Salary cap impact of Packers waiving Martellus Bennett and possible return to Patriots

(Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

ESPN's Field Yates just reported that


Chris Price has looked at its 53-man roster implications.

I will dive into its salary cap implications for Martellus Bennett and the Patriots.

Please note that since we are past the NFL trade deadline all players, including vested veterans like Bennett, go through the waiver process. If a team were to claim Bennett on waivers, they would then become responsible for 8/17th of his 2017 $900,000 salary ($423,529) and his $37,500 46-man roster bonuses ($300,000 for a team who has had their bye and $262,500 for a team whose bye is upcoming). The claiming team would also be responsible for his

  • 2018 salary of $3.6 million
  • 2018 $2 million roster bonus
  • 2018 $250,000 offseason workout bonus
  • 2018 46-man roster bonuses ($37,500 per active game)
  • 2019 salary of $5.65 million
  • 2019 $250,000 offseason workout bonus
  • 2019 46-man roster bonuses ($37,500 per active game)

But since none of his 2018 or 2019 is guaranteed, his claiming team could simply cut before his 2018 roster bonus is due on March 16 and have no dead money on their salary cap.

Let's say that the Patriots were to claim Bennett tomorrow his 2018 cap hit would be $723,529. The net impact on the cap may be less if the Pats cut a player whose salary is not guaranteed to make room on the 53-man roster. Let's say that the Pats waive Jacob Hollister. The Pats would not be responsible for 8/17ths of his $465,000 salary or $218,824. So, in this case, a Bennett for Hollister swap would result in net cap decrease of just over $500K.

The Packers waiving of Martellus Bennett may have an impact on the Patriots 2018 compensatory picks. Adamjt13, the original comp pick guru and Nick Korte, the current comp pick guru, have both opined that players released before the completion of Week 10 have not counted in the compensatory pick calculations. If this holds true for Bennett in 2018 and he's not being claimed on waivers, it would mean that the Patriots would not get a fifth-round compensatory pick for losing Bennett during the offseason. The Packers would still get four comp picks but they would improve their haul from a third-round pick, two fifth-round selections and a sixth, to a third and three fifth-rounders.

Answering some logical follow-up questions: