WASHINGTON — After a season in which the NFL is predicted to generate $13 billion in revenue and earn profits more than $1 billion, league insider Adam Schefter reports that teams will raise player salary caps by between $7-10 million per team for the 2016 season:
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
This is yet another substantial gain for the salary cap, which rose $10 million in each of the last two seasons and has already increased 67 percent in the last 10 years.
The increase is based on a collectively bargained agreement that players shall receive between 47-48.5 percent of total NFL revenue. The remarkable jumps in salary since the 2011 lockout reflects the sport’s increase in popularity over that span.
So what does that mean for the Washington Redskins?
The Redskins final 2016 cap number, like most teams, will exceed the agreed upon number. Teams that do not use their full cap space in one season may roll is over to the following year.
In 2015, the Redskins are operating with a $146.6 million budget after carryover and other considerations. The Jacksonville Jaguars lead the league with $168.5 million in cap space, and the division rival Philadelphia Eagles had the most in the NFC with $159.9 million.
According to Spotrac, the Jaguars lead the league again this season in available cap space, with more than $32 million available heading into the last month of the season. Every other team in the NFC East ranks in the top-10 for cap availability and the Redskins rank 16th among NFL teams, with $7.3 million left unspent.
Looking ahead to 2016, the Redskins have roughly $125 million tied to active players, $16.1 million in Robert Griffin III (until he passes a physical and is cut before the league year begins) and less than $1 million in dead cap space. If all goes well with Griffin and Schefter’s report proves to be true, the team could have between $24-27.4 million in space before carryover and calculations.
Some of that space will be used to retain key free agents like Kirk Cousins, Terrance Knighton, Alfred Morris, Keenan Robinson, Dustin Hopkins and Darrel Young. What the team does for the final five games will set the resources, negotiations, and roster in motion for the 2016 season.