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Cap Class: Martavis Bryant

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Cap Class is a series where I break down the cap to find the amounts associated with the roster, dead money, or future cost of players. Dollar amounts and cap cost may not be exciting, but they can be interesting when you look inside the numbers. I will place explanations inside of {braces}, so if you know how those numbers are found, you can skip over them. So grab your pencils and calculators, and let’s do some math!

There has been a lot of trade talk going around involving Martavis Bryant, and the trade deadline falls on Halloween this year at 4pm. If losing Bryant this year is the scariest thing you can think of on Halloween, fear not. The money just doesn’t add up, and I’ll show you why.

Currently the Steelers have nearly $4.8M of space under the salary cap. Normally they carry between $2-$3M, to sign players in case of a significant injury. Fortunately the Steelers have been free of serious injury to any of their starters this year. A serious injury being, to have to place a player on injured reserve. The Steelers are quickly approaching week 8/9, which would be the last weeks you could place a player on IR and still recall them 8 weeks later, to play this season. Once week 9 is past, the roster is locked, and any seriously injured player, has to be replaced with a street free agent. It is good for this team to carry a little extra space than they did in years past, to give them the most flexibility for signing players during the last half of the season. Since Bryant’s current salary is so low, it would be like using cap money to sign an injured player.

Currently Bryant’s cap value is $718,346. The Steelers would be on the hook for his prorated signing bonus of $109.8k for this year. Also they would have paid Bryant for half of a season, so half of his $615k is already on the books and paid ($307.5k).

This leaves the Steelers already pot committed with $417.3k on a $718k cap. Saving $300k provides no value to signing a new wide receiver to fill his roster slot, especially since Bryant’s cap value next year drops to $705k. That is a lot of value, for a potentially talented receiver like Bryant, at a bargain basement price.

In summation, the Steelers would have to tap into their cap reserves and lose cap space to release or trade Martavis Bryant. (Unless they are happy promoting Marcus Tucker or resigning DeMarcus Ayres). That would be the biggest reason not to make a trade during the season. Plus the Steelers would have to deal with a significant drop in talent level for any replacement at this time of the year. The value just isn’t there.

http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers/cap/

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