Anonymous asked in SportsFootball (American) · 1 decade ago

I don't understand the salary cap in the NFL.the richiest Nfl team is ?

why some teams don;t have enough $ to spend in the free agency market ? what is over the cap ?not all nfl teams are equally in money wise ?

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The NFL's cap is a so-called "hard cap" (which no team can exceed for any reason under penalty from the league), and a hard salary floor (a minimum team payroll that no team can drop beneath for any reason, 75% of the cap). The cap was introduced for the 1994 season and was initially $34.6 million. Both the cap and the floor are adjusted annually based on the change in the league's revenues.

    This number has increased every year and will reach approximately $109 million in 2007, with a salary floor of approximately $81.75 million per team.

    Under the NFL's agreement with the NFLPA (with a few rare exceptions) the salary cap effects of guaranteed payments to players are prorated over the term of a contract. A $10 million dollar signing bonus on a four year contract counts as $2.5 million towards the cap during each of those four years. If a player retires, is traded, or is cut before June 1st, all remaining bonus is applied to the salary cap for the current season. If after June 1st, the current cap is unchanged, and the next year's cap must absorb the entire remaining bonus.

    Because of this treatment, NFL contracts almost always include the right to cut a player before the beginning of a season. If a player is cut, his salary for the remainder of his contract is not paid, and never counted against the salary cap for that team. A highly sought-after player signing a long term contract will usually receive a guaranteed signing bonus, thus providing him with financial security even if he is cut before the end of his contract.

    Incentive bonuses require a team to pay a player additional money if he achieves a certain goal. For the purposes of the salary cap bonuses are classified as either "likely to be earned" which requires the amount of the bonus to count against the cap, or as "not likely to be earned" meaning it will not count against the team's salary cap. Large NLTBE bonuses are written into contracts to make them sound larger in the media. A team's salary cap may be adjusted downwards for NLTBE bonuses that were earned in the previous year and upwards for LTBE bonuses that were not earned in the previous year.

    Teams usually design contracts so that the player's cap salary is highest in later years of the cap. They accomplish this by setting the player's base salary at lower amounts in the first years of the contract than the higher years.

    The effect of the salary cap has been the release of many higher-salaried veteran players and their replacement by lower-salaried younger players. The salary cap prevents teams with a superior financial situation from the formerly widespread practice of stocking as much talent on the roster as possible by placing younger players on reserve lists with false injuries. This was often used to allow an inexperienced player to learn valuable skills, and some money, while not counting as a player on the active roster. This practice allowed teams to keep an experienced, capable quarterback, whose skills were beginning to decline with age or who was merely nearing retirement, to train a potentially great, but inexperienced young quarterback. (A notable example is the case of the San Francisco 49ers playing Hall of Famer Joe Montana while grooming Hall of Famer Steve Young.)

    Generally, the practice of keeping older players who had contributed to the team in the past, but whose abilities have declined, had fallen out of favor, as a veteran's minimum salary was required to be higher than a player with lesser experience. To prevent this, a veteran player who receives no bonuses in his contract may be paid the veteran minimum of up to $810,000, while only accounting for $425,000 in salary cap space.

    It is widely believed that the salary cap has increased parity in the NFL. Although the system has allowed a greater turnover in playoff teams than at any other time in the Super Bowl era, it has not prevented the New England Patriots from winning three Super Bowls in four years (The seasons beginning in 2001, 2003 and 2004). Media reports have attributed this to New England's aggressively unsentimental use of the salary cap in trimming veterans (such as Lawyer Milloy, a key member of the 2001 team who was cut just before the start of the 2003 season.)

    The salary cap has also served to limit the rate of increase of the cost of operating a team. This has accrued to the owners' benefit, and is widely regarded as being responsible for the NFL being overall the most financially stable of the major North American sports organizations. While the initial cap of $34.6 million has increased to $102 million, this is due to large growths of revenue.


    By the way, the below post by ORIGINALGEORGE is completely false! Small market teams have the same amount to spend on players as large market teams. He is confusing MLB with NFL. What keeps small market teams viable in the NFL is revenue sharing. Small market teams have the same exact chance to land expensive free agents as large market teams. It all depends on how you choose to spend your money...


    And if I am not mistaken, the franchise worth the most is the Washington Redskins at 1.4 billion.

    Source(s): research dept./
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hey Stew all those free agent Busts already PROVE the Redskins couldn't BUY a Championship. Their owner doesn't know HOW to. I mean come on Dieon Sanders among some of the others were taken PAST THEIR PRIME. They were GREAT players but too old by then. So yeah the Redskins are the richest team and Dan Synder is one of the dumbest owners(he runs things just like Al Davis, Jerry Jones and a few other owners who pull all the strings)

    All the teams have the same money through Revenue Sharing. Some choose NOT to go to the full cap because they either have salaries increasing and don't want to risk screwing up, or don't have enough money for any free agent they want so figure they will save the room they have. Over the Cap is when you have gone past the cap. Then the NFL is supposed to punish you but if they like you they ignore it(right Broncos and Elway?, they were caught YEARS later and "punished" for violating the cap in their Superbowl years.) All the teams are EQUAL in how much they can spend and have to spend. Small market teams don't make as much money for the FRANCHISE, but still have the money for the players. The ticket sales and merchandise and that goes more to the owners.

  • Stew
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    The richest NFL team is the Washington Redskins. If they got rid of the salary cap, we could buy a championship. Mostly, teams don't have salary cap room because they sign free agents in the years before, and give them guaranteed contracts. Even though they are gone, they still have to pay them and it counts against the cap. The Redskins paid for Deion Sanders a couple years after he retired. Plus countless other free agent busts. Some teams are big market teams and have more money, Giants, Redskins, etc. Some smaller market teams have to build through the draft, Titans, etc. If they got rid of the salary cap, the Redskins could buy a championship.

  • d b
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    the richest NFL team has nothing to do with the salary cap. The salary cap is the total dollars that the team is allowed to spend on the players on the roster. Teams that dont have enough to spend in the free agent market are in that position because they have spent more money for the players that are already on the roster.

    FYI, the teams make enough individually from the television contracts to more than pay for the salary cap. That is why the salary cap jumped in the past couple years when the league signed the new television contracts. It is not like Ralph Wilson in Buffalo is spending every dollar he makes on ticket sales towards his salary cap.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    In Professional sports, a salary cap (often called a wage cap in the United Kingdom) is a limit on the amount of money a team can spend on player salaries, either as a per-player limit or a total limit for the team's roster (or both). Several sports leagues have made salary caps mandatory, both as a method of keeping overall costs down, and in order to balance the league so a wealthy team cannot become dominant simply by buying all the top players. Salary caps are often the major issue in negotiations between management and players' unions.

    Salary caps are used by major sports leagues around the world

    the richest team is the washington redskins I believe

    Source(s): wikipedia
  • 1 decade ago

    the salary cap is the same for all teams. which means teams cannot spend no more than this amount for its player salaries. the reason why some teams cant afte big name free agents is because they dont have the money to pay for these because of smaller market areas. for ex. Wisconsin and New York. More people are going to go see a Giants or Jets game 16 times a year. which means Giants stadium is going to bring in a lot more revenue than the 8 games at Lambeau field. Which means its going to put a lot more money in the owners pockets. which in turn gives them more money to spend on players.

    the smaller market teams take in less money because of the economy of their area and geography. so they cant price tickets the same amount as bigger cities because a smaller percentage of people will be available to buy tickets. which in terms means fewer sellouts and loss revenue. so they cant afford to give a player the 7 million he wants as opposed to a larger market.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Phelps will swim seven events here, including three relays, and Lochte four. They have delivered swimming to a mainstream doorstep the sport has known few times in its history.Phelps could depart London the most decorated Olympian in history; Lochte could depart it as the biggest star these games produce.Everyone will be better for it.It can't be a bad thing.

    Attachment image
  • 1 decade ago

    well they're all Rich I also know its an even playing Field in NFL as far as Money's Concerned.

  • 1 decade ago

    research dept./

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.