Okay, I'll admit it, I'm a closet salary capologist. I know some people are armchair quarterbacks, and owners or something of that nature, but I'm nerdy enough to consider myself a salary capologist. (it's a real position on most pro-teams with a salary cap.)
Most sites are reporting that the 2011 Salary cap will be lower than the 2009 Salary cap of 127 million (We didn't have one in 2010). The reported number is estimated to be somewhere between 117 million and 125 million, with the smart money being on 120 or 121 million. Using the smart money as a base line, naturally people ask, which current teams are over the cap. They are: Dallas, Indianapolis, Minnesota, New York, Oakland and Pittsburgh. For bonus points you can count Greenbay if the cap is much lower as their payroll is about 119 give or take.
The second question to ask, is where are the Ravens. After some totting up and a couple Google searches, it would appear our payroll is about 100 million. (some sites have it as high as 110, while others have it as low as 99, but 100 seems to be the general consensus)
This is both good and bad news, First it's better to be under than over it. But it also means we have about 20 million to work with. However, it's no secret that we have a couple key free agents with some hefty paydays due. And since most folks on ESPN seem to think the salary floor will be about 95%. That would mean the Ravens would need to spend 14 million more at minimum...or about two Dominique Foxworths.
So the questions for all the stay at home General Managers are: which of our free agents do you re-sign? how much do you give them and which free agents do you let go? Keep in mind that between J. Smith and T. Smith you should probably guess that they'd take about 7 million together, although, I've heard nothing of the rookie wage scale.
John Clayton, the source of most of my musing
***UPDATE Salary Cap***
ESPN Radio is reporting on the radio that 120 million will be the new Salary cap number.
***UPDATE Salary Floor***
The Salary floor will be 89.5%, much lower than 96%, but it's actually a win for the players, because it's 89.5% must be cash. Which means you can slide salary numbers around, that you can do with the cap.
The other part is that the salary must be met at the end of the season, if a team is under the minimum, the team will be required to pay a prorated amount to the players on the team.