Per-team spending minimum doesn’t apply until 2013

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One of the highlights of the labor deal, from the perspective of the players, comes from the requirement that each team muat spend at least 89 percent of the salary cap in cash on an annual basis.  “We cannot have teams like KC spend only 67% of the cap like they did in 2009,” Saints quarterback Drew Brees wrote in an e-mail to his teammates.  “It doesn’t matter how high the cap is if they are only going to spend that much.  So with a minimum in place, it requires all teams to be at or above that minimum.  More money in players pockets.”

The players got what they wanted.  But it doesn’t apply until 2013.

Yes, for 2011 and 2012 no minimum cash spending requirement applies on a per-team basis.  We were first alerted to this reality on Thursday morning, during a weekly segment with Steve Davis and Ed Norris of 105.7 the Fan in Baltimore.  Davis said that Ravens president Dick Cass had explained the situation in a recent on-air interview, and Davis forwarded the audio to us later in the day.

The summary of the final deal that we obtained on Monday confirms that, indeed, the “minimum team cash spend” applies on a four-year basis from 2013 through 2016, and from 2017 through 2020.  No minimum per-team expenditure applies for 2011 and 2012.

Still, on a league-wide basis, the labor deal requires the NFL to spend 99 percent of the salary cap in cash in 2011 and 2012.

So what happens if too many teams spend so little that the league isn’t able to average 99 percent of the cap in actual cash spent?  NFL general counsel Jeff Pash, via NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, explained Friday night that the league would be required to pay the difference to the players.

That said, the league doesn’t believe that it will be a problem, even if teams like the Bucs and Bengals and Chiefs decide to spend as little as possible over the next two years.  Based on the money spent to date, the league thinks that the average expenditure of $119 million per team easily will be met.

Remember, it’s not cap space but cash spent.  So when a team like the Panthers gives defensive end Charles Johnson a $30 million signing bonus on a six-year deal, only $5 million counts against the cap — but $30 million counts against the league’s total spending requirement of $3.8 billion.

The more relevant point, for the next two years, is that teams like the Bucs, Bengals, and Chiefs can choose to stay as far below the salary cap as they want.

41 responses to “Per-team spending minimum doesn’t apply until 2013

  1. This pretty much leaves us Bengals fans hopeless for the next 2 years and probably beyond as long as Mike Brown is still in charge.

  2. Mike Brown is terrible…how the hell does he expect to win ANYTHING when he doesnt spend any money to keep OR get quality players??.. Im sorry, but he needs to go..and Im not even a Bengals fan!

  3. That explains what the Bears are doing. A whole lot of cap room and going after crappy cheap players in order to save money. This team is in the second biggest market in the country and is still so cheap, I don’t understand it.

  4. I actually heard Clayton report this on ESPN yesterday morning and I was stunned. It seems like such a big deal and I’m not sure why it wasn’t made clear earlier. In fact, I watched a Monday or Tues episode of NFL Live on my DVR just now and they actually listed the cash min as going into effect in 2011.

  5. Add the Cardinals to the list. At least I understand a 2 year deal for Chansi Stuckey now.

  6. boo

    i was wondering how Pioli expected to hit this number letting people leave, cutting hi priced players etc..
    damn sneaky clark hunt!

  7. @gregski79
    Seriously, i don’t know how Bengals fans do it. And I’m not saying root for your team, it’s your team and i respect that. But how do you guys put up with Mike Brown. I give loyal Bengal fans all the credit in the world. They get tortured each and every year……

  8. I would assume this is tied to a new TV Contract, probably 2013…. with enough new dough to make every owner blush…


  9. As evil as this may sound, I’m sure there are Bengal fans out there who would like to conveniently take out Mike Brown, if you know what I mean.
    Unfortunately what Mike Brown decides to do with his business is.. you know his own business.

  10. Didn’t KC make the playoffs last year with their low payroll? Didn’t the Bucs just miss the postseason with their low payroll?

    Who cares what a team spends if they’re getting results?

  11. They won’t make playoffs again next year! Bet on that! The devil rays of the NFL! Even the sun shines on a dogs ass every now and then

  12. And now us bengals fans know why Jonathon Joseph wasn’t resigned. Mike the penny pincher brown is saving all he can now to prepare for actually having to put money into the team god forbid

  13. This week alone mike brown has set the bengals back a decade there should have been something in the cba about being a completely worthless owner

  14. Being a Bengals fan must be like ground hog’s day. Six am strikes, and I got you babe blairs over the radio and you wake up. Mike Brown finishes taking the last of your cash out of your wallet and runs out the room laughing. You pick up the news paper to see the upper management and coaching staff remain in place. Your first round draft pick is holding out, every decent player you have is running out of town like their butt was on fire, and your 31 year old franchise QB would rather retire than spend one more minute in the NFL hell that is Cinncy. You put the paper down and place a grocery bag over your head. Then you head for for the bathtub and hop in. Then you toss the toaster in the water. Wait for I got you babe at six, then repeat…………. My condolences, see you all in 2013.

  15. Guess that explains a lot of the 2 year deals. In 2 years we will have another free agency tornado. So basically the dolphins rented Reggie bush for 2 years. O well

  16. This explains what was previously unexplainable. That is, how in the world did Mike Brown vote yes? Now we know.


  17. Mr. Forio,

    You left out the dead cap space of cut players.

    Are you suggesting that in the future players such as Haynesworth are unlikely to be cut because dead cap space is not “cash” ?

  18. This is actually one of the first bits of good news Harbaugh has gotten. I was hoping that we would be able to win our crappy division this year but I’m okay with giving Harbaugh a year to get to know his players and who’s gonna work in his system. He hasn’t had any time with his players yet and it would be difficult to see where he needs to fill holes in his system without first trying it out with current players. Makes sense to me.

  19. savannahrose44 says:
    Jul 30, 2011 2:37 AM
    This should make the KC Cheaps happy.

    Grossly overspending on free agents/players doesn’t necessarily translate to wins or fielding a good team. Ask Jerry Jones if he wishes he could have some of the money back he spent on his team last year. I applaud teams that are saavy with their payroll, and still manage to put a good product on the field.

  20. So, that’s why the BUCCANEERS big free agent is a PUNTER!

    Hey, Bucs owners (The Glazer Family) Stop worshipping money you weasels !!!!

  21. jshawaii22 says:
    Jul 30, 2011 2:25 AM
    I would assume this is tied to a new TV Contract, probably 2013…. with enough new dough to make every owner blush…
    well you know that 9 billion they were fighting about? that is projected to double by 2016.

  22. mataug says:
    Jul 30, 2011 2:35 AM
    As evil as this may sound, I’m sure there are Bengal fans out there who would like to conveniently take out Mike Brown, if you know what I mean.
    Unfortunately what Mike Brown decides to do with his business is.. you know his own business.
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    I told a friend recently this is the year I think you start to see fans openly look forward to Mike’s death.

  23. Abused and battered Bengal fans everywhere are crying out for help! Save us, Goodell!

  24. Its no wonder that teams like the Bucs have been basically silent in the frenzied FA spending this week. And, Mike Brown is in heaven, cheap A-hole.

  25. Hasn’t he media been talking about teams having to get busy all week to get to the cap minimum?

    Oh wait, ESPN is full if delta bravo’s so why would I expect them to translate anything close to accurate…

  26. I think fans who quit are their team are disloyal, but is there an exception for Bengal fans? I’m pretty discouraged.

  27. I see this has been a Bengal bashing blog, however, I still see the idiots that watch this game not appreciate how important the kicking game is.

    The Bucs did a really good mive by picking up a punter/kicker. We needed that BAD! You may appreciate it more when we keep pinning them inside the 20 or even the 10.

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