Now that NFL salary cap number has been set for the 2015 season, we now have a good idea as to what Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Kelvin Beachum will earn next season being as he qualified for the Proven Performance Escalator.
I wrote about this quite a while ago and below are the details of that escalator as they are written in the CBA.
Section 4. Proven Performance Escalator:
(a) The Proven Performance Escalator is mandatory for Rookies drafted in the third through seventh rounds. Rookies drafted in the first or second rounds and Undrafted Rookies are not eligible to earn the Proven Performance Escalator.
(b) The Proven Performance Escalator is a non-negotiable amount by which an eligible player’s year-four Paragraph 5 Salary may escalate provided the player achieves at least one of the two qualifiers set forth in Subsection (c) below. The Proven Performance Escalator shall be deemed a part of every Rookie Contract of a player selected in the third through seventh round by virtue of this Agreement and may not be separately attached to such Rookie Contract.
(c) Qualifiers. An eligible player will qualify for the Proven Performance Escalator in his fourth League Year if: (1) he participated in a minimum of 35% of his Club’s offensive or defensive plays in any two of his previous three regular seasons; or (2) he participated in a “cumulative average” of at least 35% of his Club’s offensive or defensive plays over his previous three regular seasons. “Cumulative average” means the sum of the total number of offensive or defensive plays in which the player participated over the applicable seasons, divided by the sum of the Club’s offensive or defensive plays during the same seasons. (By way of example, if a player participates in 600 of the Club’s 1,000 offensive plays in his first season, 290 of the Club’s 1,000 plays in his second season, and 310 of the Club’s 1,000 plays in his third season for a total of 1,200 plays out of a possible 3,000, the cumulative average would equal 40%).
(d) Amount. The Proven Performance Escalator shall equal the difference between (i) the amount of the Restricted Free Agent Qualifying Offer for a Right of First Refusal Only as set forth in, or as calculated in accordance with, Article 9 for the League Year in such player’s fourth season and (ii) the player’s year-four Rookie Salary (excluding signing bonus and amounts treated as signing bonus). The resulting amount shall be added to the stated amount of the player’s year-four Paragraph 5 Salary. By way of example, if a rookie drafted in round three of the 2011 Draft has a year-four Rookie Salary of $1,000,000 (consisting of $700,000 in Paragraph 5 Salary, $150,000 in signing bonus proration, $100,000 in an incentive, and a $50,000 roster bonus), and the 2014 Restricted Free Agent Qualifying Offer for a Right of First Refusal Only equals $1,400,000, then, upon achieving the qualifier, the player’s stated Paragraph 5 Salary ($700,000) shall increase by $550,000 (i.e., $1,400,000 minus (1) the $700,000 Paragraph 5 Salary, (2) the $100,000 incentive, and (3) the $50,000 roster bonus). As a result, the player’s total earnable Salary in the 2014 League Year (minus his signing bonus proration) shall be $1,400,000, consisting of the player’s $1,250 ,000 Paragraph 5 Salary (as escalated), his $100,000 incentive, and his $50,000 roster bonus.
(e) The amount by which a player’s Paragraph 5 Salary may increase pursuant to this section shall not be considered Rookie Salary and shall not count toward the Total Rookie Compensation Pool, the Club’s Total Rookie Allocation, or the 25% Increase Rule.
(f) No portion of the Proven Performance Escalator may be guaranteed for skill, football-related injury or Salary Cap-related contract termination either before or after the player has achieved the qualifiers for the Escalator.
If you remember, Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen qualified for this escalator last offseason and he originally received a jump in his 2014 base salary prior to him signing his new deal just before the start of the regular season.
In short, Beachum will be scheduled to earn $1.542 million in 2015 at the start of the new league year as that should be the amount of the Right of First Refusal restricted tender, which is based on the percentage increase of the salary cap over last year. Beachum still has $11,474 of original signing bonus amortization to be accounted for in 2015 as well, so his new cap number should be $1,553,474.
Beachum is currently scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2015 season and it will be interesting to see if he is rewarded with a contract extension prior to the start of the 2015 season just like Allen was last year.