As if 2020 has not sucked enough for everyone now comes the news that the NFL’s projected salary cap could be as much as 40 million dollars less than originally projected. In the scheme of real life this really doesn’t matter but we are a football site and this does or potentially does affect our team and possibly even the actual roster makeup. My assumption is that they are calculating possible losses from not having fans or not having many fans in the stands. Between the parking the actual game tickets and all the concessions the team owners are about to take a hit in the pocketbook, although one that I assume every single one of them can handle.
The bigger problem here is that teams signed free agents, resigned players and drafted players all with the idea that the cap would sit somewhere around 217 million dollars as announced by the league office. So for example, using our Miami Dolphins, when you take the top 51 players and apply the liabilities that the team has for those players they currently have only about 23.5 million worth of room under the cap meaning that if the estimate is lowered by 40 million or even close to 40 million the team is immediately over the cap.
So what does this mean? Well no one knows yet. The league and the owners could decide to just follow the rules as they are and teams would be forced to cut players that they most likely would have rather held on to. The leagues owners, coming off a very easy contract negotiation with the players, at least compared to anything any of us can remember, could decide to show good faith towards the players and keep the cap where it was projected and the owners would just have to suffer by earning less billions than normal.
The other options are to do something along the lines of what MLB has done and negotiate an across the board pay cut for every player for just one season. This is one that I don’t see the NFL players agreeing to as easily as the MLB players did. The MLB players did so due to the fact that if and when baseball comes back there will be far fewer games that they have to play and of course revenues will be down in every other possible way including the tv contracts which are always a pro leagues biggest money maker. The NFL players are most likely going to still be asked to play 16 full games even if no fans are there or even with far fewer fans.
The other outcome that would make this easiest for everyone across the board is with all the television contracts currently being renegotiated and expected to rise substantially over the previous deals that the league just apply some of the new monies to the cap getting it to the same number or near the same number. Barring that you might see your Dolphins having to cut guys that you for sure do not want to see gone. Due to the team being more or less torn down and rebuilt over the last couple of years there are not a lot of vets who if you cut them would save you a whole hell of a lot of money like in the past.
I could list every player and their cap implications if cut but instead I will post a link and you can look through the entire list. This link to overthecap.com allows you to play with the numbers by cutting people, restructuring contracts, etc... Here is the link to the Miami Dolphins page HERE.
So with all of that information how do you hope to see the league realistically address this situation and who, if anyone would you cut to save cap space if you were the GM and why?