June 1st is an important date in the NFL offseason. Teams can wait to release players after June 1st, which then allows them to push salary cap penalties from future years into the following seasons. This is why the Chargers are still getting hit with "dead money" for Jared Gaither in 2014 despite the fact that he was released a year ago.
There are a handful of players being released today, by their respective teams, in an effort to push cap penalties to future seasons. Fortunately, the Chargers are not one of those teams. They don't have any long-term contracts that they're looking to get rid of. However, if they did, they would have needed to wait until today because they have next to no cap space with which to take cap penalties on.
So, what does this date mean to the Chargers? Nothing, unless they're interested in bringing back a former player. Per OverTheCap.com...
June 1 is also the day in which NFL teams have a decision to make on their former players who were Unrestricted Free Agents and remain unsigned. The team has an option to extend a tender offer of either 110% of the players’ prior year salary cap charge (minus workout and incentive payments) if a veteran or 100% of the players prior years base salary if the player was on a rookie contract. If the June 1 tender is made the player has until July 22 to sign with another team. At that point his former team retains exclusive negotiating rights throughout the season. These June 1 tender amounts do not count against the salary cap until July 15.
Let me see if I have that right. If the Chargers were to offer any of the unsigned unrestricted free agents a contract of 110% of their 2013 salary (or 100% of their were on a rookie contract), and the player doesn't sign with another team before July 22, the Chargers retain exclusive negotiating rights throughout the season?!?
Here is the list of San Diego's unsigned, unrestricted free agents:
- Danario Alexander, WR
- Bront Bird, LB
- Ronnie Brown, RB
- Byron Jerideau, DT
- Le'Ron McClain, FB
- Tobias Palmer, WR
Well, not that I'd advocate the team going out of their way to bring any of those guys back, that is something to look out for from the team today and/or tomorrow.