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Projecting the Year 1 NFL Rookie Allocations
New York Jets Salary Cap Page

Projecting the Year 1 NFL Rookie Allocations- All Trades Included

With the compensatory picks in and the draft order seemingly set I decided to expand the year one projections I did for the Jets to the other 31 clubs in the NFL. Rather than link to that article here Iíll just paste the important parts:

The new CBA uses a slotted system for rookie contracts where the expected total value and year one cap number are based on a percentage of a total number. Last year the number was $159 million in year one cap charges and $874 million in total contract value for all rookies drafted. The actual spent; based on information I have collected on rookie contracts, looks to be $158.9 million and $860.2 million respectively.

With the numbers only expected to rise by the same percentage increase in the salary cap it looks as if the new limits will only be $159.3 million and $875.6 million this year. That should likely create a big problem for rookies and their agents because the small percentage in the cap does not increase equally with the increase in the minimum salary for an NFL player, which rose by 4%. Last year, for instance, the first rounders accounted for just over 40% of all Year 1 salary cap charges. For that ratio to stay intact the 7th round selections average year one cap charge would have to be under $390,000, the minimum wage in the NFL for 2011. So there is likely going to have to be money given up this season for the top end rookie class compared to last season.

To calculate a fair estimate, I took last yearís minimum salary out of each playerís salary and determined just how much they were charged in excess of the $375,000 minimum. For instance Cam Newtonís cap charge would be reduced from $4,004,636 to $3,629,636. It represented a salary figure that was about seven times higher than the final pick in the first round and 316 times higher than the final non-compensatory pick in the NFL draft. Since the minimum wage is constant regardless of draft round I wanted to keep the excess they can earn in line with the figures I had from last season.

Based on those numbers it would seem that Andrew Luckís year one cap charge would reduce to $3.871 million from Newtonís $4.004 million the year before. Obviously there is some wiggle room in that number which occurs during negotiations and most likely the lower drafted guys will feel the brunt before they reduce the number 1 picks salary, but someone is getting hurt this season compared to last year in terms of signing bonus money. Agents are going to be pushing for more guarantees for their low round selections to make up for it. Likely another in a string of losses for the Players Association who really are getting beaten up left and right on this new CBA agreement.

Compensatory picks are not included in the $159.3 million figure and are additional dollars allocated to the teams. Based on last years numbers it seems as if the actual pick does not impact the salary, simply the round of compensatory selection. I am not 100% certain as to how the NFL accounts for forfeited picks. The Saints lost their 2nd round selection while the Raiders used a 3rd rounder in last yearís supplemental draft. Those two picks should account for just under $1.146 million. It is possible they are just removed from the pool or possibly reallocated across the other teams. Iím guessing they are just pulled out.

Anyway, here is my projection for the rookie allocations per team. And please remember its just a projection and could prove to be very wrong if my data from last year is incorrect. If I am able to get an accurate number on all the rookie salaries from this years draft I should be more accurate in the future. Also note that while this is the cap charge needed for the rookies that full amount will likely not be required in cap space. For every rookie signed you are most likely replacing 1 player already accounted for in the cap. For example the Jets have 10 picks to sign at an estimated $5.727 million in cap room, but the 10 players they replace will make a minimum of $3.9 million, making the team cap space required only $1.827 million. So to see the real effect on your teams cap multiply the number of draft picks by $390,000 and subtract it from the projected number.

Year 1 Rookie Pool Projections

Team No. Picks Projected Rookie Cap
Cleveland Browns  11 $9,499,628
Indianapolis Colts  10 $8,374,485
Minnesota Vikings  10 $8,358,051
Washington Redskins  9 $7,310,675
St. Louis Rams  10 $6,960,706
Cincinnati Bengals  10 $6,763,678
Miami Dolphins  9 $6,318,285
Buffalo Bills  9 $6,217,791
Tampa Bay Buccaneers  7 $6,025,380
Seattle Seahawks  10 $6,020,886
Jacksonville Jaguars  6 $5,954,411
Philadelphia Eagles  9 $5,867,679
Dallas Cowboys  7 $5,592,605
Kansas City Chiefs  8 $5,515,563
Carolina Panthers  7 $5,321,020
New England Patriots  7 $5,293,444
Detroit Lions  9 $5,174,589
Pittsburgh Steelers  9 $5,070,142
New York Jets  8 $4,960,684
Green Bay Packers  8 $4,776,727
Houston Texans  8 $4,763,506
San Diego Chargers  7 $4,498,407
Arizona Cardinals  7 $4,449,496
Tennessee Titans  7 $4,418,655
Baltimore Ravens  8 $4,268,861
Chicago Bears  6 $4,111,062
New York Giants  7 $4,041,356
San Francisco 49ers  7 $3,975,026
Denver Broncos  7 $3,967,406
Atlanta Falcons  6 $2,839,715
New Orleans Saints  5 $2,258,476
Oakland Raiders  5 $2,246,697

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