June First: A day where accounting changes and no loss of compensatory picks occurs

Julian Finney

The rules have changed. After June 1, tender levels change, prorated bonuses can be stretched on released players and other players signed do not affect the compensatory model.

The Steelers have been eagerly awaiting June 1, 2014.

The biggest move this offseason was the Post-June 1 release of outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley, and with that, his release means a $13.59 million cap charge is reduced this year to $5.59 million, a savings of $8 million. It adds $8.5 million onto the Steelers' salary cap in 2015 as dead money.

According to OverTheCap.com, the Steelers have $357,896 in cap space until Monday (post-June 1), at which point that increases to $7.505 million, according to BTSC's Simon Chester, when Woodley's contract clears and displacement takes effect. Chester also reported the Steelers' salary cap cost for their rookie class (four of which are currently not signed but should be very soon after June 1) is $2,018,643.

Let's call it $5.48 million in cap space after the remainder of the rookie class is signed. Obviously the remaining balance of what's owed to the rookies will be considered already spent, so with that in mind, the $5.48 million figure makes sense.

What's also important about Post-June 1 is free agents signed by teams no longer impact the formula for determining compensatory picks. Teams can sign as many free agents as they can afford without it hurting the calculations for end-of-round picks awarded each season by the NFL.

These picks are critical to a shrewd economically thinking team. The draft can be considered similar to a degree to the lottery. While earlier round picks have better chances of higher returns, all of them have relatively inexpensive contracts, and the more selections a team has, the better odds they have of selecting a player who pans out.

Not to get too deep back into draft talk, the designations that occur based on June 1 are important to know when considering the intentions of a team. Certainly, the market is much more bare now than it was in March 11, when free agency started, but there are still players to be had with many teams waiting for the post-June 1 environment to begin negotiations.

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