As the 2022 league year starts in a few hours, NFL teams are rushing to comply with an important parameter as Tampa Bay Times reporter Rick Stroud pointed out.
Happy NFL New Year. By 4 p.m. all teams must be in compliance with the $208.2 million salary cap. Bucs VP of football operations Mike Greenberg likely has a lot of restructuring done even as he retains players such as Carlton Davis, Ryan Jensen and adds Russell Gage.
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) March 16, 2022
Stroud tweeted, “Happy NFL New Year, By 4 p.m. all teams must be in compliance with the $208.2 million salary cap. Bucs VP of football operations Mike Greenberg likely has a lot of restructuring done even as he retains players such as Carlton Davis, Ryan Jensen, and adds Russell Gage.”
The 2022 salary cap jumped 14 percent from $182.5 million last season.
A big increase was expected after the cap went down due to reduced revenues brought by COVID-19.
On average, the cap increases by around six to eight percent, or $10-$12 million.
But with new television deals looming next season, the cap might substantially jump from the current $208.2 million.
It’s Crunch Time For The Buccaneers
As a beat reporter for the Buccaneers, Stroud pointed out the team’s need to comply with league regulations.
As of writing, the Buccaneers are $21.3 million over the cap, based on Spotrac’s figures.
If that’s the case, the hours leading to the 4 p.m. deadline should be tense moments for Tampa Bay.
Aside from releasing players, the best approach they can have is to restructure existing contracts.
Restructuring happens when some of the player’s base salary is transformed into a signing bonus, which doesn’t count against the cap.
Teams could also introduce voidable years to the contract to defer the count of some cash to latter years.
In the Buccaneers’ case, trading wide receiver Chris Godwin is a plausible option because he will count $19 million against the cap due to the franchise tag.
Despite a knee injury, Godwin should get massive attention from several NFL teams.