One of the magic features of NFL contracts is that they are crawling with clauses. It's like having a cave full of Santas up in an NFL contract.
That means that at times, for performance, games played or more esoteric reasons, contracts will escalate. It's happening right now for the Falcons, further muddying a cap situation that already promised to be tight. It may also cost at least one player a spot on the team.
Confused? Let's take a look at all the known contract escalations up to this point in the off-season, and figure out whether the increase in salary will cost the player in question their roster spot. All these estimates come from Rotoworld.
Contract escalated from $5.5 to $6.9 million for 2013. This will almost assuredly cost Turner his roster spot. Those willing to stand up for Turner, who is losing some of his burst and battling with a line that can't effectively block for him, have to concede that at nearly $7 million he's about the furthest thing from a bargain. The Falcons need to go young at the position and get more effective. They don't need to pay Turner $6.9 million.
Contract escalation: $3.25 million to $4.25 million. The extra million doesn't help with cap space, but Abe is pretty clearly worth a decent chunk of change, even heading into his age 35 season. He led the team in sacks again and remains the team's only consistent, effective pass rusher. He's going nowhere.
Contract escalation: $575,000 to $1.3 million. The timing of this is unfortunate. Peters has been a very solid defensive tackle for the Falcons since being drafted in 2010, but an injury hampered him throughout last year and he very clearly never returned to form. He's still a solid part of the defensive tackle rotation, at minimum, so this isn't an exorbitant price.
Contract escalation: $575,000 to $630,000. A mild bump for a reserve lineman with some promise. I have no problem with that.