According to multiple sources the NFL has officially set the salary cap at $123 million, nearly 2 million higher than anticipated. With that in mind I have now updated the salary cap estimates for each team. While I would expect many of the figures to be ballpark accurate they will not be 100% accurate. I do not have the majority of Steelers and Cowboys restructures included in the database. I will wait until the base salary information is official before jumping the gun on many of the deals. So expect them to be updated tomorrow or by Monday at the latest. The salary cap totals include the top 51, estimated dead money, and team by team cap adjustments from last year. The Eagles have the highest adjusted cap at $146,046,035 while the Redskins have the lowest at $109,270,296.Every team will have their number adjusted downward by $504,000 on March 12 to account for minimum workout payments.
The new salary cap limit represents a 1.99% increase over last years salary cap. By my calculations that should not be enough to account for the raise in rookie base salary to allow the rookie pool to result in increased bonus money for the 2013 draft picks. The reason for this is that the rookie pool rises with the salary cap, however this increase does not allow for a low draft pick to receive the same signing bonus as last season and a minimum of $405,000. For example last years 25th pick of the 7th round had a Year One pool number of $402,358, of which $12,358 was bonus money. A 1.99% increase would only bring that Pool number to $410,365 in 2013. Considering the minimum salary a draft pick can earn is $405,000 it would leave the player with a significantly smaller bonus than last years player picked in the same slot. In 2012 to avoid this the league basically just adjusted the year one numbers to account for a $15,000 raise over the prior year. So I would expect the same here making the rookie pool estimates still relatively on target. The undrafted rookie pool will likely be just over $78,100 per team which can be spent on signing bonuses for undrafted players.
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Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.