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Salary cap ramifications of the Seahawks Week 10 roster moves

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks
Rees Odhiambo in action during the preseason.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

With the Seattle Seahawks moving both Tre Madden and Rees Odhiambo onto IR this week and replacing them with Josh Forrest and Dion Jordan, it’s a good time to take a look at the salary cap ramifications of these moves. There are a couple of factors helping to blunt the impact of these moves on the 2017 salary cap, and that simply shows John Schneider is again working his magic.

The first move, Madden being placed on IR with a calf injury and replaced by linebacker Josh Forrest has two keys working helping to minimize the cap ramifications. The first of these items is that as a second year player on his a UDFA contract Madden has an IR salary reduction clause. This is standard for lower round draft picks and players on initial UDFA contracts, and works to reduce the player’s salary by 25% if that player is placed on IR. Thus, rather than Madden’s cap number for the remaining eight weeks of the season being calculated as (($465,000/17) x 8), the correct calculation when factoring in the salary reduction clause is ((($465,000/17) x 8) x 0.75). This makes the full year cap hit for Madden calculated as follows: (($465,000/17) x 9) + ((($465,000/17) x 8) x 0.75) = ~$410,000 (I’ve rounded to keep things pretty). Thus, the salary reduction clause saves the Hawks around $55k over the remainder of the season.

Next, there is the addition of Josh Forrest from the practice squad. Forrest is also a second year player, having been with the Rams last season, and his salary is $540,000. Thus, his salary for the remainder of the year is (($540,000/17) x 8) = $254,118. Now, not all of that will be additional salary on the salary cap because Forrest already counted against the cap as a practice squad player. Making $7,200 per week on the practice squad, Forrest was already slated to cost the team $57,600 over the remainder of the season. Thus, the net effect of adding Forrest to the roster for the remainder of the year is $254,118 - $57,600 = $196,518.

Therefore, the total net effect of replacing Madden with Forrest on the roster will be the sum of the net effect of each of the two parts individually, meaning that this transaction will cost the Hawks roughly an additional $141,517 over the remainder of the season.

Now, obviously the team will incur additional costs when it fills the spot Forrest vacated on the the Practice Squad. However, as the team appears content to leave that spot empty for at least this week in order to save the money they would have paid a player to fill it, it appears they will once again pinch pennies by waiting until Monday or Tuesday to fill the spot.

The second transaction with cap implications is Rees Odhiambo moving to IR and his spot being filled by Dion Jordan. As a third round pick, Odhiambo is less likely to have an injury reduction clause, so there are no calculations to perform since his pay won’t change in the absence of such a clause. If he indeed has one, then we can rework the numbers later and it will only work to increase the team’s cap space.

Jordan is an interesting situation. He is on NFI and the rules for NFI are very loose, as the payment of a player on NFI is at the discretion of the team. Thus, has been calculating Jordan’s 2017 cap hit at $461,250 when it should have been just $122,400 on an annualized basis over the first nine weeks of the season. This is according to former agent Joel Corry, who stated that the Hawks had agreed to pay Jordan the equivalent of a practice squad salary as long as he remained on NFI.

Thus, to calculate the cap impact of moving Odhiambo to IR and adding Jordan, we first calculate Jordan’s full 2017 cap hit based on a combination of 9 weeks at $7,200 per week and 8 weeks at $36,176, giving Jordan a full year cap hit of $354,211.

With our prior calculations having estimated Jordan’s cap hit at $461,250, the difference between the $461,250 and the $354,211 is additional cap space. Thus, the Seahawks should gain approximately $107,000 in cap space over the prior calculations had been using. As OTC is currently showing Seattle as having $694k in cap space after accounting for the Madden and Forrest moves, adding in the Jordan move with a correction in his full year cost leaves the Seahawks with roughly $800k in cap space for the remainder of the season.

This all combines to mean that the team is still very tight against the cap, but with only seven weeks left in the season after the Thursday night matchup in Arizona, time is running out for any injury replacements to be costly. At this point the team could be forced to add an injury replacement to the roster each and every week, and even adding veteran who qualifies for the veteran minimum cap benefit would only incur an additional $1.012M in salary. Hopefully the team stays healthy over the second half, however, in the NFL injuries will always be a factor.