The Arizona Cardinals have signed a bunch of new players and they let go of a few more players that were still under contract, all in the name of salary relief, allowing them to make those free agent signings. Thanks to a post by Kent Somers and some tweets from Mike Jurecki, we have some salary info on the new free agents.
Running back Rashard Mendenhall signed a one-year contract worth $2.5 million. He got $500,000 for signing and can earn an additional $1M in incentives.
Quarterback Drew Stanton signed for three years and $8.2M. He got $2M for signing.
Cornerback Jerraud Powers signed for three years, $10.5M. His signing bonus was $3M. In contrast, Greg Toler, whom the Cardinals lost in free agency to the Colts, signed for three years and about $15M.
Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander signed for three years, $9.5M.
Safety Yeremiah Bell signed a one-year $840,000 deal.
Cornerback Antoine Cason signed for one year at about $2M.
Defensive end Matt Shaughnessy signed for one year at $850,000.
The only numbers that I haven't found anywhere are the salary numbers for linebacker Jasper Brinkley. He inked a two-year contract.
Nobody broke the bank, but there is good reason. The Cardinals have a lot of dead money on the cap because of their releases.
According to Kent Somers, that is about $12.4 million that counts against this year's cap.
Financially, the Cardinals are fine. It actually saves the team money. Dead money is not actual salary. It is a penalty against the salary cap -- essentially money they can't spend. They can't replace all the cut salary with new salary, in a sense penalizing the team for not honoring the contracts. On the flip side, with up front guaranteed money, the team was penalized by the players in the case of underperformance. The team shelled out millions for less than they expected.
The good news? That money falls off after this season and the team will have salary flexibility then. That will allow them to extend Patrick Peterson's contract and perhaps go after a free agent target.
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