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New CBA gives teams the right to carry over cap space automatically


As the NFL readjusts to the problems that arise from spending that once again will be approaching the annual salary cap, there’s an important provision of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that needs to be highlighted.

Under Article 13, Section 6(b)(v) of the CBA, each team may carry over any remaining cap room from one year to the next by submitting written notice, signed by the owner of the team, to the league office no later than 14 days before the start of the next league year. The written notice must indicate the maximum amount of cap room that the team wishes to shift from one cap year to the next.

This relatively simple device replaces past tools for carrying over cap space, which included (for example) loading up a renegotiated player contract with a phony “likely to be earned” incentive that would chew up space in one year and then trigger a refund to the cap in the next year.

What’s odd about the new procedure is that teams must affirmatively choose to carry over the cap space. If a team wishes to be competitive, why wouldn’t all remaining cap space be carried over in any and every given year?

The last time we updated the 2011 cap dollars, the Jaguars had $32.9 million in space. The Chiefs had $27.4 million, the Broncos had $25.6 million, the Bucs had $25.1 million, the Seahawks had $21.7 million, and the Bills had $20.9 million.

The fans in each city should be clamoring for the maximum remaining cap room to be carried over, and the media in each city should be poised to get a full explanation if the full amount isn’t carried over.

Meanwhile, we’ll try to think of a plausible explanation for not carrying over the cap space. If nothing else, the excess cap space from 2011 will create excess cap space in 2012 that can be carried into 2013, and so on, until the need arises to use it.

With the new league year beginning on March 13, the notices must be submitted by February 28.