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Saturday, January 18, 2014
Rodgers' cap number grows with pay bump

By Vaughn McClure

Atlanta Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers was supposed to count $692,750 against the 2014 salary cap. Now, his cap number has grown to $1,436,750.

Rodgers was one of a handful of players from the 2011 draft class who were awarded with the Proven Performance Escalator, according to the NFLPA records. Players qualify for this increase in Year 4 of their contracts if they participate in a minimum of 35 percent of their club’s offensive or defensive plays in two of his first three regular seasons or a cumulative average of at least 35 percent of the plays over all three seasons.

Rodgers, a former fifth-round pick from Oregon State, saw his base salary grow from $645,000 to $1.389 million. The cap number factors in prorated signing bonus.

Now, the Falcons are one of seven teams with three running backs with cap numbers exceeding $1 million in ’14 with Rodgers, Steven Jackson ($4,166,666) and Jason Snelling ($1,733, 334). But remember, Rodgers' value extends beyond what he does in the backfield. He is the team’s kick returner and compiled a team-leading 1,248 all-purpose yards this past season.

The Falcons’ cap situation is sure to fluctuate from now until the start of the new league year (March 11) based on cuts, extensions, and possible re-signings and restructurings. Players typically don’t get released until after the Super Bowl and there is no immediate rush for teams to re-sign their own free agents.

Here are the cap numbers for the players under contract for 2014, with Rodgers’ figure updated and then retiring Tony Gonzalez ($8.75 million) omitted.

Matt Ryan $17,500,000
Dominique Davis $570,668
Sean Renfree $506,474

Running backs
Steven Jackson $4,166,666
Jason Snelling $1,733,334
Jacquizz Rodgers $1,436,750
Antone Smith $762,500
Josh Vaughan $645,000
Bradie Ewing $616,048
Patrick DiMarco $570,00

Wide receivers
Roddy White $6,325,000
Julio Jones $5,149,375
Harry Douglas $3,645,833
Darius Johnson $495,000

Tight ends
Levine Toilolo $570,146
Adam Nissley $496,000
Andrew Szczerba $495,000

Offensive linemen
Justin Blalock $7,660,000
Sam Baker $6,250,000
Garrett Reynolds $1,578,750
Peter Konz $978,709
Lamar Holmes $703,400
Harland Gunn $570,000
Ryan Schraeder $495,666
Terren Jones $495,000

Defensive ends
Osi Umenyiora $4,750,000
Kroy Biermann $3,583,334
Cliff Matthews $656,750
Jonathan Massaquoi $612,215
Malliciah Goodman $594,272
Stansly Maponga $541,685

Defensive tackles
Travian Robertson $581,474
Adam Replogle $420,000

Stephen Nicholas $4,000,000
Sean Weatherspoon $2,670,000
Akeem Dent $860,725
Joplo Bartu $496,666
Paul Worrilow $495,666

Asante Samuel $5,125,000
Desmond Trufant $1,855,931
Robert Alford $773,045

William Moore $5,150,000
Thomas DeCoud $4,800,000
Zeke Motta $506,474
Kemal Ishmael $506,474
Sean Baker $420,000

Matt Bryant $3,312,500
Matt Bosher $668,950
Josh Harris $570,834

*Total for 49 under contract in 2014: $108,367, 314. Projected 2014 cap: $126.3 million.