Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cap ramifications of Dan Connor being waived off of Injured Reserve

This was not an injury settlement by the way, but a flat out waiver of the player. Connor could not be waived until he was healthy. He requested to be waived off of the Injured Reserve list in order to find employment from another team, as evidenced by the tweet below:

It was also a chance for the Giants to hopefully recoup some cap room if another team put in a claim for Connor, which did not happen (it was doubtful that it would happen). Players with 4 or more years of accrued experience towards free agency could no longer be considered free agents upon being cut as of the day after the trading deadline, on the day of Wednesday, October 30th of last week.

The Ravens tried to gain some extra cap space last week with two of the players that they signed in free agency (Michael Huff & Marcus Spears) this past off-season who were still on their roster after the waiver requirement kicked in for players with 4 or more years of accrued service to see if they could gain some cap room after admitting their mistake in signing those two players this past off-season. They weren't claimed, but it was still an opportunity nonetheless for the Ravens' front office to try and make the best of the situation. Jason Fitzgerald wrote a fine article on the subject. Click below to read it, as well as an article explaining the veteran waivers process:

Connor will collect full termination pay (read an excellent article about it HERE) because:

1 - He has 4 or more accrued years towards free agency.
2 - He was on the opening day roster.
3 - He has never been in a position to put in a claim for it in the past (players can only make use of this once in their careers).

Connor will be paid his full salary from the Giants since it's certain that he'll collect full termination pay from the Giants. If a team did claim him, the Giants would have been off the hook for his remaining paragraph 5 salary. They would have stood to gain $261,176 in cap room ($32,647 x 8 weeks) if another team put in a waiver claim for him by the end of the day yesterday at 4 pm. Unsurprisingly, it didn't happen. For the sake of reference, here is his salary cap page from

Connor will actually be in a position to double dip now since he was not claimed off of waivers (he'd get his money from the Giants AND from another team). He'll put in a claim for full termination pay, which for salary cap accounting purposes is already calculated into the equation beforehand even though the veteran player still has to actually file the claim with the league (players have until February 1st to do so in each league year according to the podcast this past Saturday, November 2nd by Jason Fitzgerald of

Look for teams to try and dump players off. and gain extra cap space by using this strategy. Jason pointed it out in the article that I linked above that he wrote last week on the veteran waivers process. The Giants didn't gain any extra cap room as a result of the Connor release (he had no incentive by the way to agree to an injury settlement with the Giants since he would not profit from it). They did have a chance though to gain some cap space though from this, and they took it. They took their shot at it by waiving him off of IR. It was unlikely that he would be claimed, but it was still a possibility nonetheless since he was healthy now (a requirement for him to be waived in this manner).

Other teams have done this, as in the case of Justin Babin being waived from the Eagles last year after the trading deadline, with the purpose of gaining extra cap space in mind--the Eagles/Patriots trade last week involving Isaac Sopoaga actually employed this strategy to the benefit of the Eagles. It helped them gain extra room on the cap both this year and next year. The Patriots had plenty of room to absorb such a transaction. Look for other teams who are out of the race and who are low on cap room to try and employ the same strategy that the Eagles took last year when they released Justin Babin late in the year.

The Giants are now $140,007 under the cap as per the NFLPA's League Cap Report website, ranking them next to last in the entire NFL, right ahead of St. Louis. They could use all the room that they can get at this point. Another $150 K to $200 K in extra cap space could mean the difference in adding another player if someone else goes on IR, and a player is needed to replace him who is currently not counting against the cap.