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Late Shopping season opens

With the turning of the calendar to the month of June, a new shopping day has arrived in the NFL.

The Blue Light Special is alive and well – players of note will be released but be wary of a bargain because there is a reason these guys are on the market.

Teams can begin casting off players they no longer want – typically veterans – and defer the cap impact until next year.

Hereâ€â"¢s how it works:

If a player signed a 5-year deal in 2003 with a $10 million signing bonus, that bonus is split up for salary cap purposes so that it counts $2 million per year, even though the player received all $10 million up front.

Now, say after two years that player has not been the impact player the team thought he would be. They want to release him but if they do so in the spring the remaining bonus (years 3-5) is accelerated and the remaining $6 million counts against the 2005 cap.

Enter June 1.

By releasing the player on or after June 1, the team is only on the hook for the $2 million portion that they had to allocate anyway. But in 2006, the remaining portion - $4 million – is accelerated into the cap at that point and must be eaten.

Scanning the league, players such as safety Lance Shulters and receiver Rod Gardner may be June 1 cuts. What players should the Cowboys look at?

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