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June 01, 2024

Noteworthy NFL date June 1 is here: What does it mean for the Eagles?

Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox will officially retire and more cap flexibility will make some tough trade options more palatable.

Eagles NFL
053124JasonKelceFletcherCox Kyle Ross/USA TODAY Sports

Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox.

June 1 is a noteworthy date on the NFL calendar, generally speaking, as it typically triggers a number of roster moves around the NFL.

Prior to June 1, if a player is cut or traded, any and all dead money, usually in the form of bonus proration, accelerates into the current year, and counts toward the salary cap in the current year. If a player is cut or released after June 1, any bonus proration in future contract years won't count toward the cap in the form of dead money until the following year.

Are you still here? You haven't closed this article after that last paragraph? Thanks! Here's what it means for the Eagles this year.

June 1 releases/retirements

The Eagles like to utilize June 1 releases, so it's worth knowing a little something about them if you're into salary cap minutiae. As always, OverTheCap does a great job of explaining them. This year, the Eagles did not release any players with a June 1 designation, but they do have a pair of players in Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox who will "officially" retire either on June 1 or very shortly thereafter.

How will the remnants of their contracts affect the Eagles' salary cap going forward? Well, retirements work in a similar way to releases. Normally, if a player is released, whatever guaranteed salary is left on his deal, and any prorated bonus money that has already been paid out to the player will remain on the team's salary cap. If a player retires, he does not get paid his salary (duh) or any roster bonuses, but any prorated bonus money already paid to the player that has not yet counted toward the salary cap will, you know, count toward the salary cap. 

There have been some occasions in which teams have attempted to recoup signing bonus money after a player unexpectedly retired, but that is not going to happen in Kelce's or Cox's cases, given their contributions to the team over the last decade.

• Kelce will count for $8,678,000 in dead money in 2024, and $16,438,000 in 2025.

• Cox will count for $4,200,000 in dead money in 2024, and $10,100,000 in 2025.

Trades become more palatable for some players

In 2021, the Atlanta Falcons traded Julio Jones to the Tennessee Titans shortly after June 1, because it meant that they could spread out his dead money over 2021 and 2022, instead of the full amount being applied to 2021. In 2022, the Cleveland Browns traded Baker Mayfield to the Panthers under similar circumstances. We'll see if the passing of the June 1 barrier spurs trade action around the league.

The one Eagles player who would make sense in a trade is James Bradberry, should the Eagles find a team interested in him. Trading Bradberry instead of releasing him would save them a little over $1 million in guaranteed salary. By waiting until after June 1 to trade him, they would also be able to dump a portion of his dead money hit in 2025, but we'll get into more of those details if a deal goes down. The Eagles would likely be happy to trade him for a ham sandwich if they could.

How about trade possibilities for outside players?

There were a pair of safeties in Budda Baker and Kevin Byard who were the subjects of Eagles trade rumors around this time last year. They did eventually deal for Byard at the trade deadline. This year there aren't any players rumored to want off of their current teams who would make sense for the Eagles. One such player might have been Saints CB Marshon Lattimore, but the Eagles won't be trading for him after selecting cornerbacks with their first two picks in the 2024 draft.

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