Way back in early September when the Seattle Seahawks acquired Jadeveon Clowney and then briefly cut Nick Bellore, Jaron Brown and Jamar Taylor, I looked at the handful of players on the team with significant per game roster bonuses that could affect the cap in 2019. Specifically, those players who have per game roster bonuses that were not being counted against the cap because the players did not appear in many games during the 2018 season. At that time I estimated the team would need a reserve of $3M to $5M in order to absorb the potential per game roster bonuses for the players who could see more active games in 2019 than in 2018. With the first five games of the season already in the books, let’s go ahead and look at where the team stands regarding those players and their per game roster bonuses.
To get right to the meat of the matter, the following Seahawks players have per game bonuses in their contracts that could wind up affecting the team’s salary cap this season.
- Mike Iupati: $31,250 per game on the gameday active roster
- D.J. Fluker: $62,500 per game on the gameday active roster
- Mychal Kendricks: $125,000 per game on the gameday active roster
- K.J. Wright: $93,750 per game on the gameday active roster
- Ziggy Ansah: $93,750 per game on the 53 man roster and $93,750 per game on the gameday active roster
Now, let’s get right to how those are currently counting for the Seahawks against the salary cap and what things will look like moving forward.
Iupati was active for ten games during the 2018 season for the Arizona Cardinals, so ten games worth of the $31,250 in active roster bonuses are built into his 2019 salary cap number. He has been active and played in all five games so far this season, so is halfway to the point where he will begin costing the team cap space each time he suits up for a game. His 2019 cap number is $2,562,500, but if he exceeds ten games for which he is active, he’ll begin to cost $31,250 per game.
Fluker, like Iupati, was active for ten games in 2018, and thus ten games worth of his $62,500 in roster bonuses are built into his 2019 cap number of $2,187,500. Once he hits his eleventh game active for the Seahawks, he will begin costing the team $62,500 in cap space per game.
Wright was only active and on the field for five games in 2018, a number that he has already matched. Thus, each game for which Wright is active going forward will require an additional $93,500 in cap space for the Seahawks on top of the $4,984,375 cap number currently baked into the team’s salary cap. If he is healthy and active for every game that is left this season, it will cost the team a total of $1,028,500.
Between his suspension and knee injury, Kendricks played only four games last season, a number that he has already surpassed. By being active for the win over the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday evening, Kendricks started into the twelve games of per game roster bonuses that had not been counting against the cap. Prior to the Week 5 game, Kendricks carried a cap number of $2,750,000, but that number now stands at $2,875,000 and will increase by $125,000 for each game that Kendricks is active.
As noted above, Ansah’s per game roster bonuses are broken into two categories. The first is a $93,500 per game roster bonus for simply being on the 53 man roster rather than on injured reserve, PUP or NFI, while the second is an additional $93,500 per game for which he is active. The fact that the per game roster bonuses are split simply makes the calculation a tiny bit more complicated, in that it requires knowing how many games Ansah was active in 2018, as well as how many games he was on the 53 man roster.
Answering those questions is not difficult, as Ansah was on the 53 man roster for the Lions for 13 games and active for 7. Thus, if Ansah remains on the 53 man roster through Week 14, starting in Week 15 he will begin costing an additional $93,500 on top of his current cap number of $7,875,000 each week. In addition to that, because he was active for seven games, the other $93,500 in per game roster bonuses will kick in once he surpasses the seven games played threshold. As he has been active for the past three weeks, the earliest he could start incurring these cap hits would be the Monday Night Football matchup against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10.
So, for now, going forward the team will incur an additional cap hit of $218,500 for each game in which linebackers Mychal Kendricks and K.J. Wright are active. As the season continues to progress and these five players wrack up more games on the gameday active roster each week, that number will continue to slowly increase if these five continue to be healthy and contribute on the field.