I checked some rules and also put in a call to ESPN’s John Clayton, who knows how the salary cap works perhaps better than anyone on the planet and here’s what we came up with.
Stinchcomb’s $2.25 million base salary for this year was guaranteed, so the Saints are on the hook for that. Throw in this year’s share of prorated bonuses ($2.425 million) and the Saints are taking a $4.675 million cap hit this year. It could even be a little more. Stinchcomb also was scheduled for a $100,000 workout bonus this offseason. Clayton and I couldn’t come up with a decisive answer on if workout bonus will still count because offseason conditioning wasn’t allowed in the lockout. If they do, tack on another $100,000. That would bring the hit to $4.775 million, which was exactly what Stinchcomb’s cap figure would have been if he stayed with the Saints this season.
He had two more years on his contract and this release is treated like a June 1 cut, meaning some of the cap hit will spill over to next year. In 2012, Stinchcomb still will count $4.85 million toward New Orleans’ salary cap. That's the total of the prorated bonuses that would have been spread out over 2012 and 2013.