Minimum Salary Benefit Explained

After the Nate Washington signing I started to get some questions concerning the minimum salary benefit.  Washington’s deal included a $970,000 salary and $30,000 bonus, but only accounted for a $615,000 salary cap charge.  This contract and associated salary cap charge is a perfect example of the minimum salary benefit.  What is this benefit?

Article 27 (page 149) of the 2011 NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement explains how this benefit works.  This benefit was put in place to entice teams to sign veteran players.  By signing veteran players under these parameters, the team receives a discount towards the salary cap.  Here are the basic requirements for a minimum salary benefit contract:

  • Term of the contract must be 1 year.
  • P5 salary should equal the minimum salary designation based on credited seasons.
  • Bonuses can be included up to $80,000.
  • Guarantees of the P5 salary shall not exceed the minimum salary of a 2 credited season player, $585,000 for the 2015 season.
  • Player must have 4 or more credited seasons to qualify.

Essentially the salary cap charge is calculated based on the salary of a 2 credited season player which is $585,000 plus any bonus money included on the deal to get the player’s salary cap charge for the year.  The player will still receive the full salary that is stated in the contract.  Houston has two contracts that qualify for this benefit:  Jeff Tarpinian & Nate Washington.  You can view their respective contracts by clicking on their names.

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