"Cap Hit" Vs. "Cap Penalty" Regarding trades and player releases, please be advised... The "cap hit" displayed in the trade screen is just the player's salary that is going over to the other team. You determine the cap penalty by calculating the amount of bonus remaining on the player's contract that you are trading away from your team. That bonus money remaining is "gauranteed" money that will be paid to the player = cap penalty applied to your cap space at the end of the season. A quick way of determining a player's cap penalty is by releasing them from your team and the offline file will tell you what the player's cap penalty is in the release confirmation screen.