That Seattle Seahawks have started on the field portion of their offseason program, with more veteran players arriving at OTA as summer begins to get in full swing. When that is the case, it’s time to absorb and enjoy as much off – season news as possible, for with the start of the true dead season for NFL news bikes just around the corner, football fans will not have much to read about regularly before training camp starts.
As always, spring was full of activity, from free agency to draft, and for just a week, there were reports that the NFL is likely to keep the COVID change to the CBA in place in the 2021. Season, of course, there are a large number of changes that was introduced as a result of the COVID amendment, but the relevance of today’s discussion can be distilled down to a handful of items that have an actual impact on team pay. These specific points are:
- Training groups expanded from 16 spots to 12 spots,
- Up to six players with any level of experience for members of the training team
- Short-term damaged reserve of 3 weeks,
- Unlimited number of players allowed to return from injured reserve during the season.
The first point is quite simple to understand. During the 2021 season, training team players receive one of two salaries depending on how many accrued seasons they have. Players with zero, one or two accrued seasons earn $ 9,200 per week, while those on the team with three or more accrued seasons earn $ 14,000 per week. Combining these salaries with the new 17-game, 18-week season and practice groups counts somewhere between $ 2,649,600 and $ 3,168,000 depending on the players’ experience.
These numbers represent a slight increase from the $ 1,987,200 to $ 2,160,000 training expenses salary that would have been in place if the size remained at 12 players with a maximum of two members with three or more accrued seasons. The difference is not great if a team mostly keeps younger, inexperienced players in the practice group, but if the teams once again line up their training team with experienced players like Alex Collins, Mychal Kendricks, Damon Harrison and others, they need a little largely ceiling distribution to cover these wages.
In addition, another important cost that teams may need to keep a little extra cap space in reserve is allowing for gameday training teams. These increases are now written into the CBA and are not part of the COVID change, but they may affect the amount of cap space teams that teams need as a result of the lifting of restrictions on the composition of training teams. in terms of player experience. .
Specifically, the 2020 CBA allows teams to carry only two players in the training team with 3 or more accrued seasons, although the COVID amendment allows each team to have up to six players with three or more accrued seasons in training teams. So if the Seahawks have a training team that is heavy for experienced veterans, as they did in 2020, when those players are elevated to the gameday list, they earn significantly more than their practice group salary for the week.
Say, for example, the Seahawks sign Bruce Irvin to their training team as he works his way back from the knee injury that ended his 2020 season. Irvin, as a player with three or more accrued seasons, would typically earn $ 14,000 a week as a member of the training team. However, when a team takes advantage of the automatic height feature of the CBA, the elevated player earns the league minimum for their experience level for that week. In Irvin’s case, the minimum wage in 2021 for a player with nine accrued seasons is $ 1,075,000, which means that if Irvin was promoted from the training team, Irvin would earn $ 59,722 for that week. That, of course, is about $ 45,000 more than the regular training group salary, which means that all teams across the league also need a little extra ceiling space compared to 2019 and earlier to cover these costs.
Next, the ability to return an unlimited number of players from the damaged reserve also creates the need to retain extra capacity. The reason for this is that players on the damaged reserve continue to be paid, while the player who replaces them on the active list must also be paid.
What this means is that even if a team places a player on a damaged reserve for at least three weeks and then fills the open roster with a rookie earning the minimum wage, the teams probably need a little over $ 100,000 in cap space to cover the cost. of the replacement player. This figure comes from the fact that a rookie on a minimum wage contract will earn $ 660,000 in 2021 or $ 36,667 per year. Game. With the extra player on the list for at least three weeks, just about $ 110,000 in cap space is to be spent.
There are exceptions or situations where the amount of capacity may be slightly different. If the player placed in an injured reserve is a veteran who per. Match has active praise bonuses in their contract, it may represent a cap saving for the team, but it is a completely different discussion that varies depending on the classification of these bonuses in terms of probably deserved or probably not deserved and is another can of worms another day. In addition, some younger players have split contracts that reduce their salaries if they are moved to the damaged reserve, and that would offset some of the required $ 110,000 in the required capacity. Again, however, it’s a completely different lengthy discussion that basically boils down to the fact that the team still needs some, but not necessarily quite as much, capacity to cover damaged reserve as a result of the COVID change in 2020.
Of course, this is all on the condition that the COVID change in 2020 is maintained in the 2021 season. Reports currently have it as the expected result, but it is not necessarily written in stone yet.
So when we put it all together, teams have typically needed somewhere near $ 5 million. In cap space to cover injury replacement and the training group, while costs in 2021 will be slightly higher. Ballpark estimates probably place the number somewhere in the $ 6 million to $ 6.5 million range. That gives the Seahawks a little bit of wiggle room based on the current NFLPA government payroll report that puts the Hawks at $ 7,962,458 in 2021 capacity space after accounting for Michael Dickson’s recent contract extension. While it’s important to keep in mind that $ 7,962,458 only takes into account the top 51 salaries on the list, while the team, when the normal season arrives, will have to expand this number to 53, as well as the players on the training team, injured reserve and the physically unable to perform the list ..