NFL teams with little to no cap room heading into 2016 are getting a slight reprieve, but probably not as much as they would have liked. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the next year’s cap is due for a slight increase, between $7-$10 million.
NFL told team execs at this week’s owners meetings that 2016 salary cap projects between $150-$153.4 million, per sources. Cap now $143.28M.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 4, 2015
While that might seem like decent increase, it’s pretty well in line with what the salary cap increases have been over the last decade, as CSN New England’s Tom E. Curran showed last March.
Cap history: 05: $85.5M, 06: $102M, 07: $109M, 08: $116M, 09: $123M, '10 (uncapped) '11: $120M, '12:$120M; '13: $123M, '14: $133M, '15:$143M
— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) March 2, 2015
The exact increase in terms of percentages and total numbers will of course depend on where the exact cap number falls in. But assuming Schefter’s range is correct, the highest number would only be slightly higher than a seven percent increase, which would be the smallest increase since the stationary figure from 2011-2012.
Another way to look at it is an increase $10.12 millon works out to roughly $191,000 per player on a 53-man roster, which is generally in line with how salaries tend to escalate.
One thing that the NFL has been consistently strong with since adding the salary cap is that teams that draft well and find good value should be rewarded, while making it difficult for teams to sign the highest paid players. While this is an increase, it’s not exactly the one that teams pushing the brink of the salary cap wanted to see.