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How the Isaiah Wilson trade affects the Titans salary cap

Breaking down the financial implications of the Isaiah Wilson trade

NFL: Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans were able to move on from Isaiah Wilson yesterday, in case you missed it. This gets his headache off the roster. It also means they don’t have to pay him any more money going forward. You know that had to be a big part of the motivation to make the trade.

So what does it mean for the Titans’ salary cap in 2021? The easiest way to explain it is all of his signing bonus money accelerates into this year. That is a “dead money” charge against this year’s cap. Wilson’s signing bonus was just shy of $6 million according to Spotrac. When signed, that money was spread out over 4 years in terms of a cap hit. So you take that money and his guaranteed salary to get a total cap hit.

When the Titans traded him yesterday, they took the remaining $4.4 million as a cap hit for this season. Now they don’t have to pay his salary this year, which is set to be about $1.1 million. They are also, obviously, off the hook for his salary going forward.

Had they just outright cut him they would have had to take the rest of his contract, about $6.4 million, as a cap hit this year. That’s why it was important to be able to trade him.

There are no winners here. The Titans get if of the headache, but they also wasted a first-round pick and a lot of money.