American Football

Chuma Edoga reportedly signed for veteran exception with only $152k guaranteed


NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys reportedly got quite the deal on Chuma Edoga’s new deal.

The Dallas Cowboys fortified their offensive line on Wednesday by bringing back offensive lineman Chuma Edoga on a one-year deal. While the offseason as a whole has upset some fans, this was a solid move that provides legitimate depth.

Beyond the fact that Dallas established some depth (never a bad thing) ahead of the NFL draft they did so at a bargain (the true Cowboy way). In the time that has passed since Edoga’s return being made official contract details emerged and the Cowboys are spending relatively little here.

It was initially reported that the Cowboys were bringing back Edoga on the veteran salary benefit and that there was a “sizable guarantee” involved.

The term “sizable” can mean anything but the implication here was that it was notable in that it was large, relatively speaking of course. According to the mothership’s Mickey Spagnola, that does not seem to be the case. Again, if you believe sizable to mean of large proportion.

For left tackle insurance, the Cowboys did re-sign Edoga, but for the veteran exception, meaning he is only guaranteed his $152,000 max signing bonus and just a $1.092 million cap charge, that is, if he makes the team

In case you are not familiar with the veteran salary benefit, here is a nice explainer.

The Veteran Salary Benefit (VSB) rule was created by the 2020 CBA and replaced the old Minimum Salary Benefit (MSB) Rule. These rules were put in place to allow veteran players to be signed to Cap-friendly deals instead of being replaced by cheaper, more Cap-friendly, younger players. The Veteran Salary Benefit allows veteran player to be signed to 1-year contracts with the applicable minimum salary (based on the player’s service time) and a small signing bonus ($167,500 in 2024), but only have to count that player at the salary level of a player with only 2 years of service time (plus the bonus).

So, under the VSB rules, in 2024, a team can sign a 7-year veteran to the applicable minimum salary of $1.21M, with a signing bonus of $167,500, and instead of counting $1,377,500 against the Cap, the player would only count $1,152,500 ($985K + 167,500).

It should come as no surprise that the Cowboys were keen on keeping a player who they could have cost them less relative to their salary cap. This is actually quite the clever way to do it so good on them for identifying it.

But it seems like it is a tradition of sorts for the Cowboys. This is the third year in a row that they have utilized the VSB. Allow me to present 2022 and 2023’s usages.

There should be no issue with the Cowboys utilizing a mechanism that allows them to maintain as much salary cap space as possible, and even flipping that switch every year is fine. In fact, doing so every year suggests they are looking under every rock for the best and most cost-effective way to build a team.

But this certainly feeds the idea that they are looking to save in every capacity possible which this offseason has taken to the ultimate level.

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