It seems a lifetime ago, back in mid-October when the Seattle Seahawks surprised many fans and observers by restructuring the contract of veteran offensive lineman Gabe Jackson in order to create cap space. To many, such a move barely two weeks ahead of the 2022 NFL trade deadline could only be interpreted as a sign of an impending move.
Comments regarding such were plentiful, including:
- “They must be looking at a trade somewhere and are trying to free up enough space to do it.”
- “I have to guess this was done for a reason, a follow on move is coming. Not till Monday though.”
- “The team clearly wanted cap space for something (this year)”
However, the deadline came and went, and the Seahawks did not make any major additions. That left many scratching their heads, and in time the move became forgotten, little more than a footnote to the first half of the season.
On Saturday the restructure of Jackson’s contract became relevant, though before jumping right into the details of why, it makes sense to first briefly rehash the actual restructure itself. Specifically, the restructure converted $3.52M of 2022 base salary into signing bonus, which moved the cap hit for half of that $3.52M from the 2022 league year into the 2023 league year. Effectively, the Hawks used the 2023 cap as a credit card in order to borrow $1.76M of cap space for the 2022 season. In the wake of of the restructure, however, the Seahawks then did not rush out and make use of the additional cap space created.
Saturday the restructure became relevant, though. According to the NFLPA public salary cap report, entering the day Seattle had $1,849,498 of cap space remaining for the 2022 season. That was prior to the series of roster moves the team made on in advance of the game against the New York Jets. The moves the team made were:
- Moved WR Marquise Goodwin to injured reserve,
- Promoted LB Vi Jones from the practice squad to the 53 man roster
- Elevated TE Tyler Mabry to the 53 man roster for Week 17
- Elevated WR Cade Johnson to the 53 man roster for Week 17
Under the collective bargaining agreement, all rostered players count against the salary cap, and the net impact on the Saturday moves were as follows:
- Goodwin to IR: $0 (no change to cap)
- Jones promotion: $55,333
- Mabry elevation: $34,333
- Johnson elevation: $27,667
Applying the necessary cap space to each of these transactions from the starting point of $1,849,498 the amount of cap left for the team after each one is as follows:
- Goodwin to IR: $1,849,498
- Jones promotion: $1,794,165
- Mabry elevation: $1,759,831
- Johnson elevation: $1,732,165
Thus, connecting the dots, after the moves Saturday, the Hawks are left with $1,732,165 of cap space for the final week of the season after having created $1.76M of space in October. That, of course, means that had the Seahawks not restructured Jackson, they would not have had the space necessary to make the moves they needed to make ahead of the matchup against the Jets.