Brian Hoyer's release from the Arizona Cardinals, reported Monday, clears $2 million in salary-cap room while reflecting significant roster changes at quarterback since Hoyer started in Week 17 last season.
Cardinals' salary-cap charges at QB
Hoyer, tendered by the Cardinals as a restricted free agent, was once a fallback in case the team could not add a clearly defined starter. Palmer's arrival by trade signaled Hoyer's likely departure from the roster, particularly after Stanton received a $2 million signing bonus.
Financial realities made keeping Hoyer unrealistic. Palmer's contract counts $4 million against the salary cap in 2013. That is a modest figure for a starter, but Kolb's deal is counting the same amount. That is because some of the money paid to Kolb previously had not yet counted against the cap. Rules require Arizona to account for that money even after releasing him.
Five quarterbacks will count against the Cardinals' cap in 2013 even though only three remain on the roster. Releasing Hoyer had no negative cap consequences because he had received no guaranteed money. Releasing him meant subtracting from the cap equation the $2 million in salary he would have earned.
Ryan Lindley is the only quarterback remaining on the roster from last season.