Late on Friday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs signed former New York Giants cornerback (and special-teams ace) Antonio Hamilton. The Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson has now reported the details of Hamilton’s contract.
Antonio Hamilton (Chiefs), one-year, $1.047M, $887,500 gtd, $137,500 signing bonus, salary $910K ($750K gtd), veteran salary benefit— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 22, 2020
As a one-year deal, the full amount of Hamilton’s $1.05 million contract (a signing bonus of $137,500 on top of an NFL-minimum salary of $910,000) would normally count against the salary cap. But as Wilson notes, Hamilton’s contract uses the veteran salary benefit allowed under Article 27 of the recently-signed NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. This provision of the deal permits his contract to carry a cap hit of only $875,000, allowing the Chiefs to save $160,000 against the cap.
That's good news for the Chiefs, who won't see Antonio Hamilton cancel out one of the compensatory picks on the 2021 board, regardless of his performance in 2020.— Nick Korte (@nickkorte) March 22, 2020
This part of the CBA is not new. Last season, the Chiefs used a similar section of the 2011 CBA to sign fullback Anthony Sherman to a one-year, $1.04 million contract that counted just $735,000 against the cap.
But in the new CBA, the veteran salary benefit has been expanded.
As before, the player must have at least four accrued seasons — and for cap purposes, their salary counts only as that of a player with just two accrued seasons. But the amount of additional compensation allowed (such as signing or roster bonus) has been increased from $90,000 to $137,500; it’s no coincidence that this is the precise amount of Hamilton’s signing bonus. Under the new CBA, the allowable bonus will increase every two years, reaching $227,500 by 2030.
With Hamilton’s contract figures included, we now estimate the Chiefs’ salary cap space at no more than $2.1 million — and likely less than that.