Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star Ledger has an excellent article detailing the impact of the new CBA on many veteran players and the thought that teams will be creating flatter salary structures built into the contracts.
Toward the end of the last CBA, there were annual increases in cap,” Jets general manager John Idzik said. “There would be a natural incline in some of those deals, and if you’re not too careful in planning those deals in a relatively flat cap situation, it could back you into a hole.”
The contracts that will be negotiated when free agency opens in March will now likely have flatter salaries from year to year. The goal is to construct realistic deals, Idzik said, where both the player and the team have a practical chance to play it out.
It’s definitely an interesting read and consideration. Under the prior CBA the cap was growing close to $6 million a season. While contracts in the NFL have always been backloaded there were plenty of teams that had players they expected to contribute under mid tier prices with those cap growths in mind. Some deals were restructured and in other cases players cut. I think we have also started to see more teams using pure cash to cap philosophies to better align player costs with the cap and eliminate significant dead money considerations.
I highly recommend reading the full article which is available on nj.com. There are some great quotes from GMs around the league in there regarding the salary cap and its impact on the game.