Cap Space Used By Top Players

On Saturday, we looked at the ongoing contract talks between the Lions and Ndamukong Suh, particularly at how Suh, Matthew Stafford, and Calvin Johnson are all in line to be among the highest paid players at their positions. Today, Justin Rogers of took a closer look at how NFL teams spread their money out among their top three, top five, and top ten players, putting together a table of how all 32 NFL teams’ cap space is spread out.

A few notes from his table (can be found at

  • Eight franchises are devoting less than $30MM to their top three contracts, including three playoff teams in 2013. Bengals, Colts, and 49ers)
  • Nine teams are slotted to devote more than $40MM to their top three contracts. None of those teams made the playoffs in 2013. (Ravens, Bears, Cowboys, Lions, Texans, Giants, Steelers, Rams, and Buccaneers)
  • The Jets are on the hook for the 10th-most money to their top three contracts, at $39.779, also missing the playoffs last year.
  • The Seahawks will use the highest percentage of their cap dollars for their top ten contracts, at 69.59%. Out of ten teams to commit 63% or more of their cap space to the top ten contracts, the Seahawks were the only team to make the playoffs.
  • While the chart shows spending money doesn’t guarantee success, being cheap doesn’t equal winning either. The Raiders spent the lowest amount along all three categories and wound up with the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft.
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