- Matt Ryan has the largest dead salary cap hit in NFL history.
- Dead salary cap money can negatively impact a team’s NFL odds.
When the Falcons traded away Matt Ryan, this signaled the beginning of a new era for the franchise. But they haven’t completely moved on from him yet.
The Falcons, who have Super Bowl odds of +25000, will have a $40.5 million dead cap hit for Ryan for the 2022 season. This represents the largest dead cap hit in NFL history.
Biggest NFL Dead Salary Cap Hits in 2022
|Rank||Player||Team||Dead cap hit|
|1||Matt Ryan||Falcons||$40.5 million|
|2||Russell Wilson||Seahawks||$26 million|
|3||Khalil Mack||Bears||$24 million|
|4||Deshaun Watson||Texans||$16.2 million|
|5||Julio Jones||Falcons||$15.5 million|
|6||Terron Armstead||Saints||$13 million|
|7||Zach Cunningham||Texans||$12.8 million|
|8||Trey Flowers||Lions||$12.1 million|
|9||Robert Woods||Rams||$11.9 million|
|10||James Bradberry||Giants||$11.7 million|
|11||Drew Brees||Saints||$11.5 million|
|12||Logan Ryan||Giants||$11.5 million|
|13||Za'Darius Smith||Packers||$11.4 million|
|14||Baker Mayfield||Browns||$10.5 million|
|15||Ben Roethlisberger||Steelers||$10.3 million|
What is Dead Money in the NFL?
Dead cap money refers to guaranteed cash and bonuses for a player no longer on a team that hasn’t yet been paid and bonuses that haven’t been applied to a team’s salary cap.
In other words, if a team signs a player to a contract with guarantees and bonuses but then releases that player, the team is still on the hook to pay that money. It also counts toward salary caps for coming seasons, which can hinder that team’s future if the dead money is large enough.
Biggest Dead Salary Cap Hits in NFL History
The Falcons are particularly hampered by their dead cap situation this season. They have a league-high $63.3 million in dead money in 2022.
That’s partly because two players’ dead cap figures are among the biggest dead salary cap hits in NFL history. That includes Ryan, who was traded to the Colts this offseason.
Julio Jones will have a cap hit of $15.5 million even though he was traded to the Titans a year ago. In 2019, he signed a three-year, $66 million deal.
Eight of the 10 biggest dead cap hits are for players in the league.
Largest Dead Money Totals in NFL
|Rank||Team||Dead Cap Hit|
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