The NFL’s TV ratings may be down in 2016, but that doesn’t mean the revenues are declining along with them. The league is ready to pad the coffers of both the teams and their players next year by raising the salary cap from $155 million to the $166-170 million range.
“USA Today’s Tom Pelissero reports teams were informed on Tuesday that the salary cap is expected to rise to between $166-170 million in 2017.The salary cap this season is $155.27 million, so it’s roughly a $10-15 million increase. The cap has been steadily rising for years with the league just rolling in the money. With more cap space, contracts will keep getting bigger.”
The question is…do they really need to? According to the website, teams had a difficult team sending the money allotted to them this season. The Cleveland Browns, one of the teams that carried over a lump sum of unused space from last season are currently $47.8 million over the cap. The 49ers are $3 million over and the Jaguars are over by $40 million.
The cap raise will not really help those teams. Who it will help are the Jets, who, depending on which numbers you choose to believe, are either less than $223k under the cap or $507k over.
The Giants, who spent a fortune in free agency last March, still have approximately $13 million in space and are unlikely to do so again. Unless, that is, if they decide to upgrade the offensive line and other positions.
Under the new fiscal parameters, the Giants are estimated to be $46 million under the cap. Most of the Giants’ core players are signed for the 2017 season. The only big ticket free agent coming off the books is DE Jason Pierre-Paul, who inked a one-year, $10 million deal before the season. JPP is currently rehabbing from a sports hernia, but there’s little mystery the Giants will seek to bring him back if the price is right.
The Jets will only have $2.3 million in free space next March, which is not what the fans want to hear for team that is in dire need of an overhaul. They will naturally dump QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s $12 million option but there are no other expiring contracts that can give them immediate help.