The NFL Salary Cap has unofficially been officially set. ESPN's Chris Mortensen has been told that the league's 2013 cap will be set at $123 million. This is even a little higher than the number expected by Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio earlier this week. With the cap space available, and the roll over from last year's unused cap space, the Miami Dolphins will have $46.4 million to spend this offseason.
When the league year starts on March 12, the Dolphins will only have 48 players under contract. Teams are authorized up to 90 players on their offseason rosters.
According to the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement, the salary cap is determined by calculating the projected player cost amount (a series of additions of percentages of revenue streams split between the league and the players), adjusted for above or below set maximum and minimum percentages of revenue. Officially:
The Salary Cap for a League Year shall be the Player Cost Amount for that League Year less Projected Benefits for that League Year, divided by the number of Clubs in the League in that League Year, adjusted by any applicable True Up, provided further that there shall be no True-Up related to the 201 1 League Year, and there shall be no "negative" True Up related to either the 2012 or 201 3 League Year.
In the end, how the salary cap is calculated is not important, other than knowing why the process takes as long as it does to establish the number. The salary cap is not just a number thrown on the wall - it's actually a projection of how much money the sport will raise in the new year, and assumes everything from ticket sales, to television streams, to merchandise, using last year's numbers as a starting point, then breaking down each and every possible stream of money.
What is important is what the number is. And, apparently it will be $123.9 million per team this year. Now, the Dolphins need to get to work spending it.