Throughout the NFL offseason, there are a number of important dates — the start of free agency, the draft, the commencement of training camp, and June 1.
June 1 signifies what will happen to a player’s contract if they are traded or released. Before this date, any remaining prorated money on a contract inserts onto the cap in the year they are cut or traded. After June 1, however, it is added onto the following year’s cap, essentially becoming a loophole for teams looking to manipulate their money.
For the Philadelphia Eagles who began 2021 with the second to most debt, tomorrow is an important day as they continue on their rebuild journey.
EAGLES’ POST JUNE 1 HAPPENINGS
Select players will no longer count towards the salary cap
Earlier this year, fans learned that the Eagles would release wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and defensive tackle Malik Jackson. However, this release would come with a June 1 designation.
Jeffery who was set to begin his last year in his four-year contract, would have a $12.75 million price tag this season. But the Eagles restructured his contract, reducing it to the minimum to create cap space. Ultimately the goal was to release him.
The Eagles will now receive $2 million in savings for him come tomorrow. Jeffery remains a free agent.
Two days following the news about Jeffery, the impending release of Jackson was announced. The defensive tackles’ salary was similar to Jeffery’s, coming in at $12.6 million for 2021. However, following a restructure, the Eagles saved $8 million and knew they would be releasing the 31-year-old.
Philadelphia will receive an additional $2 million in savings for Jackson tomorrow. He has since signed with the Cleveland Browns.
Rookie draft picks will officially sign with the Eagles
During the 2021 NFL Draft, the Eagles selected nine rookie players. Of those nine, only the top three will count toward the top-51 roster this year — DeVonta Smith, Landon Dickerson, and Milton Williams.
2021 Rookie Salary
- DeVonta Smith: $3,662,081
- Landon Dickerson: $1,573,943
- Milton Williams: $929,124
- Zech McPhearson: $842,415
- Kenneth Gainwell: $743,881
- Marlon Tuipulotu: $707,439
- Tarron Jackson: $707,439
- JaCoby Stevens: $692,677
- Patrick Johnson: $686,468
The players at the back end of the top-51 roster will each count for $850,000 against the cap. The total, therefore, would include the cap numbers for Smith, Dickerson, and Williams (minus $850,000 from each of their salaries). In other words, the Eagles will need $3,615,128 to sign their rookies.
Luckily, come tomorrow, the team will make $4 million with the release of Jeffery and Jackson. No money wasted.
Other possible trades or releases
One possible post-June 1 trade is offensive tackle, Andre Dillard. Drafted in 2019, Dillard suffered a season-ending injury in 2020. He will now be competing against Jordan Mailata for a position.
If the Eagles trade him, his dead money will equate to $3,508,768, with $1.75 million delayed until 2022.
Another trade is tight end, Zach Ertz. Ertz has been the subject of trade rumors since last year. Recently, he opted out of voluntary workouts and is likely to continue to do so until his situation is settled. If the team parts ways with him, they would save $8.5 million (incurring a dead-money hit of $4.2 million in 2021 and $3.5 million in 2022).
The opportunity to sign needed vacancies
Now out of salary cap debt, and with possible additional monies on the way, the Eagles may look to sign players to fill roster vacancies — namely, the cornerback position.
The interest surrounding DeShaun Watson and Julio Jones may also be sorted out sooner than fans may think. Watson’s 2021 salary of $10.5 million may be affordable for the Eagles; however, the question remains, does Philadelphia really want him? Jones, on the other hand, will likely remain a fantasy.
Whatever direction the Eagles choose to take, post-June 1, the team will find a way to make money and thereby spend it.