What would the dead cap hits be if Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham Jr. were traded?
The NFL may be in a quiet period, but two star wide receivers are in the headlines about possibly switching teams this year:
■ Antonio Brown, at the center of the Steelers’ offseason drama, did a long Instagram Live on Monday night while working out, talking at various points about what kind of NFL team he would like to play for.
“Any NFL teams out there watching, hit my phone, hit my phone. If one of them teams out there where camaraderie bad, the energy bad, the players [are] haters, I don’t wanna play there, I don’t wanna go there. I don’t wanna waste no time,” he said.
“If your squad out there wanna win and your squad want a hungry wide receiver who the best in the whole world, someone hit my phone. Tell ’em I ain’t doing no un-guarantees. I ain’t even gonna play myself no more for this NFL. I think I done done everything. What y’all think? What left for me to do? Win the Super Bowl? Gotta be the right team for that.
“If your team got guaranteed money, they want to get to know me and work with me, tell them call me.”
That came a week after Brown posted a video to Twitter a week ago saying goodbye to Steelers fans. Brown’s farewell is premature, as the Steelers can’t trade him until at least March 13. He tweeted Tuesday that he had “a great meeting” with owner Art Rooney.
“We both agreed that it is time to move on but I’ll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization!” Brown tweeted.
Had a great meeting with Mr.Rooney today we discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues! We both agreed that it is time to move on but I’ll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization! #CallGod #Boomin pic.twitter.com/DEgURchvhW— Antonio Brown (@AB84) February 19, 2019
If the Steelers trade Brown between March 13-17, they would take a whopping $21 million dead money charge against the salary cap for 2019. The other option is to pay Brown his $2.5 million bonus on March 17, trade him after June 1, and take dead cap hits of $9.5 million this year and $14 million next year.
■ Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer tweeted last Wednesday that he believes the Giants will trade Odell Beckham Jr. this year. That would certainly be interesting, as the Giants just signed Beckham to a six-year, $98.4 million deal last August that runs through 2023.
Beckham’s contract also seems prohibitive of a trade. If traded before June 1, Beckham would count $16 million in dead cap money against the Giants’ salary cap, which is a lot for one player. An acquiring team would also have to really want Beckham, as he is due $31 million in salary over the next two years.
But I wouldn’t entirely discount a trade, either. If the Giants did it after June 1, it would cost them only $4 million in dead cap money this year, and $12 million next year — which is still a lot, but the NFL salary cap keeps increasing by $10 million each year.