Matt Ryan’s $40 Million Falcons’ ‘Dead Money’ Breaks NFL Record; Top 10 cap hits for 2022 | Launderer’s report
AP Photo/Michael Conroy
Matt Ryan’s final act as the Atlanta Falcon will put a stranglehold on their 2022 cap sheet.
The quarterback’s $40.5 million cap charge after being traded to the Indianapolis Colts is not only the biggest dead-money blow in NFL history, but also the biggest ceiling for the 2022 season, by Peter King from NBC Sports.
The NFL’s biggest hits for the 2022 season
1. Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons): $40.5 million
2. Ryan Tannehill (Tennessee Titans): $38.6 million
3. Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs of Kansas City): $35.8 million
4. Kirk Cousins (Minnesota Vikings): $31.4 million
5. Jared Goff (Detroit Lions): $31.2 million
6. TJ Watt (Pittsburgh Steelers): $31.1 million
7. Chris Jones (Kansas City Chiefs): $29.4 million
8. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers): $28.5 million
9. Carson Wentz (Washington Commanders): $28.3 million
10. Leonard Williams (New York Giants): $27.3 million
The Falcons traded Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a third-round pick after their pursuit of Deshaun Watson failed. While a relatively weak carry, especially considering the cost of the dead cap, Atlanta was to face such a charge at some point in the future after kicking the road multiple times over the course of of recent seasons.
Ryan’s cap charge breaks the record set a year ago by the Philadelphia Eagles when they ate up $33.8 million to trade Carson Wentz, also to the Colts. Indianapolis spit out the first-round pick but ended his Wentz experience after one season, sending him to the Washington Commanders earlier this offseason.
A player’s maximum load seldom represents the amount of money they will make in a given season. Typically, a player receives a large signing bonus when he agrees to a deal that spans the length of the contract, artificially lowering his achieved cap. However, when a team trades or releases that player, any money left on the deal accelerates to that year’s cap.
Teams tend to restructure larger deals multiple times over their lifetime to keep caps as low as possible, but it can backfire, as in this case with Ryan.