As I sit here this morning having just remembered that I needed to pay my state taxes today and scrambling to finish them up, I thought this would be a good day to look into each of our team’s current cap situations and how much real money they are actually going to spend. Let’s do it in order, from worst to first.
In last we find those champions of cheapness, the New England Patriots. They may think that they are the smartest guys I the room, no matter what room they are in, but by taking a quick look at the numbers, they might want to speak to Harvard about a refund on their degrees. The Patriots currently rank #29 in the league in available cap space ($6,735,655), even though they lowest cap number in the division at $137,842,429. What makes this even more mystifying is that we are sold year after year that the Pats are continually rolling salary cap space forward to future years in an effort to avoid “cap jail”. Seems like a bunch of hogwash to me. Oh yeah, let’s not forget about all of the “value” that the Pats are getting out of the $10,483,487 in dead money that they are paying to players who are no longer employed by the team. This kind of masterful budget management deserves a standing slow clap, not only did it force the team to dismantle the best secondary they had in a decade (you all know that I don’t believe that for a second, but we’re going to take the Krafts and their PR people at their word for the purposes of this article), but it leaves them virtually no room to make any in season moves to improve their team.
In second to last place who else would we find but the team that was for so long run by the only man that could compete with Bobby K for title of cheapest billionaire? The Bills are nipping at the Patriot’s heels in the race for least cap dollars used at $138,474,935 (#26 in the league). Had the Bills not been so thrifty in the way they handled their dead money ($7,322,516), they could have easily passed the Pats for the top spot in the division. The Bills still have over $7 million in available cap space, which for a team with no 1st round pick, leaves them in good standing to make a couple more impact moves if necessary. What will come as a surprise to many, and probably has Ralphie rolling around in his eternal bed of nickels is that the Bills actually are the team in the division that will spend the most real cash this year, $153,519,459. Now I know that many of you think that the NFL salary cap is a hard number that cannot be surpassed, but here’s the proof that your Kook-Aid is spiked.
Next up we find those free spending Jets. Right now they sit in the 24th spot in the league in available cap space ($8,154,968) and have a total cap number of $147,994,426. I’m sure the Jets will soon come to rue the day that they paid the best corner in the league the most money any corner has yet seen, but right now they look to be sitting pretty (well, as pretty as anyone from Long Island or New Jersey can be…). The Jets have also proved the by not having any good players to pay for a couple of seasons, you end up with very little dead money to pay out; only $3,593,161. Lastly, given all of the guaranteed money that Revis received; the Jets are among the league leaders in real $$’s spent as well coming in at $146,167,594. Even with Revis, that’s a pretty astounding considering how bad the rest of the team is.
And in first place with an amazing $12,569,904 in available cap space and a total cap number of $140,357,033 we find the Miami Seas Mammals. The Krafts might want to look into taking some extension classes at the University of Michigan because even with a stupid dead money number of $24,597,210 they still lead the division in available cap space (yes, this is a house of cards that is going to come crumbling down, but it’s fun to talk about now). As for real money, the Fins have been a little less wise than some of their opponents (but still better than the Pats) and are currently on the hook for $137,154,045 this season.
Have a great day and I hope the tax man doesn’t give any of you a prostate exam.