NFLPA Reminds Player Agents Of "Soft Cap" Under Terms Of New CBA
The NFLPA sent out a memo to NFL player agents today reminding them that the $120.4M salary cap for the '11 NFL season is a "soft cap" and that clubs can exceed that cap in actual cash spent under the terms of the Brady settlement agreement. "In addition, we want to emphasize that for 2011 there is a $3.0 million salary cap exemption available per club at their discretion, which if used fully by a club would effectively raise their salary cap another $3.0 million to $123.4 million," the memo stated. "The way this works is that a club may exempt from the salary cap the salaries (up to $1.0 million per player) of three players on the team who have more than five Accrued Seasons in the NFL. If a club chooses to exempt these salaries they will therefore have $3.0 million in additional cap room to sign other players."
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The memo noted that NFL clubs can continue to use methods used in the past to exceed the salary cap in cash spent, including by negotiating signing bonuses as opposed to salary. When clubs pay players signing bonuses, only a pro-rated amount of the bonus will count against the club's salary cap. "These rules therefore give NFL clubs the ability to sign the players they want even though they may only have a limited amount of salary cap room left," the memo concluded.