Tennessee Titans: A Salary Cap Primer

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Dec 1, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Tennessee Titans strong safety Bernard Pollard (31) intercepts a pass intended for Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Bernard Pollard: A Test Case

Now that you have a bit of a primer on how the salary cap works, let’s take a look at some of the recent signings to see how the Titans came out. Our first stop: Bernard Pollard

Pollard signed a 2-year, $6.3 million dollar contract, with the only guaranteed money being his $850,000 signing bonus.

Breaking it down (2014):

Pollard’s base salary is $1.65 million, with $600,000 available in roster and workout bonuses. $425,000 of his signing bonus counts for his cap number in 2014. All together, it costs the Titans $2,675,000 to keep him for 2014.

Where does that put him in terms of cap number? The 25th highest cap number for an NFL safety. Ironically, he is 2 slots behind fellow Titan George Wilson ($2.8 million) who has had far less impact on the team.

Breaking it down (2015):

Pollard’s cap number will increase by almost $1 million if the Titans decide to keep him in 2015. If, however, he has a disappointing 2014 campaign and they decide to move in a new direction, Pollard could be cut next offseason by creating only $425,000 in dead money.

Grading it out: 10/10 – these are the types of no-brainer moves you like to see the Titans make. They have very little risk involved but very high reward with the level of physicality and attitude Pollard brings.