13, 12, 7, 21, 13.5, 25.2, 26.6, 3.5, 21, 1, 18, 20, 5, 27.1, 31.6, 16.3, 5, 25.3, 27, 21.6………
These are some of the numbers (in millions) of the salary caps that current NFL Franchises have right now. The Arizona Cardinals current projected cap space is close to $30 million. Looking at that list, only one other team has more Salary Cap room than the Cards, and that is the Tennessee Titans with $31.6 million. And we don’t have enough money to address our needs?
This is how it works boys and girls, the salary cap is a ceiling, the maximum amount a team can reach in its collective salaries for the upcoming season. Meaning that we have $30 million to play with as far as contracts rookie draft choices, free agent signings and current franchise players in the 2008 season. Player’s contracts that are already locked in past the 2008 season are already figured into that number.
But everyone out there is right, the most critical thing right now for the franchise to do is to restructure Larry Fitzgerald’s contract; get his current number of around $14.6 million next season down to around $9.5 million. That would give them an additional $5 million to use in securing other key agreements with free agents or OLB Calvin Pace. They’ve already addressed a big offseason concern by slapping the Franchise Tag on ILB Karlos Dansby, locking him in for one more year in the desert at $8.1 million, roughly.
So let’s take all of those numbers and subtract them from our total of $30 million, (Fitz’s 9.5, Dansby’s $8.1) giving us $14.4 million leftover. And remember, a rookie contract drafted in the middle of the first round doesn’t need a huge salary like a top five pick does. So we give him (hopefully RB Johnathan Stewart, but that is another article) a salary of between $2.5 – $3.1 million, leaving us with about $12 million. At that point, we could make Calvin Pace a lucrative offer of about $6 million next year, possibly with elevators based on pro bowl appearances. Leaving us with $6 million in cap space. And I think the best part about all of our offseason concerns is that we can address most of them through the draft. We have enough talent in house to make some serious noise, we just need to get healthy and lock in our current studs.
Now remember, none of these numbers are final. The Cards will probably clear more cap space when they cut FS Terrance Holt (which they’re sure to do now that Antrel Rolle is moving over to Safety) as well as RB JJ Arrington (I’m guessing on this one). So alot of these figures are pure estimation, but what you have to realize is that the Cards have never had the problem of having to little money to make a splash in free agency, it is just common knowledge that the Bidwell Family is notoriously frugal!
So we’ve got the money, and the salary cap space. But like any woman would tell you, “It’s how you use it!”