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With all of the money that got rolled forward league wide into the 2014 cap year (close to 190M league wide, or about 4.5% of the 2013 cap), I was wondering if the NFLPA did their job and protected the players from a continuous roll forward.

It turns out that they are protected within limits.

As opposed to previous deals, the NFLPA finally wised up and focused in on CASH spending instead of CAP spending.

Basically, there are two protections for the players.

The rest of the current CBA runs through 2020.

They break the remaining eight years into two four year periods, 2013-16, and 2017-20.

And for the four year periods, there is one team specific minimum and one league wide minimum cash spending limit.

After the four year period, they compare each teams cash spending to 89% of the total salary cap for the period.

Any team that has not paid 89% of the cap in cash, needs to cut a check for the difference and divide the amount among the players who played for that team over the four year period based on number of games.

After that, the total league cash spending (including the team 89% rule payments) is compared to 95% of the league wide cap for the four years.

Any shortage is paid by the NFL to the NFLPA who divides it amongst all the NFL players who played during the period based on number of games.

The NFL will decide how much of any payments are divided among the 32 teams.

Last year they got to roughly 95.5% of the cap (surprise!). Some teams were below the 89% level. But since it is a four year window, no shortage payments were made.

A few things strike me.

#1. Why use 95% instead of a number closer to 100%? The players got about 47% of revenues, which was lower than before. If the NFL only has to pay 95% of that, then they really are only getting 44.6%. Seems foolish.

#2. For players on the cheap teams, it could be a nice chunk of change for the players who suffered thru.

#3. It should result in more aggressive spending to come as the cheap teams try to make up for below 89% levels.

#4. By doing it this way, none of the settlement payments dished out pro rata will be included in signed deals for comparison so that it is a payment that won't result in raising compensation the way if it was included in free agents deals.

Interestingly enough, the new rules on rookies signed after 2010 and those who were not first round picks make Foles situation very team friendly. As a non first round pick, the Eagles can negotiate an extension with Foles after next year or can choose to pay him the amount of right of first refusal tended for his position for his 5th year. Compare it to a first round pick who depending on where selected in the round, gets tendered for either the avg of the top ten at their pos or the average of the 3rd-25th at their pos for their 5th year. The fourth year would be as per their contract if no extension is agreed to.

This scenario will result in the bar being set very low for extensions. Watch what happens this year with Newton, Green and Watts and that should be an indicator of things to come. Nicky Dynamite won't hit the jackpot relative to previous years.
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