SBD/27/Leagues Governing Bodies

HOW HARD IS THE NFL CAP? 18 NFL TEAMS ARE OVER THE LIMIT

     In this morning's WASHINGTON POST, David Aldridge writes
that 18 of the league's 28 teams are spending more than the
$34.608M limit on player salaries.  All 18 teams are technically
under the cap, but the teams' total expenditures include monies
such as signing bonuses paid to players this season.  For cap
purposes, however, signing bonuses are prorated over the length
of a player's contract, even if the team has already given the
player his signing bonus in total.  In addition, some incentives
count against next year's cap.  According to these figures, the
NFL cap is not the "hard" cap that it has been called, but is
instead a "much softer cap."  NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw: "The
cap is adjustable.  ... Quit talking about 34 point 6 [million];
this is what they're spending.  We all know what the cap is."
The following are NFL payrolls, according to figures obtained by
the POST (WASHINGTON POST, 9/22):
     TEAM         IN MILLIONS      TEAM       IN MILLIONS
     Redskins       $42.597        Browns       $34.859
     Cardinals      $42.492        49ers        $34.630
     Seahawks       $40.562        Eagles       $34.630
     Patriots       $39.811        Bills        $34.613
     Colts          $38.955        Giants       $34.325
     Lions          $38.415        Bears        $34.150
     Chargers       $38.332        Vikings      $33.928
     Oilers         $38.255        Rams         $33.571
     Saints         $38.248        Bucs         $32.132
     Chiefs         $37.822        Bengals      $31.855
     Raiders        $37.741        Cowboys      $31.344
     Falcons        $36.330        Dolphins     $31.276
     Jets           $35.658        Broncos      $31.196
     Packers        $35.226        Steelers     $30.888
     SALARY CAP CASE STUDY:  One element of Deion Sanders'
contract with the 49ers includes a $5M option year in 1995.  But
49ers President Carmen Policy explained that the $5M option was
put in to make Sanders an unrestricted free agent.  The contract
calls for a payment to Sanders of $3M on February 18, 1995.  If
the 49ers decline payment, then Deion will become a unrestricted
and unconditional free agent.  Policy said that a payment of $3M
to Sanders would be an "impossibility" and said called the deal a
"one-year adventure" (Clark Judge, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/22).
     CLARIFICAITION:  Tuesday's story in THE SPORTS BUSINESS
DAILY on the NBA salary cap should have stated that a judge
allowed the NBA to void Horace Grant's contract by refusing to
issue a summary judgment in the case.  The judge did not rule
that the contract violated the salary cap.
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