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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

[Sport] NFL Salary Cap Stuff

I have been asked for some analysis on the salary cap stuff I posted a day or so ago. So let’s look.

Most teams (20) have under US$5 million to play with. The average (mean) amount is $4.26 million. Three of the teams have less than $1m and two of them have less than $200,000.

I’ll talk about the top ten (the teams with more then $6m to spend) and the bottom four (who are all under $1m). NOTE: All figures quoted are in US Dollars.

Top Ten:

Minnesota Vikings

$10.7 million under

Arizona Cardinals

$9.85 million

Dallas Cowboys

$9.35 million

Philadelphia Eagles

$9.23 million

Houston Texans

$8.38 million

Cleveland Browns

$7.86 million

San Diego Chargers

$7.27 million

Miami Dolphins

$6.6 million

Indianapolis Colts

$6.3 million

Jacksonville Jaguars

$6.3 million

Is anyone surprised that this list contains the Texans, the Cowboys, the Cardinals, the Browns and the Dolphins? These teams placed 19th, 21st, 24th, 33rd and 31st respectively last season. And those places were really good for Arizona and Houston. Houston’s best was 22nd, last season.

The big surprises are the Eagles and the Colts. The Vikings and Chargers aren’t too big a deal.

Have a look at the Chargers’ depth chart. Recognise any of those linemen? What about those defensive guys? Donnie Edwards and Quentin Jammer sure, that’s 2 from 11. The offence has a few more names on it. Antonio Gates, but you only know him because of his brilliant performance last season. LaDainian Tomlinson, he’s going to be worth a few quid. Except that he just signed a new long-term contract that means that at the moment he’s probably a bargain for the Chargers. Drew Brees was awesome last year and that’s why he’s been Franchised (i.e. also relatively cheap). The Chargers are going to need that money pretty soon though. LT’s prorated contract is going to get pricey over the next few years and they still have (first round draft pick) Phil Rivers on the bench behind Brees. And another stand out season from Gates and he’ll want a new contract.

The Vikings have just unloaded a big weight to their cap: Randy Moss. They do have an action packed defence now though and that will cost them and soon. They also are challenging for the weirdest collection names in football: Daunte, Mewelde, Butchie, Siaha, Kenechi, Raonall, Napoleon, Laroni, Rushen, Devonte and Dontarrious (this list only contains four starters, but wow!).

The Eagles have been near or at the top during the past few years. How have they done and continued to make it to the playoffs? They have not had a top running back. When the running back they do have gets good they just let them go. Running backs are expensive. That’s all bluff, I’m actually not surte how they keep well under the cap; Jervon Kearse is one of the highest paid players in the NFL and I imagine that TO and McNabb ain’t cheap either.

The Colts aren’t as much of a mystery. Next year they will have to release one of the following players: Peyton Manning (the highest paid player in the NFL), Edgerrin James or Marvin Harrison. Which one will it be? I’ll give you a clue: Edgerrin James was franchised this year and the Colts have Dominic Rhodes as a back-up.

I would suggest that the Browns and the Jags are just cruising. The Cards, however, have $9,850,000 and would be advised to spend some of that dough, except they actually might not have that much dough to spend. The Cards ran up a loss of $4.9 million two seasons ago, the first for any team in the last few years. Why? Because no one comes to the games, mainly. Just FYI, Washington is the richest team with an estimated worth of $1.1 Billion. The Cards may have a large amount of salary cap room because they just don’t have any money to spend on players. I expect, if they don’t get a decent stadium and a few more fans, that the Cardinals will be the first NFL team to move to Mexico.

Bottom Four:

With the exception of the Falcons these four teams have all made large off season acquisitions to theirs teams. The Chiefs shored up their defence with line backers and a few of ex-dolphins in the secondary. The Seahawks made some purchases last year (which some would say were not the smartest, like Grant Wistrom) which will be costing them this year and they also picked up giant tackling machine Jamie Sharper. And then there’s the Raiders.

A friend of mine likes the Raiders and so won’t like what I’m gonna say: they were pretty terrible recently. That’s why they brought in Salary Cap destroyers like Randy Moss and LaMont Jordan (who will be soon). But instead of dropping some others they kept other salary cap weights like Warren Sapp. Next year there are going to be some big cuts from the Raiders (or retirements). I hope for my friend’s sake that they don’t go the way of the Titans and have a fire sale.

I have no idea why the Falcons are in the hole but I imagine that next year will see the end of TJ Duckett and or Warwick Dunn in their line-up.

Here’s some info on the cap itself from Wikipedia: The cap is determined via a complicated formula based on the revenue that all NFL teams receive during the previous year [Ed: it’s 65% of average team revenues]. For the 2004 season, the NFL's salary cap was $80.582 million, an increase of $5.5 million from 2003. The cap for the 2005 season is expected to be approximately $85.5 million

The minimum salary for an NFL player is $225,000 in his first year, and rises after that based on the number of years in service:

Years Experience

Minimum Salary















Forbes has a nice little piece about the teams and how much money they have.

1 comment:

JJ said...

Should there be a Salary Cap in English Football?
Personally I think there should be! It’s just getting to be stupid money in football at the top of the premiership!
It’s always the same teams at the top proving that football success is based purely on money which ruins the idea of it being a sport! They’ve done it in rugby, basketball, hockey and American football and it makes the sports more competitive and better to watch!
I do a little Spread Betting from time to time and most matches don’t hold much surprise who is going to win, its boring! I want to see a team at the bottom pulling off an amazing season beating last seasons winners in a close fought battle!
Make things fair! It shouldn’t be about money!
All there is all that money in the premiership and barely any of it stays in the UK so it’s not even helping the economy!
From my Spread Betting, if I ever win big (which is never, I’m unlucky) it’s still nothing compared to the average premiership players weekly wage!
This Rant was brought to you by Spread Betting Spike.