Largest 2014 Cap Hits By Team

Earlier in the offseason, we took a look at the largest 2014 cap hits, by offensive and defensive position, breaking down the top five highest-paid players at each spot on the field for the coming season. Today, we’ll shift our focus to the biggest cap hits by team, attempting to get some insight into which clubs are using significant cap space on their best players and which clubs’ largest cap hits are more problematic.

Despite their lack of recent success, for instance, the Browns’ top two highest cap hits for the coming season suggest the team is managing its cap reasonably well. It’s hard to argue that offensive tackle Joe Thomas and cornerback Joe Haden aren’t the most important players on offense and defense, respectively, in Cleveland — both players play key positions, and their combined cap hit of about $24.4MM doesn’t break the bank.

A team like Jacksonville, on the other hand, has more questionable cap numbers atop its 2014 books. Although he has continued to pile up tackles and made his first Pro Bowl appearance last season, Paul Posluszny has posted subpar Pro Football Focus grades for two straight seasons, ranking 37th out of 55 qualified inside linebackers in 2013, per the site’s advanced metrics (subscription required). Meanwhile, tight end Marcedes Lewis is a solid pass catcher and run blocker, but he has averaged under 40 receptions with only eight total touchdowns over the last three years, and is one of just two players at his position who shows up on the list below. While the Jags still have plenty of cap space, and Posluszny’s and Lewis’ combined cap hit of $17.75MM isn’t exorbitant, it’s not surprising that the team is expected to finish below .500 in ’14, given its lack of star power.

Here’s the full list of the NFL’s largest 2014 cap hits by team, with the second-largest cap number for each team noted in parentheses:

  1. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT: $22.413MM (Matthew Stafford, QB: $15.82MM)
  2. New York Giants: Eli Manning, QB: $20.4MM (Antrel Rolle, S: $9.25MM)
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger, QB: $18.895MM (Lawrence Timmons, LB: $11.816MM)
  4. Buffalo Bills: Mario Williams, DE: $18.8MM (Marcell Dareus, DT: $6.493MM)
  5. Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler, QB: $18.5MM (Brandon Marshall, WR: $9.375MM)
  6. New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees, QB: $18.4MM (Jahri Evans, G: $11MM)
  7. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB: $17.61MM (Chris Long, DE: $14.9MM)
  8. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers, QB: $17.55MM (Clay Matthews, OLB: $10.944MM)
  9. Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning, QB: $17.5MM (DeMarcus Ware, DE: $9.667MM)
  10. Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan, QB: $17.5MM (Justin Blalock, G: $7.66MM)
  11. Miami Dolphins: Mike Wallace, WR: $17.25MM (Dannell Ellerbe, LB: $7.425MM)
  12. San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers, QB: $16.667MM (Eric Weddle, S: $10.1MM)
  13. Carolina Panthers: Charles Johnson, DE: $16.42MM (Greg Hardy, DE: $13.116MM)
  14. Baltimore Ravens: Haloti Ngata, DL: $16MM (Joe Flacco, QB: $14.8MM)
  15. Houston Texans: Andre Johnson, WR: $15.645MM (Johnathan Joseph, CB: $11.25MM)
  16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT: $15.627MM (Vincent Jackson, WR: $12.432MM)
  17. New England Patriots: Tom Brady, QB: $14.8MM (Logan Mankins, G: $10.5MM)
  18. Minnesota Vikings: Adrian Peterson, RB: $14.4MM (Everson Griffen, DE: $8.2MM)
  19. Seattle Seahawks: Percy Harvin, WR: $13.4MM (Russell Okung, OT: $11.24MM)
  20. Cleveland Browns: Joe Thomas, OT: $12.3MM (Joe Haden, CB: $12.128MM)
  21. Dallas Cowboys: Brandon Carr, CB: $12.217MM (Tony Romo, QB: $11.773MM)
  22. Kansas City Chiefs: Dwayne Bowe, WR: $12MM (Eric Berry, S: $11.62MM)
  23. Arizona Cardinals: Carson Palmer, QB: $12MM (Calais Campbell, DL: $11.25MM)
  24. New York Jets: D’Brickashaw Ferguson, OT: $11.699MM (Nick Mangold, C: $7.227MM)
  25. Washington Redskins: Brian Orakpo, OLB: $11.455MM (Trent Williams, OT: $10.98MM)
  26. Philadelphia Eagles: LeSean McCoy, RB: $9.7MM (Jason Peters, OT: $8.292MM)
  27. Jacksonville Jaguars: Paul Posluszny, LB: $9.5MM (Marcedes Lewis, TE: $8.25MM)
  28. Cincinnati Bengals: Geno Atkins, DT: $9MM (Leon Hall, CB: $8.7MM)
  29. Indianapolis Colts: Robert Mathis, OLB: $8.75MM (Vontae Davis, CB: $6.25MM)
  30. Tennessee Titans: Andy Levitre, G: $8.6MM (Jason McCourty, CB: $8.3MM)
  31. Oakland Raiders: Matt Schaub, QB: $8MM (Tyvon Branch, S: $7.157MM)
  32. San Francisco 49ers: Anthony Davis, OT: $7.532MM (Vernon Davis, TE: $7.343MM)

Contract information from Over The Cap was used in the creation of this post.

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