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NFL Salary Cap: How Much Would It Cost To Keep Kevin Kolb

With Manning-sanity in full swing, Kolb has to be feeling some pressure(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
With Manning-sanity in full swing, Kolb has to be feeling some pressure(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Manning Watch 2012 has taken the country, including us at Revenge of the Birds, by storm. Along with our numerous discussion about the possibility of Peyton Manning playing for the Cardinals next year, and why we are clearly the best choice if Manning wants to win a Super Bowl, has been discussions about what to do with Kevin Kolb. Recently Jess Root wrote an article discussing the possibility of retaining Kolb and signing Manning, however this post will deal solely with Salary cap implications. Many members point to Kolb's seven million dollar roster bonus, due March 17th, as a reason, should we sign Manning, for Kolb's departure. We'd be cutting seven million dollars from the salary cap, which could be used to sign Manning, Wayne, or on of the linemen Tyler Nickel has offered in his series. But do we actually save seven Million if we release Kolb by March 17th? Not exactly.

Hit the jump for detail's on Kolb's potential cap hit

We all are well aware of the seven million dollar roster bonus Kolb is due by now, and have concluded that as long as we release Kolb by March 17th, that money will be eliminated from our salary cap hit, but the actual cap hit doesn't work that simply.

As per Kent Somers:

Kolb received a $10 million signing bonus. For cap purposes, that amount is prorated over the life of the contract. So last season Kolb had a cap number of $4 million ($2 million salary, $2 million signing bonus).

Assuming the Cardinals pay the $7 million bonus, Kolb's cap number this year will be $10.5 million ($7 million roster bonus, $2 million signing bonus, $1 million salary, $500,000 workout bonus).

If the Cardinals don't pay the signing bonus, Kolb will still cost them $8 million against the cap, the unprorated portion of his signing bonus.

Basically, for any contract, the signing bonus is spread out evenly for the duration of the contract, and should the player be released, the remaining signing bonus yet to be counted against the cap, counts against the cap for that year. Two million dollars of Kolb's signing bonus counted against the cap last year, leaving eight million dollars yet to be counted.

However, there is another exception that we can exploit were we to release Kolb before his roster bonus is due. The way this rule works, is that if the players contract is terminated, Kolb getting released, than they can choose to carry over the remaining signing bonus to the following season

As per Kent Somers:

So what does that mean regarding Kolb's situation? The way I read it, it means the Cardinals would take a $2 million cap charge in 2012 and the remaining $6 million cap hit to 2013, if they choose to.

Since we were under the cap last year, the way I understand it, we can also carry over a maximum of two million dollars of cap space for this upcoming season.

So the way I see it we have a few scenarios regarding the 2012 salary cap and Kevin Kolb. First, we keep Kevin Kolb, and the 2 million dollars of freed up cap space from last season eases his $10.5 million dollar cap hit. Second scenario, we release Kolb before his roster bonus is due, and elect to take the full hit of the remainder of his signing bonus, making his cap hit eight million dollars. Lastly, we release Kolb, and decide to use the exception to carry over six million dollars of his signing bonus to 2013, making his 2012 cap hit two million dollars.

So now that you have the information, you can decide what the best course of action would be to take with Kolb for next year. All of the money discussed in this post is strictly regarding how it will affect the salary cap, not how it will affect the Bidwill's bank account. Let us know what you think in the comments below.