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New CBA gives teams the right to carry over cap space automatically

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As the NFL readjusts to the problems that arise from spending that once again will be approaching the annual salary cap, there’s an important provision of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that needs to be highlighted.

Under Article 13, Section 6(b)(v) of the CBA, each team may carry over any remaining cap room from one year to the next by submitting written notice, signed by the owner of the team, to the league office no later than 14 days before the start of the next league year.  The written notice must indicate the maximum amount of cap room that the team wishes to shift from one cap year to the next.

This relatively simple device replaces past tools for carrying over cap space, which included (for example) loading up a renegotiated player contract with a phony “likely to be earned” incentive that would chew up space in one year and then trigger a refund to the cap in the next year.

What’s odd about the new procedure is that teams must affirmatively choose to carry over the cap space.  If a team wishes to be competitive, why wouldn’t all remaining cap space be carried over in any and every given year?

The last time we updated the 2011 cap dollars, the Jaguars had $32.9 million in space.  The Chiefs had $27.4 million, the Broncos had $25.6 million, the Bucs had $25.1 million, the Seahawks had $21.7 million, and the Bills had $20.9 million.

The fans in each city should be clamoring for the maximum remaining cap room to be carried over, and the media in each city should be poised to get a full explanation if the full amount isn’t carried over.

Meanwhile, we’ll try to think of a plausible explanation for not carrying over the cap space.  If nothing else, the excess cap space from 2011 will create excess cap space in 2012 that can be carried into 2013, and so on, until the need arises to use it.

With the new league year beginning on March 13, the notices must be submitted by February 28.

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34 Responses to “New CBA gives teams the right to carry over cap space automatically”
  1. shawon0meter says: Feb 12, 2012 9:14 AM

    Plenty of cash waiting for Peyton Manning in Seattle

  2. bigjdve says: Feb 12, 2012 9:16 AM

    Does this mean they are now using the “rollover” system for cap dollars? If so that is actually kind of genius.

    However I still don’t think that some of those teams will ever use all of the money that they have available, uh like most of the teams listed above. There is a reason, they have that money left over.

  3. joetoronto says: Feb 12, 2012 9:17 AM

    The last time we updated the 2011 cap dollars, the Jaguars had $32.9 million in space. The Chiefs had $27.4 million, the Broncos had $25.6 million, the Bucs had $25.1 million, the Seahawks had $21.7 million, and the Bills had $20.9 million.

    It isn’t about winning for these teams, it’s about making money, lot’s of it.

  4. tedmurph says: Feb 12, 2012 9:17 AM

    They may carry it this year, but in 2013 the minimum(floor) spending kicks in. If they carry over the excess cap $, doesn’t it force them to spend it instead of keeping it? If so, I doubt the small market teams would do it.

  5. billinva says: Feb 12, 2012 9:17 AM

    They still have a minimum to spend no? Or does that provision not kick in yet.

  6. kingjoe1 says: Feb 12, 2012 9:18 AM

    Well I understood that the minimum which a team needed to spend was based on a percentage. So if they have more cap space, the team has a higher minimum.
    If a teams is leaving 33 million on the table, i suspect they have little intention on wanting to spend more than the rest the league the next year.

  7. quizguy66 says: Feb 12, 2012 9:21 AM

    Question: I understand that at some point soon (this year or next) that teams will have to spend a minimum percentage of their salary cap per the CBA. If they carry over cap room from a previous year, does that increase the minimum they have to spend?

    Example (made up numbers):
    Say the Bengals have to spend 90% of the cap.
    If the original cap were $120m that means a minimum of $108m would have to be spent.

    Now say they carry over $20m of cap room (for a total of $140m in cap room). Does that mean they would have to spend a minimum of $126m ?

    If this is the way it works, it’s totally understandable why the provision was worked in. Teams like my Bengals who tend to be cheap won’t carry over the cap room since it subjects them to a higher minimum. Or possibly they’ll carry over a smaller amount.

    Am I right with this?
    -QG

  8. truthfactory says: Feb 12, 2012 9:24 AM

    By carrying over the cap space, arent they FORCED to spend 90% of it because of the new CBA? or something like that….

  9. dempsey63 says: Feb 12, 2012 9:31 AM

    Seeing as how Green Bay has a kazillion “owners” (who apparently voted to raise ticket prices on ourselves), it’s going to be interesting to watch Roger Goodell go trailer-to-trailer to collect the signatures from all of us.

  10. benmci says: Feb 12, 2012 9:37 AM

    I’m sure its nice, but I think my team not only threw away it’s draft picks it also…………..well I think we over spent on marginal players. GO RAIDERS

  11. philwauke says: Feb 12, 2012 9:57 AM

    so all the huffing and puffing on here about teams not being able to resign all of their players has been for naught?

  12. dccowboy says: Feb 12, 2012 9:57 AM

    I believe the answer to your question is that in 2013 all teams MUST spend to 89% of their cap, so a team wouldn’t want to necessarily increase their cap if they already have a lot of space *cough* Bengals *cough* Bucs.

  13. toddsage1billsfan says: Feb 12, 2012 9:59 AM

    Nice Ralph?!? 20+ mil in cap space and Stevie’s deal is not complete. Get it done or further alienate the fan base. Hope you like half filled stadiums if Stevie walks.

  14. seatownballers says: Feb 12, 2012 10:01 AM

    Flynn to seattle. same deal as kolb

  15. goatcheez says: Feb 12, 2012 10:15 AM

    This will be the only year this is a big deal (because the floor cap rule doesn’t kick in for another year in 2013.) This year there is still a cap floor rule, but it’s that every team COMBINED, not individually, has to meet a certain cap floor. So teams can still individually be under the floor as long as the ones at it pick up most of the slack and it all combined comes out to the floor number.

    I think the biggest winner in this change is actually Jacksonville. Obviously because they have the most money to carry over, but the biggest thing is: New Owner.

    They have a new owner, who is richer – by far than their old owner. The other teams have the same cheap owners. Jacksonville has a new one out to prove something to his new fans, a bunch of cash, and the most cap space in the league.

    All this is telling me… Mario Williams… Vincent Jackson… say hello to…. Jacksonville!?

    Something tells me that somehow the Jaguars might of duped us all with that circus last year and actually pulled the smartest move for the future? Think about it. They dumb their aging, high salary QB with back issues who might even retire before the season in a move everyone thought insane, throw their really inexperienced rookie (only played 1 full year in college in a spread offense, youngest QB in the league), then sacked their head coach half way through the season.

    They knew the owner was selling the team, they knew Garrard was going be dumped/have back problems, they knew Del Rio was going to get fired. Could they have possibly dumped it last season, got their rookie QB playing experience (though it was HORRIBLE) meanwhile stocking up cap space for the following year to make a huge splash in a deep Free Agency class?

    But then again, this is the Jaguars so who knows…

  16. kenboslice says: Feb 12, 2012 10:20 AM

    I would rather Seattle use that extra money to lock up lynch, red, Robinson, and extend a bunch of contacts on the defense rather then blow it on a qb closer to the end of his career than the middle, thank you.

  17. channel124 says: Feb 12, 2012 10:26 AM

    Update the cap space numbers – my team has an offseason title to win.

  18. yogikenobi says: Feb 12, 2012 10:28 AM

    There must be a catch, this seems too overpowered. If those teams could build up 20+ mil a year in cap credit the system would be irrelevant to them. They can still restructure contracts like the Steelers are doing. So the whole cap just looks like a show to entertain the media and fans.

  19. EJ says: Feb 12, 2012 10:39 AM

    joetoronto says:
    Feb 12, 2012 9:17 AM
    The last time we updated the 2011 cap dollars, the Jaguars had $32.9 million in space. The Chiefs had $27.4 million, the Broncos had $25.6 million, the Bucs had $25.1 million, the Seahawks had $21.7 million, and the Bills had $20.9 million.

    It isn’t about winning for these teams, it’s about making money, lot’s of it.

    Not true. There wasn’t much out there last year for Free Agents. So these teams, knowing they would be able to carry the cap space over this year, will be primed and ready to hit the long list of Free agents hard.

  20. jbl429 says: Feb 12, 2012 10:43 AM

    Maybe carrying over extra cap space also raises the salary floor?

  21. 1captain1 says: Feb 12, 2012 10:49 AM

    So they keep their cell phone minutes too?!?!?

  22. cincylaw says: Feb 12, 2012 10:58 AM

    Simple reason that teams won’t carryover cap space. If no space is carried over, then the team can legitimately say to fans “sorry, we can’t sign any free agents because of cap space.” Any saved money goes right into ownership’s pockets.

    Whether that is reasonable and the fans accept it, is a separate question.

  23. timtheenchanter1 says: Feb 12, 2012 11:14 AM

    The only downside I can see is if it also affects any minimum spend threshholds in upcoming years. Some teams are probably too cheap (e.g., Bengals) or cash-poor (e.g., Buffalo) to keep up with this.

  24. goatcheez says: Feb 12, 2012 11:17 AM

    @EJ exactly. this year’s FA crop is far superior.

    @jbl429 no, I don’t think so, because the floor depends on money SPENT, not potential for money to be spent.

    @yogikenobi it won’t work like that when the cap floor rules take effect in 2013. so no, teams won’t be able to cheat the system. everyone will have to be at 89% so no one will be able to load up 20 mil for next year. this just means THIS year is unique because there was no cap floor last year, so these teams actually DID cheat the system the one year you can and were able to do this. these teams sacrificed this year in a sense, but in the case of the Broncos, they won anyways.

    Like I said though, Jacksonville is the biggest winner in this because they have the most cap space and a new owner with some of the deepest pockets in the league. Some of the other team’s owners like Buffalo, and Tampa Bay have shown they were on the cheap side (as did Jacksonville’s old owner.)

    Honestly, this news about this roll over being real shocked me because it did sound ridiculous but it makes sense once the cap floor hits, it’s geared to help out those smaller market teams who only spend to the 89% to build up a bigger cap and if they begin to earn more money via winning turning into increased revenue sales from tickets and merch then they can begin to spend with the big boys.

  25. usernameunknown01 says: Feb 12, 2012 11:21 AM

    joetoronto says:
    Feb 12, 2012 9:17 AM
    The last time we updated the 2011 cap dollars, the Jaguars had $32.9 million in space. The Chiefs had $27.4 million, the Broncos had $25.6 million, the Bucs had $25.1 million, the Seahawks had $21.7 million, and the Bills had $20.9 million.

    It isn’t about winning for these teams, it’s about making money, lot’s of it.

    You realize that those six teams are probably the six smallest markets of any NFL team? While there is money to be made, it’s not; say; Dallas or NY money. They simply can’t spend the same as large market teams. That’s why the cap floor is a cumulative of all the teams, not individual.

  26. redrew says: Feb 12, 2012 11:51 AM

    It’s not that difficult….Raising the cap raises the floor. This set up will create two different groups….the HAVEs and the WON’Ts. Call this the Jerry Jones rule. High revenues team will have a one time advantage because they WILL spend…unlike the Tampas who are happy remaining at the minimum levels.

  27. riverhorsey says: Feb 12, 2012 12:08 PM

    So now we need to know how much “excess cap space” each team has to carry over.

    In other words if teams don’t submit a written request to carry over cap space it is automatically lost.

    Fans need to know what that number is and why they wouldn’t carry it over.

    The rule itself sounds backwards. The cap space should be carried over automatically unless there is a written request not to.

    Sounds like an a back door scheme for the owners.

  28. idontcareuknow says: Feb 12, 2012 12:24 PM

    Paul Poslusny: 6 year – 42 million
    Clint Session: 5 year – 30 million
    Dawan Landry: 5 year – 27.5 million

    Weaver clearly made sure the team signed nobody last FA.

    Also, didn’t the Jags also get flambasted for those signings? I think the improvement to the defense that was seen this past year was well worth the investment in those 3 players. This FA crop should be good, excited to see what happens. But enough bashing Weaver for being cheap.

  29. trubroncfan07 says: Feb 12, 2012 1:04 PM

    Been screaming on the Broncos Blogs for years how cheep Bowlen has become since the Super Bowls. Nothing new hear.

  30. cali49er707 says: Feb 12, 2012 1:05 PM

    why is seahawk fan already looking for a qb???didn’t they sign their man tavaris jackson just last year?? i mean come on guys “WHATS YOUR DEAL”

  31. hollywoodeggers says: Feb 12, 2012 2:05 PM

    goatcheez-” The other teams have the same cheap owners.”

    just making sure you’re aware that paul allen (seahawks) is worth 6 and a half times what the jags new owner is worth. he cofounded a little company called microsoft. oh yeah, he’s also the richest owner in the nfl. just because these guys have money doesn’t mean it will translate into success on the field. all they can do is build state of the art stadiums (century link field, by far the loudest stadium in the US), state of the art practice facilities, and make the right personnel moves. from there every team has the same opportunities through the draft or free agency. its all a crapshoot.

  32. tmb333 says: Feb 12, 2012 3:53 PM

    The NFL is a business. It is more important to make money then it is to win. The owners made money running other businesses prior to ownering an NFL team. Profits drive every decision. They are not in this to win, they are in it to make money and drive up the value of their franchise.

  33. bobbyhoying says: Feb 12, 2012 5:35 PM

    How do we know any of the teams listed are profitable? Owning a sports teasm in no way guarantees a profit. If these guys are operating at a loss, why spend more on salaries? That’s something only a government employee would think they can do.

  34. falconidaefromtatf says: Feb 13, 2012 4:36 PM

    So, can anybody answer this for me?

    For this question:
    Assume 2012 cap is 120 mil and 13 cap is 125.
    And a team carries over 30 mil from 11 to 12.

    If they spend all that money, they’re sitting at 150 mil and 25 mil over the cap for 13. Where’s the benefit?

    Realize you could do a bonus that isn’t prorated in that year and make a huge signing this year, but is there any other benefit?

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