Patriots

PatsCap: Breaking down the salary cap implications of Antonio Brown’s release

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Greg discussed the implications of Brown's release on the Patriots roster in this piece. I will cover its salary cap implications.

Background:

Using 2020 as an option year made Brown's 2019 cap number $5,750,000. It consisted of:
-- $1,000,000 salary. His salary over a 17-week season was $1,062,500 or $62,500 per week. Brown was scheduled to be on the Patriots roster for sixteen games. $62,500 times 16 = $1,000,000.
-- $4,500,000 signing bonus proration from 2019 $9 million signing bonus
-- $250,000 in 46-man active roster bonuses. Note any per-game roster bonuses that are part of a deal signed after the final preseason game are prorated over the life of the deal. This is a salary cap quirk intended to make it easier to reach extensions right before the start of the regular season. For each active game, Brown would earn $33,333.33 — $33,333.33 times 16 games, equals $500,000.

Brown had three $1.5 million NLTBE incentives. They were for 105 receptions, 1,298 receiving yards, and 16 TDs. If he had reached any of them, then the Patriots 2020 salary cap would have been debited.

Brown's 2020 cap number was $25,250,000. It consisted of:
-- $20,000,000 allocated between his salary and the option bonus. This could have been a $15 million roster bonus and a $5 million salary. Still do not know.
-- $4,500,000 signing bonus proration from 2019 $9 million signing bonus
-- $500,000 in 46-man active roster bonuses
-- $250,000 signing bonus proration in 46-man active roster bonuses

What are the salary cap implications of Brown's release?

Let's break this into two parts. This first part will detail what I am very confident in at the present moment. The second part will involve some educated guessing on my part.