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HOW HARD IS THE NFL CAP? 18 NFL TEAMS ARE OVER THE LIMIT
Published September 27, 1994
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.