Originally reported as a one-year deal for $5M, it turns out Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie got a two-year contract, with a voidable second year.
According to Aaron Wilson, DRC's deal is worth $10M over two seasons, with a $4.2M signing bonus, $800K salary in 2013, and voidable $5M salary for 2014. Jason La Canfora reports that the second year voids as long as Rodgers-Cromartie is on Denver's roster five days after the next Super Bowl.
Adding a voidable year, which is essentially a phantom extension of a one-year contract, is done solely for the purposes of spreading a cap hit.
In other words, it's just the kind of thing the otherwise cap-responsible Broncos have been avoiding until this point.
The functional outcome is that the $4.2M signing bonus will be spread over the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
In 2013, DRC will draw a salary of $800K and count for $2.9M against the Broncos cap, and he'll count for $2.1M against the 2014 cap even though the team will need to give him a new contract to keep him around.
That $2.1M is essentially dead money on the 2014 cap.
On its own, is this a big problem?
No, because it's just $2.1M for a team that typically doesn't carry a lot of dead money on its ledger. Of course, that may change this season if/when Elvis Dumervil, Joe Mays, and Chris Kuper are cut loose.
But this sort of cap accounting becomes a negative if it's repeated, and the team makes a habit of pushing cap expenditures into the future.
So, in our view, this is not a worrisome development, but it's something to keep an eye on.