Examining the Seahawks “True” cap space after a wild weekend of trades and cuts

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The Seahawks finally made the big move that has been expected for months. I couldn’t think of a better time to review Seattle’s “True” cap space.

The Seattle Seahawks made a big trade by acquiring safety Jamal Adams. They also released several players. This weekend’s moves have resulted in some changes in the team’s cap space.

This move, as well as others, has the Seahawks looking like they are in win-now mode. They traded for a phenomenal player. They cut some salary. Seattle appears to be revving up for a run at the title in a crowded NFC heavyweight matchup.

If the Seahawks want to get all the way to the top, they will need to make a couple of other moves. This article reviews where the team stands in terms of “true” salary cap in order to see what they have available to spend.

The Seahawks pulled off a splash trade to acquire superstar safety Jamal Adams. It wasn’t cheap in terms of draft assets. However, if there was a year to spend that much draft capital, this was it. With the pandemic potentially limiting the college season, scouting profiles could end being incomplete. Making it all the more difficult to get an accurate reading on college prospects.

There are two positives in terms of today. First, the Seahawks have arguably the best safety pairing in the NFL now. Second, and the one that most pertains to this article, the Seahawks saved some money from the trade.

The Seahawks traded away $4.16 million of McDougald’s cap hit. Meanwhile, they absorbed the 4th year of Jamal Adams’s rookie scale contract valued at a cap hit of $3.6 million. This nets the team roughly $500k in savings. While this move isn’t substantial in terms of savings, it was not the only one made.

Players released Sunday:

The NFL announced that NFL teams have two options for the pre-season. First, they can cut their pre-season roster down from 90 to 80 players. Second, they can split their training camp between veterans in one and rookies/second-year players in the other. The Seahawks apparently made their decision.

Over the weekend the team cut 9 total players. The 10th player is Quinton Dunbar, who was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list. This brings the Seahawks roster down to 80.

Of the 9 players cut/released, only 2 players will net the team any savings in terms of salary cap. You see there is a rule known as the ‘Top-51.’ The rule states that only the top 51 salaries are accounted for against the salary cap. This is intended to ensure that when the team trims its roster down to 53, they can afford it.

This ‘top 51’ cut off line for the Seahawks sits at $750k. Because of this, only the terminated contracts of Joey Hunt and Branden Jackson will net the team any additional cash flow. The release of both players saved the team $4.32 million in total.

Let’s review where the Seahawks are in cap space thus far:

Cap Space (Start): $10.37 million

Jamal Adams Trade (Net): $500k

Players Released: $4.32 million

Cap Space (Post Trade): $15.19 million

This is where the other websites like Over the Cap and Spotrac leave it. If you want to learn where the team is in terms of “True” cap space, we have two more slides to maneuver through. “True” cap space is what NFL teams use. It accounts for all occurred and expected costs. The other sites only account for what has occurred.

Side note: it is possible now that Quinton Dunbar has been placed on the commissioner’s exempt list that the Seahawks will end up waiving him. If they do this, it will add $3.4 million to the Seahawks cap space. 

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