NFC South: 2012 salary-cap figures

Updating cap numbers

February, 13, 2012
We’ve got a little update to our earlier item on salary-cap figures for 2012. ESPN’s John Clayton has a very interesting note about how part of the NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement allows teams to carry over unused salary-cap room from 2011.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have $60.5 million, which ranks second only to Kansas City ($62.9 million). The Bucs benefit from $23.5 million in carryover money. The Falcons will have $30.6 million in cap space.

But the Panthers remain $9.6 million over the estimated cap ($120 million) and will have to release some players or restructure contracts before the start of the league year in March.

NFC South's $5 million club

February, 1, 2012
Time to take a look at the NFC South players that are scheduled to have the highest 2012 salary-cap figures.

Let’s be clear, these numbers are not what the players will actually make in 2012. These numbers simply reflect what they’ll count against the salary cap. And let’s also be clear that this list isn’t quite complete. You can bet Drew Brees will be on here once the quarterback signs a new deal with the New Orleans Saints. There also are some guys that probably will be cut or have their contracts restructured before the start of the year. Tampa Bay defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is a perfect example of that.

He’s scheduled to count $7.2 million. The Bucs can release him without any salary-cap hit. It’s a similar situation for Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis, who is scheduled to count $5.9 million. Davis is coming off his third torn ACL in two years and is due a big bonus in March. I seriously doubt he’ll get to collect that bonus.

Anyway, as it stands right now, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan is the easy winner for the NFC South’s highest cap figure. He’s scheduled to count $13.5 million toward the cap ($11.5 million in base salary and another $2 million in prorated bonus money). Aside from Ryan, 30 other NFC South players are scheduled to count more than $5 million toward the salary cap. Let’s take a look:
  • Albert Haynesworth, Buccaneers, $7.2 million
  • Thomas Davis, Panthers, $5.9 million

2012 NFC South salary-cap update

January, 17, 2012
Let’s take a look at the latest 2012 salary-cap figures for all four NFC South teams.

According to numbers obtained by, the Carolina Panthers have a division-high $129.9 million committed toward 2012. That puts the Panthers No. 3 in the league in the moment and they’ll have to make some moves to be compliant with the cap before the league year starts in March.

The other three NFC South teams aren’t in bad shape at the moment. The Atlanta Falcons are at $99.7, but they’re facing some major decisions on keeping some of their own free agents -- Brent Grimes, Curtis Lofton, John Abraham, Todd McClure and Thomas DeCoud -- and those could be costly.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are third at $97.024 million, but there could be some escalators that haven’t kicked in yet and could push the number higher.

The New Orleans Saints are last in the division at $95 million. But that number is misleading. The Saints almost certainly will be signing quarterback Drew Brees to a new contract and his cap figure for the first year likely will be somewhere around $15 million. After that, the Saints also have to make some decisions on key free agents like guard Carl Nicks, receiver Robert Meachem and cornerback Tracy Porter.