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Mailbag: What Does June 1 Mean? Staying For Less?


Help me understand the reason a team can save money on a player designated as a June 1 cut versus a cut before that date? — JEFF HATCHER / ABILENE, TX

Rob: It's definitely a salary cap quirk. It allows teams to part ways with a player before June 1 but not take the full cap hit all in one year. It applies not only to cuts but trades and even retirements. For example, when Travis Frederick retired in 2020 the Cowboys designated it a post-June 1 transaction and basically split the cap hit in half over the next two years.

Nick: What I'll add to Rob's answer is that recently, the NFL decided to change the rule to where teams can designate two players per offseason as "June 1" cuts. That allows the teams to benefit on the cap-savings, but the players can get released earlier when teams have money to spend on free agency. It used to be a case where teams would have to wait until June 1 and then cut players to save money. Those guys would then be forced to take less money and also get a late start on acclimating with a new team.

Do you think any of the free agent signings from last year would take less money to stay with the Cowboys and stay in Dan Quinn's system that better fits their abilities? — FRED ROBERTS / SALEM, OR

Nick: Probably not. And if it does happen, it wouldn't be a significant decrease. These guys are looking for their second contract. We all know how important that deal is for most players because it could very well be their last chance at a big pay-day. To me, if a player takes less money contract-wise, it's only because he knows he'll pay less in taxes in a certain state and/or the extra dollars isn't worth moving his family. But you won't see many players taking incredibly less just to stay with a coach or a team.

Rob: As much as Quinn is respected in the locker room, and as much fun as the defense had last year, I would imagine that's a factor for some guys. Last week on 105.3 The Fan, Jayron Kearse talked about trying to keep everyone together for 2022 and Quinn's return being a big step toward that. Realistically, though, the defense won't look the exact same next year, and ultimately salary is a big factor, if not the biggest, in most cases. Back in 2015, DeMarco Murray loved Dallas too, but he decided to take the best offer elsewhere. Can't fault guys for trying to get the best second or third contract possible for themselves and their families. Nobody plays forever.

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