Earlier today, we learned that the Buccaneers would keep receiver Vincent Jackson on their 2015 roster without asking him to accept a pay cut or a contract restructure. After speaking to an executive with another NFL team, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that those around the league believe Tampa’s decision could lead to a “market reset” for receivers. In essence, players like Mike Wallace, Dwayne Bowe, or Percy Harvin, all of whom could be asked to accept a pay reduction in the near future, could refuse, citing Jackson as an example. The 32-year-old Jackson had a down season in 2014, but he’ll still earn $9.7MM in base salary next year.
Elsewhere around the league …
- The league is considering expanding roster sizes from 53 to 55 players, a source informed Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. Fifty-three-man rosters (45 active players on game days) have been the standard in the NFL since 1993, when rosters ballooned from 47 to 53 in the first year of modern free agency. Although this will mean a bit more money to allocate to players, 10 NFL teams are below the salary floor of 89 percent that must be used from the 2013-16 seasons and haven’t had to spend as much on rookies in recent years. Practice squads went in this direction last year, expanding from eight to 10 players.
- Speaking of that salary floor, some of this decade’s doormats will use that initiative to splurge on top free agents, ESPN’s John Clayton writes in his mailbag. The Jaguars and Raiders have over $120MM of salary cap space between them, and some of that cash needs to be spent this season to fall in line with the CBA’s four-year floor, which both teams are well under at 80 percent spending (Jaguars) and 82 percent (Raiders). Dallas and Washington also appear on the list of off-the-pace spenders. That comes not via the thriftiness of Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder, but from those owners’ free spending — and subsequent cap penalties — in the uncapped 2010.
- The Jets are also in that insufficient-spending bracket and are in strong cap position ($51MM+ over) with only free agent starter, David Harris. Explaining why the Jets should retain the longtime starting linebacker while allowing exits of Michael Vick, Dawan Landry and their other top free agents, the New York Daily News’ Seth Walder takes a look at Gang Green’s offseason approach.
Sam Robinson contributed to this report