playoff run. That alone is worth giving up on Simmons (who was never playing for Philly again), Seth Curry and a couple of picks.

Phoenix Suns

Much like their terrific season to date, the Suns trade deadline moves seem to have gone a little under the radar. They got Torrey Craig for Jalen Smith, who had no future left in Phoenix. And they got Aaron Holiday for literally nothing. Craig was a nice add during last season’s NBA Finals run, and he’ll be the same this year. He’s good insurance on the wing behind Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder. Holiday is a nice upgrade on Elfrid Payton until Cameron Payne gets back. These are winning moves at basically no cost. That’s how you get back to the Finals.

Portland Trail Blazers

The Blazers finally started the teardown. Err…umm…reset. Whatever they call it, it’s begun in Portland, and that’s a good thing. They gave it the best possible run they could with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum led rosters. Now, it’s time to rebuild around Lillard. The Trail Blazers opened up all sorts of cap flexibility, possibly as soon as this summer. Now, it’s about getting things right at the draft and in free agency, if they hope to keep Lillard in the only NBA home he’s ever known.

Sacramento Kings

The Kings got unfairly pilloried when news of their trade with the Indiana Pacers first broke. Sure, Tyrese Haliburton is a really good, young player. But you know what? Domantas Sabonis is also a really good, not-that-much-older player. The early returns are interesting for Sacramento. All of the offense creation doesn’t fall on De’Aaron Fox now. Sabonis is a hub through which they can run plays. He’s a two-time All-Star and that seems to have been forgotten a bit. Yes, the Kings are often the KANGZ, but this doesn’t seem to be one of those times.

San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs traded Gregg Popovich favorite Derrick White, but they got a helpful player back in Josh Richardson, along with a first-round pick and swap rights down the line. And they get a chance to see if Romeo Langford can pop, although the wing is crowded with young prospects in San Antonio. They also got a first-round pick for Thaddeus Young, which is offset a bit by giving up a nice second-round pick, but it’s still an upgrade. Overall, this is a win for the Spurs, who usually let the deadline pass with nary a peep.



Chicago Bulls

Usually, we won’t be too harsh on a team that sits the deadline out. But the Bulls are a legit title contender. They have a multitude of injuries, including Zach LaVine having a troublesome knee. And DeMar DeRozan is turning in a near-career-year during his age-32 season. That all screams to get someone. Yes, it would have cost them Patrick Williams and maybe Coby White. And yes, they are a little short on tradable picks. But there were deals they seemingly could have gotten in on. Standing pat could come back to bite Chicago this spring.

Dallas Mavericks

It’s understandable to want to move on from Kristaps Porzingis. He was seemingly destined to miss 30-40 games per year in Dallas. But to take back two questionable contracts in Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans offsets the shedding of Porzingis’ salary in a major way. If Dinwiddie and/or Bertans finds their previous form, we’ll eat a big helping of crow. But this doesn’t really seem like an upgrade around Luka Doncic, just as he wraps up the cheap years of his rookie scale deal.

Detroit Pistons

Putting the Pistons in the “losers” category is a little harsh. They didn’t give up anything of value in the deal to get Marvin Bagley III, but there’s no real upside there. If Bagley plays great, and finally looks something like the #2 overall pick he was in 2018, the Pistons will have no choice but to keep him and sacrifice any chance of cap space this summer. If he plays poorly, there’s nothing really lost, but there’s also nothing gained. And they didn’t deal Jerami Grant. Not making a deal is better than making a bad deal, but dragging that situation out one more trade-cycle could get a little messy for the long-term roster building.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers didn’t do anything, and that in and of itself, is a loss. It might not have been the time to shed Russell Westbrook, and that should be easier to deal with this summer, but things aren’t likely to get a whole lot better with that situation. And Los Angeles shopped the Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn and a pick package to every team in the league. No one was buying, because there’s just not much value there. What you see is what you get for the rest of this year, minus a possible buyout addition or two.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota is another team that did nothing, but should have. They had the contracts to pile together to get in on some of the players who were traded. They also could have put together an offer for someone like Jerami Grant. Again, not making a deal is better than making a bad deal. But…the playoffs are in sight for a team that has seen the postseason once with Kevin Garnett left town. Some sort of upgrade should have been made to bolster those chances.

New York Knicks

Yes, the Knicks got Cam Reddish for a fairly minor outgoing package. But Reddish has struggled to crack Tom Thibodeau’s rotation and the coach said he’s not likely to play at all when the roster is healthy. That makes it a little hard to evaluate his fit before extension negotiations start this summer. Beyond that, the Knicks could have reset things a bit by trading away players like Alec Burks or Nerlens Noel. This season hasn’t gone how New York wanted. Not moving off some money might have been a mistake. If they don’t turn some of those contracts into better fits for next season, it definitely will have been a mistake.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The upset of the trade deadline is between the San Antonio Spurs making four trades or the Oklahoma City Thunder making just two extremely small deals to eat salary. While that’s good for the Spurs, it’s not great for the Thunder. OKC is on the tipping point of having too many draft picks. They found it impossible to move up in last year’s draft, as it was. But sitting on over $20 million cap space seems like a missed opportunity to collect more picks, or even to acquire some young talent. And the Thunder don’t project to have this sort of flexibility into this offseason.

Orlando Magic

Much like the Thunder, the Magic had a chance to be more active at the deadline. They ate a couple of small contracts, but let a large Traded Player Exception expire unused. And Orlando didn’t deal any of their veterans like Gary Harris, Terrence Ross or Robin Lopez. Not be a broken record, but not making a bad trade is more important than not making a trade. But the Magic may have missed an opportunity to collect some assets for players who aren’t likely to be a part of the next Orlando playoff team.

Toronto Raptors

It’s not that Thaddeus Young won’t help the Raptors. He might. But was that really worth sliding back 10-15 picks in the draft and giving up their best trade asset in Goran Dragic’s expiring deal? It feels like Toronto should have been able to do better than that with Dragic and a protected first-round pick. That’s what got them here as a very soft “loser”.

Utah Jazz

Much like the Bulls, the Jazz are a contender that didn’t do anything. That’s a miss. They could have gotten a piece to push them over the top. But as it stands now, Utah is firmly behind Phoenix and Golden State in the Western Conference. That’s not a great spot to be in, considering this is year umpteen of very good, but not quite great Jazz teams.

Washington Wizards

Much like the Mavericks, the Wizards sort of shuffled things around in picking up Kristaps Porzingis in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans. Maybe Porzingis will pop and finally stay healthy, but history says he won’t. And that means his deal will be a cap albatross for Washington for a couple more seasons. It’s also easier to move a couple of smaller contracts vs one big one. This could go really poorly for the Wizards.



Golden State Warriors

The Warriors didn’t have much to do. They are playing well and their roster is fairly set. Their best trade assets are their recent draftees and all are too young, too good or both, to trade now. It’s likely this roster is what it is, minus some hopefully better health down the stretch.

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are way ahead of schedule. This young team is brash, scrappy and fun. They’re also very good. Maybe Memphis could have moved a couple of their expiring deals, but they had no real roster holes to fill. They’ll use this playoff run to determine what they need to take the next step from fun playoff team to title contender.

Miami Heat

The Heat largely sat out the deadline. They made one small, salary-clearing deal. That opened up a roster spot and some space under the tax. Miami converted Caleb Martin to a standard deal, after he outplayed his Two-Way deal. Now, the Heat will look to add another veteran on the buyout market.


NBA NBA Trade Deadline

The 2022 NBA trade deadline is now behind us. There were 10 trades made on deadline day alone, and 16 total trades made during deadline week. These deals ranged from the blockbuster James Harden-for-Ben Simmons swap to small salary-clearing trades for teams looking to dodge the luxury tax.

Now that the deadline has passed, we have a better idea of what this offseason landscape might look like.

In general, teams slot into one of three categories in the offseason. There are Cap Space teams, Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level teams (can use the full $10.2 million MLE) and Taxpayer Mid-Level teams (can use the “mini” $6.3 million MLE).

Here’s where each team stands after the trade deadline:


Cap Space Teams

  1. Detroit Pistons - $31.4 million
  2. Orlando Magic - $28.1 million
  3. Indiana Pacers - $23.8 million
  4. Portland Trail Blazers - $20.0 million
  5. San Antonio Spurs - $17.6 million

These five teams are all in line to have cap space this summer. Detroit and Orlando seem like locks to go the cap space route. Barring something unexpected with their own free agents, or with trades before the deadline, these three will be in position to do the spending in the offseason. The only major changes that could come to this projection is if either team decides to hang on to former high draft picks, Marvin Bagley III or Mo Bamba.

Indiana and Portland could both choose to stay over the cap via keeping free agent rights and or trade exceptions. Both made considerable changes leading up to the deadline and more big changes are likely to come this season. Neither team has said they are rebuilding, but rather “resetting” around some of the players they kept after making several trades.

The Spurs took on some money at the deadline by acquiring Romeo Langford and Josh Richardson, and by acquiring two additional first-round picks. That takes their projection to under $20 million. If San Antonio was to move on from restricted free Lonnie Walker IV, they could push the Pistons for the most space this summer.


Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Teams

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers
  2. Houston Rockets
  3. Memphis Grizzlies
  4. Minnesota Timberwolves
  5. New York Knicks
  6. Oklahoma City Thunder
  7. Sacramento Kings
  8. Toronto Raptors
  9. Washington Wizards

This group of eight teams is a mixed bag. Teams like Cleveland, Memphis, Minnesota and Toronto have their cores locked in. They’ll be looking to use the $10.3 million Non-Taxpayer MLE to supplement that group.

After salary-dumping Daniel Theis at the deadline, the Houston Rockets are now in range of being able to use the full MLE this offseason. They’ll likely split it, as the Rockets are still more than one MLE addition away from competing for the playoffs.

New York is a bit harder to project. They could be a team that makes a major pivot after a disappointing season following their 2021 playoff appearance. Look for whatever the Knicks to do to come via trade vs clearing enough salary to get in the cap space derby.

Some may be surprised to find Oklahoma City in this group. The Thunder have a major contract extension kicking in for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander next season, plus they project to have three first-round draft picks. That’s got them over the cap, despite still being early in their rebuild. OKC will continue to build through the draft and through trades and may just sit on the MLE for now.

Then you have the factories of sadness that are Sacramento and Washington. Both have All-Star level players. Both have solid role players. Yet, it never quite seems to come together for either franchise. In an offseason that will feature yet another retooling, these teams will spend the MLE on a player or players they hope will push them firmly into the playoff picture.


Taxpayer Mid-Level Teams

This group is so big we’re going to sub-divide them. The two categories will be “Close to the Tax” and “Over the Tax”

Close to the Tax

  1. Charlotte Hornets
  2. Chicago Bulls
  3. New Orleans Pelicans

These three teams will be dancing around the tax line. Charlotte (Miles Bridges) and Chicago (Zach LaVine) have free agents to re-sign who are going to eat up most of their room under the tax line.

New Orleans is probably a move away from joining the teams who can use the full MLE and stay under the tax. They have 13 players under contract and are only one small salary-shedding deal from opening up full MLE space.

Over the Tax

  1. Atlanta Hawks
  2. Boston Celtics
  3. Brooklyn Nets
  4. Dallas Mavericks
  5. Denver Nuggets
  6. Golden State Warriors
  7. LA Clippers
  8. Los Angeles Lakers
  9. Miami Heat
  10. Milwaukee Bucks
  11. Philadelphia 76ers
  12. Phoenix Suns
  13. Utah Jazz

This is potentially the largest group of tax-paying teams the NBA will have ever seen. It may not end up playing out this way, as some may shed salary or make free agent decisions that allow them to duck the tax. But as it stands, all 13 of these teams are currently over the tax, or project to be after they fill out their rosters for the 2022-23 season. That’ll have them limited to spending the $6.3 million Taxpayer MLE for help, or upgrading their rosters via trades. Since all fancy themselves as somewhere between solid playoff teams and title contenders, don’t expect to see a lot of salary-shedding from within this group.


Related NBA Links

NBA Cap Tracker

NBA Tax Tracker

NBA Cap Space Luxury Tax

With the recent sale of the Washington Spirit to Michelle Kang for $35 million and pending sale of Real Salt Lake for an estimated $400 million, we breakdown the recent sales, expansion fees and new stadium construction costs across Major League Soccer and the National Women's Soccer League. These United States based soccer leagues have become a hot-bed for investment from all sectors of business and with that investment comes the rise of soccer-specific stadiums. Franchises are not only investing in their players with development and training facilities, they are investing in the fan experience with building soccer-specific stadiums to create an atmosphere that larger stadiums cannot create.


Sale Prices

Recently known sale prices for Major League Soccer and National Women's Soccer League franchises.


Houston Dynamo + Houston Dash (2021): $400 million

Ted Segal, founder/president of real estate and finance companies, purchased both the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash for $400 million for controlling stake. This sale price does not include the stadium or training facility.

Orlando City SC + Orlando Pride (2021): $450 million 

Wilf family, owners of the Minnesota Vikings, purchased Orlando City SC and the Orlando Pride for an estimated $450 million. This sale price includes the stadium an training facilities.

Real Salt Lake (pending, 2022): $400 million

David Blitzer and Ryan Smith are purchasing Real Salt Lake for an estimated $400 million. Smith is majority owner of the Utah Jazz, while Blitzer is a minority owner of the New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia 76ers and other international soccer franchises.

Washington Spirit (2022): $35 million

The Washington Spirit, reigning NWSL champions, were sold for $35 million to Michelle Kang to gain the controlling shares of the team. Kang initially bid $21 million for the team but then increased her amount to the $35 million in order to out bid Todd Boehly's $25 million. Boehly is co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Lakers and Sparks.


Expansion Fees

Recently known expansion fees for Major League Soccer and National Women's Soccer League franchises.



Miami Fusion (1998): $20 million

Atlanta United FC (2004): $70 million

Inter Miami (2014): $25 million, part of David Bechham's contract with LA Galaxy with option to buy expansion franchise

Nashville SC (2017) & Austin FC (2018): $200 million

Charlotte FC (2019): $325 million


Sacramento, now San Diego (2019): est. $2 million

Kansas City Current (2021): $5 million


Stadium Costs

Recently known costs for brand-new built stadiums in Major League Soccer and National Women's Soccer League.


Kansas City Current, TBD name

  • est. Open 2024
  • est. $70 million
  • Soccer-specific stadium
  • First NWSL only stadium 

Columbus Crew SC, Lower.com Field

  • $314 million
  • Opened July 2021
  • Soccer-specific stadium

Austin FC, Q2 Stadium

  • $260 million
  • Opened June 2021
  • Soccer-specific stadium

FC Cincinnati, TQL Stadium

  • $250 million
  • Opened May 2021
  • Soccer-specific stadium

Inter Miami, DRV PNK Stadium

  • $60 million
  • Opened August 2020
  • Soccer-specific stadium

Minnesota United, Allianz Field

  • $200 million
  • Opened April 2019
  • Soccer-specific stadium

D.C. United, Audi Field

  • $400 million
  • Opened July 2018
  • Soccer-specific stadium

Los Angeles FC, Banc of California Stadium

  • $350 million
  • Opened April 2018
  • Soccer-specific stadium

Atlanta United, Mercedes-Benz Stadium

  • $1.6 billion
  • Opened September 2017
  • Multi-sport venue

Orlando City SC, Exploria Stadium

  • $155 million
  • Opened March 2017
  • Soccer-specific stadium
  • First stadium to host MLS, NWSL and USL teams as same time

San Jose Earthquakes, PayPal Park

  • $100 million
  • Opened March 2015
  • Soccer-specific stadium

Houston Dynamo FC, BBVA Stadium

  • $95 million
  • Opened May 2012
  • Multi-purpose stadium


MLS NWSL Sale Expansion Fee Stadium Costs

THE CAP IS A MYTH. No, it really exists, it’s just extremely fluid and able to be manipulated at a moment’s notice. With that said, as quarterback contracts continue to rise at the rate they have been, any team with a well-paid player at the position will eventually need to come to a “reckoning” point with the salary cap hits of that particular contract (even if they kick the can down the road 4-5 times).At some point in the near future, a QB with an absurdly high cap hit will go on to win the Super Bowl. But until that happens, we offer you the following (visual breakdown below):


Percentage of League Salary Cap

One of the metrics we track is the percentage of league salary cap that each player represents based on their own cap hit in a given year. In this regard, we can compile a list of all the starting QBs to make a Super Bowl, and their respective cap percentage.


The Highest Cap Percentages to Reach a Super Bowl

Going back to the year 2000, the QB who reached the Super Bowl with the highest percentage of league salary cap is Peyton Manning, whose $23.2M cap hit in 2009 represented 18.8% of the league cap. The Saints beat the Colts that year.


Top 10 Super Bowl QB Cap Percentages

  • 2009: Peyton Manning (IND): 18.8%
  • 2016: Matt Ryan (ATL): 15.3%
  • 2013: Peyton Manning (DEN): 14.16%
  • 2021: Tom Brady (TB): 12.61%
  • 2018: Tom Brady (NE): 12.42%
  • 2015: Peyton Manning (DEN): 12.21%
  • 2011: Eli Manning (NYG): 11.71%
  • 2014: Tom Brady (NE): 11.13%
  • 2011: Tom Brady (NE): 10.76%
  • 2007: Eli Manning (NYG): 10.75%


What About Winning the Super Bowl?

At 12.61%, Tom Brady’s 2021 Super Bowl victory with the Buccaneers made him the highest cap-percentage quarterback to ever win the game, surpassing his 2018 victory with the Patriots, when he represented 12.42%.


This Metric On Average

Since 2011, the median cap percentage for a QB reaching the Super Bowl is 8.97%. The median cap percentage for a QB to win the Super Bowl is 10%.

In the past 10 Super Bowls, 5 of the winning QBs represents less than 10% of the cap (with Nick Foles at 0.96% being the outlier), and 5 were above 10% (all named Brady or Manning).


Where Do Matthew Stafford & Joe Burrow Stand?

This year’s final two QBs certainly fall in line with the trends, as Matthew Stafford’s $20M cap figure in LA represents 10.96% of the league cap, while Joe Burrow’s 2nd year figure calculcates to just 4.51%. If Burrow were to win the Super Bowl, the median figure for winning QBs since 2011 will drop to 8.8%, falling under the median for losing QBs (which would increase to 9.07%).

This would further enable the point that putting too many chips into one basket is risky business, even if that basket (a.k.a the Quarterback) represents one of the most important positions in all of sports.



We spent so much time this year discussing the Carson Wentz situation & how he left a $33M dent on the Eagles' salary cap this year, but we've glossed over how the Ram's have not only been in a similar situation - but with far bigger numbers.

If we include ALL QB cap hits for 2021 (active, reserve list, practice squad, & dead cap), the Rams hold the most Quarterback cap in the NFL by a wide margin. In fact, the $46.2M allocated to Rams' QBs in 2021 is the 2nd most of all-time, behind the 2020 Colts. ($56.5M), who were still reeling from Andrew Luck's retirement, a careless Jacoby Brissett extension, & a cup of coffee for Philip Rivers

Team 2021 QB Cap Totals
LAR $46,225,001
PHI $37,559,882
DET $36,042,071
SEA $33,773,568
MIN $33,339,536
SF $33,049,545
GB $30,175,311
PIT $29,862,266
ATL $29,488,722
CAR $29,441,484
LV $27,956,600
WAS $25,828,131
HOU $23,816,002
IND $22,992,173
NO $22,675,118
DAL $19,184,387
CLE $18,437,906
CHI $15,162,197
TB $13,885,680
BUF $13,832,497
NYJ $13,522,745
TEN $12,259,374
MIA $12,173,713
ARI $11,558,438
CIN $10,348,725
KC $9,608,709
JAC $9,118,901
NYG $8,947,584
NE $8,439,207
LAC $8,035,017
DEN $7,910,105
BAL $4,266,390


A Breakdown of Our Quarterback Super Bowl Cap Data

With the NFL offseason all but here, a fun look at 10 (sure to be wrong) bold trade, release, & extension predictions for a few notable players heading toward the 2022 league year.

Listen to this Segment


The Broncos acquire QB Aaron Rodgers & WR Davante Adams from the Green Bay Packers for 2 first round picks, 2 second round picks, WR Jerry Jeudy, & QB Drew Lock

Before you scream “that’s way too much!”, remember that the Jaguars received 2 first round picks and a 4th round pick for Jalen Ramsey, and the Lions received 2 first round picks, a 3rd round pick, & Jared Goff for Matthew Stafford. It’s going to take a haul to get both of those players out of Green Bay simultaneously, but if Denver truly is all in (as their recent moves suggest), then this is the icing on that cake.

The problem? Acquiring Aaron Rodgers on his current contract, & Davante Adams on his pending franchise tag means taking on $47.6M of cap at the time of this trade. The Broncos currently possess an estimated $39M of room, so getting to this number is feasible, as long as extensions are penciled in to reduce their 2022 cap hits to much more team-friendly figures immediately following.

Jerry Jeudy holds 2 yrs, $3.5M plus a 5th year option on his rookie contract, while Drew Lock will be entering a contract year, bringing over a non-guaranteed $1.45M salary.

Also Maybe: Both stay in GB for Brinks trucks.


The New England Patriots acquire WR Amari Cooper & a 2nd round pick from the Dallas Cowboys for CB J.C. Jackson

There’s a world where the Patriots lose more pieces than they gain this offseason, as quite a few question marks currently hang over the offensive line and the defensive secondary. But there’s a sense that Mac Jones simply needs one more legitimate weapon to really open up the Pats’ spread passing game, and Amari Cooper’s contract & production level appear enough of a problem for Dallas to consider this move. Jackson is a pending UFA, and while New England likely wants no part of a $17.5M franchise tag, if they sniff a tag and trade scenario like this, it will certainly be worth their early March cap troubles.

Cooper’s contract contains 3 years, $60M left, but just a $20M salary in 2022 contains upfront guarantees (fully vests March 20, 2022). New England can acquire and restructure this contract as needed for cap purposes.

Also Maybe: The Patriots get Jackson back on a team friendly $12M per year deal, cuz, Patriots.


The San Francisco 49ers trade QB Jimmy Garoppolo to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 2nd round pick & a 3rd round pick.

Jimmy Garoppolo’s exit from SF seems inevitable, and as 2022 rosters begin to shake out, there’s a world where 4+ teams could be vying for his services soon (TB, PIT, CAR, WSH to name a few).

He carries a 1 year, $25.5M contract with him currently, but a restructured extension seems likely, if for nothing more than cap relief in the upcoming season. Ryan Tannehill’s recent contract (4 yrs, $118M) in Tennessee seems the right model for a Garoppolo extension once the two sides feel comfortable in doing so.

Also Maybe: Steelers acquire Garoppolo, but no extension (yet).


The New Orleans Saints move on from 2x All-Pro WR Michael Thomas, designating him a Post June 1st release.

Michael Thomas still might hold trade value, but with $15.35M set to become fully guaranteed on March 18th, New Orleans will want to make a quick decision on their former WR1. A pre-June 1st trade will mean $22.7M of dead cap in 2022, still $2M of savings, but maybe not the most ideal business move (barring a great trade return of course).

Assuming the release designation, the Saints will lower his base salary to $1.035M, remove his March 20th roster bonus, & his workout bonus, lowering his cap hit to $9.9M. They’ll carry this figure until June 2nd, at which point the release will become official, leaving behind dead cap hits of $8.9M for 2022, & another $13.8M in 2023. Thomas will be eligible to sign with a new team as soon as the Saints designate him to be released (March 16-17th).

Also Maybe: Bears offer a late-mid round pick to take a flier on Thomas.


The Las Vegas Raiders extend QB Derek Carr to a 4 year, $150M contract, including $90M guaranteed at signing

Derek Carr’s never going to be considered for the Top Tier of QBs in this league, but he’s done enough to warrant another contract, and a chance to turn his production into playoff wins with the new Raiders’ regime. Josh McDaniels has done wonders with players of Derek Carr’s capacity in the past, so there’s reason to believe this situation can work out nicely, barring a few major additions to the rest of the roster.

Assuming the $90M guaranteed is spread across the next three seasons, this should be a relatively low risk extension for the Raiders going forward.

Also Maybe: Josh McDaniels needs a minute to see this through.


The Buffalo Bills acquire RB Christian McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers for Cole Beasley, a 3rd round pick, & a 5th round pick

The Panthers insist he’s not actually on the trade block, but it seems reasonable that the right price could peak their interest. In terms of the Bills, there are a few matches here. First, Christian McCaffrey stands to switch more into a “slot receiver” role wherever he plays in 2022, so replacing Cole Beasley with him in this move holds logic. While Devin Singletary showed he’s got RB1 production in him, his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield still remains suspect at best. Finally, the Bills just hired Joe Brady as their new QBs coach, drawing an immediate tie to McCaffrey per his time as the Panthers’ OC.

Also Maybe: McCaffrey to the Dolphins, Bills acquire a WR2 (Calvin Ridley, D.J. Moore)


The Baltimore Ravens acquire WR Calvin Ridley from the Atlanta Falcons for CB Marcus Peters & a 2nd round pick, & a 4th round pick

Calvin Ridley stepped away from Atlanta for personal reasons 5 weeks into the 2021 season, leaving his future there considerably unclear. If a change of scenery is what he desires, it makes sense for the Falcons to secure a Top 60 draft pick for him ASAP. Ridley carries an $11.1M fully guaranteed option salary for 2022, so an extension will be in his immediate future, though his time away last season likely pumps the brakes on that out of the gate. Enough demand for him on the trade block, despite a small risk that he might not be long for the game, could easily drive his price tag up to a 1st round pick.

Marcus Peters has 1 year, $10M (non-guaranteed) remaining on his current contract, and is recovering from a terrible ACL injury suffered just prior to the 2021 opener. Atlanta will have the opportunity to work him back on a “prove it” deal (possibly with a pay cut), with a chance to keep him long-term at a position currently in need of much improvement.

Also Maybe: Bills, Jaguars - many teams assuming Ridley shows an interest to play.


The Minnesota Vikings acquire CB Xavien Howard from the Miami Dolphins for two 2nd round picks

The 49ers also desperately need help in their secondary, but they probably don’t possess the draft capital to put up against many other teams, especially if this price tag soars to a first round pick level. The rage in Minnesota will likely focus around the QB position this offseason, but this was nearly a Top 10 offense living with a nearly last place defense for most of 2021. So adding a few bigtime defenders could be a quick fix for this organization.

Xavien Howard has 3 years, $39M left on his current contract, but only $6.7M is fully guaranteed right now. Any kind of movement likely means ripping that up and starting over, to the tune of 4 years, $87M - his current projection in our system.

Also Maybe: Dolphins add not subtract, forcing their hand into a major extension for Howard.


WR Allen Robinson returns to the Jacksonville Jaguars on a 4 year, $75M free agent contract

The Jaguars desperately need help in the trenches on both sides of the ball, but it seems likely they’ll look to the draft for that as more of a long-term investment to align with Trevor Lawrence, but in the interim, getting the QB1 new toys to play with should be a priority, and a familiar face in Allen Robinson offers both high ceiling, and a bit of value based on his projected contract.

Also Maybe: Cleveland, Baltimore, Jets


The Kansas City Chiefs release both DE Frank Clark & LB Anthony Hitchens in cap casualty moves

The Chiefs are up against the cap threshold heading toward the 2022 league year, but do have multiple ways to free up space (restructures to Patrick Mahomes/Chris Jones, extending Tyreek Hill).

With 4.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles, Frank Clark still made an impact in 2021, but it seems his contract is now too rich for his expected production. An early release frees up $13.4M of cap space.

With $12.7M to be saved, and a breakout season from Nick Bolton, Hitchens seems a lock to be moved on from this offseason.

Also Maybe: Clark accepts a pay cut to stick around for 2022.

Red Bull Racing is will now be known as Oracle Red Bull Racing after agreeing to a new $500 million sponsorship with Oracle over the next five years. 

This announcement comes on the heels of the championship by Max Verstappen and going into the 2022 F1 season where there will be a new cost cap of $145 million. Oracle's cloud computer will no doubt help and potentially give Red Bull a massive leg up over the competition with the real-time and internal analysis.

Current Oracle Red Bull Drivers

Max Verstappen (NLD)

Base Salary (est.): $25 million

Sergio Perez (MEX)

Base Salary (est.): $8 million


Formula 1 Oracle Red Bull Racing

The 2022 NBA trade deadline is closing in. We’ve already seen several big trades, including the Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers kicking off major resets. On the other side, the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings have made moves that should help them now and in the future.

There’s likely more moves to come. Ben Simmons for James Harden, anyone? But the summer of 2022 landscape is already coming into focus for cap space as we approach the deadline.

In general, teams slot into one of three categories in the offseason. There are Cap Space teams, Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level teams (can use the full $10.2 million MLE) and Taxpayer Mid-Level teams (can use the “mini” $6.3 million MLE).

Here’s where each team stands before the trade deadline passes at 3:00 Pm ET on Thursday:


Cap Space Teams

  1. Detroit Pistons - $31.4 million
  2. Orlando Magic - $28.1 million
  3. San Antonio Spurs - $22.5 million
  4. Indiana Pacers - $20.8 million
  5. Portland Trail Blazers – $20.3 million

These five teams are all in line to have cap space this summer. Detroit, Orlando and San Antonio all seem like locks to go the cap space route. Barring something unexpected with their own free agents, or with trades before the deadline, these three will be in position to do the spending in the offseason.

Indiana and Portland could both choose to stay over the cap via keeping free agent rights and or trade exceptions. It’s not really clear if either is done dealing before the deadline either. Further moves could change this projection by a considerable amount.


Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Teams

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers
  2. Memphis Grizzlies
  3. Minnesota Timberwolves
  4. New York Knicks
  5. Oklahoma City Thunder
  6. Sacramento Kings
  7. Toronto Raptors
  8. Washington Wizards

This group of eight teams is a mixed bag. Teams like Cleveland, Memphis, Minnesota and Toronto have their cores locked in. They’ll be looking to use the $10.3 million Non-Taxpayer MLE to supplement that group.

New York is a bit harder to project. They could be a team that makes a major pivot after a disappointing season following their 2021 playoff appearance. Look for whatever the Knicks to do to come via trade vs clearing enough salary to get in the cap space derby.

Some may be surprised to find Oklahoma City in this group. The Thunder have a major contract extension kicking in for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander next season, plus they project to have three first-round draft picks. That’s got them over the cap, despite still being early in their rebuild. OKC will continue to build through the draft and through trades and may just sit on the MLE for now.

Then you have the factories of sadness that are Sacramento and Washington. Both have All-Star level players. Both have solid role players. Yet, it never quite seems to come together for either franchise. In an offseason that will feature yet another retooling, these teams will spend the MLE on a player or players they hope will push them firmly into the playoff picture.


Taxpayer Mid-Level Teams

This group is so big we’re going to sub-divide them. The two categories will be “Close to the Tax” and “Over the Tax”

Close to the Tax

  1. Charlotte Hornets
  2. Chicago Bulls
  3. Houston Rockets
  4. New Orleans Pelicans

These four teams will be dancing around the tax line. Charlotte (Miles Bridges) and Chicago (Zach LaVine) have free agents to re-sign who are going to eat up most of their room under the tax line.

Houston is still carrying John Wall’s sizable contract, which has them tighter to the tax than they would like.

New Orleans is probably a move away from joining the teams who can use the full MLE and stay under the tax. They have 13 players under contract and are only one small salary-shedding deal from opening up full MLE space.

Over the Tax

  1. Atlanta Hawks
  2. Boston Celtics
  3. Brooklyn Nets
  4. Dallas Mavericks
  5. Denver Nuggets
  6. Golden State Warriors
  7. LA Clippers
  8. Los Angeles Lakers
  9. Miami Heat
  10. Milwaukee Bucks
  11. Philadelphia 76ers
  12. Phoenix Suns
  13. Utah Jazz

This is potentially the largest group of tax-paying teams the NBA will have ever seen. It may not end up playing out this way, as some may shed salary or make free agent decisions that allow them to duck the tax. But as it stands, all 13 of these teams are currently over the tax, or project to be after they fill out their rosters for the 2022-23 season. That’ll have them limited to spending the $6.3 million Taxpayer MLE for help, or upgrading their rosters via trades. Since all fancy themselves as somewhere between solid playoff teams and title contenders, don’t expect to see a lot of salary-shedding from within this group.


Related NBA Links

NBA Cap Tracker

NBA Tax Tracker

NBA Cap Space Luxury Tax

The Kings promised that Tyrese Haliburton was untouchable for this deadline, but as everyone knows - there’s always a price. 


Kings Acquire…

Domantas Sabonis, PF
Sabonis is under contract through 2023-24 with cap hits of $19.8M the rest of this year, $18.5M next year, and $19.4M to finish it off. The 25 year old is averaging 19 points, 5 assists, and 9 boards in 34 minutes per game this season.

Jeremy Lamb, SG
Lamb is an expiring contract, holding a $10.5M cap hit for the rest of 2021-22. The 29-year-old is posting 5 year lows in 2021, with just 7 points, 1 assist, and 2 boards per game.

Justin Holiday, SF
Holiday brings team-friendly cap hits of $6M & $6.3M respectively over this and next year. The 32-year-old has collected 11 points, 3 boards, & 2 assists in 2021-22 thus far, hitting over 41% of his shots.

2027 2nd Round Pick


Pacers Acquire…

Tyrese Haliburton, PG
The #12 overall pick in 2020 was rumored to be “untouchable” for this deadline, but the Pacers found the right price. Haliburton holds cap hits of $4M, $4.2M, & $5.8M through 2023-24, after which he’ll be eligible for restricted free agency. His ceiling offers major value for the Pacers going forward.

Buddy Hield, SG
Hield is in year 2 of a 4 year, $94M extension, bringing with him cap hits of $23M, $21.1M, & $19.2M through 2023-24. Buddy is posting 5 year lows in points (14), Assists (2), & Rebounds (4) thus far this season.

Tristan Thompson, C
Thompson offers an expiring contract, with a $9.7M to boot for the rest of 2021-22. His minutes and production have been rapidly declined over the past two seasons, currently sitting at 6 points, and 5 boards per game.


Financial Ramifications

The Pacers promised they would find a way to rip this current roster apart and start anew next season, and they’re well on their way to that with a few days left to spare. The Caris LeVert trade plus this move allows them to free up what could be $21M of cap space for the 2022 offseason, a good start to getting another key piece in the building to pair with Haliburton. Today’s move puts the Pacers right at the luxury tax threshold for 2021-22, suggesting there’s still another move to be made to free themselves from that burden.

The Kings’ added significant salary with Sabonis’ $38M of future salary, but it’s hard not to look at his production vs. contract and see a ton of value in adding this player to an overpaid De’Aaron Fox to try to restart this process on the fly.

NBA NBA Trade Deadline Sacramento Kings Indiana Pacers

The February 10th trade deadline finally heats up with a blockbuster move between the Portland Trailblazers, & the New Orleans Pelicans. The deal included 7 players and 3 picks (for now).


The Portland Trailblazers Receive…

The Pelicans 2022 1st Round Pick
As long as it lands between #5 & #14. If not, the pick will push out to a future year.

Two Future 2nd Round Picks
Details TBD

Josh Hart, SG
Brings with him a $12M cap hit to finish off 21-22, then a non-guaranteed $12.96M next season, and a $12.96M player option for 2023-24. The 26 year old is averaging almost 14 points, 4 assists, and 8 rebounds this year.

Tomas Satoransky, SG
Is an expiring contract with a $10M cap figure for 21-22. Satoranksy’s production has been minimal this year, with just 2 points, 2 assists, and 2 rebounds in 15 minutes per game.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG
The 23 year old #17 overall draft pick back in 2019 brings a $3.2M cap hit this year, and a $5M already exercised option for 2022-23 before restricted free agency eligibility. The youngster has posted nearly 13 points, 3 assists, and 3 boards thus far in 26 minutes per game.

Didi Louzada, SF
Louzada holds a $1.78M cap figure this year, and a guaranteed $1.8M next year before his non-guaranteed salaries kick in. He’s also amidst a 25 game suspension for a positive PED test.


The New Orleans Pelicans Receive…

C.J. McCollum, SG
The 30-year-old brings with him $30.8M cap figure, then fully guaranteed salaries of $33.3M, & $35.8M respectively through 2023-24. McCollum has posted 20 points, 4 assists, and 4 boards per game in around 35 minutes played. It should also be noted that he suffered a scary collapsed lung injury that kept him away for 18 Portland games. He earned $136.25M in 8.5 seasons with Portland.

Larry Nance Jr., PF
Nance holds a $10.7M cap hit for the remainder of 2021-22, then a small dip down to $9.6M for the 2022-23 season. The 29-year-old has posted 7 points, 2 assists, and 5 boards in 23 minutes per game this season.

Tony Snell, SG
The 30 year old brings a 1 year veteran minimum deal over to the Pelicans, which carries a valuable $1.6M cap hit for the remainder of the season. Snell has posted about a basket a game numbers in 14 minutes played thus far.


Financial Ramifications

The Trailblazers now sit with $17.3M of tax space this year, while the Pelicans are sitting with nearly $5.1M of tax space.

Portland sheds almost $80M of future cash, bringing back just $6.8M of future guarantees. This is a tale of one franchise beginning to break things down, and another (finally) pushing the gas pedal down. 

Portland gains a $21M trade exception per this move, and now has a chance to free up significant cap space this summer. If the plan is to keep Damian Lillard, they now have assets to add at least one significant (new) piece around him going forward.

NBA NBA Trade Deadline Portland Trail Blazers New Orleans Pelicans

Current Contract

Tom Brady’s contract has 1 year, $27.2M cash left, including a $20.2M cap figure for 2022. This includes an $8.925M base salary & $1.4M roster bonus, neither of which will be paid out now. It also includes $15M of signing bonus that was deferred from March 2021 to February 4th. We’ll get to this more in a moment.


Dead Cap Scenario

Brady’s contract carries $32M of dead cap for 2022, all of which would hit the Buccaneers cap table if the retirement is processed before June 1st. As this represents $12M of lost cap, this seems unlikely.

The most likely path forward is likely an immediate restructure to the remaining cash portion of this contract, reducing the base salary from $8.925M to $1.12M, removing the $1.4M roster bonus, and eliminating the $1.875M of likely to be earned incentives. This drops the cap figure from $20.2M, down to $9.12M. The Buccaneers will carry this cap hit on their active roster until June 1st, after which they can place Brady on the reserve/retired list.

By waiting until June, the Buccaneers will allow the $32M of dead cap to split up much more favorably across 2022 & 2023, to the tune of:
2022: $8M
2023: $24M

While the $24M dead cap hit for 2023 seems large (and it is), the NFL League Salary Cap is expected to rise immensely next season (and beyond) thanks to a huge influx of revenue from the recently agreed to Network/Streaming contracts. 


The Original Signing Bonus

The only real point of financial contention with Tom Brady retiring is the $20M signing bonus, of which Tampa Bay now has the option of recouping a maximum of $16M from. If the Buccaneers go this route, Brady would be required to pay back $4M in each of the next 4 seasons (2022-2025), with Tampa Bay getting $4M of cap relief in each following respective season.

However, as noted above, $15M of that $20M signing bonus has yet to be paid out, so there’s a path for Tampa Bay to simply not pay this out, and move forward from here.

My two cents? It’s a big chunk of change, but a $16M parting gift to Tom Brady for choosing their franchise and immediately taking them to the promise land seems like pretty good optics and business for the organization.


Career Earnings

Brady's final earnings won't be fully known until we understand how the Buccaneers will treat the signing bonus. If they recoup all $16M, the $292.9M figure currently showing on Spotrac will actually drop to $291.9M. If Tampa Bay elects to pay out the entire bonus as a gesture, his final on-field earnings will increase to $307.9M, easily the most all-time (for a minute).

The National Women's Soccer League and the NWSL Players Association have agreed upon the first-ever Collective Bargaining Agreement that run through the 2026 season with an investment of almost $100 million over the course of the CBA. The two sides had been negotiating with each other since March 2021 and the deadline to reach an agreement without having a work stoppage was Feb 1, 2022. 

A few of the key items reported include:


Investment in Players

  • Minimum salaries will increase to $35,000 (60% increase); all players will received salary increases
  • Compensation for housing, transportation, retirement contributions, heath/life/disability insurance
  • Average total compensation will increase to $54,000 (30% increase)
  • Revenue sharing, with 10% of net broadcast revenue (if league is profitable in years 3, 4, and 5 of the CBA)


Free Agency

Official free agency for players in the NWSL will begin in 2023 with a transition to Unrestricted and Restricted Free Agency in 2024.


  • Players with six (6) years of service in the NWSL will receive full Unrestricted Free Agency


  • Players with five (5) years of server in the NWSL will receive Unrestricted Free Agency
  • Players with three (3) years of service in the NWSL will receive Restricted Free Agency


Defined Season

  • Players will be give a fixed season with a specific start and end window
  • A season will have a maximum number of games in a season
  • Players are guaranteed 42 days of vacation
  • Players will receive a seven-day in-season break


Health and Wellness

  • League will employ the following:
    • Medical Director
  • Teams will employ the following:
    • Team Physician,
    • Massage Therapist,
    • Sports Scientist,
    • Sports Psychologist,
    • Mental Health Clinician
  • Players will receive parental leave (new birth or adoption)
  • Mental health leave for up to 6 months for players who need it



  • NWSL will commit $255,000 - $300,000 in group licensing rights

The Rams & Bengals head toward Super Bowl 56 coming from two very different places. Our look at their 2021 financials, future cap, free agents, draft capital, & extension candidates going forward.


2021 Payroll Comparisons

In terms of active salary cap allocated in 2021
Bengals: $154M (7th)
Rams: $121M (22nd)

In terms of actual cash spent in 2021

Bengals: $194M (23rd)
Rams: $189M (26th)

In terms of 2021 Free Agent spending
Bengals: $136M (6th)
Rams: $7.7M (31st)


How the Starters were Acquired

Based on 11 offensive starters, 11 defensive starters, a kicker, & a punter
Both teams have found success in upgrading through free agency, while the Rams have simply forfeited draft picks for proven experience via the trade.

Draft: 15 | Free Agency: 7 | Trade: 1 | UDFA: 1

Draft: 11 | Free Agency: 7 | Trade: 4 | UDFA 2


2022 Salary Cap

The current average amount of cap space for a team heading into the offseason is $15M. There's a stark contrast between the two 2021 finalists in terms of their offseason financial health.

Bengals: $56.3M
Cincinnati currently sits 4th in the league in projected Top 51 cap space for 2022, but only 36 players are currently under contract (will eventually be 90). Luckily, the list of starters or notable reserves out of contract are extremely limited, meaning the Bengals will be able to use their cap & draft capital to upgrade and apply depth across this roster. Moving on from Trae Waynes frees up another $11M as well.

Rams: -$8M
LAR is going to be running right up against the line for the next few seasons as they build through experience and not necessarily their (lack of) drafts. 7 players carry a cap hit north of $15M for 2022 currently, most of which will either restructure salary, or sign a restructured extension in the coming months to get the Rams on the right side of the cap for March. To name a few: Ramsey (base salary restructure clears $11M), Floyd (base salary restructure clears $12M), Donald (roster bonus restructure clears $4M).


Notable Free Agents

Rams (Full List)
Von Miller (OLB, 32)
Sony Michel (RB, 26)
Odell Beckham, Jr. (WR, 29)
Brian Allen (C, 28)
Austin Corbett (G, 26)
After handing away a 2nd and 3rd round pick for a half season of Von Miller, will the Rams feel obligated to extend the 32 year old? Sony Michel showed promise behind this run-first offensive line, but likely prices himself out of a return to LA, while the discussion for OBJ becomes much more complicated with each passing, productive week. He’s a fit for Stafford and Co., but can they financially fit him into an arsenal with Kupp, Woods, & Jefferson all healthily under contract?

Bengals (Full List)
Jessie Bates III (S, 24)
B.J. Hill (DT, 26)
Quinton Spain (G, 30)
C.J. Uzomah (TE, 29)

Jessie Bates’ stock plateaued a bit entering the 2021 season, but he’s been one of the most visibly necessary players on the field. He’s a franchise tag candidate ($13M), with eyes on a $16M+ per year extension. B.J. Hill & Quinton Spain can probably be upgraded upon (though Hill had a strong year), while Uzomah has clear chemistry with Burrow, but he’s an overpay candidate on the open market that could impact his ability to return.


Notable Extension Candidates

C.J. Uzomah, TE, CIN
Uzomah’s career feels a little like that of Jonnu Smiths, whom the Patriots just wildly overpaid for ($12.5M per year) this past offseason. Now looking for contract #3, a 3 year, $24M extension seems to make sense.

Jessie Bates, S, CIN
Bates has been one of the most impactful players on the field through this Cincy postseason run, peaking at the perfect time contractually speaking. He’s a $13M franchise tag candidates, with Harrison Smith’s $16M per year deal as a foundationally start point on a multi-year extension.

Matthew Stafford, QB, LAR
The good news? Acquiring Matthew Stafford helped bring the Rams back to the Super Bowl. The bad news? With just 1 year, $23M left on his current contract, he’s due for another major payday, and currently projects to a 4 year, $166M extension.

Cooper Kupp, WR, LAR
Kupp has 2 year remaining on his current contract with the Rams, but carries cap hits of $18.6M & $18M respectively across that period. An extension not only helps lower the current hit, but will align him with Stafford’s new contract, and offers him a well-deserved raise all in one shot. Kupp projects to a 4 year, $95M extension currently.

Von Miller, LB, LAR
Valuing edge rushers over 30 years old has become a bit of a crapshoot, with J.J. Watt bagging $14M per year, and Melvin Ingram sitting on a near veteran minimum salary in 2021. Miller still has the production to garner a $10M+ contract, but taking less and structuring a team-friendly deal to remain in LAR seems like pretty good business for someone who’s already cashed $144M out of the league.

Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, LAR
Nobody’s going to hate this more than OBJ himself, but from a strictly numbers standpoint, his next contract projects to 2 years, $12M. There’s no question is abilities have been resuscitated in this Rams’ offense, but with significant capital allotted to Kupp & Woods already, sticking in LA almost certainly means less than desired dollars for Beckham Jr. If he hits the market, it’s very likely bad teams will be offering to double this kind of compensation.


Future Draft Picks

2022: (Projected pick numbers) 31, 63, 95, 132, 140, 172, 209, 223, 249
2023: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
2024: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

2022: 101, 139, 173, 211, 212, 213, 235, 250
2023: 2, 3, 5, 6, 6, 7
2024: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

team-290 team--6

The rumors were bound to restart eventually, and Nathaniel Hackett officially becoming the Head Coach of the Denver Broncos today certainly did just that. So what does Aaron Rodgers' contract tell us about what his 2022 outlook is?

The Current Contract As Is (Very Unlikely)
Rodgers’ current deal contains 1 year, $27M cash left, none of it fully guaranteed at the moment (not until Week 1). However, the deal also contains $26.8M of dead cap stemming from the original signing bonus, a 2019 restructure and a 2021 restructure. Can Rodgers remain on this contract as is through 2022? A $46.6M cap hit says most likely not, as it will greatly impact the Packers ability to re-sign free agents and improve upon their roster this offseason.

The Current Contract, Restructured (Possible)
A discussion not being mentioned enough is the possibility that Rodgers will agree to come back to the Packers for 1 more season, but wants the ability to hit the open free agent market thereafter in 2023 - following in Tom Brady’s footsteps. This will require a restructure of his current base salary to reduce the $46.6M cap hit to a more manageable number. A full base salary restructure, while tacking on 4 void years to the back end of this contract, will drop the 2022 cap hit from $46.6M down to $25.8M, over $20M saved.

But would the Packers even want this? It’s strange to imagine Green Bay turning away from Aaron Rodgers if he wants to go the “1 and done” route here, but it’s a better business move for them to do so - unless they truly believe there’s a chance for a Super Bowl in 2022-23. Financially speaking the 2022 cap hit becomes a wash - either $26M of dead cap to trade him now, or $25.8M of active cap to have him back as QB1 for the season (after which a larger dead cap hit kicks in). But allowing Rodgers to walk into free agency without compensation seems like the wrong decision for the franchise. Rodgers is as valuable to a new team as he’s ever been right now, and the trade compensation packages being floated around the hot stove would allow the Packers to quickly rebuild in many facets of their roster, immediately. 

The Marriage Is Fixed, An Extension is Signed (?)
If the two sides agree that a few more years together makes sense, the conversation will quickly turn to just how that next contract should look. While there are an infinite number of possibilities in terms of cost and structure, I’ve gone with the one that Rodgers has always agreed to - a maximum contract. This time however, I’ve stripped it down to two new years (3 years total) - with a fully guaranteed structure. 2 new years, $92M of new money, a total of 3 years, $120M - fully guaranteed at signing.

New Money AAV: $46M (1st), Guarantees at Sign: $120M (1st).Void years help keep the cap hits somewhat “mild”, but there’s no question this is not exactly the most team-friendly contract out there. Call me crazy, but I don’t anticipate team-friendly being in Aaron Rodgers’ negotiation plans - yet.

An Early Offseason Trade (Likely)
If Aaron Rodgers is traded before June 1st, 2022, the Packers will take on a $26.8M dead cap hit for 2022, freeing up $19.3M of much needed space.

A Late Offseason Trade (Not Likely)
If the trade is processed after June 1st, 2022, the Packers will be able to split up the $26.8M of dead cap into $19.1M for 2022, and $7.6M in 2023, freeing up $26.9M of cap space in 2022 (but not until June 2nd).

An Outright Release (Ridiculously Unlikely)
The dead remains the same ($26.8M if released prior to June 1st, $19.1M/$7.6M if after), but they’ll eliminate all chance for compensation - including a compensatory draft pick. It’s a non discussion.

Rodgers Retires (Possible)
Until he speaks, this has to remain a possibility going forward. The financials become a little bit more complicated in this instance, as the Packers will want to use timing to make this work to their benefit. If Rodgers comes to the front office next month and tells them he’s hanging them up, Green Bay will do the following with his contract:

  • Reduce his 2021 base salary to $1,120,000 (the veteran minimum)
  • Eliminate his $500,000 workout bonus
  • Carry the remaining $20.3M as an active cap hit until June 2, 2022
  • Place him on the Reserve/Retired list on June 2, 2022, dropping the cap hit to $19.1M
  • His $7.6M void cap will hit the Packers 2023 salary cap

This allows Green Bay to retain his rights through all of 2022 (meaning a team will still have to trade for him through this season to acquire him), while reducing the cap hits they hold for him down to the dead cap numbers only.

It's long been said that the second a quarterback signs a maximum level contract extension, his respective team's ability to remain in contention vastly decreases. And while recent data and trends do allude to that (no player with the highest average salary in the league has ever won the Super Bowl), the Bills & Chiefs just battled to the playoff death with respective quarterbacks sitting on $43M+ contracts.

So how have the Chiefs reached 4 straight AFC Conference Championships, despite the last two being clinched with their QB1 on a $450M contract extension?

Structure (view the full contract).

The cap isn't totally a myth (Saints, Eagles & Steelers fans know it eventually comes home to rob you in the end), but it's more flexible than an other financial metric in sports. It can be massaged, pushed around, piled up in one bunch, or even traded away in certain instances. 

The reality of Patrick Mahomes' contract extension is that it really doesn't start to get interesting from a cap & cash standpoint until 2022. Mahomes has earned just $33.7M cash over the first two seasons of his new contract - just $6M more than he would have reeled in had he stayed on his rookie contract through all 5 years. His 2020 cap figure was just $5.3M. His 2021 cap figure, following a $21M restructure, was $7.4M. His 2022 cap figure currently sits at $35.8M, but another restructure can drop that down to $13.8M - handing his team another $22M of cap space to work with next season. 

So this all sounds great, but the Chiefs are just pushing this down the line and delaying the inevitable, right? Right. That's exactly what's happening here. This is the window to push everything out of the way and keep pressing. Mahomes & his camp know he can't step onto a field and win 21 games on his own, and if the front office continues to do their job, moving cap around for Mahomes, Hill, Kelce, and some of the O-Lineman will continue to be an annual tradition - as long as the roster still smells like a contender. 

So when will things start to get dicey with this contract? If the 2022 restructure happens as I've laid out (convert his $27.4M roster bonus into signing bonus), this will create a $52.2M cap charge in 2023! Again, there's a $34.4M roster bonus to be restructured as needed (and a massive roster bonus each and every year through 2031), but eventually enough will be enough. There will be a thick black line drawn soon defining the current window (and significant, expensive pieces), and the next window - both of which will include Patrick Mahomes, and this gigantic contract. 

How long will Mahomes truly stay in this contract? The structure of it makes it purely his decision. With early guarantees built in all the way through, the Chiefs truly have no "easy" out with this deal, but it stands to reason that at some point, Mahomes and KC will agree to cut this thing off and start anew - both for team cap purposes, and for cash flow adjustment. 

Current Contract Yearly Cashflow Rank:
Year 1: $10.9M (210th)
Year 2: $33.7M (57th)
Year 3: $63.1M (24th)
Year 4: $103.6M (12th)
Year 5: $141.5M (5th)
Year 6: $183.5M (2nd, Allen)

When you look at the contract through this lens, it's clear as day just how middle-back loaded it is. There are left tackles and edge rushers and wide receivers ahead of Patrick Mahomes' 3-year cash payout. His own teammate Frank Clark earned $65.2M across his first three seasons. Dak Prescott's $126M is literally double the 3 year payout that Mahomes' agreed to. Current NFL Contract Cumulative Cash Flow

My guess for when the two parties force their way out? Prior to the 2027 season. This will give Mahomes $225M over 7 years of this contract (still with $252M to go). The 2027 season is currently slated for a whopping $59.95M cash. It stands to reason that much of this can be converted into a restructured extension signing bonus, ripping up the rest of the contract and structuring it to be a little more "player-friendly) for the second act to his career, when this current iteration of the Chiefs should be gone, if not dwindling down. 

The recent trade between the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks (breakdown below) could be the start of some significant blockbuster trades that have yet to happen in 2022. While this New York-Atlanta trade may not be categorized as significant, we have seen major NBA stars traded in January of recent; most notably James Harden, Blake Griffin and Kristaps Porzingis. Below is a breakdown of the major January trades, what each team acquired, the salaries the team took on and where those players ended up post trade.


2021-22 Trades

Jan 13, 2021

New York Knicks

Cam Reddish - acquiring salaries $4.67 million (2021-22) and $5.95 million (2022-23). Reddish becomes rookie scale extension eligible in the offseason.

Solomon Hill - expiring contract with a minimum salary of $2,389,641


Atlanta Hawks

Kevin Knox - expiring contract with salary of $5,845,978. Knox will be a Restricted Free Agent in the offseason.

2022 1st Round pick (Charlotte’s pick which is Top-18 protected in 2022, Top-16 protected in 2023, Top-14 protected in 2024 and 2025 which would convey to 2nd-round picks in 2026 and 2027)

Notable Past January Trades

Jan 14, 2021

Brooklyn Nets

James Harden - acquired guaranteed salaries of $41.3 million (2020-21) and $44.3 million (2021-22). Harden has a Player Option of $47.4 million for the 2022-23. Brooklyn offered Harden an extension during the 2021 offseason but has yet to be signed.


Houston Rockets

2022 1st round pick (unprotected), 

2022 1st round pick (CLE pick via MIL), 

2024 1st round pick (unprotected), 

2026 1st round pick (unprotected), 

Pick swaps in 2021, 2023, 2025, and 2027

Dante Exum - expiring contract with a salary of $9.1million

Rodions Kurucs - acquired minimum salaries of $1.78 million (2020-21) and $1.86 million (2021-22). Kurcus was traded 2 months later to Milwaukee.

Victor Oladipo - expiring contract with a salary of $21 million. Oladipo was traded 2 months later to Miami.


Cleveland Cavaliers 

Jarrett Allen - expiring rookie scale contract with a salary of $3.9 million. Allen became an Unrestricted Free Agent and signeda  5 year $100 million contract with Cleveland.

Taurean Prince - acquired salaries of $12.25 million (2020-21) and $13 million (2021-22). Prince was traded in the 2021 offseason to Minnesota.

Aleksandar Vezenkov - rights were acquired


Indiana Pacers

Caris LeVert - acquired rookie contract extension which was signed in Aug 2019 with salaries of $16.2 million (2020-21), $17.5 million (2021-22) and $18.8 million (2022-23) 

2023 2nd round pick (least favorable of HOU, DAL and MIA)

2024 2nd round pick (least favorable of CLE and UTH pick)

$2.6 million

Jan 31, 2019

Dallas Mavericks

Kristaps Porzingis - acquired expiring rookie contract with salary of $5,697,054 (2018-19). Porzingis became an Unrestricted Free Agent in the 2019 offseason and signed a 5 year $158.3 million maximum contract with Dallas.

Courtney Lee - acquired with salaries of $12.25 million (2018-19) and $12.76 million (2019-20). Lee finished the contract out with Dallas before becoming an Unrestricted Free Agent in the 2020 offseason.

Tim Hardaway Jr. - acquired with salaries of $17.33 million (2018-19), $18.15 million (2019-20), and $18.98 million (2020-21). Hardaway Jr. finished the contract with Dallas and then signed a 4 year $75 million contract during the 2021 offseason.

Trey Burke - acquired an expiring contract with a minimum salary of $1.80 million 


New York Knicks

Dennis Smith Jr. - acquired a rookie contract with salaries of $3.8 million (2018-19), $4.46 million (2019-20) and $5.69 million (2020-21). Smith Jr. was traded in February 2021 to Detroit.

Wesley Matthews - acquired an expiring contract with a salary of $18.6 million. Matthews was bought out by New York days later.

DeAndre Jordan - acquired an expiring contract with a salary of $22.9 million. Jordan completed the contract and signed a 4 year $40 million contract with Brooklyn during the 2019 offseason.

2021 1st round pick (unprotected)

2023 1st round pick (Top-10 protected)

Jan 29, 2018

Detroit Pistons

Blake Griffin - acquired 6 months after signing a 5 year $171.2 million contract that was signed with Los Angeles during the 2017 offseason. Detroit acquired salaries of $29.5 million, $31.87 million, $34.23 million, $36.6 million and $38.96 million. After playing 3+ seasons with Detroit, Griffin agreed to a buyout in March 2021 giving back $13.3 million. 

Brice Johnson - acquired rookie contract salaries of $1.3 million (2017-18), $1.5 million (2018-19) and $2.5 million (2019-20). Johnson was traded days later to Memphis.

Willie Reed - acquired an expiring contract with a salary of $1.58 million. Reed was traded days later to Chicago who then waived Reed.


Los Angeles Clippers

Tobias Harris - acquired contract with salaries of $16 million (2017-18) and $14.8 million (2018-19). Harris was traded 1 year later to Philadelphia.

Avery Bradley - acquired expiring contract with salary of $8.8 million. Bradley completed the contract and signed a 2 year $24.96 million contract as an Unrestricted Free Agent during the 2018 offseason.

Boban Marjanovic - acquired salaries of $7 million (2017-18) and $7 million (2018-19). Marjanovic was traded 1 year later with Harris to Philadelphia.

2019 2nd round pick - pick was traded 

2018 1st round pick (Top-4 protected)


Notable NBA Links

NBA Trade Tracker

NBA Transactions Wire

NBA Trades

With the NFL postseason upon us, a quick look at how players are compensated for each playoff round, broken down by team, based on the agreed upon CBA costs.

Wild Card Weekend

This round stands out from the rest because it contains split pay based on a few factors. If the Wild Card team was a regular season division winner, players will each earn $42,500. If the team of the Wild Card game was not a regular season division winner, players from that team will each earn $37,500 - a $5,000 difference.

Additionally, the two teams who secured a #1 seed and were rewarded a bye for the Wild Card round will earn the lesser of these two payments, or $37,500 per player.


Divisional Round Winners
All players who are on the active 53-man roster the Sunday immediately preceding the divisional round games will earn $42,500 this year, up $9,500 from last season’s postseason.


Conference Championship Winners
All players who are on the active 53-man roster the Sunday immediately preceding the conference championship games will earn $65,000, up $6,000 from last year.


Super Bowl Payouts
Players from the winning Super Bowl team will cash an extra $150,000 each, while those from the losing team will earn $75,000 for their efforts.


Potential AFC Team Playoff Earnings
(per player)

Wild Card $37,500 $42,500 $42,500 $42,500 $37,500 $37,500 $37,500
Divisional $42,500 $42,500 $42,500 $42,500 $42,500 $42,500 $42,500
Conference $65,000 $65,000 $65,000 $65,000 $65,000 $65,000 $65,000
Super Bowl Loss Total $220,000 $225,000 $225,000 $225,000 $220,000 $220,000 $220,000
Super Bowl Win Total $295,000 $300,000 $300,000 $300,000 $295,000 $295,000 $295,000


Potential NFC Team Playoff Earnings
(per player)

Wild Card $37,500 $42,500 $42,500 $42,500 $37,500 $37,500 $37,500
Divisional $42,500 $42,500 $42,500 $42,500 $42,500 $42,500 $42,500
Conference $65,000 $65,000 $65,000 $65,000 $65,000 $65,000 $65,000
Super Bowl Loss Total $220,000 $225,000 $225,000 $225,000 $220,000 $220,000 $220,000
Super Bowl Win Total $295,000 $300,000 $300,000 $300,000 $295,000 $295,000 $295,000

The Colts offseason has abrubtly started with their Week 18 surprise loss to the last place Jaguars. QB Carson Wentz seemed to solidify his role with a strong second half to the season, but his play this past Sunday will leave plenty with a bad taste in their mouth. 

If the Colts hadn’t sacrificed a 1st & 3rd round pick to acquire Wentz this past February, would it be a slam dunk that he would be handed the starting QB job in 2022? Let’s take a look at what the rest of his contract looks like from a stability standpoint.

Total Value
The deal has 3 years, $81.705M remaining, including $28.294M in 2022, $26.176M in 2023, & $27.235M in 2024. 

Guarantees & Dead Cap
$15M of his 2022 salary is already fully guaranteed, representing the only dead cap on the contract currently. If the Colts were to find a trade partner for Wentz this March, they could move him without taking on any dead cap, saving $13M of cap for the upcoming season. The date to watch is March 18th, when the remaining $7M of his 2022 salary full guarantees & a $6.29M roster bonus is paid. 

While unlikely, if Indy decides to outright release Carson Wentz before March 18th, they’d be responsible for his $15M of guaranteed salary, and nothing more. After 2022, the contract is in a pay-as-you-go format, with no early guarantees to deal with.

Concluding Thoughts
Despite a treacherous final weekend, Wentz actually stabilized the Indy offense for the better part of 2021. Factor in the ceiling for Jonathan Taylor, and ample cap space to add weapons to this roster in March, and it makes sense to let Carson take the reins for this team through 2022. The contract offers a free out after that, making Indy’s life much easier thereafter.x

The NBA calendar is full of important dates from mid-December to mid-February. On December 15, the trade window unofficially opens, as the vast majority of players signed that offseason can be traded. On January 5, teams can sign 10-Day contract. This was tweaked this season, due to so many teams having players in the health and safety protocols.

January 7 is the final day to waive a player before all contracts become fully guaranteed on January 10. And of course, mid-February (February 10 this season) features the trade deadline.

In between looms January 15. This is an important date for a couple of reasons. It’s the last day teams can apply for a disabled player exception to replace players out for the rest of the season. It’s also usually the deadline to sign players to a Two-Way Contract. This season, because of the COVID related absences, Two-Way rules have been tweaked and there will be no deadline.

Most importantly: January 15 is the final big trade restriction date for offseason signees.

Unlike the December 15 restriction, when most free agents signed in the summer can be dealt, the January 15 trade restriction only applies to players who were re-signed in the offseason. And of that group, it only applies to select individuals.

When a player is re-signed using Bird or Early Bird rights to a contract that is 20% or greater than their previous deal AND their team is over the cap, those players can’t be traded until January 15. This is because those contracts tie to Base Year Compensation rules, which impact how a BYC player’s salary works in trade. In effect, it’s an additional blocker that keeps teams from re-signing and player and immediately trading them.

Once January 15 (or three months after the player re-signed) hits, that restriction is lifted and those players can be traded. Here’s a list of players who become trade eligible on January 15:

  1. Jarrett Allen – Cleveland Cavaliers
  2. Bruce Brown Jr – Brooklyn Nets
  3. John Collins – Atlanta Hawks
  4. Terence Davis – Sacramento Kings
  5. Hamidou Diallo – Detroit Pistons
  6. Josh Hart – New Orleans Pelicans
  7. Richaun Holmes – Sacramento Kings
  8. Talen Horton-Tucker – Los Angeles Lakers
  9. Reggie Jackson – LA Clippers
  10. Furkan Korkmaz – Philadelphia 76ers
  11. T.J. McConnell – Indiana Pacers
  12. Jordan McLaughlin – Minnesota Timberwolves
  13. David Nwaba – Houston Rockets
  14. Duncan Robinson – Miami Heat
  15. Derrick Rose – New York Knicks
  16. Cameron Payne – Phoenix Suns
  17. Norman Powell – Portland Trail Blazers
  18. Gary Trent Jr. – Toronto Raptors
  19. Jarred Vanderbilt – Minnesota Timberwolves

A handful of the players listed above have been prominently mentioned in trade rumors, including Hart, Holmes, Horton-Tucker and Powell. It’s important to keep in mind that you may hear their names mentioned in the rumor mill now, but it’s still a bit before those players can actually be moved.


Notable NBA Links

NBA Trade Restrictions

As far as the calendar goes in a normal NBA season, of which 2021-22 is thankfully one, January 10 is a meaningful date for teams and players. On that date, all NBA contracts become fully guaranteed for the duration of the season. In addition, any contract signed after that date (minus a 10-Day contract) is also fully guaranteed for the remainder of the season.

However, the date to really keep an eye on is January 7. Because players have to clear waivers by January 10, that turns January 7 into the date when players need to be waived by to avoid a cap hit for the full salary.

If a player is waived, the salary already paid to the player, plus the two days on waivers, is put on the team’s books as dead money. If the player is claimed off waivers, the entire salary and cap hit is transferred to the claiming team’s cap sheet.

Here are the 30 players to watch with January 10 (but really January 7!) guarantee dates:


Notable NBA Links


NBA Salary Guarantees

With the NFL salary cap for 2022 now largely expected to come in at $208.2M, we'll take a look at what the franchise tag value for each position may cost. The window for teams to designate players with a tag begins February 22nd and runs through March 8th.

Restricted Free Agent Tenders

  • Right of 1st Refusal: $2,433,000
  • Original Draft Round: $2,540,000
  • 2nd Rounder: $3,986,000
  • 1st Rounder: $5,432,000

Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag Values

  • Quarterback: $29,703,000
  • Running Back: $9,570,000
  • Wide Receiver: $18,419,000
  • Tight End: $10,931,000
  • Offensive Lineman: $16,662,000
  • Defensive Tackle: $17,396,000
  • Defensive End: $17,859,000
  • Linebacker: $18,702,000
  • Cornerback: $17,287,000
  • Safety: $12,911,000
  • Kicker/Punter: $5,220,000

2022 Transition Tag Values

  • Quarterback: $27,186,000
  • Running Back: $8,034,000
  • Wide Receiver: $16,782,000
  • Tight End: $9,392,000
  • Offensive Lineman: $15,348,000
  • Defensive Tackle: $14,716,000
  • Defensive End: $16,012,000
  • Linebacker: $15,783,000
  • Cornerback: $15,167,000
  • Safety: $10,817,000
  • Kicker/Punter: $4,701,000

With the 2021 calendar year coming to a close, a quick look at all the players in the Big 4 American Sports that put pen to paper on a new contract that total $100M or more. Of the 33 players listed, 15 were with the NBA, 14 were MLB players, and 4 from the NFL. The Toronto Blue Jays claim name to 3 of the 33 contracts listed below, while the Mets, Rangers, & Hawks all own two.

Francisco Lindor Mets $341,000,000 Details
Fernando Tatis Jr. Padres $340,000,000 Details
Corey Seager Rangers $325,000,000 Details
Josh Allen Bills $258,034,000 Details
Stephen Curry Warriors $215,353,664 Details
Luka Doncic Mavericks $207,060,000 Details
Joel Embiid 76ers $195,921,600 Details
Kevin Durant Nets $194,219,320 Details
Wander Franco Rays $182,000,000 Details
Kawhi Leonard Clippers $176,265,152 Details
Marcus Semien Rangers $175,000,000 Details
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Thunder $172,550,000 Details
Trae Young Hawks $172,550,000 Details
Michael Porter Jr. Nuggets $172,550,000 Details
Dak Prescott Cowboys $160,000,000 Details
George Springer Blue Jays $150,000,000 Details
Jimmy Butler Heat $146,396,031 Details
Javier Baez Tigers $140,000,000 Details
Trent Williams 49ers $138,060,000 Details
Jrue Holiday Bucks $134,997,333 Details
Jose Berrios Blue Jays $131,000,000 Details
Max Scherzer Mets $130,000,000 Details
John Collins Hawks $125,000,000 Details
Chris Paul Suns $120,000,000 Details
Julius Randle Knicks $117,089,280 Details
J.T. Realmuto Phillies $115,500,000 Details
Robbie Ray Mariners $115,000,000 Details
T.J. Watt Steelers $112,011,000 Details
Kevin Gausman Blue Jays $110,000,000 Details
Jaren Jackson Jr. Grizzlies $104,720,000 Details
Trevor Bauer Dodgers $102,000,000 Details
Jarrett Allen Cavaliers $100,000,000 Details
Byron Buxton Twins $100,000,000 Details


There are some key buzzwords floating around the NBA right now, as the league continues to battle COVID.

The first set of words are "health and safety protocols". The protocols are the mysterious netherworld that players, coaches and staff enter when they have a positive COVID test. In reality, it’s not that mysterious. Essentially, anyone from a team who tests positive has to leave the team for a period of two to ten days. If they can return two negative tests at least 24 hours apart, the individual can exit the protocols and rejoin the team. If they don’t, they’re out for a minimum of 10 days, at which point a single negative test can free them from the protocols.

(As of this writing, the NBA and NBPA are negotiating a change that would reduce that 10-day absence to just six days for asymptomatic players who are also vaccinated.)

The second set of words are “hardship exception” and that’s become an increasingly important term for NBA teams in recent days.

Hardship exception are roster exceptions where teams are allowed to exceed the maximum of 15 standard contracts. They’ve existed for years, but up until the last two weeks, usage of a hardship exception was fairly rare. In fact, here’s the total number of hardship exceptions utilized in the past five seasons:

  • 2016-17 – 7
  • 2017-18 – 8
  • 2018-19 – 9
  • 2019-20 – 2
  • 2020-21 – 9

That’s 35 total hardship exception signings over a five-year period.

As of this writing, NBA teams have used a whopping 55 hardship exceptions (53 total players have signed via hardship, with two players signing two deals) in the first two months of the 2021-22 season.

Up until this season, in order to petition the league for an additional roster spot via hardship a team had to have at least four players out for a period of three or more games, with the absences projected to continue.

In addition, in years past, before January 5 or each season, teams were in ineligible to sign players to a 10-Day contract via hardship. Teams would work around this by signing a player to a non-guaranteed contract and then waiving them when the hardship period has passed. On January 5 and beyond, the vast majority of hardship signings were accomplished via a 10-Day contract.

This year, while facing down unprecedented absences due to the health and safety protocols, the NBA and NBPA agreed to tweak both the hardship and 10-Day rules.

Now, teams can sign a player to a 10-Day contract via hardship as soon as they have a player enter the protocols. They don’t even need to petition the league for the additional roster spot.

Not only can teams sign a player to a 10-Day via hardship, but if they are below 13 available players due to health and safety protocols, teams must sign a player to a 10-Day via hardship, until they get back up to 13 available players.

The NBA and NBPA also made an additional tweak to the hardship rules to help teams. In years past, all contracts counted against the cap and tax. (The only exception here were Replacement Player contracts due to opt outs prior to the Walt Disney World bubble to complete the 2019-20 season.) With several teams already facing hefty luxury tax bills, and several others pushing closer to the hard cap line, the league and player’s association agreed that these hardship signings would not count against the cap nor tax.

There is a push from many within front offices around the NBA that hardship signings should never count towards the cap nor tax. The idea being that if you are in a hardship position, you run the risk of not being able to suit up enough players to practice or play. If you are up against, or even at, the hard cap, you would be unable to add a player in this scenario. If that situation was to occur after the trade deadline, you’d have no way to create the space necessary to sign players. It’s expected that making this change permanent will be addressed during the 2022 offseason.

10-Day hardship exception signings have resulted in the return to league of some notable veteran players like Joe Johnson and Lance Stephenson. They’ve also given an opportunity to players who may have never gotten an NBA call-up, like Hassani Gravett, who started a game for the Orlando Magic.

Get used to the hardship rules, but hopefully not too used to them. Ideally, this will go back to being a seldom-used roster exception that only happens when a team has an extraordinarily unlucky season with injuries.

Notable NBA Links

AFC Player Team Current AAV Pos. AAV Rank POS NFC Player Team Current AAV Pos. AAV Rank
Justin Herbert LAC $6,644,689 29 QB Tom Brady TB $25,000,000 15
Lamar Jackson BAL $2,367,912 47 QB Kyler Murray ARZ $8,914,504 22
Patrick Mahomes KC $45,000,000 1 QB Aaron Rodgers GB $33,500,000 6
Patrick Ricard BAL $3,651,084 2 FB Kyle Juszczyk SF $5,400,000 1
Nick Chubb CLE $12,200,000 6 RB Alvin Kamara NO $15,000,000 2
Joe Mixon CIN $12,000,000 7 RB James Conner ARZ $1,750,000 44
Jonathan Taylor IND $1,957,288 40 RB Dalvin Cook MIN $12,600,000 4
Keenan Allen LAC $20,025,000 3 WR Davante Adams GB $14,500,000 19
Ja’Marr Chase CIN $7,704,910 32 WR Justin Jefferson MIN $3,280,701 51
Stefon Diggs BUF $14,400,000 20 WR Cooper Kupp LAR $15,750,000 15
Tyreek Hill KC $18,000,000 6 WR Deebo Samuel SF $1,811,869 73
Mark Andrews BAL $14,000,000 4 TE George Kittle SF $15,000,000 1
Travis Kelce KC $14,312,500 2 TE Kyle Pitts ATL $8,227,624 9
Orlando Brown KC $872,930 117 OT Tyron Smith DAL $12,200,000 23
Dion Dawkins BUF $14,575,000 18 OT Trent Williams SF $23,010,000 1
Rashawn Slater LAC $4,157,939 50 OT Tristan Wirfs TB $4,057,007 51
Joel Bitonio CLE $16,000,000 2 G Ali Marpet TB $10,825,000 11
Quenton Nelson IND $5,972,227 20 G Zack Martin DAL $14,000,000 6
Wyatt Teller CLE $14,200,000 4 G Brandon Scherff WSH $18,036,000 1
Ryan Kelly IND $12,500,000 2 C Ryan Jensen TB $10,500,00 6
Corey Linsley LAC $12,500,000 3 C Jason Kelce PHI $9,000,000 13
DeForest Buckner IND $21,000,000 2 DT Jonathan Allen WSH $18,000,000 4
Cameron Heyward PIT $16,400,000 8 DT Kenny Clark GB $17,500,000 5
Chris Jones KC $20,000,000 3 DT Aaron Donald LAR $22,500,000 1
Maxx Crosby LV $825,566 136 DE Nick Bosa SF $8,387,966 26
Myles Garrett CLE $25,000,000 2 DE Brian Burns CAR $3,385,046 49
Trey Hendrickson CIN $15,000,000 10 DE Cameron Jordan NO $17,500,000 6
Joey Bosa LAC $27,000,000 2 OLB Shaquil Barrett TB $17,000,000 6
Matthew Judon NE $13,625,000 14 OLB Chandler Jones ARZ $16,500,000 7
T.J. Watt PIT $28,002,750 1 OLB Robert Quinn CHI $14,000,000 13
Darius Leonard LB $19,700,000 1 LB Micah Parsons DAL $4,269,948 20
Denzel Perryman LV $3,000,000 28 LB Bobby Wagner SEA $18,000,000 3
Xavien Howard MIA $15,050,000 7 CB Trevon Diggs DAL $1,580,227 87
J.C. Jackson NE $3,384,000 52 CB Marshon Lattimore NO $19,520,600 2
Kenny Moore IND $8,325,000 25 CB Jalen Ramsey LAR $20,000,000 1
Denzel Ward CLE $7,291,339 30 CB Darius Slay PHI $16,683,333 5
Kevin Byard TEN $14,100,000 6 FS Quandre Diggs SEA $6,200,000 19
Derwin James LAC $3,097,239 31 SS Budda Baker ARZ $14,750,000 4
Tyrann Mathieu KC $14,000,000 8 SS Harrison Smith MIN $16,000,000 2
AJ Cole LV $3,100,000 5 P Bryan Anger DAL $1,075,000 20
Justin Tucker BAL $5,000,000 1 K Matt Gay LAR $762,500 34
Luke Rhodes IND $1,212,500 2 LS Josh Harris ATL $1,075,000 13
Devin Duvernay BAL $1,143,953 102 RET Jakeem Grant CHI $2,300,000 63
Matthew Slater NE $2,650,000   S/T J.T. Gray NO $2,000,000  

2022 NWSL Expansion Draft: Dec 16,  2021 @ 7PM EST, CBS Sports Network / Twitch and YouTube Channels

Expansion Teams: Angel City FC, San Diego FC

Rules and Procedures: click here

The following is a list of the protected and unprotected players each team has designated 

Chicago Red Stars
Full Roster Protection (Acquired via trade)

Houston Dash
Protected Players

Jane Campbell (Federation Player - USA) 
Rachel Daly
Makamae Gomera-Stevens
Shea Groom
Haley Hanson
Katie Naughton
Nichelle Prince (Federation Player - CAN)
Maria Sanchez 
Gabby Seiler

Unprotected Players
Michaela Abam
Michelle Alozie
Joelle Anderson (College Protected)
Bridgette Andrzejewski (Rights)
Allysha Chapman
Taylor Comeau (Rights)
Nikki Cross (Rights)
Amanda Dennis (Rights)
Hannah Diaz
Marissa Diggs (Rights)
Lindsey Harris
Melissa Henderson (Rights)
Bianca Henninger (Rights)
Savannah Jordan (Rights)
Veronica Latsko
Kristie Mewis (U.S. Federation Player)
Christine Nairn (Rights)
Emily Ogle
Megan Oyster
Ally Prisock
Annika Schmidt
Sophie Schmidt
Jasmyne Spencer
Brianna Visalli

Kansas City Current
Full Roster Protection (acquired via trade)

NJ/NY Gotham FC
Full Roster Protection (acquired via trade)

North Carolina Courage
Full Roster Protection (acquired via trade)

OL Reign
Protected Players

Bethany Balcer
Alana Cook
Jessica Fishlock
Sofia Huerta
Rose Lavelle (Federation Player - USA)
Quinn (Federation Player - CAN)
Phallon Tullis-Joyce
Ally Watt

Unprotected Players
Lauren Barnes
Amber Brooks
Maria Bullock (Rights)
Stephanie Catley (Rights)
Stephanie Cox (Rights)
Kiersten Dallstream
Ella Dederick
Madison Hammond
Kelcie Hedge
Sam Hiatt
Adrienne Jordan (Rights)
Tziarra King
Alyssa Kleiner (Playing Rights)
Jimena Lopez
Kristen McNabb
Sinclaire Miramontez
Cosette Morche
Theresa Nielsen (Rights)
Morgan Proffitt (Rights)
Leah Pruitt
Megan Rapinoe (Federation Player - USA)
Nikki Stanton
Rumi Utsugi (Rights)
Abby Wambach (Rights)
Dani Weatherholt
Lydia Williams (Rights)
Beverly Yanez (Rights)

Orlando Pride
Protected Players

Mikayla Colohan (College Protected)
Taylor Kornieck
Sydney Leroux
Phoebe McClernon
Alex Morgan (Federation Player - USA)
Courtney Petersen
Amy Turner
Viviana Villacorta

Unprotected Players
Kerry Abello (College Protected)
Kaylie Collins Claire Emslie (Rights)
Joanna Fennema (Rights)
Caitlin Farrell (Rights)
Megan Dougherty Howard
Gunnhildur Jonsdottir
Abi Kim
Carrie Lawrence
Camila Martins Pereira (Rights)
Erin McCleod (Federation Player - CAN)
Jade Moore
Toni Pressley
Ali Riley
Parker Roberts
Kylie Strom
Erika Tymrak
Emily Van Egmond (Rights)
Marisa Viggiano
Chelsee Washington
Brittany Wilson
Shelina Zadorsky (Rights)

Portland Thorns FC
Protected Players

Bella Bixby
Crystal Dunn
Lindsey Horan
Natalia Kuikka
Emily Menges
Olivia Moultrie
Raquel Rodriguez 
Sophia Smith (Federation Player - USA)
Morgan Weaver

Unprotected Players
Amirah Ali (College Protected)
Nadine Angerer (Rights)
Hannah Betfort
Celeste Boureille
Samantha Coffey (College Protected)
Marian Dougherty (Rights)
Britt Eckerstrom (Rights)
Marissa Everett
Shelby Hogan
Kelli Hubly
Meghan Klingenberg
Andressa Machry (Rights)
Nikki Marshall (Rights)
Meagan Morris (Rights)
Meaghan Nally
Madison Pogarch
Hayley Raso (Rights)
Katherine Reynolds (Rights)
Yazmeen Ryan
Angela Salem 
Becky Sauerbrunn (Federation Player - USA)
Christine Sinclair
Abby Smith
Katarina Tarr (Rights)
Rachel Van Hollebeke (Rights)
Christen Westphal
Sandra Yu (Rights)

Racing Louisville FC
Protected Players

Gemma Bonner
Kirsten Davis (College Protected)
Emina Ekic
Emily Fox
Cece Kizer
Katie Lund
Nadia Nadim 
Freja Olofsson 
Ebony Salmon 

Unprotected Players
Julia Ashley
Janine Beckie (Rights)
Caitlin Foord (Rights)
Parker Goins (College Protected)
Tobin Heath (Rights)
Alanna Kennedy (Rights)
Nealy Martin
Cheyna Matthews
Savannah McCaskill
Addisyn Merrick
Lauren Milliet
Yuki Nagasato
Taylor Otto
Kaleigh Riehl
Erin Simon
Emily Smith (College Protected)

Washington Spirit
Protected Players

Dorian Bailey
Aubrey Bledsoe
Bayley Feist
Ashley Hatch
Tara McKeown
Julia Roddar
Trinity Rodman
Ashley Sanchez
Sam Staab

Unprotected Players
Taylor Alymer
Camryn Biegalski
Averie Collins
Jordan DiBiasi
Morgan Goff
Anna Heilferty
Tori Huster
Devon Kerr
Lori Lindsey (Rights)
Joanna Lohman (Rights)
Paige Nielsen
Kelley O’Hara (Federation Player - USA)
Kariana Rodriguez
Sydney Schneider
Emily Sonnett(Federation Player - USA)
Andi Sullivan(Federation Player - USA)
Saori Takarada
Kumi Yokoyama


1st-Team All-MLB

The Blue Jays lead the way with 3 honorees, while the Yankees, Brewers, & Dodgers fostered two each. Two Top-15 salaries make the list (Cole #1, Scherzer #15), while 3 played out pre-arbitration paydays in 2021 (Guerrero Jr, Riley, Burnes). Scherzer, Ray, & Semien are currently on the open market.

POS Player Team Avg. Salary Free Agent

Salvador Perez

KC $20,500,000 2027

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

TOR $605,400 2026

Marcus Semien

TOR $18,000,000 2022

Fernando Tatis Jr.

SD $24,285,714 2035

Austin Riley

ATL $590,500 2026

Bryce Harper

PHI $25,384,615 2032

Aaron Judge

NYY $10,175,000 2023

Juan Soto

WSH $8,500,000 2025

Shohei Ohtani

LAA $4,250,000 2024

Walker Buehler

LAD $4,000,000 2025

Corbin Burnes

MIL $608,000 2025

Gerrit Cole

NYY $36,000,000 2029

Robbie Ray

TOR $8,000,000 2022

Max Scherzer

WSH/LAD $30,000,000 2022

Josh Hader

MIL $6,675,000 2024

Liam Hendriks

CHW $18,000,000 2025


2nd-Team All-MLB

The Braves & Dodgers each boast 3 players on a second team that also includes 5 current free agents. Shohei Ohtani micraculously finds himself on each All-MLB team this year, honored as a 1st-team DH, & a 2nd-team SP.

POS Player Team Avg. Salary Free Agent

Buster Posey

SF $19,875,000 N/A

Freddie Freeman

ATL $16,875,000 2022

Ozzie Albies

ATL $5,000,000 2028

Trea Turner

WSH/LAD $13,000,000 2023

Rafael Devers

BOS $4,575,000 2024

Nick Castellanos

CIN $16,000,000 2022

Teoscar Hernandez

TOR $4,325,000 2024

Kyle Tucker

HOU $624,300 2026

Yordan Alvarez

HOU $609,000 2026

Max Fried

ATL $3,500,000 2025

Kevin Gausman

SF $18,900,000 2022

Shohei Ohtani

LAA $4,250,000 2024

Julio Urias

LAD $3,600,000 2024

Zack Wheeler

PHI $23,600,000 2025

Raisel Iglesias

LAA $8,041,667 2022

Kenley Jansen

LAD $16,000,000 2022

Mike Ginnitti accounts for a recent tweet by diving even deeper into the "guarantee mechanisms" of Patrick Mahomes massive contract with the Chiefs, accounting for all of the upcoming triggers, breaking down the dead cap/cash & savings each year through 2031, & comparing it directly to Josh Allen's recent extension in Buffalo.

October 18th was the deadline for 2018 1st round picks to lock in a rookie extension before the start of the upcoming season. For those who didn't extend, the next available opportunity to do so now becomes via free agency after July 1st 2022, the beginning of the next league year.

In total, 11 of the 30 eligible draft picks locked into future contracts, ranging from Luka Doncic's $207M SuperMax, to Grayson Allen's $18.7M bridge upgrade. The 11 new deals is up from 10 last fall, 10 in 2019, and just 5 in 2019.

Total extensions: 11 of 30 eligible players
Total Max Value (if all incentives met): $1,151,660,000
Total Practical Value (Base salaries + LTBE incentives): $1,144,810,000
Total Guaranteed at Signing:  $1,093,090,000

Related Links:
2018 NBA Draft Tracker
Upcoming NBA Extensions


Extension Details

3. Luka Doncic
Team: Dallas Mavericks
Terms: 5 year, $207,060,000
Guaranteed at Signing: $207,060,000 (at minimum)
Average: $41,412,000
2022-23 Salary: $35,700,000 (estimate)

  • Contract is an estimate due to language allowing the first year salary to be determined based on 30% of League Cap in 2022-23 season.
  • 15% Trade Bonus


4. Jaren Jackson Jr.
Team: Memphis Grizzlies
Terms: 4 year, $104,720,000
Guaranteed at Signing: $104,720,000
Average: $26,180,000
2022-23 Salary: $28,946,605


5. Trae Young
Team: Atlanta Hawks
Terms: 5 year, $172,550,000
Guaranteed at Signing: $172,550,000 (at minimum)
Average: $34,510,000
2022-23 Salary: $29,750,000 (estimate)

  • Contract is an estimate due to language allowing the first year salary to be determined based on 25% of League Cap in 2022-23 season.
  • If All-NBA status is achieved, first year salary will be determined based on 30% of the League Cap in 2022-23 raise the estimated contract value to 5 years, $207 million
  • 2025-26 Early Termination Option
  • 15% Trade Bonus


7. Wendell Carter Jr.
Team: Orlando Magic (drafted by Chicago)
Terms: 4 year, $50,000,000
Guaranteed at Signing: $50,000,000
Average: $12,500,000
2022-23 Salary: $14,150,000

  • Salaries are decreasing over the length of the contract, finishing with $10,850,000 in 2025-26 season.


10. Mikal Bridges
Team: Phoenix Suns
Terms: 4 year, $90,900,000
Guaranteed at Signing: $90,900,000
Average: $22,725,000
2022-23 Salary: $22,725,000


11. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder
Terms: 5 year, $172,550,000
Guaranteed at Signing: $172,550,000 (at minimum)
Average: $34,510,000
2022-23 Salary: $29,750,000 (estimate)

  • Contract is an estimate due to language allowing the first year salary to be determined based on 25% of League Cap in 2022-23 season.
  • If All-NBA status is achieved, first year salary will be determined based on 30% of the League Cap in 2022-23 raise the estimated contract value to 5 years, $207 million
  • 15% Trade Bonus


14. Michael Porter Jr.
Team: Denver Nuggets
Terms: 5 year, $172,550,000
Guaranteed at Signing: $145,280,000 (at minimum)
Average: $34,510,000
2022-23 Salary: $29,750,000 (estimate)

  • Contract is an estimate due to language allowing the first year salary to be determined based on 25% of League Cap in 2022-23 season.
  • 2026-27 season: Partially guaranteed
  • (i) $12 million of the $39.27 million is guaranteed at signing.
  • (ii) $17 million becomes guaranteed if earns All-Star status in any of the 2021-22 through 2025-26 seasons.
  • (iii) Fully guaranteed based on performance metrics and awards that can be triggered prior to the 2026-27 season.


19. Kevin Huerter
Team: Atlanta Hawks
Terms: 4 year, $65,000,000
Guaranteed at Signing: $65,000,000
Average: $16,250,000
2022-23 Salary: $14,508,929


21. Grayson Allen
Team: Milwaukee Bucks (drafted by Memphis)
Terms: 2 year, $18,700,000
Guaranteed at Signing: $17,000,000
Average: $9,350,000
2022-23 Salary: $8,500,000

  • Maximum value could reach $19,550,000 if all incentives are achieved.
  • Total incentives: $2,550,000 (Annual Likely-to-be-earned: $850,000; Annual Unlikely-to-be-earned: $425,000 - at time of signing)


26. Landry Shamet
Team: Phoenix Suns (drafted by Los Angeles Clippers via Brooklyn)
Terms: 4 year, $42,500,000
Guaranteed at Signing: $19,750,000
Average: $10,625,000
2022-23 Salary: $9,500,000

  • 2024-25: non-guaranteed salary
  • 2025-26: Club Option/non-guaranteed salary


27. Robert Williams III
Team: Boston Celtics
Terms: 4 year, $48,000,000
Guaranteed at Signing: $48,000,000
Average: $12,000,000
2022-23 Salary: $10,714,287

  • Maximum value could reach $54,000,000 if all incentives are achieved.
  • Total incentives: $6,000,000 - Annual escalating incentives for games played + playoffs thresholds (all deemed unlikely at signing) 


Notable Players Without Extensions

1. Deandre Ayton, PHX
2. Marvin Bagley III, SAC
8. Collin Sexton, CLE
12. Miles Bridges, CHA
17. Donte DiVincenzo, MIL

Related Links:
2018 NBA Draft Tracker
Upcoming NBA Extensions

NBA Rookie Extension 2018 NBA Draft Class

A look at MLB players who earned bonuses or escalators based on their production over the past 162 regular season games.

Jorge Soler, $200,000 bonus

Red Sox
Garrett Richards, $1M bonus
Hunter Renfroe, $600,000 bonus
HIrokazu Sawamura, $400,000 bonus
Hansel Robles, $75,000 bonus

Austin Romine, $500,000 bonus

White Sox
Ryan Tepera, $950,000 bonus

Wade Miley, $150,000 bonus

Bryan Shaw, $1.45M bonus

Charlie Blackmon, 2023 player option escalated to $18M
Elias Diaz, $100,000 bonus

Robbie Grossman, $500,000 bonus
Jose Urena, $200,000 bonus

Jason Castro, $750,000 2022 escalator
Yuli Gurriel, $2M bonus
Kendall Graveman, $500,000 bonus

Michael A. Taylor, $250,000 bonus
Carlos Santana, $250,000 bonus
Greg Holland, $1M bonus

Walker Buehler, $3M escalator earned
Austin Barnes, $100,000 escalator earned

Jesus Aguilar, $150,000 bonus earned

Kenta Maeda, $2.5M bonus earned

Trevor May, $250,000 bonus
Aaron Loup, $250,000 bonus
Trevor Williams, $350,000 bonus

Andrew Chafin, $500,000 bonus
Yusmeiro Petit, $450,000 bonus
Josh Harrison, $250,000 bonus

Kyle Gibson, $1.5M bonus
Hector Neris, $20,000

Craig Stammen, $500,000 bonus
Mark Melancon, $2M bonus

Anthony DeSclafani, $125,000 bonus
Alex Wood, $2M bonus
Curt Casali, $500,000 bonus

Mike Zunino, 2022 option escalated to $7M
Matt Wisler, $50,000 bonus

Top Drafted Colleges

Earnings Per College (Last 5 Years, 2016 - 2020)

#1) Duke, $202,705,284 (15 players)

#2) Kentucky, $159,204,357 (Kentucky)

#3) Washington, $82,798,262 (7 players)

#4) Florida State, $66,483,327 (7 players)

#5) Gonzaga, $62,042,322 (5 players)


Top Drafted Countries

Players Per Country (Last 5 Years, 2016 - 2020)

#1) USA: 213 players

#2) France: 11 players

#3) Canada: 6 players

#4) Serbia: 5 players

Overall: 82% = USA, 18% International


Earnings Per Country (Last 5 Years, 2016 - 2020)

#1) USA, $1,521,928,509

#2) Australia, $74,667,792

#3) Bahamas, $67,704,272

#4) France, $48,708,736

#5) Croatia, $43,327,129


By Position

Earnings Per Position (Last 5 Years, 2016 - 2020)

#1) Point Guard, $533,139,216 (65 players)

#2) Shooting Guard, $504,122,295 (78 players)

#3) Power Forward, $447,719,445 (58 players)

#4) Small Forward, $306,373,984 (52 players)

#5) Center, $278,631,406 (41 players)


Top Earnings

Top Drafted Earners (Last 10 Years, 2011 - 2020)

Rank Player Round Pick Earnings
1 Kyrie Irving 1 1 $158,688,599
2 Anthony Davis 1 1 $152,666,234
3 Damian Lillard 1 6 $151,870,966
4 Kawhi Leonard 1 15 $149,088,735
5 Jimmy Butler 1 30 $144,395,731
6 Klay Thompson 1 11 $144,363,984
7 Bradley Beal 1 3 $144,130,512
8 Andre Drummond 1 9 $136,137,168
9 Tobias Harris 1 19 $135,604,355
10 Harrison Barnes 1 7 $127,522,137
11 Chandler Parsons 2 38 $126,998,919
12 Otto Porter Jr. 1 3 $124,127,236
13 Kemba Walker 1 9 $123,274,126
14 Khris Middleton 2 39 $120,920,176
15 C.J. McCollum 1 10 $115,393,598


Top Drafted Earners Per First Round Pick Number (Last 10 Years, 2011 - 2020)

Pick No. Player Draft Year Earnings
1 Kyrie Irving 2011 $158,688,599
2 Victor Oladipo 2013 $104,174,940
3 Bradley Beal 2012 $144,130,512
4 Tristan Thompson 2011 $106,193,433
5 Jonas Valanciunas 2011 $91,621,944
6 Damian Lillard 2012 $151,870,966
7 Harrison Barnes 2012 $127,522,137
8 Brandon Knight 2011 $79,134,209
9 Andre Drummond 2012 $136,137,168
10 C.J. McCollum 2013 $115,393,598
11 Klay Thompson 2011 $144,363,984
12 Steven Adams 2013 $110,144,832
13 Zach LaVine 2014 $66,928,548
14 Marcus Morris Sr. 2011 $57,249,640
15 Kawhi Leonard 2011 $149,088,735
16 Nikola Vucevic 2011 $108,338,639
17 Dennis Schröder 2013 $69,042,112
18 TJ Leaf 2017 $11,400,195
19 Tobias Harris 2011 $135,604,355
20 Evan Fournier 2012 $91,384,369
21 Gorgui Dieng 2013 $67,660,739
22 Kenneth Faried 2011 $56,855,817
23 Solomon Hill 2013 $53,774,756
24 Reggie Jackson 2011 $87,869,444
25 Clint Capela 2014 $52,252,343
26 Miles Plumlee 2012 $55,253,385
27 Rudy Gobert 2013 $102,690,340
28 Tony Bradley 2017 $8,476,213
29 Cory Joseph 2011 $58,717,660
30 Jimmy Butler 2011 $144,395,731


Top Earnings Per Pick Number (Last 10 Years, 2011 - 2020)

Rank Pick No. Earnings
1 1 $664,037,211
2 3 $612,686,470
3 4 $474,864,090
4 2 $472,767,404
5 7 $409,073,608
6 15 $400,486,152
7 9 $374,521,876
8 11 $370,915,100
9 6 $357,318,467
10 12 $324,158,136
11 8 $301,847,455
12 10 $291,857,169
13 13 $287,287,243
14 5 $285,818,004
15 19 $280,180,602


Top Earnings per International Player (Last 10 Years, 2011 - 2020)

Rank Player Country Pick No. Earnings
1 Giannis Antetokounmpo Greece 15 $106,999,970
2 Rudy Gobert France 27 $102,690,340
3 Jonas Valanciunas Lithuania 5 $91,621,944
4 Evan Fournier France 20 $91,384,369
5 Nikola Jokic Serbia 41 $85,855,769
6 Bismack Biyombo Congo, Democratic Republic of the 7 $85,350,819
7 Kristaps Porzingis Latvia 4 $73,697,582
8 Dennis Schröder Germany 17 $69,042,112
9 Bojan Bogdanovic Croatia 31 $65,379,296
10 Clint Capela Switzerland 25 $52,252,343

A look at players who were exposed to the Seattle Kraken expansion draft while carrying a current cap hit at or above $3.5 million. View the entire protection/exposure list from the NHL here.


Carey Price MTL G $10,500,000
P.K. Subban NJD D $9,000,000
Jakub Voracek PHI F $8,250,063
Matt Duchene NSH C $8,000,000
Ryan Johansen NSH C $8,000,000
Shea Weber MTL D $7,857,143
Vladimir Tarasenko STL F $7,500,000
James Van Riemsdyk PHI F $7,000,000
Mark Giordano CGY D $6,750,000
Matthew Murray OTT G $6,250,000
Erik Johnson COL D $6,000,000
Adam Henrique ANA C $5,825,000
Jonathan Quick LAK G $5,800,000
James Neal EDM F $5,750,000
Martin Jones SJS G $5,750,000
Anton Stralman FLA D $5,500,000
Jordan Eberle NYI F $5,500,000
Jason Zucker PIT F $5,500,000
Max Domi CBJ F $5,300,000
Ondrej Palat TBL F $5,300,000
Nino Niederreiter CAR F $5,250,000
Frans Nielsen DET C $5,250,000
Yanni Gourde TBL C $5,166,666
Danny DeKeyser DET D $5,000,000
Josh Bailey NYI F $5,000,000
Evgeni Dadonov OTT F $5,000,000
Tyler Johnson TBL C $5,000,000
Ben Bishop DAL G $4,916,667
Calvin de Haan CHI D $4,550,000
Mikko Koskinen EDM G $4,500,000
Shayne Gostisbehere PHI D $4,500,000
Alexander Killorn TBL C $4,450,000
Braden Holtby VAN G $4,300,000
Oscar Klefbom EDM D $4,167,000
Jake Gardiner CAR D $4,050,000
Marcus Pettersson PIT D $4,025,175
Victor Rask MIN C $4,000,000
Justin Schultz WAS D $4,000,000
Kevin Shattenkirk ANA D $3,900,000
Brenden Dillon WAS D $3,900,000
Will Butcher NJD D $3,733,333
Brett Connolly CHI F $3,500,000
J.T Compher COL C $3,500,000
Alexander Kerfoot TOR C $3,500,000

Phoenix Suns

Total Cap Allocations: $127M (21st)
Total Cash Allocations: $121M (20th)


Top Earners

Player 2020-21 Salary Career Earnings Contract Status
Chris Paul (PG, 35) $41,358,814 $299,909,419 $44.2M player option in 2021-22
Devin Booker (SG, 24) $29,467,800 $65,032,653 3 years, $101.5M remaining
Jae Crowder (SF, 31) $9,258,000 $46,074,135 2 years, $20M remaining
E’Twaun Moore (SG, 32) $2,331,593 $40,162,398 UFA
Langston Galloway (SG, 29) $2,028,594 $28,941,768 UFA


Extension Candidates

Chris Paul
The internets claim Paul will likely opt out of his $44.2M player option next year in lieu of a multi-year extension to finish off his career in Phoenix. Paul carries a 3 year, $118M valuation in our system.

Deandre Ayton
The #1 overall selection from 2018 becomes extension-eligible after this season, with a 5 year, $168M max contract likely in his sights. Ayton’s overall numbers slipped a bit this year, but his efficiency took major steps forward, a theme for the Suns in 2020-21.

Cameron Payne
Every 36 year old point guard needs a viable backup plan, and Payne has proved to be more than adequate in that role. Delon Wright’s 3 year, $28M deal in Sacramento seems a good fit here.

2021-22 Outlook

The Suns will be operating over cap, and will be struggling to stay under the tax threshold with extensions for Paul and Payne likely coming. They’re set to pick #29, and will likely use their Non-Tax Exception to add a piece to the puzzle. VIEW MORE



Milwaukee Bucks

Total Cap Allocations: $132M (9th)
Total Cash Allocations: $135M (6th)

Top Earners

Player 2020-21 Salary Career Earnings Contract Status
Jrue Holiday (PG, 31) $25,876,111 $152,488,072 4 years, $135M remaining
Brook Lopez (C, 33) $12,697,675 $144,840,372 2 years, $27.2M remaining
Khris Middleton (SF, 29) $33,051,724 $120,920,176 3 years, $113M remaining
Giannis Antetokounmpo (PF, 26) $27,528,088 $106,999,970 5 years, $228M remaining
Jeff Teague (PG, 33) $3372826 $98,540,766 UFA


Extension Candidates

P.J. Tucker
It’s always difficult to value a player who operates mostly on “intangibles'', and at 36, Tucker is mostly that. His statistical production is all but diminished, but there’s still a strong case to resign here. Our valuation says 1 year, $5M should get it done.

Bobby Portis
Portis holds a $3.8M player option that he’s certain to decline, which could put him in a decent spot come free agency. If the Bucks see him as a possible replacement for PJ Tucker, a multi-year extension could be on the table here. Portis holds a 3 year, $32M valuation in our system.

Jeff Teague
Teague’s minutes diminished and thus his production did as well - but his efficiency, especially behind the 3-point line, went up in almost all facets. He holds value in a depth position, and will likely be in Milwaukee’s plans for the next few seasons. He holds a 2 year, $15M valuation.


2021-22 Outlook

The Bucks will be operating well over cap, but are already $12M over the luxury tax threshold. This figure will only get worse should the above extensions kick in, and it leaves Milwaukee with the smaller $5.9M exception to work with as well. The Bucks will draft #31 overall. VIEW MORE

Los Angeles Dodgers ($249M)

53-31, 2nd in the NL West
The Dodgers sit a half game out of the West, behind the NL surprise San Francisco Giants, who continue to fend off runs from LA and San Diego. A major injury to pending free agent SS Corey Seagar is easily the biggest cause for concern down the stretch, but LA seems to have enough firepower to stick near the top of the league.


New York Yankees ($201M)

42-41, 4th in the AL East
Not only are the Yankees not going to win 100 games, but 80 is now in question based on a midseason outlook. The bombers aren’t bombing, and seem resistant to small ball whenever that trickles into their game. The starting pitching has been injured and unimpressive, and Aroldis Chapman is far from superhuman all of a sudden. Changes are coming.


New York Mets ($196M)

43-37, 1st in the NL East
Despite a rash of injuries across the roster, the Mets have hung onto a consistent lead in the NL East, holding off runs from Washington, Philly, & Atlanta at various times. This is set to be a legitimate 4-team battle through the dog days, but the Mets are just now starting to get healthier, which could mean good things for that other NY team. Grabbing an arm at the deadline seems to make sense.


Houston Astros ($192M)

52-33, 1st in the AL West
This was the year they were supposed to drop off into reality. Instead, they’ve soared past a very good Athletics team, holding a comfortable division lead at the midway point, all with two of their starter pitchers, and Alex Bregman on the shelf for most of it. A late summer return for the latter could make these team even more dangerous down the stretch.


Philadelphia Phillies ($183M)

39-42, 4th in the NL East
Philly just can’t seem to find their stride on a consistent basis, and appear destined to be a .500 team yet again. There’s an awful lot of firepower in this lineup though, so a few hot stretches through the summer could keep this team afloat, despite obvious deficiencies in the rotation and bullpen.


Notable Notes

  • 4 of the 10 lowest spending teams have a winning percentage north of .500, led by the Brewers, who carry a 51-34 record (1st in NL Central), despite the 21st highest payroll.
  • After a miserable 2019-20, and the controversial exit of Mookie Betts, the Boston Red Sox hold a 4.5 game lead in the AL East despite the 7th highest payroll ($177M). It’s the lowest they’ve ranked in payroll for over a decade.
  • The 1st place White Sox carry the 15th highest payroll in baseball, putting them in the sweet spot of balance + success. They’re a team to watch both at the trade deadline, and in the postseason.
  • The Indians traded Mike Clevinger & Francisco Lindor, then lost ace Shane Bieber to injury, & still find themselves 3 games over .500 at the deadline. It’s likely not sustainable, but it’s notable.
  • After a good two month run at the top of the NL Central, the Cubs have fallen back down to earth, now 8.5 games out of the lead. Their $155M payroll is good enough for 11th, but with a handful of star players set to become free agents, Chicago may be open for business this month.


Related Links:View all 30 2021 MLB Payrolls

The 2021 All-Star Game starting lineups have officially been announced, and as we do annually, we’ll take a look at how the rosters look from a financial perspective.


National League

(Player, Average Salary, Free Agent Year)

C: Buster Posey (SF, 34), $19.8M, 2023
1B: Freddie Freeman (ATL, 31),  $16.8M, 2022
2B: Adam Frazier (PIT, 29), $4.3M, 2023
SS: Fernando Tatis, Jr. (SD, 22), $24.2M, 2035
3B: Nolan Arenado (STL, 30) $32.5M, 2028
OF: Ronald Acuna, Jr. (ATL, 23), $12.5M, 2029
OF: Nick Castellanos (CIN, 29), $16M, 2025
OF: Jesse Winker (CIN, 27), $3.15M, 2024

American League

(Player, Average Salary, Free Agent Year)

C: Salvador Perez (KC, 31) $20.5M, 2027
1B: Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. (TOR, 22), $605k, 2026
2B: Marcus Semien (TOR, 30), $18M, 2022
SS: Xander Bogaerts (BOS, 28), $20M, 2027
3B: Rafael Devers (BOS, 24), $4.5M, 2024
DH: Shohei Ohtani (LAA, 26), $4.25M, 2024
OF: Aaron Judge (NYY, 29), $10.1M, 2023
OF: Mike Trout (LAA, 29), $35.5M, 2031
OF: Teoscar Hernandez (TOR, 28), $4.3M, 2024

NBA players signed to minimum contracts are usually defined into one of three groups:

  • Rookies or young players who are hoping to make a team
  • Veteran players who are hoping to play a role a title contender
  • Veteran players who receive a buyout and catch on late in the season with a contender

The first group regularly sees players play themselves off of a minimum contract. This offseason alone, that group includes Bruce Brown Jr., Devonte’ Graham, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson and Gary Trent Jr. All of these players are going to get more than the minimum and some are going to get considerably more.

The last group is a matter of circumstance. For all of Andre Drummond’s foibles as a player, he’s not really someone who will play on a minimum contract for very long. After his buyout from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Drummond joined the Lakers for a shot at a ring. This summer, Drummond will make far more than the minimum, even if it means taking a role with a lesser team. Blake Griffin is another good example. If he wants to leave the Nets for more than the minimum, he’s shown he’s still got the game to earn more.

It’s the middle group where players often get stuck, sometimes forever. Around the NBA there is a thought that “Once a minimum player, always a minimum player” when it comes to veterans.

Fair or unfair, that’s how life works in the NBA. The vast majority of successful teams are built around one to three players on max contracts, a handful signed to a mid-tier contract via the Mid-Level Exception, a few Rookie Scale players and then a handful of players that were signed via the Minimum Exception. Or the bench is rounded out with young players who the team used part of an exception to sign to a three or four-year minimum contract (Minimum Exception deals are limited to two seasons in length).

This season several players stuck in that “minimum player” category seem to have played themselves out of that designation. Here’s a list of players who might be looking at a more lucrative contract in 2021-22, based on their play this year.


Reggie Jackson (PG, LAC)

Jackson turned in one of his better seasons while toiling away on the minimum for the Los Angeles Clippers. He averaged 10.7 points per game, while shooting 45% from the field and 43% from behind the arc. In the postseason, Jackson has been even better. He’s averaged 17.6 points on 51% shooting overall and 42% from behind the arc. With several teams looking at point guard openings this summer, Jackson has earned himself at least a large chunk of the Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception from someone.


Nicolas Batum (SF, LAC)

Let’s stick with Clippers vets for a minute. Batum looked finished in 2019-20 with the Charlotte Hornets. He barely played, shot poorly and it looked like his NBA career was over. The Clippers added Batum for the minimum and he became a key rotation player for them. He stayed healthy all season and turned in 8.1 points (on some of the best shooting of his career) and 4.7 rebounds in 27.4 minutes per game. He’s also shown the ability to play some small ball five, which adds to his value. It’s unclear if Batum will leave LA or not. If he stays, he probably stays on the minimum. If he wants to cash in elsewhere, he could get $4 or $5 million from a title contender for a bench role.


Cameron Payne (PG, PHX)

Going head-to-head with the Clippers is Payne, who has finally put it all together in his sixth season. The Phoenix Suns did well to add Payne on a two-year, minimum contract before the bubble last season. He played well at Walt Disney World and that’s carried over to this year. He’s been a solid backup to Chris Paul and stepped up while Paul was out to start the Western Conference Finals. Payne should get a portion of the MLE from a good team to be a high-end backup point guard that can start when necessary.


Torrey Craig (SF, PHX)

Completing our quartet of Western Conference finalists on the minimum is Craig. He’s a defense-first wing who easily fits on any good team. The Milwaukee Bucks probably should have kept him, but the Suns stole him on the cheap when the Bucks needed to clear a roster spot. Craig’s defense alone should earn him a chunk of the MLE from someone, but his offense is probably better than you think too.


Solomon Hill (SF, ATL)

Hill belongs in the same camp as Batum, even if he’s several years younger. If he wants to return to Atlanta, it’s probably for the minimum, as the Hawks payroll is starting to get a little unwieldy. But if Hill wants to cash in on his newfound “defensive stopper” reputation, he could get a nice offer elsewhere.


Austin Rivers (PG, DEN)

Rivers play for the Denver Nuggets was better than most expected. If he’s happy there as a placeholder until Jamal Murray returns, Rivers will re-sign with Denver for the minimum. Otherwise, he could leverage a poor free agent class into a bigger offer from a playoff contender seeking guard depth.


Jeff Green (PF, BKN)

Since his one-year, $15 million contract with the Orlando Magic expired in 2017, Jeff Green has played for the minimum for five different clubs over the last four seasons. If Green wants to stay with a ready-made title contender in Brooklyn, the Nets will happily bring him back on another minimum deal. If Green wants to cash in one last time, he might have a chance to snag part of the MLE from a playoff hopeful looking for a veteran forward for their bench.

NBA Minimum Contract Reggie Jackson Nicolas Batum Cameron Payne Torrey Craig Solomon Hill Austin Rivers Jeff Green
With the revealing of the 2021 Madden Cover now upon us, I'll take a quick look back at the full list of players who have graced this lauded front page, what it's meant for that player and his respective team in the season immediately to follow, how the cover has been dished out positionally, by conference, etc.., and pre or post cover contract implications as well.
2000 Eddie George Titans 13-3 (1st)
2001 Daunte Culpepper Vikings 5-11 (4th)
2002 Marshall Faulk Rams 7-9 (2nd)
2003 Michael Vick Falcons 5-11 (4th)
2004 Ray Lewis Ravens 9-7 (2nd)
2005 Donovan McNabb Eagles 6-10 (4th)
2006 Shaun Alexander Seahawks 9-7 (1st)
2007 Vince Young Titans 10-6 (3rd)
2008 Brett Favre Jets 9-7 (3rd)
2009 Troy Polamalu Steelers 9-7 (3rd)
  Larry Fitzgerald Cardinals 10-6 (1st)
2010 Drew Brees Saints 11-5 (2nd)
2011 Peyton Hillis Browns 4-12 (4th)
2012 Calvin Johnson Lions 4-12 (4th)
2013 Barry Sanders Lions 7-9 (3rd)
2014 Richard Sherman Seahawks 12-4 (1st)
2015 Odell Beckham Jr. Giants 6-10 (3rd)
2016 Rob Gronkowski Patriots 14-2 (1st)
2017 Tom Brady Patriots 13-3 (1st)
2018 Antonio Brown Steelers 9-6-1 (2nd)
2019 Patrick Mahomes Chiefs 12-4 (1st)
2020 Lamar Jackson Ravens 11-5 (2nd)
2021 Tom Brady Buccaneers  
  Patrick Mahomes Chiefs  

Positionally Speaking

Tom Brady & Patrick Mahomes become the 23 & 24th players to grace the cover of the Madden video game (Founder John Madden held the cover poses from 1988-1999). Since 2000, 11 of the cover players have been Quarterbacks (unsurprisingly), 5 have been Running Backs (somewhat surprisingly), 4 Wide Receivers, and 1 each of TE, CB, S, & LB. 21 offensive players, 3 defenders. 13 of the players came from NFC teams, while 11 hit the cover as an AFC representative.


Divison Standings Metrics

7 out of 22 teams have won their division in the same year that one of their respective players was revealed as the Madden Cover. 5 of the 22 finished last in their division, while a total of 9 finished with at least 10 victories. 14 of the 22 teams held +.500 record, meaning there's a 63% chance that the Madden Cover team(s) will win more games than not in the upcoming season. NOTE: While it's somewhat unfair to include the 2013 Lions in here when Barry Sanders graced the cover, let's just say the extra team publicity didn't exactly spur Detroit to do great things.


Cover Player Availability & Success

2000, Eddie George, RB, TEN: played all 16 games, led the league in rushes, scored 16 TDs with over 1900 yards from scrimmage.

2001, Daunte Culpepper, QB, MIN: played 11 games (knee injury), throwing for just 14 TDs vs. 11 INTs.

2002, Marshall Faulk, RB, STL: started 10 games (ankle/foot injuries), garnering 1,490 yards from scrimmage, a 6 year low.

2003, Michael Vick, QB, ATL: started 4 games (preseason fibula fracture)

2004, Ray Lewis, LB, BAL: started 15 games, combined for 147 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries, and a sack

2005, Donovan McNabb, QB, PHI: started 9 games (groin injury) throwing 16 TDs vs. 9 INTs.

2006, Shaun Alexander, RB, SEA: started 10 games (broken foot), totalling 944 yards from scrimmage.

2007, Vince Young, QB, TEN: started 15 games, throwing for a career high 2,546 yards, but just 9 TDs vs. 17 INTs.

2008, Brett Favre, QB, NYJ: started all 16 games, throwing for a league leading 22 INTs.

2009, Troy Polamalu, S, PIT: started 5 games (MCL injury), posting career lows in every category

2009, Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARZ: started all 16 games, leading the league with 13 TD receptions

2010, Drew Brees, QB, NO: started all 16 games, leading the league in Comp % (68.1), while also posting a career high 22 INTs.

2011, Peyton Hillis, RB, CLE: started 9 games (illness, hamstrings), posting 3 TDs & 717 yards from scrimmage. He had just 3 more career starts.

2012, Calvin Johnson, WR, DET: started all 16 games, leading the league in receptions (122), receiving yards (1,964) & yards per game (122.8).

2013, Barry Sanders, RB, DET: 25 year celebration edition

2014, Richard Sherman, CB, SEA: started all 16 games, posting 4 INTs, and 57 combined tackles.

2015, Odell Beckham Jr., WR, NYG: started 15 games, posting 96 catches, a career highs of 1,450 receiving yards & 13 TDs.

2016, Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE: started 6 games (hamstring, back injuries) limiting his production to near career lows across the board

2017, Tom Brady, QB, NE: started all 16 games, leading the league in attempts (581), Pass Yards (4,577), & Yards/Game (286)

2018, Antonio Brown, WR, PIT: started 15 games, snagging 104 catches, and a league leading 15 TDs.

2019, Patrick Mahomes, QB, KC: started 14 games (kneecap injury), limiting his overall production, but still posted 26 TDs vs. 5 INTs.

2020, Lamar Jackson, QB, BAL: started 15 games, combining for 3700+ total yards, 26 Pass TDs vs 9 INTs.


Super Bowl Success

Only two teams have had a player grace the cover of that season's Madden, then turn around and win the Super Bowl: The 2016-17 Patriots (Rob Gronkowski) & the 2019-20 Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes). The 2018-19 Patriots are also the only team to win a Super Bowl 1 year AFTER their player was on the Madden cover (Tom Brady).


Contract Implications

Eddie George added a 7 year, $41M extension to his Madden Cover offseason in Tennessee.

Marshall Faulk signed a 7 year, $44M extension weeks before he hit the 2002 cover

Shaun Alexander signed an historic 8 year $62M extension with Seattle just before his 2006 cover unveiling.

Brett Favre retired/was traded from the Packers to the Jets when his 2008 Madden Cover was revealed. It didn't go well.

Peyton Hillis was in the final year of his Browns' rookie contract when he hit the 2011 cover. He left for free agency a year later.

Calvin Johnson locked down a 7 year, $113M extension with the Lions a few weeks before his 2012 cover was revealed.

Richard Sherman signed a 4 year, $56M extension with Seattle just weeks before he was named the 2014 cover.

Odell Beckham Jr. was only in the 2nd year of his rookie contract when the Madden crew made him a cover player.

Antonio Brown's Steelers' career came to a memorable end immediately following his 2018 cover year.

Patrick Mahomes followed up his Super Bowl winning cover season with a 10 year, $450M extension.

Tom Brady signed a 1 year, $25M extension a few weeks before he was revealed as the 2021 co-cover (Mahomes).

NFL Madden Cover

The presence, and absence, of a handful of players with the recently announced 2020-21 All-NBA teams has major financial ramifications for upcoming and future contract extensions.

The 2020-21 All-NBA Teams:

First Team

  • Nikola Jokic
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • Stephen Curry
  • Luka Doncic

Second Team

  • Joel Embiid
  • Julius Randle
  • LeBron James
  • Damian Lillard
  • Chris Paul

Third Team

  • Rudy Gobert
  • Jimmy Butler
  • Paul George
  • Bradley Beal
  • Kyrie Irving


Luka Doncic, G, DAL

Let’s start with Luka Doncic. By virtue of being named to an All-NBA team for the second consecutive year, Doncic now qualifies for the Designated Player Rookie Extension. We previously covered all of the options for Doncic last week. Here’s the projected extension starting at 30% of the 2022-23 cap that Doncic is now in line to sign:

  • 2022-23 - $34,735,800
  • 2023-24 - $37,514,664
  • 2024-25 - $40,293,528
  • 2025-26 - $43,072,392
  • 2026-27 - $45,851,256
  • Total – 5 years, $201,467,640

(Note: Doncic will complete the fourth and final year of his Rookie Scale contract during the 2021-22 season. This extension would start with the following season in 2022-23.) Because of Doncic’s stature in the league, it’s likely he’ll have a player option on the fifth year of his new deal. And he’ll probably have a 15% trade bonus added in there too.

Because Doncic made All-NBA in both 2019-20 and 2020-21, he is no longer dependent on being honored for 2021-22. A player must make All-NBA or win Defensive Player of the Year in either the two seasons that preceded the most recent season or in the most recent season (or win MVP in any of the three preceding seasons) to qualify for a Designated Player Extension. Since Doncic made it in 2019-20 and 2020-21, he’s now qualified for the Designated Player Rookie Extension no matter how his 2021-22 season goes.


Bam, Fox, Mitchell, & Tatum

Sticking with Designated Player Rookie Extensions, a quartet of players did not make All-NBA and thus did not qualify for the jump from 25% to 30% of the cap (or anywhere in-between). Bam Adebayo, De’Aaron Fox, Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum all were eligible to bump to 30% of the cap in first-year salary in their extensions had they made All-NBA. Fox wasn’t a realistic candidate to make All-NBA, but Adebayo had a case and Tatum and Mitchell were both certainly deserving. In the case of Tatum, he narrowly missed out on his second straight All-NBA nod.

As it stands now, each player will have a projected extension structure of:

  • 2021-22 - $28,103,500
  • 2022-23 - $30,351,780
  • 2023-24 - $32,600,060
  • 2024-25 - $34,848,340
  • 2025-26 - $37,096,620
  • Total – 5 years, $163,000,300

Both Tatum and Mitchell have player options on their fifth years, while Adebayo and Fox are straight five-year contracts.

Had any of the quartet been named to All-NBA, they would have been eligible for a projected first-year salary of $33,724,200 and a total salary of $195,600,360 over the life of their deals. That’s a difference of $5,620,700 in 2021-22 and $32,600,060 over the full run.


Joel Embiid, C, PHI

As for the Designated Player Veteran Extension, Joel Embiid has now qualified to sign under this criterion. Embiid’s current deal is scheduled to run through 2022-23. This offseason, the 76ers could tack on four additional years to Embiid’s contract via the Designated Player Veteran Extension beginning in 2023-24 at 35% of the cap. That would give Embiid a projected contract structure of:

  • 2021-22 - $31,579,390 (current contract)
  • 2022-23 - $33,616,770 (current contract)
  • 2023-24 - $42,551,250 (Year 1 of Designated Player Veteran Extension)
  • 2024-25 - $45,955,350
  • 2025-26 - $49,359,450
  • 2026-27 - $52,763,550
  • Total – 6 years, $255,825,760

That’s a lot of money to lay out, given Embiid’s injury history and the fact that he’ll turn 33 years old during the 2026-27 season, but Embiid is the NBA’s best two-way center and has gotten more serious about his conditioning this year. It’s probably worth the gamble to keep one of the league’s most talented big men happy and in the fold in Philadelphia.

NBA All-NBA Team

Luka Doncic just finished his third NBA season and his second appearance in the NBA playoffs. After bowing out in six games against the LA Clippers in 2020, Doncic’s Dallas Mavericks fell to the Clippers in seven games in 2021. It’s hard to pin it on the third-year star however. In his 13 career playoff games, Doncic has averaged 33.5 points per game on 49.4% shooting from the field and 39.2% from behind the arc. For good measure, Doncic has also averaged 8.8 rebounds and 9.5 assists per playoff game.

Naturally, the next question about the 22-year-old Doncic is: What are his options are to leave Dallas for greener pastures?


Such is life in the NBA. If players don’t produce right away, they’re busts. If they don’t make the playoffs by year two or year three, they’re "good stats, bad teams" guys. If they make the playoffs, but don’t produce they’re “82-game players vs 16-game players”. If they make the playoffs, produce but don’t win, it’s time to think about where they’ll play next. Fair or unfair, that’s sort of how this works.

There’s usually a caveat though. Most times, players make it to their second contract before the conversation about leaving town starts. But most players aren’t already as big of a star as Luka Doncic has become just three years into his career.

Recently, on his eponymous podcast, The Ringer’s Bill Simmons asked a version of “What if Luka Doncic turns down an extension from the Mavericks and takes the Qualifying Offer? What would the numbers look like for something like that?”

Here at Spotrac, we’re going to lay those numbers out for you, while also going over the pros and cons of each decision Doncic could make.

Let’s start with the fact that Doncic is under contract with Dallas for the 2021-22 season for the fourth year of his Rookie Scale deal. Anything we talk about from here on out will start with the 2022-23 season, when Doncic is eligible for a new deal.

Luka Doncic's Current Contract with the Mavericks

Luka Doncic's Next Contract Options

  • Option 1 - Sign a standard Rookie Scale extension for the 25% of the cap max
  • Option 2 - Sign a Designated Rookie extension for the 30% of the cap max
  • Option 3 - Sign an offer sheet with another team as a restricted free agent
  • Option 4 - Sign the Qualifying Offer with Dallas and become an unrestricted free agent in 2023

There is a fifth option where Dallas doesn’t extend Doncic a Qualifying Offer and he’s an unrestricted free agent in 2022, but that’s such a ludicrous scenario, it’s not even worth considering.

(Note: All figures based on a projected salary cap for 2022-23 of $115,786,000)


Option 1: Standard Rookie Extension (25%)

This one is probably out of the mix, because Doncic will very likely qualify for the Designated Rookie extension. It’s highly unlikely he’d turn that down to take less money. But for posterities’ sake, here’s what a standard Rookie Scale max extension would look like for Doncic:

2022-23 $28,946,500
2023-24 $31,262,220
2024-25 $33,577,940
2025-26 $35,893,660
2026-27 $38,209,380
5 years, $167,889,700

Now, for Doncic to take this extension, he’d have to either:
A. Want to give the Mavs a discount
B. Not qualify for the Designated Rookie extension.

Given that Doncic is a virtual lock to make his second straight All-NBA team, he’ll qualify for the Designated Rookie extension. That leaves Doncic manually electing to give the Mavericks a discount, and, let’s just say, that isn’t happening.


Option 2: Designated Rookie Extension (30%)

Option 2 is the most likely outcome, given that Doncic himself recently said with a smile “I think you know the answer,” when asked about signing the Designated Rookie extension. Here’s what that extension would look like

2022-23 $34,735,800
2023-24 $37,514,664
2024-25 $40,293,528
2025-26 $43,072,392
2026-27 $45,851,256
5 years, $201,467,640

It’s highly likely, given his stature, that this extension would include both the maximum of a 15% trade bonus and a player option for Year 5. This would match the extension structure that Jayson Tatum, a player of similar caliber to Doncic, signed with the Boston Celtics. To date, no player who has qualified for a Designated Rookie extension has failed to sign one.


Option 3: Sign an Offer Sheet

Option 3 falls behind Option 1 on the likeliness scale. Again, Doncic has made it clear his intention is to re-sign with Dallas. But, for posterities’ sake once again (and in the unlikely case where things go south in the next couple of months), let’s look at what Doncic could do as a restricted free agent.

Players only qualify for a fifth year and 8% raises with their incumbent team. If they sign elsewhere, even via an offer sheet, they are limited to four years and 5% raises. And, because he wouldn’t be signing under the Designated Rookie caveat, Doncic would be limited to a first-year salary of 25% of the cap. Here’s what that contract would look like:

2022-23 $28,946,500
2023-24 $30,393,825
2024-25 $31,841,150
2025-26 $33,288,475
4 years, $124,469,950

As you can see, simple economics tells you why this is so unlikely. Doncic would be sacrificing anywhere from $43 million to $77 million in total salary. That’s not happening. You also have to factor in that Dallas would almost assuredly match any offer sheet Doncic would sign. Or, in the case that the Mavericks were amenable to a sign-and-trade, this is the max money Doncic could get.

Simply put, Doncic will likely sign for the maximum amount, likely the Designated Rookie extension. Then, while on that 5-year, $201 million deal, he’d force a trade a couple of years in if he was that unhappy in Dallas.


Option 4: Play Out the Rookie Contract

Now, what Bill Simmons proposed is that Doncic simply forgoes an extension and bypasses the restricted free agency process entirely. This would mean Doncic would sign the Qualifying Offer of $13,348,801 for the 2022-23 season, play out the season and enter unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2023.

To date, no player has willingly signed the Qualifying Offer and turned down anything even approaching a max extension. On occasion, a lesser-rated player has played out the year on the Qualifying Offer, but never after turning down multiple years of big, guaranteed money. Examples of this are Greg Monroe and Rodney Hood, who both signed the Qualifying Offer, and played out the year, before becoming unrestricted free agents.

It’s fair to note that as Rookie Scale contracts have grown in conjunction with a rising cap, that Qualifying Offers have also grown. Gone are the days of high picks having relatively low Qualifying Offers. However, as noted above, even with the lowest starting max salary, Doncic would sacrifice over $15.5 million in 2022-23. And that’s before any of the guaranteed money for the three-to-four years following.

So, why would a player consider this approach? One, it gives them full control after one year. They’d still be largely limited to deals that max out at four years and 25% of the cap, but the choice of destination would be their own. Here’s how taking the approach of signing the Qualifying Offer and then a new four-year deal would work out for Doncic:

2022-23 $13,348,801 (Qualifying Offer)
2023-24 $30,393,750 (Year 1 with a new team)
2024-25 $31,913,438
2025-26 $33,433,126
2026-27 $34,952,814
5 years, $144,041,929

So, assuming Doncic wants out of Dallas and doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of a trade and is ok giving up some money, he’d sacrifice over $57 million in guaranteed money. That’s not going to happen.

However…it opens an interesting case. The route of taking the Qualifying Offer and then signing a new max deal as unrestricted free agent a year later isn’t worth passing up the Designated Rookie extension. As we stated above, a player would just force a trade a year or two into the extension.

But, if a player didn’t qualify for the Designated Rookie extension, the difference between the Qualifying Offer plus new deal vs standard max extension is “only” $23.8 million. Is that enough to have control over the team you want to play for?


Bonus Option: Multiple Mini Extensions

Another option, one that hasn’t come up anywhere, would be to sign the Qualifying Offer, then sign a two-year or two-plus-one deal with your team for the max. That would then put the player in the mix to be a free agent after Year 7, when they qualify for the mid-tier, 7-9 years of experience maximum. Here’s what that type of deal could look like:

2022-23 $13,348,801 (Qualifying Offer)
2023-24 $30,393,750 (Year 1 of second deal)
2024-25 $31,913,438 (Year 2 of second deal)
2025-26 $40,211,100 (Year 1 of third deal)
2026-27 $42,221,655 (Year 2 of third deal)
5 years, $158,088,744

This still falls well short of the Designated Rookie extension amount. It’s even still $8 million short of the standard max extension amount. But the player would have full control over their destination not once, but twice in a relative short period.

It’s probably easy to see why no option beyond signing the Designated Rookie extension works for Luka Doncic. It’s should also be clear that signing the Qualifying Offer creates a host of potential complications and involves a heavy amount of betting on one’s self to stay worthy of a max contract.

For a player to take the Qualifying Offer route, he’d have to be miserable with the team that drafted him. So much so that he wouldn’t even want to go the route of forcing a trade while on an extension. Or, he’d have to be a player who isn’t quite a max player. Think of someone like John Collins. He’d be giving up a good deal of money to take either of the Qualifying Offer routes present above. But a player like Collins could eventually make that up, if he performs to the level he believes he’s at as a max player.

You also have to factor in endorsement money and if the player is moving from a small market to a big market. That can make up some of the money given up in salary. In that case, freedom of movement may be worth it.

Eventually a non-max extension player is going to bet on himself by going the Qualifying Offer route. It’s just not going to be Luka Doncic, or anyone up for a max extension.

Luka Doncic Designated Player Extension

Tim Duncan

Signed six contracts over his career.

    • 3 year / $10.24 million (Rookie contract)
    • 3 year / $31.9 million
    • 7 year / $122 million (exercised 2008-09 Player Option)
    • 2 year / $40 million (extension)
    • 3 year / $30.36 million (exercised 2014-15 Player Option)
    • 2 year / $10.85 million (retired prior to 2016-17 season but salary was guaranteed)

Highest Salary: $22,183,220 (2009-10 season)

Average Salary per 20 seasons played: $12,738,147


Kobe Bryant

Signed five contracts over his career.

    • 3 year / $3.5 million (Rookie contract)
    • 5 year / $56.225 million (exercised 2004-05 Early Termination Option to become free agent)
    • 7 year / $136.4 million (exercised 2010-11 Player Option)
    • 3 year / $83.5 million (included the rare no-trade clause)
    • 2 year / $48 million

Highest Salary: $30,453,805 (2013-14 season)

Average Salary per 20 seasons played: $16,165,615


Kevin Garnett

Signed six contracts over his career.

    • 3 year / $5.39 million (Rookie contract)
    • 6 year / $126 million (exercised 2004-05 Early Termination Option to become free agent)
    • 5 year / $100 million (traded to Boston; trade kicker activated)
    • 3 year / $51.3 million (signed extension part of MIN-BOS trade)
    • 3 year / $36 million (included rare no-trade clause; waived for BKN-BOS trade)
    • 2 year / $16.5 million (included rare no-trade clause; retired prior to 2016-17 season but salary was guaranteed)

Highest Salary: $30,417,829 (2007-08 season due to trade kicker bonus money)

Average Salary per 21 seasons played: $15,919,250


Year Tim Duncan Kobe Bryant Kevin Garnett
1 $2,967,840 $1,015,000 $1,622,000
2 $3,413,000 $1,167,240 $1,666,000
3 $3,858,240 $1,319,000 $2,109,120
4 $9,600,000 $9,000,000 $8,536,585
5 $10,230,000 $10,130,000 $16,806,300
6 $12,072,500 $11,250,000 $19,610,000
7 $12,676,125 $12,375,000 $22,400,000
8 $14,260,641 $13,500,000 $25,200,000
9 $15,845,156 $14,175,000 $28,000,000
10 $17,429,672 $15,946,875 $16,000,000
11 $19,014,188 $17,718,750 $18,000,000
12 $20,598,704 $19,490,625 $21,000,000
13 $22,183,220 $21,262,500 $30,417,829
14 $18,835,381 $23,034,375 $23,000,000
15 $17,034,937 $24,806,250 $14,665,110
16 $9,638,554 $20,318,738 $17,080,110
17 $10,361,446 $27,849,149 $15,691,186
18 $10,361,446 $30,453,805 $11,566,265
19 $6,000,000 $23,500,000 $12,433,735
20 $5,643,750
(retired/waived but earned)
$25,000,000 $12,000,000
21     $8,500,000
22     $8,000,000
(retired/waived but earned)
Total $242,024,800 $323,312,307 $334,304,240
Avg $12,738,147 $16,165,615 $15,919,250


NBA NBA Hall of Fame Tim Duncan Kobe Bryant Kevin Garnett

A "SuperMax" Extension or also known as the Designated Player rule allows for an NBA player to receive increased compensation based on certain criteria being met. The increased salary allows for the first year salary of the extension to be 30% or 35% of the designated league year cap based on credited experience and performance awards (All-NBA, Defensive Player of the Year or Most Valuable Player). Players are able to receive a yearly raise up to 8% of the first year salary.

A player who is signed to a Designated Player extension can only be signed from the end of the offseason moratorium through the last day before the regular season. Furthermore, being signed to this extension type means a player cannot be traded for one year after the extension has been signed.

Designated/"SuperMax" Extension Types

Designated Rookie Extension

Player is entering the 4th year of rookie scale contract, maximum salary starts at 25% of the cap (30% based on criteria below) with a maximum of six (6) years (which includes the remaining year on the current contract).

A player with fewer than seven (7) years of experience and mets the criteria for the 30% of the cap is said to be eligible for the "Derrick Rose Rule," name for Derrick Rose who won the MVP during his third season in the NBA.

Designated Veteran Extension

Player has 7 or 8 years of experience and has 1 or 2 years remaining on their current contract (all with with the same team or was traded during first four years in the NBA) and meets the criteria below is eligible for a maximum salary that starts at 35% of the cap with a maximum of six (6) years (which includes the remaining years on the current contract).


Who applies for this increase:

(A) Players finishing their rookie scale contract and other players having been credited with four (4) years of service can receive a starting salary up to 30% of the cap.

(B) Players finishing their rookie scale extension or other players having seven to nine (7-9) years of experience can receive a starting salary up to 35% of the cap.


At least one of the following must apply:

(A) Player was named to All-NBA First, Second or Third team in most reason season or both of the two seasons prior to the most recent season.

Based on 2021 offseason, player was named to any All-NBA team in 2020-21 OR was named to any All-NBA team in 2018-19 AND 2019-20.

(B) Player was named the Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) in most reason reason or both of the two season prior to the most recent season.

Based on 2021 offseason, player was named to DPOY in 2020-21 OR was named as DPOY in 2018-19 AND 2019-20.

(C) Player was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) in any of the three most recent seasons.

Based on 2021 offseason, player was named as MVP in 2018-19, 2019-20 or 2020-21.


Supermax Extension Designated Player Extension Extension NBA

The deadline for NFL teams to decide on the 5th year option salaries for 2022 for all 2018 1st round selections is May 3rd. We'll track those decisions here.

Pick Team Player Pos. Option Value Exercised?
1 CLE Baker Mayfield QB $18,858,000 YES
2 NYG Saquon Barkley RB $7,217,000 YES
3 CAR Sam Darnold QB $18,858,000 YES
4 CLE Denzel Ward CB $13,294,000 YES
5 DEN Bradley Chubb OLB $12,716,000 YES
6 IND Quenton Nelson G $13,754,000 YES
7 BUF Josh Allen QB $23,016,000 YES
8 CHI Roquan Smith LB $9,735,000 YES
9 SF Mike McGlinchey RT $10,880,000 YES
10 ARI Josh Rosen QB N/A N/A
11 PIT Minkah Fitzpatrick S $10,612,000 YES
12 TB Vita Vea DT $7,638,000 YES
13 WAS Da'Ron Payne DT $8,529,000 YES
14 NO Marcus Davenport DE $9,553,000 YES
15 OAK Kolton Miller LT N/A N/A
16 BUF Tremaine Edmunds ILB $12,716,000 YES
17 LAC Derwin James S $9,052,000 YES
18 GB Jaire Alexander CB $13,294,000 YES
19 DAL Leighton Vander Esch LB $9,145,000 NO
20 DET Frank Ragnow C $12,657,000 YES
21 CIN Billy Price G $10,413,000 NO
22 TEN Rashaan Evans LB $9,735,000 NO
23 NE Isaiah Wynn T $10,413,000 YES
24 CAR D.J. Moore WR $11,116,000 YES
25 ATL Hayden Hurst TE $5,428,000 NO
26 ATL Calvin Ridley WR $11,116,000 YES
27 SEA Rashaad Penny RB $4,523,000 NO
28 PIT Terrell Edmunds S $6,753,000 NO
29 JAC Taven Bryan DT $7,683,000 NO
30 MIN Mike Hughes CB $12,643,000 NO
31 NE Sony Michel RB $4,523,000 NO
32 BAL Lamar Jackson QB $23,016,000 YES

A snapshot look at how much guaranteed cash each notable quarterback has on the contract currently. 5th year options for Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, & Lamar Jackson are due May 3rd, while any vested veteran will see their 2021 salary become fully guaranteed at Week 1. Please note that this differs from the total dead cap figure on a specific contract, as this is simply guaranteed future salary, not any bonus that's already been paid out. Also note that a few of these players have more guarantees that will lock in next March (Watson, Mahomes). 


The following table represents what a 10-day contract would be worth if a player signed with a team in regards to their actual salary and what their actual cap hit would represent.

10-day contracts are for a maximum of ten days or three games, whichever comes later.

Years EXP Salary CAP HIT
0 $61,528 $61,528
1 $99,020 $99,020
2 $110,998 $110,998
3 $114,990 $110,998
4 $118,983 $110,998
5 $128,963 $110,998
6 $138,945 $110,998
7 $148,926 $110,998
8 $158,907 $110,998
9 $159,698 $110,998
10+ $175,668 $110,998

Related Links:

10-Day Contracts

The NBA trade deadline has come and gone and over the course of the week, 20 notable moves were made across the league. Here's a team by team breakdown of players out, players in and both the cap and cash ramifications for each player. (Cap hit that moved, Cash remaining that moved)


Team 20-21 Cap Change 20-21 Cash Change
ATL +$0.5M +$.2M
BOS +$15.15M +$5.1M
BKN - -
CHA +$2.25M +$0.8M
CHI -$4M +$0.2M
CLE -$2.6M -$.923M
DAL -$1.4M -$.5M
DEN +$1.4M +$0.6M
DET +$3.6M -$1.3M
GSW -$4.5M -$1.5M
HOU -$1.8M -$0.1M
IND - -
LAC -$2.5M -$0.9M
LAL - -
MEM - -
MIA +$8.7M +$0.5M
MIL -$1.3M -$0.5M
MIN - -
NOP +$0.8M +$0.5M
NYK +$1.5M +$0.6M
OKC -$5.9M -$2.4M
ORL -$16.5M -$6M
PHI +$1M +$1.5M
PHX +$1.6M +$0.69M
POR -$0.8M -$0.2M
SAC -$2.1M -$1.4M
SAS +$1.8M +$0.65M
TOR -$2.2M -$0.8M
UTA +$1.5M +$0.54M
WAS -$1.5M -$0.7M


Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks sent PG Rajon Rondo to the Clippers for SG Lou Williams, two 2nd round picks, & cash considerations. It’s a big win for Rondo, and a small win for the Hawks, who pick up a few extra picks, and free up $7.5M of cap & cash in 2021-22. Williams is an expiring contract. The cash included in this deal likely matches the difference between Rondo & Williams this year ($200k).

IN ($8M cap, $2.8M cash)
Lou Williams (SG, $8M, $2.8M) - expiring

OUT ($7.5M cap, $2.6M cash)
Rajon Rondo (PG, $7.5M, $2.6M) - thru 21-22


Boston Celtics

The Celtics use a portion of their Gordon Hayward trade exception to acquire Evan Fournier from Orlando (still have $11M remaining, expiring 11/29/21). This plus a swap of big men with Chicago/Washington brings in over $15M of new cap, $5.5M of new cash to their season.

IN ($21.75M cap, $7.7M cash)
Evan Fournier (SG, $17.4M, $6.2M) - expiring
Mo Wagner (C, $2.1M, $770k) - expiring
Luke Kornet (C, $2.25M, $801k) - expiring

OUT ($6.6M cap, $2.6M cash)
Daniel Theis (C, $5M, $1.7M) - expiring
Jeff Teague (PG, $1.6M, $913k) - expiring


Brooklyn Nets

No movement.


Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte struck a last minute deal to acquire some point guard insurance with LaMelo Ball now on the shelf. It’s an expiring contract.

IN ($2.25M cap, $801k cash)
Brad Wanamaker (PG, $2.25M, $801k) - expiring


Chicago Bulls

The Bulls landed the biggest fish of the deadline in Vucevic, adding just over $4M of cap at the end of the day. Chicago stays basically cash neutral through the remainder of the season, thanks to cash considerations in their 3-team deal with Washington/Boston. The Bulls hold about $23M of practical cap space in the 2021-22 season.

OUT ($40M cap, $14.2M cash)
Otto Porter Jr. (SF, $28.4M, $10.1M) - expiring
Wendell Carter Jr. (SF, $5.4M, $1.9M) - thru 21-22
Chandler Hutchison (SF, $2.4M, $870k) - thru 21-22
Luke Kornet (C, $2.25M, $801k) - expiring Daniel Gafford (PF, $1.5M, $540k) - thru 21-22

IN ($44M cap, $14M cash)
Nikola Vucevic (C, $26M, $9.2M) - thru 22-23
Al-Farouq Aminu (PF, $9.7M, $3.4M) - thru 21-22
Troy Brown Jr. (SF, $3.3M, $1.2M) - thru 21-22
Daniel Theis (C, $5M, $1.7M) - expiring
$1.55M of cash considerations


Cleveland Cavaliers

Already inline to lose Andre Drummond via buyout, the Cavs let another big man off the hook at the deadline, sending McGee back to Denver for a young center and two 2nd round picks. Cleveland frees up $2.6M of cap space, and almost $1M cash in the deal.

IN ($1.6M cap, $577k cash)
Isaiah Hartenstein (C, $1.6M, $577k) - option thru 21-22

OUT ($4.2M cap, $1.5M cash)
JaVale McGee (C, $4.2M, $1.5M) - expiring


Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs get active late in the day, bringing in 3PT specialist JJ Redick out of New Orleans for James Johnson and a swap of forwards. The move actually frees up $1.4M of cap, and a half a million cash.

IN ($16.8M cap, $5.9M cash)
J.J. Redick (SG, $13M, $4.6M) - expiring
Nicolo Melli (PF, $3.8M, $1.3M) - expiring RFA

OUT ($18.2M cap, $6.4M cash)
James Johnson (PF, $16M, $5.8M) - expiring
Wesley Iwundu (SF, $1.6M, $597k) - thru 21-22


Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets made two big additions for their postseason run in adding Gordon from Orlando and McGee from Cleveland. They added about $1.4M of cap & $400,000 of cash allocations in the two moves, while relinquishing a 1st and 2 2nd round picks in the process.

IN ($24.3M cap, $8.6M cash)
Aaron Gordon (PF, $18.1M, $6.45M) - thru 21-22
JaVale McGee (C, $4.2M, $1.5M) - expiring
Gary Clark (PF, $2M, $712k) - thru 21-22

OUT ($22.9M cap, $8.2M cash)
Gary Harris (SG, $19.1M, $6.9M) - thru 21-22
RJ Hampton (PG, $2.2M, $781k) - thru 23-24
Isaiah Hartenstein (C, $1.6M, $577k) - option thru 21-22


Detroit Pistons

The Pistons swap PGs with the Kings, landing themselves a player with half the production, and $3.6M in additional cap. Sounds about right.

IN ($12.6M cap, $4.4M cash)
Cory Joseph (PG, $12.6M, $4.4M) - thru 21-22, non-GTD

OUT ($9M cap, $5.7M cash)
Delon Wright (PG, $9M, $5.7M) - thru 21-22


Golden State Warriors

The Warriors shed some cap and cash at the deadline, sending an expiring Chriss to San Antonio, and an extra PG to the Hornets who just lost LaMelo Ball. This drops their 2020-21 cash payroll to $169.5M, still tops in the league.

IN (No Impact)
Cady Lalanne (PF)

OUT ($4.5M cap, $1.5M cash)
Brad Wanamaker (PG, $2.25M, $801k) - expiring
Marquese Chriss (SF, $1.8M, $649k) - expiring


Houston Rockets

They had us thinking for a moment that he was staying, but Houston does indeed ship out Oladipo to Miami for an expiring big wing & a veteran PG with a team option in 2021-22. When factoring in last weeks deal sending P.J. Tucker to the Bucks, Houston frees up about $2M of cap, while staying basically cash neutral for the rest of the season.

IN ($28.9M cap, $11.2M cash)
Kelly Olynyk (PF, $12.2M, $4.7M) - expiring
D.J. Augustin (PG, $6.6M, $2.7M) - thru 22-23
Avery Bradley (PG, $5.6M, $2M) - option thru 21-22
D.J. Wilson (PF, $4.5M, $1.8M) - expiring RFA

OUT ($30.7M cap, $11.3M cash)
Victor Oladipo (SG, $21M, $7.4M) - expiring
P.J. Tucker (PF, $8M, $3.2M) expiring
Rodions Kurucs (SF, $1.7M, $719k) - option thru 21-22


Indiana Pacers

No Movement


Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers will take a chance on playoff Rondo carrying them through the post season this year, sending a plateauing Lou Williams back home to Atlanta. LA frees up $2.5M of cap, & almost $1M of cash in these deals.

IN ($7.5M cap, $2.6M cash)
Rajon Rondo (PG, $7.5M, $2.6M) - thru 21-22

OUT ($10M cap, $3.5M cash)
Lou Williams (SG, $8M, $2.8M) - expiring
Mfiondu Kabengele (PF, $2M, $782k) - expiring


Los Angeles Lakers

No movement


Memphis Grizzlies

No movement


Miami Heat

While many had them pegged for Kyle Lowry, the Heat end up with Oladipo while keeping all of their talented youngsters (for now). These moves combine for $8.7M of new cap, but only a half a million more cash.

IN ($41M cap, $15.1M cash)
Victor Oladipo (SG, $21M, $7.4M) - expiring
Trevor Ariza (SF, $12.8M, $5.2M) - expiring
Nemanja Bjelica (PF, $7.15M, $2.5M) - expiring

OUT ($32.3M cap, $14.6M cash)
Kelly Olynyk (PF, $12.2M, $4.7M) - expiring
Meyers Leonard (C, $9.4M, $3.8M) - expiring
Avery Bradley (PG, $5.6M, $2M) - option thru 21-22
Maurice Harkless (SF, $3.6M, $1.3M) expiring
Chris Silva (PF, $1.5M, $540k) - option thru 21-22


Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks did much of their trade work in the offseason, bringing in a little grit at the deadline in Tucker. The move actually clears $1.3M of cap, and a half a million cash

IN ($9.7M cap, $4M cash)
P.J. Tucker (PF, $8M, $3.2M) expiring
Rodions Kurucs (SF, $1.7M, $719k) - option thru 21-22

OUT ($11M cap, $4.5M cash)
D.J. Augustin (PG, $6.6M, $2.7M) - thru 22-23
D.J. Wilson (PF, $4.5M, $1.8M) - expiring RFA


Minnesota Timberwolves

No movement


New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans sends Redick to a potential playoff team, while picking up an extra 2nd rounder in exchange for a $1M more of cap, and half a million more cash this season.

IN ($17.6M cap, $6.4M cash)
James Johnson (PF, $16M, $5.8M) - expiring
Wesley Iwundu (SF, $1.6M, $597k) - thru 21-22

OUT ($16.8M cap, $5.9M cash)
J.J. Redick (SG, $13M, $4.6M) - expiring
Nicolo Melli (PF, $3.8M, $1.3M) - expiring RFA


New York Knicks

The Knicks acquire two second round picks in exchange for a few expiring restricted free agents that could have a chance to stick. They added $1.5M of cap, and around $600k of cash in the process.

IN ($6.5M cap, $2.3M cash)
Terrance Ferguson (SF, $3.9M, $1.4M) - expiring RFA
Vincent Poirier (C, $2.6M, $932k) - expiring RFA
Emir Preldzic (SF)

OUT ( $5M cap, $1.7M cash)
Austin Rivers (PG, $3.5M, $1.2M) - non-g’teed the 22-23
Ignas Brazdeikis (SF, $1.5M, $540k) - option thru 22-23


Oklahoma City Thunder

What else is new? The Thunder shipped out two vets for expiring contracts, clearing $6M of cap, $2.5M of cash, and picking up 3 more 2nd round draft picks. As the sky is blue…

IN ($16.4M cap, $6.2M cash)
Meyers Leonard (C, $9.4M, $3.8M) - expiring
Austin Rivers (PG, $3.5M, $1.2M) - non-g’teed thru 22-23
Tony Bradley (C, $3.5M, $1.2M) - expiring RFA

OUT ($22.3M cap, $8.6M cash)
Trevor Ariza (SF, $12.8M, $5.2M) - expiring
George Hill (PG, $9.5M, $3.4M) - non-g’teed thru 21-22


Orlando Magic

The Magic sent 4/5 of their starting lineup out the door this week, clearing $16.5M of cap space and $6M of cash in the process. In addition to the players below, Orlando picks up a $17.15M trade exception in moving Evan Fournier to the Celtics. They also pick up 3 1st round picks, & 2 2nd rounders per their moves, and now hold $16M of practical cap space in the 2021-22 season.

IN ($56.7M cap, $20M cash)
Otto Porter Jr. (SF, $28.4M, $10.1M) - expiring
Gary Harris (SG, $19.1M, $6.9M) - thru 21-22
Wendell Carter Jr. (SF, $5.4M, $1.9M) - thru 21-22
RJ Hampton (PG, $2.2M, $781k) - thru 23-24
Jeff Teague (PG, $1.6M, $913k) - expiring

OUT ($73.2M cap, $26M cash)
Nikola Vucevic (C, $26M, $9.2M) - thru 22-23
Aaron Gordon (PF, $18.1M, $6.45M) - thru 21-22
Evan Fournier (SG, $17.4M, $6.2M) - expiring
Al-Farouq Aminu (PF, $9.7M, $3.4M) - thru 21-22
Gary Clark (PF, $2M, $712k) - thru 21-22


Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers added about $1M of cap and cash respectively, and are taking a flyer on the injured George Hill as an experienced backcourt player for their postseason run. Nothing too fancy to see here.

IN ($11M cap, $4M cash)
George Hill (PG, $9.5M, $3.4M) - non-g’teed thru 21-22
Ignas Brazdeikis (SF, $1.5M, $540k) - option thru 22-23

OUT ($10M cap, $3.5M cash)
Terrance Ferguson (SF, $3.9M, $1.4M) - expiring RFA
Tony Bradley (C, $3.5M, $1.2M) - expiring RFA
Vincent Poirier (C, $2.6M, $932k) - expiring RFA


Phoenix Suns

The Suns added a depth forward about a week ago and nothing more since. They’re a sleeper for a buyout player or two as they prepare for a postseason run.

IN ($1.6M cap, $690k cash)
Torrey Craig (SF, $1.6M, $689k) - expiring


Portland Trailblazers

Portland gets another outstanding backcourt player, shedding $800k of cap and $200k of cash in the process. Things could get really expensive next year if they want to keep Powell though.

IN ($10.8M cap, $3.8M cash)
Norman Powell (SG, $10.8M, $3.8M) - option thru 21-22

OUT ($11.6M cap, $4M cash)
Gary Trent Jr. (SG, $1.6M, $592k) - expiring RFA
Rodney Hood (SF, $10M, $3.5M) - non-g’teed thru 21-22


Sacramento Kings

The Kings added 5 players this week, none whom are poised to move the needle too much, but they’re starting to show signs of piecing things together at last. The kicker? They cleared over $2M of cap space in the process.

IN ($17.6M cap, $8.3M cash)
Delon Wright (PG, $9M, $5.7M) - thru 21-22
Maurice Harkless (SF, $3.6M, $1.3M) expiring
Mfiondu Kabengele (PF, $2M, $782k) - expiring
Terence Davis (SG, $1.5M, $540k) - expiring RFA
Chris Silva (PF, $1.5M, $540k) - option thru 21-22

OUT ($19.7M cap, $6.9M cash)
Cory Joseph (PG, $12.6M, $4.4M) - thru 21-22, non-GTD
Nemanja Bjelica (PF, $7.15M, $2.5M) - expiring


San Antonio Spurs

The rare Spurs deadline deal didn’t exactly raise eyebrows, but San Antonio gets a young forward to get a look at for a few months at minimum cap and cash increase.

IN ($1.8M cap, $650k cash)
Marquese Chriss (SF, $1.8M, $649k) - expiring


Toronto Raptors

So they keep Lowry after all, but still lose a solid piece in Powell, freeing up about $2.2M of cap and $800k of cash in the process.

IN ($11.6M cap, $4M cash)
Gary Trent Jr. (SG, $1.6M, $592k) - expiring RFA
Rodney Hood (SF, $10M, $3.5M) - non-g’teed thru 21-22

OUT ($13.8M cap, $4.8M cash)
Norman Powell (SG, $10.8M, $3.8M) - option thru 21-22
Terence Davis (SG, $1.5M, $540k) - expiring RFA
Matt Thomas (SG, $1.5M, $540k cash)


Utah Jazz

The Jazz add a depth backcourt piece, but appear pretty content to make a deep postseason run with the unit they have.

IN ($1.5M cap, $540k cash)
Matt Thomas (SG, $1.5M, $540k cash)


Washington Wizards

Washington added a few players with term while freeing up $1.5M of cap space, and $700 in cash. Kind of a win win here for the Wizards.

IN ($3.9M cap, $1.3M cash)
Chandler Hutchison (SF, $2.4M, $870k) - thru 21-22
Daniel Gafford (PF, $1.5M, $540k) - thru 21-22

OUT ($5.4M cap, $2M cash)
Troy Brown Jr. (SF, $3.3M, $1.2M) - thru 21-22
Mo Wagner (C, $2.1M, $770k) - expiring

At $37.2M, Aaron Rodgers currently holds the belt for the highest cap hit in all of football for 2021. With rumors circulating about the Packers and he discussing a revamped contract to remedy this bloated figure, we’ll take a look at a few options.

Current Contract

Rodgers currently holds a 3 year, $73M contact with the Packers, with just the recently (assumedly) paid $6.8M roster bonus considered guaranteed. Setting aside this roster bonus leaves us with $15.2M of 2021 cash to deal with in terms of a restructure (a $14.7M base salary, & a $500,000 workout bonus).

A Potential Restructure

This restructure comes with a caveat: Does Aaron Rodgers want to be here for the foreseeable future, OR do the Packers want Aaron Rodgers around for more than a couple of years. These answers matter for a variety of reasons, but most importantly, what kind of restructure are we looking at: A restructure simply for current year cap purposes, or a restructure that includes new years, and new money to help satisfy the player down the road.

Based on pure speculation, we’re going to use the first answer for this exercise. 

The problem with Green Bay looking to free up 2021 cap space AND make this contract as tradable as possible in 2022 is that cap saved now must become cap gained next year. But with traded dead cap hits of $33.8M, $24.7M, & $19M taken on this year to Wentz, Goff, & Stafford respectively, it appears that the days of too much dead cap in order to gain cash freedom & draft capital are over. In other words, a little more dead cap next year probably doesn’t matter a whole lot to the Packers. 

Here’s the projected restructure:

As you’ll see, we’ve lowered the 2021 cap hit from $37.2M, down to $25M, a savings of $12.15M this year. At $22M, the cash compensation remains the same, though $14.125M of it has now been converted into a signing bonus. The $6.8M roster bonus is immovable because we’re assuming it’s already been paid out. 

Going forward, the 2022 league year now comes with a $2.8M increase in cap hit, but the same $25.5M of cash allocation. We’ve converted the $25M base salary into a league minimum $1.12M salary, with a $23.88M roster bonus, due early next March. This ensures any kind of trade will happen immediately (like the Wentz, Goff, Stafford moves did). 

Post 2022 is where things change a lot. We’ve removed the 2023 league year from this contract (as it was just fluff anyway), and added 3 “void years” to this restructure. This allows that $14.125M signing bonus in 2021 to prorate over the maximum 5 years, but also gives Rodgers more control over his destiny should he decided to stick it out in Green Bay through 2022. If Rodgers plays out 2022 then retires or hits free agency, the Packers will be left with an $11.3M dead cap hit in 2023.

So why not restructure this into a 1 year deal that expires after 2021? The Packers want to keep Rodgers a trade asset after the upcoming season, so it’s important that a real salaried year exists in 2022 to allow this to happen once the league year begins next March.


What If He Wants to Stay?

If the answer to the original “what kind of restructure is this?” Is an extension to keep him in Green Bay indefinitely, we’re looking at a much different breakdown here. Here’s a look at what notable QBs of late did at age 37 in respect to new contracts:

  • Ben Roethlisberger, 2 year, $68M new money extension (the final year of which was just restructured with a pay cut).
  • Drew Brees, 1 year $25M extension, including 3 void years. Brees ended up earning $45M over two years on this restructure, before re-upping again at age 39 (2 years, $50M).
  • Tom Brady, 3 years, $27M of which he saw 1 year, $13M. He’s since re-upped at 2 years, $41M, 2 years, $30M, 1 year, $23M, 2 years, $50M, & 1 year, $25M since age 37. Consistently earning between $23-$25M per year, but continuously keeping his cap hit (and availability) fluid.
  • Peyton Manning, 2 years, $34M with Denver at age 38. He saw 1 for $19M before retiring on top.
  • Philip Rivers, 1 year, $25M free agent contract at age 38 with Indy. He earned all $25M, and retired after the season. 



In other words, if Rodgers does want to make this restructure both about lowering his 2021 cap hit AND adding cash & years to his contract, the recent precedents are all over the place. Which path does Rodgers go down? His financial resume puts him more inline with Roethlisberger than the others, as Rodgers has been prone to “max out” both his contract length, and his upfront cash. Will that change as he hits the twilight of his career? Probably, but his performance in 2020 says it might not have to.

With that said, everyone associated with the NFL knows that this year is weird, next year will be better, and 2023 could be GLORIOUS - including Aaron Rodgers. Regardless of where his head is with the Green Bay Packers, he and every other player amidst contract negotiations right now should be aligning themselves with a chance to renegotiate in or around the 2023 league year, when cash and cap should strong than its ever been in league history. So a 2 year restructure, taking the 2023 year out of the way would also put Aaron in the drivers seat in this regard as well.

All said, this restructure won’t be just about lowering the Packers cap hit in 2021 - but will also tell a story about where his future may live. 

March 25, 2021

MIA receives: Marquese Chriss

GSW receives: Cady Lalanne (rights)


MIA receives: Victor Oladipo

CHA receives: Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, HOU right to swap 1st-round (Nets pick)


GSW receives: TBD

CHA receives: Brad Wanamaker


DAL receives: JJ Redick, Nicolo Melli

NOP receives: James Johnson, Wesley Iwundu, 2021 2nd-round pick


SAC receives: Terrence Davis

TOR receives: two future 2nd-round picks


ATL receives: Lou Williams, two future 2nd-round picks, cash

LAC receives: Rajon Rondo



ATL receives: Lou Williams, two future 2nd-round picks, cash

LAC receives: Rajon Rondo



UTH receives: Matt Thomas

TOR receives: future 2nd-round pick



POR receives: Norman Powell

TOR receives: Gary Trent Jr., Rodney Hood



PHI receives: George Hill, Ignas Brazdeikis

OKC receives: Tony Bradley, Austin Rivers, 2025 2nd-round pick, 2026 2nd-round pick

NYK receives: Terrance Ferguson



MIA receives: Nemanja Bjelica

WAS receives: Mo Harkless, Chris Silva



CHI receives: Troy Brown Jr, Daniel Theis, $1.3 million from BOS, $250k from WAS

WAS receives: Chandler Hutchison, Daniel Gafford

BOS receives: Mo Wagner, Luke Kornet



DEN receives: Aaron Gordon, Gary Clark

ORL receives: Gary Harris, RJ Hampton, 2025 1st-round pick (protected)



BOS receives: Evan Fournier

ORL receives: two 2nd-round picks



CHI receives: Nikola Vucevic, Al-Farouq Aminu

ORL receives: Otto Porter Jr., Wendel Carter Jr., 2021 1st-round pick (top-4 protected), 2023 1st-round pick



DEN receives: JaVale McGee

CLE receives: Isaiah Hartenstein, 2027 2nd-round pick (unprotected), 2023 2nd-round pick (top-46 protected)



SAC receives: Delon Wright

LAC receives: Cory Joseph, 2024 2nd-round pick (SAC pick), 2024 2nd-round pick (LAL pick)


March 22, 2021

SAC receives: Mfiondu Kabengele, $2.7 million

LAC receives: future 2nd-round pick (heavily protected)


March 19, 2021

MIL receives: P.J. Tucker, Rodions Kurucs, 2022 1st-round pick

HOU receives: D.J. Augustin, DJ Wilson, 2021 2nd-round pick (HOU right to swap), 2023 1st-round pick (unprotected)


March 18, 2021

PHX receives: Torrey Craig

MIL receives: Cash considerations


March 17, 2021

MIA receives: Trevor Ariza

OKC receives: Meyers Leonard, 2027 2nd-round pick

Trade Deadline NBA Trade Deadline


DT Taco Charlton stays in Kansas City on a 1 year contract.

TE Chris Manhertz leaves Carolina to join the Jaguars on a 2 year, $7.25M contract. The deal includes $4.25M guarateed.

CB Chidobe Awuzie signs a 3 year contract with the Bengals

TE Hunter Henry leaves the Chargers on a 3 year, $37.5 million contract with the free-spending Patriots. 

CB Sidney Jones stays Jacksonville, who played on a league minimum salary in 2020.

TE Geoff Swaim returns to Tennessee on a 1 year deal. 

EDGE Von Miller had his $18M option for 2021 exercised by the Broncos. $7M of it is now fully guaranteed. Miller carries a $22M cap hit in the final year of his contract. Full Breakdown

DT Dalvin Tomlinson leaves the Giants on a 2 year, $22M contract with the Vikings. $16M is fully guaranteed. 

WR Chris Moore joins the Texans on a 1 year, $2M contract. 

OLB Kevin Pierre-Louis leaves Washington on a 2 year $8M contract in Houston. 

QB Jameis Winston stays in New Orleans on a 1 year, $5.5 million contract, with $7M of additional incentives. Full Breakdown

DE Carl Lawson joins the Jets pass rush on a 3 year $45M contract, $30M guaranteed, after 4 years with the Bengals.

OT Kendall Lamm signed a 2 year $6.8M contract with Tennessee, leaving Cleveland. The deal includes $3M guaranteed, all in 2021. Full Breakdown

OT Matt Feiler signed a 3 year $21M contract with the Chargers, leaving PIttsburgh

EDGE Bud Dupree signed a 5 year $82.5M contract with Tennessee that includes $35M guaranteed.

TE Cethan Carter joins the Dolphins on a 3 year $7.8 million contract, leaving Cincinnati. The deal includes $2.7M fully guaranteed, all in 2021. Full Breakdown

RB Devontae Booker leaves Las Vegas for the Giants on a 2 year, $6M contract.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick finds his 9th home, joining Washington on a 1 year, $10M contract with incentives to take the deal up to $12M.

DE Henry Anderson finds a new home quickly, joining New England on a 2 year, $7M contract.

WR Corey Davis leaves Tennessee for the Jets, who give out a 3 year, $37.5M contract, $27M fully guaranteed through 2022. Full Breakdown

DT Austin Johnson stays with the Giants on a 1 year fully guaranteed $3M contract. Full Breakdown

DE Denico Autry leaves Indy for Tennessee on a reported 3 year, $21.5M contract that includes $9M guaranteed over the next two seasons. Full Breakdown

TE James Hurst stays in New Orleans on a 3 year $9M contract with $5M fully guaranteed. Full Breakdown

TE Rób Gronkowski returns to Tampa Bay on a 1 year, $8M contract with 4 additional void years for cap purposes. Full Breakdown

RB Carlos Hyde will share snaps with James Robinson in Jacksonville, on a 2 year, $4.5M contract, including $1.4M guaranteed. Full Breakdown

WR Phillip Dorsett makes his latest stop Jacksonville, terms undisclosed.

LS Jake McQuaide leaves the Rams to join Dallas on a 1 year contract

WR Nelson Agholor joins Bourne as another weapon heading to New England, on a reported 2 year, $22M contract.

WR Kendrick Bourne signs a reported 3 year, $22.5M contract to join the Patriots that includes $5.25M fully guaranteed, all in 2021. Full Breakdown

DT Vincent Taylor heads from Cleveland to Houston on a 1 year $2M contract

DT Carl Davis returns to New England on a 1 year contract

CB Ronald Darby leaves Washington for Denver on a 3 year, $30M contract, $19.5M fully guaranteed through 2022. Full Breakdown

ILB Joe Thomas heads across state, leaving the Cowboys to join the Texans on a 1 year $2M contract.

EDGE Leonard Floyd stays in Los Angeles, signing a 4 year $64M contract with the Rams

DE Dawuane Smoot signed a 2 year $14M contract to stay in Jacksonville

EDGE Yannick Ngakoue joins his 4th team, signing with the Las Vegas Raiders on a 2 year, $26M contract, $21M fully guaranteed at signing, including $13M in 2021. Full Breakdown

OT Cam Robinson signed his 1 year $13.754 million franchise tag with the Jaguars. 

OG Justin McCray joins the Texans on a 2 year, $4M contract that includes a $500,000 signing bonus. He spent 2020 with Atlanta. Full Breakdown

S Terrence Brooks leaves the Patriots on a 1 year $2 million contract to Houston, who are active with small, depth signings.

OG Rashod Hill stays in Minnesota on a 1 year $2.3 million contract, fully guaranteed. Full Breakdown

CB Michael Davis remains with the Chargers on a 3 year $25.2 million contract with just $10M fully guaranteed, all in 2021. Full Breakdown

DT Shelby Harris turns his 2020 prove-it deal into a 3 year, $27M contract with the Broncos, with $15M guaranteed. Full Breakdown

CB Cam Sutton stays in Pittsburgh on a 2 year, $9M contract. The Steelers needed value from their departing free agents and appear to have it here. Full Breakdown

DT Maliek Collins signs a 1 year, $5 million contract to join the Houston Texans. The deal includes $2M guaranteed. Full Breakdown

C Corey Linsley follows former Packers O-Lineman Bryan Bulaga to the Chargers on a 5 year, $62.5M contract. He becomes the highest average paid center in NFL history and will get $26M over the next two seasons. Full Breakdown

DE Deatrich Wise remains in New England on a 4 year $22 million contract, $10M fully guaranteed through 2022. Full Breakdown

LB Samson Ebukam joins the Niners on a 2 year $12M contract after four seasons with the Rams. The deal includes $5M guaranteed, all in 2021. Full Breakdown

OG Joe Thuney heads to the Chiefs via New England on a massive 5 year $80M contract with $48M practically guaranteed over the next three seasons. Full Breakdown

S John Johnson leaves the cap-congested Rams to join Cleveland on a 3 year, $33.75M contract that reportedly includes $24M guaranteed through 2022. Full Breakdown

LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin extends another season with the Lions on a 1 year, $2.3M deal, fully guaranteed. Full Breakdown

LB Jarrad Davis leaves Detroit after 4 seasons to join the Jets on a 1 year $5.5M contract, fully guaranteed. Full Breakdown

LS Chris Board continues a stretch of extensions for long snappers, signing a 1 year $2.6M deal to stay in Baltimore.

S Johnathan Ford heads east to Jacksonville after 4 years with Arizona, signing a 2 year $4.2M contract, $600,000 guaranteed. Full Breakdown 

WR Jamal Agnew leaves Detroit for sunny Jacksonville, signing a 3 year $14.25M contract with an out after year 1. Full Breakdown

CB Tremon Smith stays in Houston on a 1 year $1.13M contract, including $280,000 guaranteed. Full Breakdown

S Jalen Mills the Patriots continue to shop big, locking in a 4 year, $24M contract with the former Eagles DB. The deal comes with $9M guaranteed through 2022. Full Breakdown

DT Roy Robertson-Harris leaves Chicago for Jacksonville on a 3 year, $24.4M contract. 

EDGE Matt Judon joins the very active Patriots on a 4 year, $56M contract that includes $32M fully guaranteed.

CB Jason Verrett, remains with the 49ers on a 1 year, $5.5M contract. Full Breakdown

LB Kamu Grugier-Hill stays in Houston on a 1 year $2.5 contract Full Breakdown

WR Andre Roberts leaves Buffalo for Houston a 2 year, $5.5M contract that includes $2.5M fully guaranteed, all in 2021. Full Breakdown

DT Davon Godchaux leaves Miami for colder weather, joining the Patriots on a 2 year, max $16M contract that includes $9M guaranteed.

TE Jonnu Smith joins the Patriots via Tennessee on a 4 year, $50M contract that includes. $31.25M fully guaranteed per his agent. Smith becomes the 3rd highest average paid TE in the game with the deal.

OL Cam Erving leaves Dallas for the Panthers, who are loading up on their O-Line early on. The reported deal comes in at 2 years, $10M with $8M guaranteed. Full Breakdown

OL Pat Elflein joins the Panthers on a 3 year, $13.5M deal including $6M guaranteed. The former Jet becomes the first of what could be a busy offseason of moves for the Panthers.

OLB Markus Golden remains in Arizona, locking in a 2 year, $9M extension.

EDGE Shaq Barrett returns to the Buccaneers, agreeing to a 4 year $68M extension just before the negotiation period opens, including $36M fully guaranteed. The deal includes an $18M signing bonus, and a 2021 cap hit around $6M. Barrett can add another $1M per year with 15 sacks and a playoff berth. Barrett carried an almost $20M valuation, so a base $17M per year is a nice deal for Tampa. More details as they come in…

EDGE Romero Okwara returns to the Lions on a 3 year, $39M contract, who held a valuation just north of $10M in our system. It’s an exceptional raise for a player who peaked in his contract season in Detroit. 

OG Kevin Zeitler joins the Ravens on a 3 year, $22.5M contract, including $16M fully guaranteed through 2022. He was released by the Giants just 5 days prior. Full Breakdown

DE Mario Edwards stays in Chicago on a 3 year, $11.66M extension that includes $4.5M in 2021. Edwards had his best season to date in a platoon role for the Bears, & could see himself with more snaps from here out. Full Breakdown

OG Jon Feliciano becomes the latest Bills player to stick around, locking in a 3 year, max $17M contract. Additional details still pending…

RB Aaron Jones wasn’t franchise tagged, but he agrees to a 4 year, max $48M extension to stay in Green Bay nonetheless. The deal includes a reported $13M signing bonus in 2021.

FB Kyle Juszczyk extends his stay in San Francisco with a 5 year, $27M contract that includes $9.6M fully guaranteed at signing. The deal carries $5.4M cash in 2021 & a friendly $2.275M cap hit. Full Breakdown

K Dustin Hopkins stays in Washington on a 1 year, $2.4M extension that includes $1.8M fully guaranteed. Full Breakdown

TE Josh Hill quickly finds a new home after being ousted from New Orleans, signed a 1 year contract with Detroit. 

CB Emmanuel Moseley stays with the Niners, locking in a 2 year, $9.384 million extension. Full Breakdown

C B.J. Finney finds his way back to Pittsburgh after being released from the Bengals. It’s a 1-year deal.

QB Tom Brady signed a 1 year, $25M extension with the Buccaneers that guarantees him through age 45, while lowering his 2021 cap hit by $19M. Full Breakdown

CB Vernon Hargreaves returns to Houston on a 1 year contract. Terms have not been disclosed.

QB Cam Newton heads back to New England on a 1 year, $5.1M contract with $3.5M fully guaranteed, and plenty of ways to earn more. Full Breakdown

LB Christian Kirksey was released out Green Bay, but quickly finds work in Houston on a 1 year, $4.5M contract. Full terms not yet released.

CB Robert Alford stays in Arizona on a 1 year contract. Full terms not yet released.

LB Pernell McPhee signs a 1 year extension to remain in Baltimore.

C Tyler Shatley signs a 1 year extension to remain in Jacksonville

P Michael Palardy joins Miami on a 1 year deal after being released from the Panthers.

OT Daryl Williams stays in Buffalo on a 3 year, $24M contract that includes $9.4M fully guaranteed at sign. He’ll make almost $17M over the next two seasons. Full Breakdown

K Younghoe Koo becomes the first Falcons signing of the offseason, extending a 1 year contract in Atlanta.

K Cairo Santos signs a 3 year, $9M extension in Chicago that includes $3.5M this year before options. Full Breakdown

LB Matt Milano takes a hometown discount to remain in Buffalo, signing a 4 year $41.5M extension with the Bills that includes $20M fully guaranteed at signing. Milano will see $21.5M over the next two seasons. Full Breakdown

LB Tanner Vallejo stays in Arizona on a 2 year, $4.1M contract. 

RB Mark Ingram joins the Texans on a 1 year $2.5M contract including just $500,000 guaranteed. The Ravens released him mid-January. Full Breakdown

OG Brandon Scherff signed his 1 year $18 million franchise tag with Washington.

QB Brandon Allen signed a 1 year extension with Cincinnati

LS J.J. Jansen extends a 1 year contract with Carolina.

LB Lavonte David stays in Tampa Bay on a 2 year, $25 million extension that includes $17.5M guaranteed at signing, & a $7.7M cap hit in 2021. Full Breakdown

OT Taylor Moton signed his 1 year $13.754M franchise tag, making it fully guaranteed with the Panthers. The two sides have until July 15th to hammer out a multi-year extension.

QB Dak Prescott signed a 4 year, $160M extension to remain in Dallas, including $95M fully guaranteed at signing and $126M through 2023. Full Breakdown

LB Andre Smith signed a 2 year $2.4M extension to stay in Buffalo, including $300,000 fully guaranteed. Full Breakdown

RB Ty Montgomery stays in New Orleans on a 1 year, $1.1M contract. 

S Micah Hyde signed a 2 year, $19.25M extension with the Bills that includes $9.6M fully guaranteed at signing. Full Breakdown

DT Justin Ellis, extends 1 year with the Ravens. Terms undisclosed.

TE Ross Dwelley signed a 1 year $1.6M extension to remain with the 49ers, including $480,000 guaranteed. Full Breakdown

C Justin Britt signed a 1 year $3.2M contract to join the Texans after his release out of Seattle. The deal includes $500,000 guaranteed. Full Breakdown

DE Stephen Weatherly signed a 1 year, $2.5M contract to stay in Minnesota, including $500,000 guaranteed. Full Breakdown

SS J.T. Gray stays in New Orleans on a 2 year, $4M contract extension that includes $2M guaranteed. Full Breakdown

LS Trent Sieg signed a 3 year, $3M extension with the Raiders that includes a first year guarantee. Full Breakdown

WR Tyrell Williams finds a new home in Detroit after being ousted in Las Vegas on a 1 year heavily incentivized $4M contract. Full Breakdown

LS Clark Harris stays in Cincinnati on a 1 year, $1.2M contract with a $137k signing bonus. Full Breakdown

DE J.J. Watt bucks a lot of rumors signing a 2 year $31M contract with the Arizona Cardinals. The deal includes $20M fully guaranteed at signing. Full Breakdown

NFL Free Agency

Right of First Refusal: $2,133,000
Current team has the ability to match an offer sheet, but won't gain compensation if they fail to do so

Original Round Tender: $2,183,000
If an offer sheet is not matched, the losing team will gain a draft pick equal to where the player as originally selected

Second Round Tender: $3,384,000
If an offer sheet is not matched, the losing team will gain a second round pick from the acquiring team

First Round Tender: $4,766,000
If an offer sheet is not matched, the losing team will gain a first round pick from the acquiring team

Restricted Free Agent Tender Offer Sheet

With the 2021 league salary cap now set at $182.5M, these are the confirmed franchise & transition tag values per the NFL (a day late and a dollar short). Check out a complete historical look at franchise tags here

Confirmed Franchise Tags Offered in 2021

QB Dak Prescott, DAL, $37,690,800 (2nd tag, placeholder)
DE Leonard Williams, NYG, $19,351,200 (2nd tag)
OL Brandon Scherff, WAS, $18,036,000 (2nd tag)
WR Allen Robinson, CHI, $17,880,000 (120% of 2020 salary)
WR Chris Godwin, TB, $15,983,000
OL Cam Robinson, JAC, $13,754,000
OL Taylor Moton, CAR, $13,754,000
S Justin Simmons, DEN, $13,729,200 (2nd tag)
S Marcus Williams, NO, $10,612,000
S Marcus Maye, NYJ, $10,612,000


Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag Values

Position Value
Quarterback $25,104,000
Running Back $8,655,000
Wide Receiver $15,983,000
Tight End $9,601,000
Offensive Lineman $13,754,000
Defensive Tackle $13,888,000
Defensive End $16,069,000
Linebacker $14,791,000
Cornerback $15,060,000
Safety $10,612,000
Kicker/Punter $4,482,000


Transition Tag Values

Position Value
Quarterback $23,016,000
Running Back $7,217,000
Wide Receiver $14,340,000
Tight End $8,182,000
Offensive Lineman $12,657,000
Defensive Tackle $11,752,000
Defensive End $13,926,000
Linebacker $12,716,000
Cornerback $13,294,000
Safety $9,052,000
Kicker/Punter $4,068,000



Don't feel like reading? Watch a visual breakdown of this contract here.


Ranking the Contract Details

  • The $160M total value ranks 2nd to Patrick Mahomes' $450M in NFL history. While it's unlikely Mahomes actually sees all $450M of his, it's somewhat possible Dak plays out his full 4 seasons.
  • At $40M per year, Dak also ranks 2nd all-time behind Mahomes, though the contract is structured as $126M over the first 3 years, a historic $42M per season.
  • That $126M is practically guaranteed right now, and it ranks 2nd only to Mahomes' $141. The difference? Dak gets all of his in 3 years, while it will take Mahomes 5 years to get his $141M.
  • Of the $126M, $95M is fully guaranteed right now, an NFL record (surpassing Matt Ryan's $94.5M). The remaining $31M is injury guaranteed now, and becomes fully guaranteed on the 5th league day of 2022.
  • The $66M signing bonus is the highest in NFL history, topping Russell Wilson's $65M. Wilson's bonus payout was split over two seasons, while Dak will get all of his in the 2021 calendar year.
  • Speaking of, the $75M cash to be earned is the most Year 1 payout on a contract ever, surpassing Aaron Rodgers' previous high of $66.9M. Dak's $95M to be earned through Year 2 is $7M more than any other contract, topping Russell Wilson's $88M, & the $126M over three years is the most ever by a whopping $19M (Wilson, $107M). If he were to play out the full deal, the $160M earned over 4 years would top Russell Wilson's 4-year payout by $29M.


Breaking Down the Guarantees

As previously stated, Dak Prescott's new contract comes with $95M fully guaranteed at signing, most in NFL history. This is comprised of the $66M signing bonus, a $9M salary in 2021, & a $20M salary in 2022. The remaining $31M 2023 salary is (importantly) guaranteed for injury right now, and converts to fully guaranteed on the 5th league day of 2022, a year before it will be paid out. This all but ensures a $126M payout over the next three years, or $42M per year through the guaranteed portion of this contract. If Dak is still on this contract in March of 2024, a $5M roster bonus is due in the 5th league day.


The Cap Structure & Void Years

The Cowboys wanted a longer team contract in order to spread out the cap as much as possible, while also ensuring Dak would be under their control for as long as possible. Dallas compromised the latter, adding two void years to the back end of this 4 year contract to maximize the bonus proration. Signing bonuses are allowed to be prorated over a maximum 5 years, so the $66M bonus will account for $13.2M of salary cap each of 2021-2025. So why the additional void year in 2026? It appears the contract contains language that will automatically restructure Dak's fully guaranteed $20M salary for 2022 into a signing bonus. So here's how that might work:

Current Cap Hits
2021: $22.2M
2022: $33.3M
2023: $44.2M
2024: $47.2M
2025:$13.2M (dead cap)

Projected Cap Hits After the 2022 Restructure
2022: $18M
2023: $47.98M
2024: $50.98M
2025: $16.98M (dead cap)
2026: $3.78M

If Dak plays out the contract through 2024, then decides to test free agency in lei of signing an extension with Dallas, the Cowboys will take on an estimated $20.76M dead cap hit to see him walk away in the 2025 season.


Concluding Thoughts

You'll be hard pressed to find an NFL player who's ever had as much leverage as Dak Prescott did over the past few months. There are plenty of people out there (myself included) who feel this contract can be classifed as a better contract than what Patrick Mahomes signed with the Chiefs last year. While nobody will be crying for Mahomes as he surpasses the $200M earned mark somewhere down the road, Dak has ensured himself a life changing payday, while also retaining control of his destiny somewhere between the age of 31 and 32 years old, or the age that Matthew Stafford just left Detroit. This won't be the last we'll hear from Dak Prescott and contract negotiations, and with a reported $14 billion in new TV money right around the corner, the next version of this could be simply eye-popping.



Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys Contract Breakdown

UPDATE (7:45 PM): Griffin has agreed to give back $13.3 million. Current reports state approximately $4.3 million was given back for the 2020-21 season and $8.7 million for the 2021-22 season. Furthermore, Detroit will not be using the stretch provision for the 2021-22 season and will be taking on the lump sum. Once more accurate details are provided per dollar amounts we will post another update.


Blake Griffin has agreed to a buyout with the Detroit Pistons; details of the buyout are still to be determined. Griffin had approximately $56.4 million in guaranteed salary remaining on at the time of his buyout. 



Cap Hit: $36,810,996 (includes $215,000 from Trade Kicker when traded from LAC to DET)

Cash Total: $34,442,873 (Amount was reduced from $36,595,996 due to advanced payment at the beginning 2019-20 season and agreement between NBA and NBPA for salary reductions)

Cash Remaining Owed at Buyout: $17,542,972



This was to be a Player Option, but is deemed guaranteed salary until player has declined the option.

Cap Hit: $38,957,028

Cash Total/Owed: $38,957,028


Now What?

Once Griffin has cleared waivers on March 7 (Sunday) @ 5PM he is free to sign with another NBA team. Griffin will most likely sign at the veteran minimum which would be for $1,229,676 cash and $776,983 cap hit (if signed on Mar 8, 2021).

Depending on the agreement between Detroit and Griffin, Detroit could take a lump sum cap hit in 2021-22 season or stretch owed cap hit for the 2021-22 over three years.


All-Time Single-Year Dead Cap thru 2020-21 Season

  1. Blake Griffin (2020-21):  $36,810,996
  2. Carmelo Anthony (2018-19):  $25,534,253
  3. Chandler Parsons (2019-20):  $25,102,511
  4. Joe Johnson (2015-16):  $21,894,863
  5. Amar'e Stoudemire (2014-15):  $20,910,988


Blake Griffin Detroit Pistons Dead Money

A financial breakdown of the 2021 NBA All-Star Teams drafted by LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

Team LeBron 2020-21 Cap Hit   2020-21 Cap Hit

Team Durant 

  $147,345,385 Starters $136,030,355  
LeBron James, LAL (Captain) $39,219,565   $33,460,350 Kyrie Irving, BKN (2)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL (1) $27,528,088   $29,542,010 Joel Embiid, PHI (4)
Stephen Curry, GSW (3) $43,006,362   $34,379,100 Kawhi Leonard, LAC (6)
Luka Doncic, DAL (5) $8,049,360   $28,751,775 Bradley Beal, WAS (8)
Nikola Jokic, DEN (7) $29,542,010   $9,897,120 Jayson Tatum, BOS (9)
  $210,055,779 Reserves $150,563,701  
Damian Lillard, POR (11) $31,626,953   $41,254,920 James Harden, BKN (10)
Ben Simmons, PHI (13) $30,559,200   $29,467,800 Devin Booker, PHX (12)
Chris Paul, PHX (15) $41,358,814   $10,245,480 Zion Williamson, NOP (14)
Jaylen Brown, BOS (17) $23,735,119   $19,500,000 Zach LaVine, CHI (16)
Paul George, LAC (19) $35,450,412   $18,900,000 Julius Randle, NYK (18)
Domantas Sabonis, IND (21) $19,800,000   $26,000,000 Nikola Vucevic, ORL (20)
Rudy Gobert, UTH (23) $27,525,281   $5,195,501 Donovan Mitchell, UTH (22)
  $357,401,164 Totals $286,594,056  
  $29,783,430 Average $23,882,838  


All-Star Game Team LeBron Team Durant

Ben Roethlisberger entered 2021 with the highest cap number in all of football, a whopping $41.25M in the final year of his contract with the Steelers. After the decision was made for Ben to return, the focus became lowering that cap hit. Here’s how Pittsburgh did just that.


Pre-Existing Dead Cap

Whenever a player is extended out of an existing contract, any bonus proration that hasn’t yet hit the salary cap must transfer to the new deal. In Ben’s case, this meant the $12.5M of signing bonus proration, & the $9.75M of restructure bonus proration - a total of $22.25M. This bonus proration is 100% inflexible, meaning the full $22.25M must live in the 2021 league year of the new contract. If the current contract has multiple years remaining each with bonus proration the new contract must mimic the old in terms of this pre-existing dead cap. 

Note: Any dead cap associated with a guaranteed salary or roster bonus must also transfer to the new contract, but it can be structured as needed. Often times these guarantees are converted into a new signing bonus.


The New Contract Structure

With the pre-existing dead cap already in place, the only way for the Steelers to clear cap space is to utilize a new signing bonus, with multiple years to spread the cap out across. Since 39 year old Ben isn’t inline for a true 5 year contract, the use of void years is the best way forward for Pittsburgh, despite the fact that they’ve refused to use them in the past.


Cash Compensation

The minimum salary for a player of 7 years or more experience in 2021 is $1.075M. This is the base compensation Ben will earn throughout the course of the season. In addition, Pittsburgh gave him a $12.925M signing bonus, for a total of $14M - $5M less than he was previously scheduled to earn.


Cap Structure

The new contract is a 1 year deal, with 4 additional void/dummy years tacked on to allow the signing bonus to prorate over the maximum 5 years. This frees up as much cap space as possible in the 2021 league year. The Steelers end up saving $15.34M of cap for the 2021 season by extending Ben Roethlisberger.


What Happens After 2021?

The contract will automatically void prior to the start of the 2022 league year, with a $10.34M dead cap hit leftover for Pittsburgh to take on at that point. The $10.34M is the sum of the 4 remaining signing bonus prorations all accelerating into 2022, as if it were a Pre June 1st release. However, if Ben & the Steelers decide it’s not yet the end of the road after this season, an extension can be negotiated prior to the void that will stop the bonus proration from accelerating. This new extension would then transfer over the 2022-2025 void structure, meaning only $2.585M of pre-existing cap in 2022, a much easier place to start for the Steelers.


Steelers Ben Roethlisberger Void/Dummy Years Dead Cap

How much do the players selected to the All-Star Game, Rookie-Sophomore Game, and All-Star Skills competition make?


All-Star Game

Winners: $50,000 per player

Losers: $25,000 per player


Rookie-Sophomore Game

Winners: $25,000 per player

Losers: $10,000 per player


All-Star Skills Competition

Slam Dunk

1st Place: $100,000

2nd Place: $50,000

3rd Place: $20,000

4th Place: $20,000


Three-Point Shootout

1st Place: $50,000

2nd Place: $35,000

3rd Place: $25,000

4th Place: $10,000

5th Place: $10,000

6th Place: $10,000



1st Place: $50,000

2nd Place: $35,000

3rd Place: $15,000

4th Place: $15,000


Shooting Stars

1st Place: $60,000

2nd Place: $45,000

3rd Place: $24,000

4th Place: $24,000


NBA All-Star Game All-Star Skills

There's likely nothing more frustrating to the average NFL fan than trying to understand just how "guaranteed" a player's contract actually is. Unfortunately, the way this is communicated regularly adds to the confusion. Here's a quick breakdown to hopefully help uncover some of the concerns.

Guaranteed at Signing

There's no better place to start with a contract breakdown than this value, as it tells the story of the cash a player will 99.9% earn on the deal. Why not 100%? If a player is suspended for conduct, or has a non-football related injury that keeps him from honoring the contract, teams can void guarantees, or recoup already paid signing bonus. For most multi-year contracts in the NFL, guaranteed at signing will include an initial signing bonus, and any salary or roster bonus due in that first season. For some, the 2nd year salary will also be included in this metric. 

Future, but Practical Guarantees

"Ok, so if i just look at the Guaranteed at Signing value, I'll know everything I need to know". Not necessarily. The reason we show two values for guaranteed money within a contract is that often times, future guarantees kick in a year (or even two) early. This is the "Guaranteed Mechanism" buzz phrase you certainly heard plenty about after Patrick Mahomes' contract was signed. 

For instance, let's say a player has $15M fully guaranteed at signing, a bonus, a first year salary, and a second year salary. However, the player's 3rd year salary becomes fully guarantees in March of the 2nd year. This is what we classify as a "practical" guarantee, as it's not at all likely that the player will be released out of his contract before that 3rd year salary guarantee kicks in. This is very often also the case for a roster bonus in year 2 or 3 that isn't fully guaranteed at signing, but because it becomes guaranteed or payable in early March, has a practically of earning to it. 

Full vs. Injury Guarantees

Lastly, the different between a full guarantee, and a guarantee for injury is very important. Any salary or bonus that is deemed "fully guaranteed" will be paid out to the player regardless of status (with the exception of the suspension or non-football injury as described above). An injury guarantee is simply an insurance policy in the event that a player suffers a football related injury that doesn't allow him to pass a physical once the salary becomes applicable. 

Odell Beckham Jr.s 2021 salary is the latest example of an injury guarantee vesting. When OBJ tore his ACL in 2020, nearly $13M of his 2021 salary became essentially vested, as it holds the injury guarantee insurance on it. 

Very often, any "practical" guarantees that are not "fully guaranteed at signing" are deemed "injury guarantees" at the beginning of a contract. Those injury guarantees convert to full guarantees on specific days built into the language of the deal (often one of the first 5 days of a respective league year).


Guaranteed at Signing Injury Guarantees Practical Guarantees

The following releases have been reported:


Henry Anderson, DE (NYJ)

The Jets clear $8M of 2021 cap space by moving on from Anderson, who earned $17.5M of his 3 year, $25.2M contract signed back in 2019. 


Kyle Rudolph, TE (MIN)

After 10 strong seasons & $50M earned in Minnesota, Rudolph will hit the open market, leaving behind $4.35M of dead cap, but freeing up $5.1M of space.


Kyle Van Noy, ILB (MIA)

Van Noy's release has yet to be made official as the Dolphins attempt to trade him at the last minute, but it seems inevitable that the former Pat will be one and done in Miami. He'll earn just $15M of the $51M free agent contract signed last March, leaving behind $4.125M of dead cap, while freeing up $9.775M of space.


Buster Skrine, CB (CHI)

The Bears have reported that this move is "pending" which could mean they'll designate him a Post June 1st release on March 17th. If so, they'll carry his $6M cap hit until June 2nd, after which they'll take on dead cap hits of $1.1M in 2021, & $2.2M in 2022, freeing up $4.9M of space for the upcoming season.

Cap Casualties Post June 1st

While MLB Free Agency isn't what it once was, sizable contract extensions for young players is now the latest trend. This offseason, there may not be a more loaded position group than the shortstops, many of whom are currently in discussion for a new deal with their respective team. A quick look at the current list of extension candidates, and their projected valuation based on previous two year production (Spoiler: They're all very close).

Carlos Correa (26, Astros)
Currently Projects to 6 years, $106M

Bo Bichette (23, Blue Jays)
Currently Projects to 6 years, $36M

Dansby Swanson (27, Braves)
Currently Projects to 6 years, $116M

Javier Baez (28, Cubs)
Currently Projects to 6 years, $113M

Corey Seager (26, Dodgers)
Currently Projects to 6 years, $126M

Francisco Lindor (27, Mets)
Currently Projects to 8 years, $226M

Trea Turner (27, Nationals)
Currently Projects to 5 years, $103M

Trevor Story (28, Rockies)
Currently Projects to 6 years, $128M

Adalberto Mondesi (25, Royals)
Currently Projects to 6 years, $105M

Gleyber Torres (24, Yankees)
Currently Projects to 6 years, $83M

Shortstops MLB Houston Astros Atlanta Braves