Declining dead cap hit
The cherry on top of the “Cut Eric Rowe” ice cream sundae is his contract situation for 2022.
Rowe will be entering the final season of a four-year deal that he signed in 2019, one that has seen his cap hit fluctuate between $4 million and $6 million owed per season. His cap hit for 2022 is a respectable $5 million, but likely won’t be a price the Dolphins are willing to pay for aging, possibly declining secondary play. But the golden ticket is the dead cap number.
The dead cap is the price that a team has to fork out for a player even though they are no longer on that team’s roster, and Rowe’s is looking enticing for next season. Over the last two years, his dead cap hits were $4.9 million and $4.5 million, meaning that cutting, waiving, or trading him would cost Miami nearly as much as keeping him on the roster would. But that magic number goes down to an extremely affordable $525,000 for 2022, meaning that the Dolphins can think about moving on without experiencing any major salary cap ramifications.
With Rowe still on the roster, Miami still has one of the top five most expensive secondary units in the league. They already have plenty of cap space to work with, but don’t be surprised to see the veteran on the chopping block this spring.