Patriots

Patscap Mailbag: Potential releases of Branch and Allen; who goes when players come of IR?

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With Branch's reduced role so far this year, do you see him being cut/traded and if so what would the cap implications be?
(Hamish @Patriots_Fan_)

Since Alan Branch is eligible for termination pay and 1 million of his 2017 salary is fully guaranteed the cap savings from a cut can only come from not being responsible for his $40,625 46-man active roster bonus, his playing time incentives, and maybe his weight bonuses.

Let's look at the salary cap implication of releasing Alan Branch before the Jets game.

Current 2017 Cap Hit
Salary - $1,700,000
Signing Bonus Proration - $1,000,000
46-man active roster bonuses - $650,000 ($40,625 per game)
Weight Bonus - $400,000
Playing-Time Incentives - $875,000
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$4,075,000

Current 2018 Cap Hit
Salary - $1,700,000
Signing Bonus Proration - $1,000,000
March 2017 Roster Bonus- $1,000,000
46-man active roster bonuses - $562,500 ($37,500 per game)
Weight Bonus - $400,000
Playing-Time Incentives - $1,150,000
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$5,812,500

2017 Cap Hit if Released
Salary - $1,700,000
Signing Bonus Proration - $1,000,000
46-man active roster bonuses - $162,500 ($40,625 per game for 4 active games)
Weight Bonus - $400,000 (may decrease if Branch did not actually met his weight goal - 4 different weigh-ins worth $100,000 each)
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$3,262,500 - a savings of $812,500 from his current 2017 cap number. Net savings will be less as a player will take his spot on the 53-man roster. If it is a rookie, the savings would be $484,265 as the Pats would be responsible for paying 12/17ths ($328,235) of the rookie's $465,000 salary

2018 Cap Hit if Released before the 2018 League Year begins on March 14
Signing Bonus Proration - $1,000,000
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$1,000,000 - a savings of $4,812,500.

The numbers are different if Branch is traded because his new team would then become responsible for his salary.

2017 Cap Hit if Traded
Salary - $500,000
Signing Bonus Proration - $1,000,000
46-man active roster bonuses - $162,500 ($40,625 per game for 4 active games)
Weight Bonus - $400,000 (may decrease if Branch did not actually met his weight goal - 4 different weigh-ins worth $100,000 each)
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$2,062,500 - a savings of $2,012,500 from his current 2017 cap number. Net savings will be less as a player will take his spot on the 53-man roster. If it is a rookie, the savings would be $1,684,265 as the Pats would be responsible for paying 12/17ths ($328,235) of the rookie's $465,000 salary. The savings from a Branch trade goes down weekly by his $100,000 salary. The savings will also go down if he is active for a game between now and his trade.

Odds that New England signs Cookie to a long-term deal this year/next year?
(Dan Parker @Fineparker89)