Creating Cap Space by Extending Players with Void Years

One of the big questions I get over and over this time of year is about void years in player contracts and what that means for the salary cap charge of the player. Basically, the void year is a fake contract year used for the sole purpose of parking salary cap charges and when the contract expires whatever cap numbers are in those void years accelerate to the current season.

We account for these differently than the NFL which leads to discrepancies in reports from time to time. We include the salary cap charge to reflect the contract voiding since over 80% of the time that is what happens. The NFL doesn’t change the salary cap charge for the player until the contract actually voids, a date that can be as late as the first day of free agency. The other 20% of the time players sign an extension to remove the void years and we update when the details of the extension are known.

We have a record of 73 contracts that are set to automatically void in 2024.  I wanted to look at just how much could be saved by extending players before their contract voids and see what teams can save the most by retaining these players.

No team can save more than the Vikings who can prevent over $30 million in salary cap charges from hitting the cap in 2024 by extending three players. Kirk Cousins has $28.5 million in dead money staring the Vikings in the face. If they decide to run it back with him they will only need to account for $10.25 million plus whatever other cap charges a new contract would hold. Danielle Hunter has nearly $15 million hitting the cap and the team could save $7.5 million with an extension. Finally the team could prevent $5.1 million from accelerating from Marcus Davenport’s contract.

The Buccaneers have seven players with voiding contracts with $14.5 million that could be saved. More than half of the savings come from Mike Evans. Evans will count for $12.2 million in dead money but the Bucs could defer $7.4 million of it by extending Evans. Lavonte David could save $2 million and Baker Mayfield $1.73 million.

The third team surprised me and that team is the Jets. The Jets have four voiding contracts with up to $11.15 million in savings but other than Jordan Whitehead ($2.5 million saved) I don’t think there would be a big push to return the others. The other names are Carl Lawson, Duane Brown, and Quinton Jefferson.

The final team that can realize over $10 million in savings are the Titans. Like the Jets it’s doubtful they will avoid many voids. The team seems ready to turn the page on Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry and that is $7.6 million of the potential savings right there.

The Seahawks, Dolphins, Browns, Patriots, and Lions all have contracts that void but there is nothing that can be saved these as these contracts only contain one void year. The Bears, Colts, Chargers, Steelers, Broncos, Jaguars, Bengals, Cardinals, and Rams do not have any contracts that will automatically void this offseason.

Here is the full list of players, their current cap charge and how much can be saved if they are extended.

Kirk CousinsVikingsQB$28,500,000$18,250,000
Danielle HunterVikingsEDGE$14,906,667$7,453,334
Mike EvansBuccaneersWR$12,198,000$7,387,000
Andrus PeatSaintsLG$13,638,000$6,292,000
Marcus DavenportVikingsEDGE$6,800,000$5,100,000
Carl LawsonJetsEDGE$6,300,000$4,725,000
Ryan TannehillTitansQB$9,200,000$4,600,000
Darnell Savage Jr.PackersS$5,456,800$4,092,600
Sheldon RankinsTexansDT$5,250,000$3,500,000
Kevin ZeitlerRavensRG$4,268,000$3,201,000
Duane BrownJetsLT$4,728,000$3,152,000
Derrick HenryTitansRB$5,400,000$3,032,353
Leonard FloydBillsEDGE$4,376,250$2,917,500
Chris JonesChiefsDT$3,400,080$2,550,060
Jordan WhiteheadJetsS$3,300,000$2,475,000
Curtis SamuelCommandersWR$4,800,000$2,400,000
D.J. CharkPanthersWR$3,136,000$2,352,000
Marcus MariotaEaglesQB$3,068,000$2,301,000
Micah HydeBillsS$3,408,000$2,272,000
Dalton SchultzTexansTE$3,375,000$2,250,000
Lavonte DavidBuccaneersLB$2,668,000$2,001,000
Yosuah NijmanPackersLT$2,543,200$1,907,400
Azeez Al-ShaairTitansLB$2,536,000$1,902,000
Baker MayfieldBuccaneersQB$2,300,000$1,725,000
Jerry HughesTexansEDGE$2,140,000$1,604,500
Greg GainesBuccaneersDT$1,900,000$1,425,000
A’Shawn RobinsonGiantsDT$2,100,000$1,400,000
Gus EdwardsRavensRB$1,840,000$1,380,000
Nelson AgholorRavensWR$1,668,000$1,251,000
Cordarrelle PattersonFalconsRB$2,500,000$1,250,000
Rock Ya-SinRavensCB$1,600,000$1,200,000
Ka’imi FairbairnTexansK$1,599,111$1,199,334
Antoine Winfield, Jr.BuccaneersS$1,586,400$1,189,800
Quinton JeffersonJetsDT$1,540,000$1,155,000
Keisean NixonPackersCB$1,480,000$1,110,000
Tyron SmithCowboysLT$6,005,000$1,000,000
Andre JamesRaidersC$1,440,000$960,000
Sam FranklinPanthersS$1,200,000$900,000
Steven NelsonTexansCB$1,134,000$850,500
Sean Murphy-BuntingTitansCB$1,613,334$806,668
Matt FeilerBuccaneersLG$1,032,000$774,000
Tashaun Gipson49ersS$800,000$600,000
Oren Burks49ersLB$819,000$546,000
Geno StoneRavensS$600,000$450,000
Michael ThomasSaintsWR$12,403,588$0
Brandon GrahamEaglesEDGE$7,930,000$0
Fletcher CoxEaglesDT$5,700,000$0
Ryan JensenBuccaneersC$5,977,000$0
Jameis WinstonSaintsQB$4,577,000$0
Odell Beckham Jr.RavensWR$3,977,000$0
Za’Darius SmithBrownsEDGE$3,077,000$0
Halapoulivaati VaitaiLionsRG$3,843,195$0
Romeo OkwaraLionsEDGE$3,500,000$0
Adoree’ JacksonGiantsCB$2,988,334$0
Cedrick Wilson Jr.DolphinsWR$2,500,000$0
Trent BrownPatriotsLT$2,036,765$0
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Jr.LionsS$2,000,000$0
Charles HarrisLionsEDGE$1,988,334$0
DaQuan JonesBillsDT$1,833,334$0
Dorance Armstrong Jr.CowboysEDGE$1,500,000$0
Graham GlasgowLionsRG$1,470,000$0
Tyrod TaylorGiantsQB$1,400,000$0
Tim SettleBillsDT$1,350,000$0
Emmanuel MoseleyLionsCB$1,000,000$0
Tyler MatakevichBillsLB$667,500$0
Jakeem GrantBrownsWR$666,668$0
Jalen MillsPatriotsCB$625,000$0
Teddy BridgewaterLionsQB$500,000$0
Randy Gregory49ersEDGE$0$0
Mecole HardmanChiefsWR$0$0
Leonard WilliamsSeahawksDE$0$0
Derek BarnettTexansEDGE$0$0
Shaquill GriffinPanthersCB$0$0