Quick Spots


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.

Projected Restricted Free Agent Tenders

  • Right of 1st Refusal: $2.4M
  • Original Draft Round: $2.5M
  • 2nd Rounder: $3.9M
  • 1st Rounder: $5.5M

Projected Franchise Tag Values

  • Quarterback: $29.5M
  • Running Back: $9.5M
  • Wide Receiver: $18.5M
  • Tight End: $11M
  • Offensive Lineman: $16.5M
  • Defensive Tackle: $17M
  • Defensive End: $17.5M
  • Linebacker: $18.5M
  • Cornerback: $17.5M
  • Safety: $13M
  • Kicker/Punter: $5M

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