The contracts for several notable players will void today, formally paving the way for them to hit free agency next month, as Joel Corry of CBSSports.com details. Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, and Bills running back C.J. Spiller are among the players who will see the 2015 seasons on their deals void, since the language in their respective contracts called for that to happen on the fifth day after this year’s Super Bowl.
In each case, the fact that the player’s contract is voiding today doesn’t mean he’ll immediately become a free agent. The Lions, for instance, will still be the only team that can negotiate a new agreement with Suh for the next few weeks. If the star defender still hasn’t worked anything out with the team by March 3, Detroit could use its franchise tag on him. If the Lions pass on using a tag, Suh would be able to talk to other teams as of March 7, and could sign elsewhere on March 10.
While these players won’t necessarily be returning to their current clubs, those teams will each carry a cap hit for 2015 due to the contracts. In some cases, that cap number is modest — for JPP and the Giants, it’s just $1.35MM. However, the Lions’ hit for Suh is approximately $9.74MM. In other words, if Detroit has to use the franchise tag – worth $26.895MM – on Suh, the team will be using over $36MM in cap room to a single player.
Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap explained in greater detail why a number of players from 2010’s draft class have a voided year at the end of their rookie contracts, and adds a few more names to the list of players whose deals void today: Jaguars defensive end Tyson Alualu, Eagles edge defender Brandon Graham, Chargers running back Ryan Mathews, and Titans edge defender Derrick Morgan will also be eligible for free agency next month after their 2015 years void.