Idoit40fans wrote:Can someone explain the NFL salary cap to me? How are cap hits calculated?
How much time do you have? (kind of not joking)
Basically it's a combination of the base salary for that season and any signing bonus prorated over the term of the deal. This is why you see so many deals restructured at the end or players cut before those last couple years.
NFL can back load contracts and they will but make up for it by signing bonuses. This is also key for players because contracts aren't guaranteed but signing bonus are.
Steelers sign Titus Young to a 5 year 25 million dollar deal with the base salary being 2, 2, 5, 10, 6 They also give him a 10 million dollar signing bonus paid up front but prorate it over the 5 years of the contract.
In Year 1, his hit against the cap is 4 million (2 base, 2 signing bonus) even though Steelers are paying him 12 million.
Year 2, the cap is still at 4
Year 3: 7
Year 4: 12
Year 5: 8
Now. Let's say after year 2, Steelers say we're done with this guy.
If they cut him before June 1, the hit cap will be 6 million (remaining part of signing bonus), if he is cut after June 1, his hit is 2 and then 4
This is a very simple example and can get much more complicated very quickly.
I think I got it right.
I don't know the numbers but it is all too common for teams to be carrying cap hits for players who aren't on the team.
A new twist under the new CBA (and I don't remember how it all works) but if a team is say 10 million under the cap in 2013, they can apply that cap forward and in 2014 they could be 10 million over. Tampa Bay took advantage of this.