South Notes: Bucs, Cotchery, Hasselbeck

After watching Cam Newton and the Panthers win 15 games in his division in 2015, then seeing Newton run for his life against a fearsome Broncos pass rush in the Super Bowl, Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander would like to see his team make an effort this offseason to add some more defensive players capable of wreaking havoc in opposing backfields.

“We need to get some more guys to, you know, to get some push on the quarterback,” Alexander said during an appearance on WDAE-AM 620 (link via “I think that’s what we’re going to be drafting this year, defensive ends. We had great defensive ends this year, but we need a little more help. So whoever we can get, you know, we’re going to need that pressure to get Cam and, you know, try to get to the Super Bowl this season.”

As general manager Jason Licht takes Alexander’s recommendations under consideration, let’s check in on some other updates from around the NFL’s South divisions….

  • Thursday is the day that the contracts for Panthers wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery and safety Roman Harper void, so both players will officially become free agents when the new league year begins, tweets Joel Corry of For his part, Cotchery said this week that he’s not sure what his future holds, but he has only positive things to say about the two years he has spent in Carolina (link via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review).
  • By the end of his 2015 campaign with the Colts, Matt Hasselbeck was pretty banged up, but the veteran quarterback said today during an appearance on 710 ESPN Seattle that he’s “strongly leaning toward” playing another season (Twitter link via Brady Henderson of 710 ESPN Seattle). Hasselbeck is an unrestricted free agent, so if he does continue his NFL career, there’s no guarantee that will happen in Indianapolis.
  • The agent for veteran guard Jahri Evans, who was released by the Saints this week, said on SportsRadio 94 WIP today that New Orleans asked Evans to take a pay cut to remain with the team, but his client wasn’t willing to do that for the second consecutive year (Twitter link via Matt Moscona of ESPN New Orleans). Evans signed a new contract last April that reduced his salary for 2016.
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3 comments on “South Notes: Bucs, Cotchery, Hasselbeck

  1. Bobby Sweet

    I keep reading about how contracts void on certain dates. What does this mean? Obviously, the player becomes a free agent, I get that. But what exactly makes these contracts void? Is it written into the contract for salary cap purposes? Like, a 5 year deal with $10M signing bonus, but voids after 2 years. So, they can spread the number $2M across those five years, then the money is removed from the cap when the contract voids? The player still gets $10M, but only $4M is actually counted against the cap?

    I’m probably way off. Can someone please explain this to me?

    • Luke Adams

      You’re actually almost exactly right. In some cases (ie. Tyrod Taylor), there’s language written into a contract allowing it to void a year or two early if a player reaches certain incentives (in Taylor’s case, because he played so much this year, his contract turned into a two-year deal instead of a three-year deal). In that case, the void year is sort of a reward, allowing a player to get back to free agency sooner.

      But for the most part, writing void years into a contract simply allows a team to spread out a cap hit for longer than they otherwise would have, as you say. In Cotchery’s case, his $2.25MM signing bonus became $450K annually over five years, instead of $1.125MM annually over two years.

      The Panthers still have to carry the leftover dead money now ($1.35MM in Cotchery’s case), but it gave them a little more flexibility during the two years Cotchery actually played for them.


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