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Salary Cap Increase Reportedly will be Less Than Anticipated

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Salary Cap Increase Reportedly will be Less Than Anticipated

Ian Rapoport has reported that the NFL salary cap will rise to $188.2 million for the 2019 season.  Many pundits had expected it to rise to $190 million or more.   

The new salary cap limit would be an increase of 6.21 percent, just above the 6.11 percent increase the year before.  It also continues a trend of smaller percentage increases in the salary cap.  The percentage increases for the prior four seasons were 7.55, 8.37, 7.73 and 8.13 percent.  The salary cap has increased by at least $10 million each year for the last six seasons.

Sportrac now estimates that the Packers will have $33.446 million in cap space, while Overthecap estimates $34.438 million.  The two sites for weeks had both listed the Packers' rollover at $7.8 million, but while Sportrac continues to use that figure, OTC recently increased the rollover estimate to $8.9 million.  That accounts for almost all of the difference in estimated cap space between the two sites.

The new salary cap means that teams will have about $1.8 million less salary cap space than previously estimated.  It would be nice to have more to spend or save, but at least the Packers have a significant amount of cap space.  The Vikings, with only $5.3 million in available cap space, and the Bears (about $13 million in cap space) both probably hoped for a bigger increase.  The Lions have about $34 million in cap space.  The teams can generate additional cap space by releasing players or modifying current contracts.

I expect the NFL and NFLPA to formally announce the precise salary cap limit for 2019 and the amount each team will roll over into 2019 in a few days.  I am a little surprised that these numbers have not already been released.





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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (12) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

GBPDAN1's picture

So approx 34M. Would love to resign Breeland as an insurance policy due to King's injury issues and Jackson still developing. Add Breeland's salary and the Rookie pool (lots of draft picks and 2 firsts) ..... I think that leaves us around 20M? I could be wrong?

4zone's picture

Drop Perry and increase that by several million. More than enough to sign to top end FAs.

Guam's picture

You also have to leave some cap space for in-season signings, usually injury replacements. The Packers typically have carried $7-8 million in cap space into the season.

If they are starting at $34 million less $5 million for the draft class and $7 million for in-season signings, that leaves them with $22 million. Not much if you want to re-sign Breeland and have impactful free agent signings. You might get one OLB or safety and not much else. While I like Breeland a lot, given the Packers youth and depth at CB (King, Alexander, Jackson and Brown) and substantial holes elsewhere, I think we may see Breelend in another uniform next year.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

The Packers have typically kept $7M, but a team can get by on considerably less. Going back to 2016, I don't remember what our cap space was in early September but TT would have ended up with just $1.4M to roll over into 2017 except Sitton got the heave-ho on the last possible day and added his $6.5M cap savings to the kitty. GB finished with $7.9M that year ($1.4M + Sitton's $6.5M).

But I agree with your thought that Gute is likely to keep a decent amount just in case. Unless Gute thinks an opportunity is knocking, then he might stretch to make something happen.

I don't know if it is a smokescreen, but Demovsky's report that "their plan is to spend on a pass rusher (or pass rushers) in free agency and then see what's left in the budget" suggests to me that GB might spend more than is its norm.

We'll see.

jannes bjornson's picture

TGR, post-June 1st cut designation can provide for the rookie salaries and there is no law against moving CAP forward creatively. They could exceed the 34M and have three FA s signed without stressing the limit. I would let Daniels walk next year and get Clark extended as priority signings.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

There are some ways to cheat the cap, and there are ways to move the cap forward, but all of the ones that come to mind just push the cap hit into 2020, or perhaps 2021.

I think it is hard to extend Clark anytime this year without increasing his 2019 cap hit since extending a player usually entails giving him a signing bonus at the time of signing. I am also pretty enamored by the fifth-year option for DTs taken 11 to 32nd because it was only $7.15M last year. Sure, it will rise a little, but Clark at the moment has to be worth north of $12M AAV. I don't see the need to extend Clark, just exercise his 5th-year option when the time comes this May. GB has him under control through the 2020 season. Extend him after 2019.

jannes bjornson's picture

The fifth year is key. He's in play for 2020. Looking at the Post June 1st designation on Perry.

Community Guy's picture

thanks for the report.. interesting to note that the salary cap increase, by percent, is trending down. gotta take care of the cap.

porupack's picture

Well, the cap increase, and how much to increase only benefits a few players, while the majority play their careers with extraordinary disparity. Seems to me, that players association should negotiate a more fair structured tier of salaries and leave less room for agents to secure such absurd salaries for the few.

Let's suppose the NFL PA negotiates that no one salary can exceed more than 2000% of the average bottom third of team starters' salary....or suppose some other formula such as; average top 5 cannot exceed x% above bottom 5 average....then there is more parity.
The trend of a few gaining such disproportionate revenue; a QB (I know they're important) makes $20-25+m a year, then that undermines the team around that player, when many of the protectors, the Oline can hover at vet minimum, and spend 3-4 years of rookie contracts at risk, to hope for payday. Not that I'm feeling sorry for any NFL player, but seems that the NFL PA hasn't looked out for their majority. But what do I know what goes on behind the scenes.

Packer Fan's picture

I like your thoughts. But it's the players that will have to do that, putting a cap on individual salaries. They already reigned in rookie salaries and have compensation to increase their salaries if they start and play a lot, especially if they are lower round picks. Many players are playing on a rookie contract and then get only one chance at a big contract. Time for the players to enact some "socialism".

On the other hand, a lower cap makes it more difficult for BG to bring in high priced free agents. All those positions: edge, safety, WR, OL, and keeping Breeland and such, there isn't enough money to do it all.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Union members tend to do what's best for current members (but not always). It would be a major lift to get the owners to agree to 3-year rookie deals instead of four, and even a bigger deal to get them to include 2nd and 3rd year players already in the league. IOW, that most likely wouldn't benefit current members.

The league will act like making weed no longer a substance of abuse or limiting the franchise tag to one year as big a deals as possible. Those don't really affect the bottom line too much (only 5 players got the franchise tag, and only a double handful negotiated with the tag looming over their heads). Even the 5th year option only affects perhaps 20 to 25 players per year. No, increasing the revenue split from 47% or 48% to 55% is a much bigger deal.

Ryan B Dub's picture

Has anyone told Russ Ball?

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