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 I’ll 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 year’s minimum salary out of each player’s salary and determined just how much they were charged in excess of the $375,000 minimum. For instance Cam Newton’s 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 Luck’s year one cap charge would reduce to $3.871 million from Newton’s $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 year’s 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. I’m 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|
|St. Louis Rams||10||$6,960,706|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||7||$6,025,380|
|Kansas City Chiefs||8||$5,515,563|
|New England Patriots||7||$5,293,444|
|New York Jets||8||$4,960,684|
|Green Bay Packers||8||$4,776,727|
|San Diego Chargers||7||$4,498,407|
|New York Giants||7||$4,041,356|
|San Francisco 49ers||7||$3,975,026|
|New Orleans Saints||5||$2,258,476|