Pollard Release with “June 1st” Designation
According to the NFL’s official transactions report, the Ravens’ release of Safety Bernard Pollard was made with a “Post June 1 Designation”. This means that Pollard will remain on the Ravens Salary Cap until June 1, at which time the team will receive the Cap savings from his release.
First a little background on the difference between a pre-June 1st release and a post-June 1st release.
When a player is released prior to June 1st, the team is relieved of having to count the player’s base salary (unless guaranteed), but does have all future bonus prorations accelerate and count against the Cap (along with the present year’s bonus proration).
On the other hand, when a player is released after June 1st, the team is relieved of having to count the player’s base salary and only the present year’s bonus proration counts against the Cap. All future bonus proration then accelerate against the following year’s Salary Cap.
The Post June 1 Designation was first implemented by the 2006 league CBA and aimed at allowing players who were destined to be released after June 1 (because it benefited the team from a Salary Cap perspective) to be released sooner – and hit the free agent market when more money was available – as opposed to having to wait and be released after June 1st.
Basically, it allows a team to designate two players per season with the Post June 1 Designation, thereby receiving June 1st Salary Cap treatment, but while allowing the player to become a free agent earlier and, in theory, find a new deal earlier in the free agency period.
So, how does this all apply to Pollard and the Ravens?
Pollard was originally set to have a 2013 Cap number of $3.25M, which included his base salary of $2M, his Roster Bonus of $500K and the 2013 bonus proration of $750K from his 2012 Signing Bonus ($3M bonus/4 years = $750K proration each year).
Since he was released with the Post June 1 Designation, Pollard will remain on the Ravens Cap until June 1st – but at $2.75M, since he was released before his $500K Roster Bonus was paid. After June 1, his base salary will be removed from the Cap and only the 2013 bonus proration of $750K will remain.
Therefore on June 1 the Ravens will get another $2M in cap relief for 2013 however, the remaining 2 years of bonus prorations of $750K each will accelerate against the 2014 Cap and count as $1.5M in dead money.
Had Pollard been released without the Post June 1 Designation, all of the bonus prorations, totaling $2.25M, would have counted as dead money against the 2013 Cap. That would have meant only $1M in Cap savings for 2013, but there would have been no Cap charges carried over into 2014.
While using the Post June 1 Designation would have likely been considered as an unwise Cap move in past, the new CBA allows teams to carry over Cap space from one year to the next, so any excess Cap space created by Post June 1 Designation can be carried over into 2014 to offset the dead money created by this maneuver.