The Chiefs got this additional cap space because when they cut safety Eric Berry on March 13, they designated his release as a post-June 1 cut. In the convoluted world of the NFL salary cap, this means that on Sunday, Berry’s cap hit for 2019 was reduced by $9.55 million.
It’s important to note that giving Berry’s release a post-June 1 designation hasn’t saved the Chiefs any real money; essentially the last two years of Berry’s pro-rated signing bonus (which would normally be charged against the cap this season) is simply moved to the 2020 season. The Chiefs will carry $8 million in dead money from Berry’s contract next season.
Although the Chiefs are getting the most immediate cap relief from their move with Berry, three other NFL teams that released players back in March saw an increase in their cap space on Sunday.
The Carolina Panthers got an extra $7 million on their 2019 books after cutting tackle Matt Kalil, who has since been signed by the Houston Texans. Tackle Ryan Schraeder was released by the Atlanta Falcons and is yet unsigned by another team — but the Falcons have now gained $6.45 million in cap space from his contract. And the Chicago Bears picked up an extra $1 million from their release of placekicker Cody Parkey — he of the famous double-doink missed field goal in last season’s divisional round playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Parkey also remains without a team.