The family of slain Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor will receive a number of benefits, including a $600,000 life insurance policy, under terms of the league's collective bargaining agreement with its players.
But according to NFL senior vice president of public relations Greg Aiello, the league has "no specific salary-cap rules" governing a player's death. And the NFL is still determining, Aiello said in an e-mail, the exact ramifications that Taylor's passing early Tuesday morning will have on his contract and on the Redskins' future salary cap.
Aiello said that Taylor's sister was named as the beneficiary of his life insurance policy.
Among the several other benefits available to his family: dependent medical insurance through the first game of 2008 through the "active player policy," and then five further years of coverage under the "continuing veteran policy"; $100,000 in a health reimbursement account for dependent health care after the expiration of the "continued veteran" coverage; $103,560 in a 401(k) plan; and a widow/children's death benefit that pays $9,000 per month for the first 48 months, then $3,600 per month until the child is 19 years old (or 23 years old if in college).
Taylor, 24, was not married, but he and his girlfriend had a 1-year-old daughter.
As is believed to have been the case with the Denver Broncos in the wake of the murder of cornerback Darrent Williams on Jan. 1, the Redskins are not likely to realize much salary cap relief this season or in future years.
Taylor had a base salary of $1.125 million for 2007 and essentially had collected 12 weeks' worth of that, or $794,117. Washington will not be charged for the balance against its cap. His base salaries for the remaining years of the contract, which was signed when he was a first-round pick in the 2004 draft, were $865,000 (2008), $1.105 million (2009) and $1.345 million (2010). There were offseason workout bonuses of $150,000 each in 2008-09, and $39,715 for 2010.
The Redskins technically are not liable for those base salaries or for the workout bonuses.
Aiello said that the remaining prorated amounts from signing or option bonuses already paid to Taylor will "accelerate" into Washington's salary cap for 2008. According to NFL Players Association documents, the prorated amounts for future seasons are $1.175 million each for 2008-09 and $128,000 for 2010. That would bring Taylor's salary-cap charge for 2008 to about $2.48 million.
Taylor's scheduled salary-cap charge for 2008 had been $2.19 million. So it appears that the recalculated salary-cap charge for 2008, because of the "accelerated" prorations, could be slightly higher than the initial one.
League officials still are determining what, if any, bonuses or incentives Taylor might have qualified for this season.
As the fifth overall player chosen in 2004, and one of only nine safeties to have been selected among the top 10 players in any draft over the past 20 years, Taylor signed a seven-year contract with a base value of about $18 million and a maximum worth of $40 million. He received an initial signing bonus of $7.2 million and then subsequent option bonuses of $4.475 million in 2005 and $640,000 in 2006.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.