Crunching Numbers: An In Depth Look at the NFL Salary Cap

When I started OverTheCap back in 2013, one of my main objectives was to explain the NFL salary cap and player contract nuances in a way that had not really been touched on before. At the time, there were a lot of amateur salary cap guys (like myself) writing about their favorite teams, such as Ian Whetstone following the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miguel Benzan’s terrific work on the New England Patriots, Brian McFarland covering the Baltimore Ravens, Bryce Johnston looking at the Philadelphia Eagles, Brian McIntyre with his blog before moving on to bigger things, and the many others who tackled these issues and helped better the knowledge of bloggers and media through the years. I wanted to bring that to a wider audience.

To further that goal of reaching out to a wider audience, I collaborated with my good friend, Vijay Natarajan to co-author a book called Crunching Numbers: An Inside Look at the Salary Cap and Negotiating Player Contracts. Crunching Numbers is a twenty-three chapter, 300-page book devoted to explaining the ins and outs of the salary cap, the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), and various issues concerning player contracts. We are confident that this would fill a major void that has existed for far too long in football coverage – understanding the NFL’s most unique accounting system.

When I started learning about the salary cap and NFL contracts, back in 2007, there wasn’t much information readily out there. You basically learned by yourself, digging through the CBA and trying to connect the dots between a reported salary cap number and the CBA. It was no different for anyone’s first attempt at working in a NFL front office or as a sports agent. Trial by fire was probably the best way to describe it. There was always this imaginary wall that existed when talking about the salary cap that you had to be an accountant, with a top legal degree to even come close to understanding the CBA nuisances. We hope that our collaboration will make this thought obsolete. Crunching Numbers Inside Look at NFL Salary Cap

Crunching Numbers was written to lose the trial by fire approach. The goal was to give anyone interested in working in an NFL front office, representing players as a future sports agent, covering the sport as a member of the media, wanting to learn more about his own player contract, or just simply being the most well informed hardcore fan with the information they need to master these subjects. It’s our sincere hope Crunching Numbers was written, in an easy to understand manner stripping the legal talk from the CBA into a better format.

Crunching Numbers will explain in great detail many aspects of the CBA that we are often asked about. It covers just about anything and everything one should know about the NFL CBA. If you want to learn how to calculate a player’s salary cap number or to determine the dead money for terminating a contract, it’s here. If you were curious about trades and free agency designations, we have it covered. What are the various types of salaries negotiated in a contract? Crunching Numbers has it.  Grievances, injury protection, termination pay, it’s all here. Even the most obscure rules like the Deion rules, 50% down rules and 30% rules are all touched upon.

We have worked on Crunching Numbers, on and off, for the last three years with many rewrites to try to keep it current for whenever it would be officially released. We dug through every major news source who reports on player contracts to find practical teaching examples to help you understand all the CBA concepts. This will help you have a true understanding as you to apply these case studies in your future discussions. Crunching Numbers is detailed and we can guarantee that you will come out of the book with a far better understanding of the CBA and player contracts than when you began.

Even though I don’t have the same time these days to post on OTC, or record a podcast, and even interact with everyone I remain humbly grateful for all the positive feedback and comments over the years, the fact that you all take my opinion as meaningful. To see this Crunching Numbers actually become a reality is a big personal accomplishment and I thank you all for that because, quite honestly, if nobody cared about OTC none of this would have happened.

I want to give a special thank you to all the Yahoo AmCap gang for being a sounding board for salary cap stuff all these years, Nick Korte for doing all the cool (and thankless) behind the scenes stuff on the site, Reese for her (unknowing) help in properly citing the CBA, and of course Vijay for working with me on this project over the years as it never would have seen the light of day if I had to write it myself. I would also like to personally thank the NFL front office capologists who took their personal time to review Crunching Numbers as well as all the NFL front office folks and NFL agents I’ve gotten to know over the years who discussed salary cap/player contract related topics with me. Thanks to all the members of the media who have helped draw attention to OTC and my work through the years. Finally, thanks to Adi Bustaman giving Crunching Numbers a face with his graphic design work, our editor Kristen Hamilton, and our publisher at CreateSpace and their staff who provided the interior design. It’s been fun working with everyone.

You can purchase Crunching Numbers for $24.95 (ISBN 978-0692742235) directly from our book website – Check our website out for more information. We have testimonials from team contract negotiators, media and college professors. Also included is a sample chapter (Chapter 21 – Cap Space) talking about “hidden costs.” You can also find the book at our CreateSpace e-store and The Kindle e-book version should be available in a few weeks (at the end of September).

Thanks again for your continued support. Please pass the word around about Crunching Numbers official release. I sincerely hope you enjoy reading Crunching Numbers and learning more about the NFL salary cap and how player contracts fit within the footballs most unique accounting system.


  • Splicer2203

    Good luck with your book, Jason. Always liked your OTC stories

  • Werner

    done deal. Number crunching with Sports. Hope you still find time to resume podcasting and best / worst contracts

  • PetEng

    Congrats on the achievement. Mine is ordered.

  • McGeorge

    Good luck Jason.
    But I’m sad you wont be writing as much here.
    I loved this site.
    It’s far more valuable than most analysts blogs/podcasts.