Biz Blitz: New NFL salary cap could disappoint 2014 free agents

Sep 15, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stands on the field prior to the game between the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NFL owners met for a half day in Dallas today. posted the three-item agenda as: bullying; the league's licensing agreement with EA Sports and the 2014 salary cap.'s Albert Breer tweets that the league projects the '14 cap to be $126.3 million per team. That's up from $123.3 million this season.

The salary cap is the league's revenue sharing agreement with the NFL Players Association on the split between owners and players of defined gross revenue. It grows as overall revenue grows and should be especially lucrative when new broadcast revenues kick-in next year.

Free agents might not feel the difference right away. 

In 2012, the NFL sanctioned the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins a total of $46 million in cap dollars for violating guidance on accounting for the 2010 non-cap year.

The league won agreement from the NFL PA on the sanction by spreading the salary among 28 teams ‒  everyone but Dallas, Washington, New Orleans and Oakland. The total pot was the same, so the ynion went along with sanctioning two of the leagues highest paying teams.

The effect was a permitted overspend of about $1.7 million per team, or $700,000 per season in 2012 and 2013.

The owners further enticed union agreement by allowing a larger cap number in 2012 and '13. The CBA that was set after the lockout called for a lower cap number in 2012 than 2011. The union was anxious to avoid that and readily agreed to pull ahead 2014 cap dollars into 2012-'13..

The winners were 2012 and '13 free agents who signed deals in a richer marketplace. Older 2014 free agents may struggle since a portion of cap dollars that should have been available for them has already been spent.

A notable exception will be the Washington Redskins, but the 'Skins are a dumpster fire at the moment.


About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.