Cap has increased by $10 million for five years straight

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Five years ago, the salary cap supposedly was smoothing. Four years ago, something happened.

The cap went from creeping to spiking in 2014, with a $10 million increase from $123 million to $133 million. As noted by league spokesman Brian McCarthy, the cap has increased by at least $10 million per year every year since then, with the most recent bump being $10.2 million.

The biggest jump happened in 2016, with an increase of $11.99 million over the 2015 number.

Before the uncapped year of 2010, the league’s biggest spike happened in 2006, when the cap shot up by $16.5 million per team, from $85.5 million to $102 million. That was a direct result of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that management would quickly come to hate.

Since the salary-cap system began in 1994, the total spending limit has skyrocketed from $34.608 million to $177.2 million, a testament to the popularity of the league. But as the cap gets higher and higher, increases in the range of $10 million per year represent a smaller percentage of relative growth.

The spike from $123 million to $133 million represented an 8.13-percent jump. In 2015, an increase of $10.28 million amounted to a bump of 7.7 percent. In 2016, the cap grew by 8.33 percent. The cap jumped by 7.55 percent last year. This year, it grew by only 6.1 percent — the smallest increase since 2013.

So while the cap keeps going up by $10 million or more per year, it’s not growing at the same rate it recently was. The real question is whether it will keep growing, especially after the next wave of TV deals is finalized, and after the new labor deal is negotiated.

10 responses to “Cap has increased by $10 million for five years straight

  1. >>arcross12042004scorp15 says:
    March 6, 2018 at 11:16 am
    And that is why Roger Goodell continues to be commissioner, the owners also each get a $10 Million raise every year.

    So the NFL continues to grow because of Goodell?
    Ok, got it.
    He’s a marketing genius and runs the league so well.

  2. Thanks to the contract given to Garapolo, this increase is already spoken for by every team’s qb. Good going SF. It is already cascading and disrupting other positions as well as more accomplished players know they should get a premium over a 5 GAME wonder.

  3. Exactly Florio, we don’t know what the next CBA will do with the salary cap, but we can project it won’t be pretty.

    NBC bid flat and CBS bid about half as much for TNF. Fox’s gratuitous offer for TNF papered over an alarming prospect for NFL owners and players… that with the next CBA, they might have to take… gasp… LESS MONEY. It could go up, but slowly. It could be flat. It could go down.

    Meanwhile ESPN is in free fall mode from its catbird seat of being the only basic cable channel that can charge about $9 a month… and yet they are bleeding money.

    They are also bleeding subscribers as more and more people find alternatives, can cut ESPN from their lineup for any stance ESPN does they do not like one way or another, and people who never cared about ESPN or sports have the ability to cut that part of the bill out of their budget.

    All of this in turn leads to lower viewership, which in turn makes it hard to sell ads at higher prices to cover its current TV rights deals costs, let alone any projected HIGHER costs from a new deal.

    The NFL can partially offset this through streaming rights, but it likely won’t even come close to offsetting the declines.

    Therein lies the rub. Without a higher tide raising all boats, each side will dig in and fight for a static or shrinking pie. After a massive run up, such a shock to the system could lead to a huge labor dispute.

  4. The cap has increased ~5 fold since 1994. NFL revenue and team valuations have increased by a lot more than that in the same timeframe.

    Players are getting hosed.

  5. skyrocketed from $34.608 million to $177.2 million

    It’s not all because of streaming and kneeling the league is losing interest

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