Sunday, August 18, 2013

Salary Cap update for all 32 teams as of today (August 18th)

Here are the latest figures for all clubs throughout the league courtesy of the NFLPA's Top 51 League Cap Report website.

I. Here are the figures in order of most cap space to least cap space first:


II. Here are the cap figures listed above in Alphabetical order for the sake of reference:


  • If you would like to compare the figures listed to today to those which I posted two weeks ago for each club on Sunday, August 4th, then simply click HERE to do so. 
  • After you do that, take a look at the teams in the NFC East.
  • The Giants have $2,650,728 in cap room as of now, making them one of the "almost running on empty teams" that I listed below. 
  • The Eagles (ranking 4th in the league) and Cowboys (ranked 12th) are in solid shape to start the regular season, while the Giants (who are ranked 27th) are on the border of having to make some financial moves to be able to have some breathing room under the cap.
  • The Redskins (who rank 28th) definitely have to make a move or two with respect to the restructuring a contract or two in order to be able to operate in the regular season as well once the Top 51 Rule expires 18 days from now on Thursday, September 5th at 12:00 am New York time.
  • To make an automotive parallel, generally speaking, teams with less than $3 million worth of cap room are basically almost running on empty.
  • Right now, according to this list, there are six clubs who fit into this category: the Giants, Redskins, Bears, Texans, Rams, & Chiefs.
  • These 6 clubs, and possibly two of the clubs slightly ahead of them (the Seahawks & Chargers), will have to make some extra room under the cap in order to cover regular season operational expenses which are not included now, but will be factored in to the salary cap equation once the Top 51 rule expires in slightly less than 18 days.
    • These factors include room for players on Injured Reserve.
    • players who have received Injury Settlements.
    • additional dead money as the result of players who are cut to reach the 53-man roster limit.
    • the 8 players on the Practice Squad ($6,000 a week x 17 weeks x 8 players At MINIMUM)
    • and of course all 53 players on the 53-man roster; right now only the top 51 players on the roster count (this will add two extra salaries to the equation).
  • Keep in mind that the roster moves that teams make going forward when the upcoming rounds of player cuts take place---the cut-down to 75 on August 27th, & the final cut-down to the final 53 on August 31st---will also factor in each individual club's cap situation.
  • If say for example the Chiefs, who have the least amount of cap space in the league, have a player who has a higher cap number than a similarly ranked player, but is better than him, he'll very likely be the one to get released due to the club's tight cap situation.
  • Keep your eyes out for situations like this around the league, particularly from the 8 clubs mentioned above, as we near the end of training camps throughout the league this coming week.

What effect will Rueben Randle's performance in 2013 have on what the Giants decide to do with Hakeem Nicks after the 2013 season?

Pay attention to what Randle does this season because it'll directly affect what the Giants decide to do with Nicks. Besides Nicks's injury situation, this is the other big variable that the Giants will take into consideration with respect to what they decide to do with Nicks after the season (e.g., whether they let Nicks walk in FA, franchise him for the year, franchise him then extend him, come to long-term contract terms prior to the start of free agency, or if they just let him walk outright in free agency). 

Looking at the situation analytically from a pure salary cap perspective, I contend that Nicks will be here with the Giants in 2014, since I believe that the Giants will franchise him, and not even let him get to unrestricted free agency if they can't come to a long-term agreement with him prior to it's start (as they did with Will Beatty this year). They will have room enough under the cap next year to use on him. As per, the Giants have an estimated $113,040,042 committed to their active salary in 2014. If, for any reason, negotiations get hairy, they then can use the franchise tag on Nicks.

As can be seen above, the franchise tag number for the 2013 season for WRs is $10,537,000. It will inevitably increase somewhat next year, as salaries continue to escalate, while incidentally the salary cap remains static. Keep an eye on Nicks' health, and Randle's progress in the offense, as they will be inextricably linked from a cap standpoint to what the Giants decide to do regarding Nicks' long-term future with the franchise. This is just a hunch, but all things being equal (assuming Randle plays well, and shows #1 ability, while Nicks is healthy--a BIG if) I think that they Giants will franchise Nicks after the year, and then draft someone else to develop as a 4th WR for the year, and then let Nicks walk after the 2014 season. They will also have to take into account JPP's impending free agency into the equation as well. You can bet that Eli Manning will agree to an extension next year that will lessen his 2014 cap number a great deal, thereby giving the Giants some more much needed cap room going forward into next year and beyond.

This is just total speculation on my part, as I said, but I can easily see a scenario that unfolds in that way. It will depend on how Nicks's season goes health-wise. If he's healthy, he's going to command huge bucks out on the open market from teams all over the league. He's proven that he's a #1 receiver playing the Z position. The question is this: can he remain healthy over the course of a 16-game season? He hasn't done that yet in his time here. Ironically enough, this is the reason that he may still wind up with the Giants in the long-term, since teams may be afraid to invest in him long-term, giving the Giants an edge in negotiations with him and his agent Peter Schaffer (click HERE for a brief article with Nicks and Schaffer being mentioned).

The Giants have two guys who are absolute iron men on the team right now: Eli Manning on offense, and Antrel Rolle on defense. Short of having their legs amputated, neither of those two guys miss games. Rolle hasn't yet since he signed here in 2010, which is why I think he'll play in Dallas in 3 weeks on opening night despite his ankle sprain. If Nicks is to have a future past 2013 and 2014 with the Giants he MUST show that he can be more durable.