Salary Cap

Jets Rumors: Restructures, Williams, McDonald, Johnson

The Jets were recently able to create an impressive $12.7MM of cap space by reworking defensive end Carl Lawson‘s contract. The team may not be done there, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, as there are a few more veterans with lofty salaries in 2023.

After reducing Lawson’s cap hit for the year, five Jets have cap hits over $10MM for the upcoming season: linebacker C.J. Mosley ($21.48MM), left tackle Duane Brown ($11.28MM), wide receiver Corey Davis ($11.17MM), left guard Laken Tomlinson ($10.88MM), and safety Jordan Whitehead ($10.23MM).

Mosley, Brown, and Davis make the most sense for potential further restructures, not just because they have the highest cap hits, but also because they all have salaries over $9MM next season. Mosley has the highest base salary for 2023 at $17MM, while Davis is at $10.5MM and Brown is at $9MM. The bigger base salary gives them a larger amount that they are able to convert into a signing bonus in order to reduce salary cap numbers.

Here are a few more rumors concerning Gang Green:

  • Another player with a high salary and cap hit, as his fifth-year option gives him an amount for both of $9.59MM, Quinnen Williams has been the source of much stress for New York. While head coach Robert Saleh is fairly unconcerned about the situation, expecting a deal to get done, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN, the drama was only exacerbated with Williams made an adjustment to his Twitter bio earlier this week, writing, “Defensive tackle for ……………….” Many around the league are worried the situation could devolve into one resembling that of Jamal Adams, who general manager Joe Douglas had planned to make a “Jet for life” before trading him to Seattle weeks later.
  • The Jets used a first-round pick on Iowa State outside linebacker Will McDonald back in April. It puzzled some as it looked like the continuation of a number of early draft investments New York has made at pass rusher. Some wondered if they maybe planned to use McDonald as more of a complete linebacker, but according to Cimini, the Jets plan to use McDonald at defensive end. Considered to be arguably the draft’s best pass rushing prospect, McDonald will compete with recent high draft pick Jermaine Johnson and John Franklin-Myers for snaps across from Carl Lawson.
  • It was a bit of a shock last month when New York released running back Ty Johnson with a non-football injury designation just over a month after re-signing him. Johnson took to Instagram today to provide some emotional insight on the situation. According to Johnson, after tearing a pectoral muscle in a workout away from the team, Johnson was told by the Jets’ team doctor to undergo surgery. When he returned to the facility after the procedure, he was told he no longer had a spot on the roster. The Jets return a hopefully fully healthy Breece Hall, Michael Carter, and Zonovan Knight and added Pitt running back Israel Abanikanda in the fourth round of the draft.
  • New York signed former Packer Billy Turner earlier this month to help solidify their depth at offensive tackle. Thanks to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2, we’ve got a few more details on the deal. The one-year contract has a base salary of only $1.35MM with $1MM of it guaranteed. Turner can more than double that amount if he ends up active and playing next year. He’ll receive a per game active roster bonus of $17,647 for a potential season total of $300K. The deal also includes a playing time incentive that will pay him $1.5MM if he plays 75 percent or more of the team’s offensive snaps.
  • Cimini was able to provide us with details on defensive tackle Al Woods‘s recent signing, as well. The one-year deal worth $2.25MM has a base salary of $1.24MM ($500K of it guaranteed) with a $500K signing bonus. Woods will also receive a per game active roster bonus, his worth $30K for a potential season total of $510K.

NFL Restructures: Saints, Corbett, Grant, Eagles

The Saints restructured two contracts yesterday in an effort towards salary cap compliance, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. Both linebacker Demario Davis and tight end Taysom Hill have agreed to the new arrangements to lower their cap hit next season.

Davis is under contract through the 2025 season, Hill through 2026. Davis had another stellar season for the Saints in 2022. Since joining the team in 2018, he’s missed one game and been a first- or second-team All-Pro in every season but his first in New Orleans. The team converted $7.09MM of base salary for the 34-year-old’s 2023 season into a signing bonus, clearing $5.67MM in cap space off of his contract. He now holds a cap hit next year of $7.61MM with a base salary of $1.17MM.

Hill had another productive year as a Swiss-army weapon for New Orleans. The quarterback/tight end continued to show a much larger impact rushing than receiving but steeply declined in his passing numbers this year. The team converted $8.82MM of base salary for the 32-year-old’s 2023 season into a signing bonus, clearing $7.06MM in cap space off of his contract. He now holds a cap hit next year of $6.87MM with a base salary of $1.08MM.

The team still has several avenues it can explore to create cap space. Defensive end Cameron Jordan ($25.7MM), cornerback Marshon Lattimore ($22.4MM), guard Andrus Peat ($18.3MM), running back Alvin Kamara ($16MM), and quarterback Jameis Winston ($15.6MM) all hold cap hits over $15MM that could likely be restructured.

Here are few other recent moves as teams strive towards cap compliance:

  • After signing a three-year, $26.25MM contract a year ago, guard Austin Corbett has agreed to a restructured deal with the Panthers, according to Panthers staff writer Darin Gantt. Corbett contributed to a much-improved offensive line this season, starting all 17 games before suffering a torn ACL in the team’s last game of the year. The 28-year-old is working towards a return spending every day at the facility in recovery. Yates of ESPN reports that the team converted $7.72MM, consisting of his base salary and a $1MM roster bonus, into a signing bonus, freeing up $5.79MM in cap space. Corbert now holds a 2023 salary of $1.08MM and a cap hit of $5.16MM.
  • Yates’s above report on Corbett also mentioned the Browns recent restructuring of wide receiver and return-specialist Jakeem Grant. Grant missed the 2022 season with a torn Achilles tendon after signing a three-year, $10MM contract in the offseason. The renegotiated deal for Grant reportedly reduces his cap hit by $1.77MM.
  • Eagles center Jason Kelce is currently headed towards free agency or, potentially, retirement. Still, since Philadelphia has a habit of building voidable years into contracts in an effort to lessen the salary cap burden of deals, the team found it necessary to decrease that financial burden that Kelce’s expiring contract has on their future. According to yet another report by Yates, the Eagles paid Kelce a $3MM bonus yesterday, consisting of his $2.75MM 2023 roster bonus and $250,000 2023 offseason bonus, to reduce his 2023 cap hit. The move reportedly cleared up around $2.4MM of cap space for Philadelphia next season.

2023 NFL Cap Space, By Team

Earlier this week, the NFL revealed its 2023 salary cap. Teams can now budget for their offseasons, knowing a $224.8MM ceiling is in place. This year’s nonexclusive franchise and transition tag numbers also emerged, giving teams more clarity on those fronts as well. With that in mind, here is where every team stands in terms of cap space:

  1. Chicago Bears: $90.91MM
  2. Atlanta Falcons: $56.42MM
  3. New York Giants: $44.28MM
  4. Houston Texans: $37.56MM
  5. Cincinnati Bengals: $35.55MM
  6. New England Patriots: $32.71MM
  7. Seattle Seahawks: $31.04MM
  8. Baltimore Ravens: $26.87MM
  9. Las Vegas Raiders: $19.78MM
  10. Arizona Cardinals: $14.47MM
  11. Kansas City Chiefs: $13.96MM
  12. Detroit Lions: $13.83MM
  13. Indianapolis Colts: $12.59MM
  14. Denver Broncos: $9.07MM
  15. San Francisco 49ers: $8.28MM
  16. Washington Commanders: $8.24MM
  17. Philadelphia Eagles: $4.24MM
  18. Pittsburgh Steelers: $1.03MM
  19. New York Jets: $1.31MM over the cap
  20. Dallas Cowboys: $7.18MM over
  21. Carolina Panthers: $8.94MM over
  22. Los Angeles Rams: $14.19MM over
  23. Cleveland Browns: $14.64MM over
  24. Miami Dolphins: $16.45MM over
  25. Green Bay Packers: $16.48MM over
  26. Buffalo Bills: $17.88MM over
  27. Los Angeles Chargers: $20.38MM over
  28. Jacksonville Jaguars: $22.35MM over
  29. Minnesota Vikings: $23.43MM over
  30. Tennessee Titans: $23.67MM over
  31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $55.03MM over
  32. New Orleans Saints: $60.47MM over

These figures (courtesy of OverTheCap) will change dramatically in the coming weeks, but this is where each team stands ahead of Super Bowl LVII. After that point, cap-casualty cuts can begin taking place. Restructures, extensions and trades will commence as well, with the Saints of recent years doing well to prove there are a few roads to cap compliance.

While New Orleans is in its usual February place, the team actually was further over the 2021 and ’22 caps at this point on the NFL calendar. Using void years to load up its roster during Tom Brady‘s three-year stay, Tampa Bay has seen much of that bill come due. If Brady does not re-sign a procedural deal, which would allow for the Buccaneers to spread out his dead money, the team will be hit with a $35.1MM dead-cap charge this year.

The Browns led the league by a wide margin in cap carryover from 2022, Field Yates of tweets. Cleveland carried over $27.6MM in cap space. The Browns paced the league in cap space throughout the 2022 season, bracing for the Deshaun Watson contract’s spike. As of now, Watson’s cap figure will balloon from $9.4MM to $54.9MM. No NFL player has ever played a season on a cap number higher than $45MM.

The Panthers, Broncos, Bears and Raiders rounded out the top five in carryover dollars, ranging from $10.8MM to $6.7MM. Chicago ate considerable dead money via the Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn trades. The rebuilding team is still paying most of Quinn’s salary, doing so in order to secure a better draft pick from the Eagles. The Bears will have quite the opportunity to bolster their roster in Ryan Poles‘ second year in charge, leading the league by a massive margin and holding the No. 1 overall pick. The Falcons still have $12MM-plus in Deion Jones dead money on their 2023 payroll, but the team is rid of Matt Ryan‘s record-setting dead-cap hit ($40MM).

Baltimore will have a major decision to make in the coming weeks. GM Eric DeCosta said he has not decided if the team will place the exclusive or nonexclusive tag on Lamar Jackson. Even the nonexclusive number — $32.42MM — will dramatically change the Ravens’ budget ahead of free agency. The exclusive tag, which prevents other teams from submitting an offer sheet to Jackson, is expected to come in just north of $45MM.

NFL Sets 2023 Franchise/Transition Tag Figures

The 2023 salary cap coming in at $224.8MM will lead to teams knowing what it will cost to use the franchise or transition tags this year. Those decisions are coming soon, and the numbers emerged Monday.

These figures are similar to what we heard six weeks ago, but the official totals (via’s Tom Pelissero, on Twitter) are listed below:

Franchise tag:

  • Quarterback: $32.42MM
  • Running back: $10.1MM
  • Wide receiver: $19.74MM
  • Tight end: $11.36MM
  • Offensive linemen: $18.24MM
  • Defensive end: $19.73MM
  • Defensive tackle: $18.94MM
  • Linebacker: $20.93MM
  • Cornerback: $18.14MM
  • Safety: $14.46MM
  • Kicker/punter: $5.39MM

Transition tag:

  • Quarterback: $29.5MM
  • Running back: $8.43MM
  • Wide receiver: $17.99MM
  • Tight end: $9.72MM
  • Offensive linemen: $16.66MM
  • Defensive end: $17.45MM
  • Defensive tackle: $16.1MM
  • Linebacker: $17.48MM
  • Cornerback: $15.79MM
  • Safety: $11.87MM
  • Kicker/punter: $4.87MM

These are the nonexclusive franchise tag figures. The nonexclusive tag, which comprises the bulk of the tags utilized throughout the tag’s 30-year history, is determined by a formula that includes the cap figures and the nonexclusive franchise salaries at the player’s position for the previous five years. This will not be the tag figure for every player at these positions, however. If the Bengals want to tag Jessie Bates for a second time, his price will be higher than the 2023 safety tag. Due to being tagged in 2022, Bates would check in at 120% of his 2022 tag salary. That would produce a 2023 salary of $15.48MM. This will apply to the Chiefs and Orlando Brown Jr. as well.

The seldom-used transition tag either averages the 10 highest salaries at a player’s position in the previous league year or checks in at 120% of the player’s previous salary, whichever is greater. Whereas the nonexclusive franchise tag would award two first-round picks to a team that loses a tagged performer, teams do not receive any compensation if they lose a transition-tagged player via offer sheet.

This year’s franchise and transition tag windows open at 3pm CT on Feb. 21; they close at 3pm CT, March 7. Teams, then, have until July 15 to work out extensions for tagged players. If no extensions are reached, no additional talks can commence until the 2023 season ends. That player must play the season on the tag salary — or a renegotiated lower price, as was the case with Yannick Ngakoue in 2020 — for that team or a team that acquires the player via trade.

In addition to Bates and Brown, a number of first-time candidates will be on this year’s tag radar. Lamar Jackson, Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, Evan Engram and Daron Payne are among the possible franchise tag recipients. Because of the low running back price, the Raiders and Giants will certainly consider cuffing their Pro Bowlers via the tag. Jones’ free agent status complicates the Giants’ plans, however. Jackson is a candidate for the exclusive tag, which could hit the Ravens with a historic $45MM-plus number.

NFL Sets 2023 Salary Cap At $224.8MM

In December, the NFL provided teams with its usual projection of the upcoming salary cap ceiling. Today, the final figure has been revealed. The 2023 cap will be set at $224.8MM, the league announced on Monday (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero).

That represents another all-time record in terms of what teams are allowed to spend this upcoming campaign, though that comes as no surprise given the league’s rebound from the recent financial constraints brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. This new number is also historic because it marks a rise of $16.6MM, the largest single-season jump of the salary cap era.

During the winter owners’ meetings, it was believed the 2023 figure would come in above the $220MM mark. That led to many teams and analysts using projected totals between $222.5MM and $225MM, so today’s announcement falls in line with what was expected. As of last offseason’s announcement for the final cap figure, it was widely expected that 2023 would be the year in which the ceiling would begin rising at an unprecedented rate.

The two chief factors in that, of course, are the revenues generated by the league’s 17th regular season game being implemented, and the new money coming in from the latest round of TV and streaming rights deals. Those long-term agreements have the league set up for sustained revenue growth, which should result in the expectation of similar spikes for years to come.

The 2022 offseason demonstrated how quickly positional markets can fluctuate. Wide receivers in particular saw a massive boost in value, with 14 wideouts now on contracts averaging at least $20MM per season. Quarterbacks, meanwhile, should be expected to continue their upward trajectory with the likes of Lamar JacksonJoe Burrow, Jalen Hurts and Justin Herbert all eligible for long-term, big-ticket contracts.

As teams now prepare for free agency with more certainty regarding where they stand financially, here is a quick look back at how the cap has changed in recent years:

  • 2015: $143.28MM
  • 2016: $155.27MM
  • 2017: $167MM
  • 2018: $177.2MM
  • 2019: $188.2MM
  • 2020: $198.2MM
  • 2021: $182.5MM
  • 2022: $208.2MM

Exclusive QB Franchise Tag Projected To Eclipse $45MM

When the Cowboys placed the exclusive franchise tag on Dak Prescott in 2020, it cost them $31.4MM. If/when the Ravens proceed down this path with Lamar Jackson next year, it will be considerably more expensive.

Although teams have not received projections on next year’s cap yet, the NFL’s 2023 salary ceiling is on track to come in north of $220MM. That will bump the exclusive quarterback tag north of $45MM. Noting a handful of teams are using a $225MM projection for next year’s cap, CBS Sports’ Joel Corry pegs the exclusive QB tag at $45.25MM. No player has ever gone through a season attached to a cap number north of $45MM. Jackson and the Browns’ Deshaun Watson — as of now set to count $54.9MM on Cleveland’s 2023 payroll — would be poised to be the first.

Here are the projected non-exclusive franchise tag amounts for 2023, according to Corry:

  • Quarterback: $32.45MM
  • Running back: $10.1MM
  • Wide receiver: $19.76MM
  • Tight end: $11.36MM
  • Offensive line: $18.26MM
  • Defensive end: $19.74MM
  • Defensive tackle: $18.95MM
  • Linebacker: $20.95MM
  • Cornerback: $18.16MM
  • Safety: $14.47MM
  • Kicker/punter: $5.39MM

An exclusive tag prevents other teams from negotiating with the tagged player. Were the Ravens to place the non-exclusive tag on Jackson, other teams could come in with offer sheets and attempt to pry the former MVP away. Of course, it would cost the signing team two first-rounders if the Ravens passed on matching a Jackson offer sheet after a five-day period.

While the non-exclusive quarterback tag is set to rise past $30MM, the other number that jumps out here is the running back price. That will be a viable fallback option for teams like the Giants (Saquon Barkley) and Raiders (Josh Jacobs). While Barkley is playing out his fifth-year option, the Raiders passed on an $8MM Jacobs 2023 salary. The NFL’s rushing leader, Jacobs will certainly enter 2023 as a tag candidate. The Giants had negotiated with Barkley during their bye week this year, but the sides were not believed to be close on terms. With the team hoping to keep the former No. 2 overall pick, it seems likely — even with Daniel Jones unsigned as well — this low-cost tag will be utilized.

These prices also do not apply to Jessie Bates, Orlando Brown Jr., Dalton Schultz and Mike Gesicki. Should any of these players be tagged again, their tag figures would be 120% of their 2022 salaries. Players who are not attached to rookie contracts could also be tied to higher tag figures in 2023. Both Allen Robinson and A.J. Green collected more on the tag than their wideout peers in recent years, due to 120% of their previous year’s salary being worth more than the tag price. This scenario would be in play again if teams were keen on keeping certain vets off the market.

2023 Salary Cap To Rise Past $220MM?

Following the pandemic-induced salary cap reduction in 2021, the NFL’s salary ceiling climbed to $208MM this year. More growth is expected, though issues leave its precise spike to be determined.

When owners and other execs gather next week in Dallas for the latest set of meetings, they could receive an estimate of next year’s cap. Such a figure is usually provided at this point, and’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero note a “normal calculation of projected revenues” would produce a cap figure well north of $220MM. But no cap projection has yet been made, per

In the narrow window between the CBA going out for ratification and the COVID-19 virus becoming 2020’s defining story, cap spikes surpassing those of the 2010s were expected to emerge in the early years of this CBA. Bumps from the latest round of TV deals were set to trigger those. While the pandemic altered this path, the league’s new TV contracts are set to kick in next year. The NFL agreed to its latest round of TV accords before this year’s cap figure was determined, and the 2023 cap was believed to be when the windfall from those contracts would begin to be reflected on team budgets.

The CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN and Amazon TV pacts, which begin next season and run through 2033, were agreed to in March 2021. But the league has not yet finalized a Sunday Ticket provider; that is a factor as well. The media kicker in the 2020 CBA could increase players’ revenue from 48% to 48.8%, which notes is a potential nine-figure bump for the players. The Sunday Ticket component affects the revenue projection, thus holding up cap finality.

Various NFL teams, however, are using $222.5MM and $225MM projections, CBS Sports’ Joel Corry tweets. OverTheCap is using $225MM as its 2023 projection. This would not match the change from 2020-21, when the cap vaulted from $182.5MM to $208MM after empty stadiums and reduced-capacity crowds in 2020 brought an unusual period for the league’s finances. But going up to even $222.5MM would represent a bigger bump than anything the 2011 CBA brought. Under the previous CBA, the biggest single-year cap move happened in 2016, when it rose from $143.3MM to $155.3MM.

Regardless of where it lands, another cap record is coming, with more growth in store for 2024 and beyond. That will do well to help teams retain players and enable more position-record salaries.

Jimmy Garoppolo Rumors: Salary Cap, Release Request, Trade Chances

The offseason drama around 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo finally came to fruition in the form of a restructured contract this Monday. This certainly doesn’t end the speculation over Garoppolo’s future, but, for the time being, it appears he can get comfortable for another season in San Francisco.

In terms of the effects of the restructured deal, Garoppolo’s renegotiated contract will carry a cap hit of $13.99MM, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. This will clear $12.96MM of cap space for the 49ers, who desperately need it as they sat “at the bottom of the NFL in cap space” before the move.

Here are a few more rumors surrounding all of the Garoppolo drama from this offseason:

  • We live in a day and age where it’s become quite common for star players and role players alike to make demands of their teams. It’s no surprise, though, that Garoppolo never felt the need to “ruffle feathers.” When asked about whether or not he ever requested a trade or release, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports, Garoppolo told the media, “That just wasn’t the way I wanted to go. There was a thought of that at one point, trust me, there was, but that came and went.” He continued, “Things just kept falling into place. I’m one of those people that, you know, I don’t want to ruffle feathers too much here and there. I want to go with the flow.”
  • In his first press conference since the news broke, Garoppolo seemed to confirm something we had heard awhile back. Back in early-May, general manager John Lynch told reporters that Garoppolo’s surgery brought trade discussions “to a screeching halt.” Lynch had thought the team was really close in discussions with a couple of teams before Garoppolo’s surgery. In Garoppolo’s recent press conference, he explained that he attempted rehabilitation first, according to Armando Salguero of When the rehabilitation just wasn’t getting the job done, the shoulder surgery became non-elective. Garoppolo got the surgery and the timing of the procedure doused any sparks Lynch had managed to create in trade conversations.

Restructure Details: Stanley, Hill, Smith-Schuster, Vannett

As teams around the NFL attempt to navigate the salary cap while putting together the rosters with which they will open the season, a couple of players have agreed to rework their current contracts in order to give their teams a bit more breathing room. Here are a few notable examples:

  • Ronnie Stanley, LT (Ravens): Baltimore addressed a major stressor today by converting $8.47MM of star left tackle Stanley’s salary this year into a signing bonus, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. The move resulted in the creation of $6.35MM of cap space for the 2022 season. This is a win-win for both sides. The Ravens gave Stanley a five-year, $112.8MM contract extension mid-season in 2020 that made him the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL at the time. Since signing the contract, Stanley has played in two total games. With this compromise, Stanley still gets money from the contract while giving the Ravens a bit of relief on what stood to be the 20th largest cap hit in the NFL this season. After initially holding a cap hit of $18.55MM, Stanley will now represent a much easier to swallow $12.2MM of the Ravens’ cap space this year.
  • Troy Hill, CB (Rams): Los Angeles will make its cap struggles a bit easier by exercising a pre-existing option in Hill’s contract that will lower his 2022 cap hit by about $2MM, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic. Hill returned to his long-time home in Los Angeles sporting a one-year-old contract from the Browns. The Rams decided to trade for their former cornerback a year after losing out on him to a two-year, $9MM deal from Cleveland. The option will lower Hill’s 2022 cap hit from $4.5MM to only $2.5MM.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR (Chiefs): Smith-Schuster decided in his second stint with free agency to join a new franchise, signing with the Chiefs on a one-year, $3.76MM contract. The deal was already extremely incentive-laden, but Kansas City decided to give the former-Steelers’ receiver an opportunity at a bit higher of a bonus total in a cost-efficient, cap-savvy move. According to Yates, the Chiefs agreed to an amended contract that will increase Smith-Schuster’s per-game active roster bonus from $30K to $60K. This will increase his potential season total in such bonuses from $510K to $1.02MM. What’s interesting is that, of the additional $510K, only $150K will be attributed to this year’s salary cap. Since Smith-Schuster only appeared in five games last season, only five games-worth of the additional $30K per game will count against the 2022 salary cap. The remaining $360K will be applied to the 2023 salary cap.
  • Nick Vannett, TE (Saints): New Orleans brought in a solid run-blocking tight end in Vannett last offseason on a three-year, $8MM deal. Unfortunately, the Saints were only able to get seven games of action out of Vannett last year in a season that saw him miss the first 10 weeks of the season. Perhaps a reaction to the absences last year, the Saints were able to convince Vannett to sign a reworked deal that would lower his 2022 base salary from $2.6MM to $1.04MM, according to a tweet from Yates. The lowered payout will result in about $1.55MM of cap space for New Orleans.

NFC Notes: Poles, Eagles, Garoppolo

It has been a slow offseason for the Bears with plenty of losses and misses, but new general manager Ryan Poles isn’t panicking. According to Courtney Cronin of ESPN, Poles is preaching patience to the franchise. Patience is something of which Chicago-fans have likely run plum out, but, with the current state of the Bears’ roster, it’s a wise path to take.

We’ve seen other rebuilding franchises take wild stabs through trades and free agency, making expensive, headline-grabbing moves that leave them little room to work with when addressing other roster holes. The Rams won a Super Bowl making flashy moves, but did so when those moves were the difference between winning or losing a Super Bowl. Teams like the Bears and Jaguars currently have too many holes on their roster for one offseason-worth of moves to elevate them to a Super Bowl-level.

Poles won’t let moving star pass-rusher Khalil Mack or losing defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi to a failed physical or watching the Bills match the offer sheet on guard Ryan Bates force him into desperately grasping at whatever other players are available. He’ll continue to stick to his plan and his assessments. He’ll wait for an appropriate time, like the Draft or the post-June 1 period, to utilize the team’s accumulated cap space. Poles may just have the patience and demeanor to lead Chicago out of the NFC North basement.

Here are a few other notes from around the NFC, starting in the city of brotherly love:

  • The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia enlisted the help of salary cap and contract expert Jason Fitzgerald, who operates, to help her analyze confusing offseason moves from each franchise. When they got to the Eagles, Fitzgerald had some interesting things to say. Fitzgerald asserted that Philadelphia is doing something no other NFL team is. The Eagles have been employing void years in contracts to push salary cap charges to future years. Essentially, if a player holds a $10MM cap charge, the team will eventually pay the $10MM cap charge. By using the void years, the team can take part of that $10MM and move it to later years. Say they take $5MM of that cap hit and move it to the following year. They’ll still be applying that $5MM to their cap space, but, after the league raises the salary cap (as they do every year), that $5MM will represent a smaller percentage of the total cap space in the following year than it would in the current year. The Eagles’ manipulation of the constantly inflating salary cap is nothing short of genius and soon other teams will likely catch on and follow their lead.
  • Earlier this month, Mike Sando of The Athletic went over some of the moves each franchise made this offseason. His take on the 49ers was centered on their handling of the future of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo’s shoulder rehabilitation, combined with a 2022 base salary of $24.6MM, made it hard for San Francisco to move the former starting quarterback. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Garoppolo and the 49ers mutually agreed to have him rehabilitate his shoulder off-site, away from the team, so, at this point, second-year quarterback Trey Lance has effectively taken over as the team’s first-string passer. Sando asserts that the best solution would be a compromise wherein Garoppolo would stay for the time-being on a guaranteed deal with some “dummy years” added onto it, either until San Francisco knows for a fact that they can move forward with Lance or until they know they can get a better value out of moving Garoppolo than they’re getting right now. This would provide the opportunity for the 49ers to reinsert Garoppolo back into the starting job they know he can handle if it turns out that Lance can’t.