Here Are Updated (and Official) 2023 NFL Salary Cap and Franchise Tag Numbers
No, I don’t love the salary cap — in any sport.
But I can get behind the NFL’s salary cap rising as it continues to rake in the dough. After all, it makes sense that player salaries go up as league revenues continue to rise. And fortunately, in the NFL, business is boomin’. As a result, the salary cap is getting another boost to a league-record $224.8 million.
NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero has more details:
OK, so that is about $200,000 short of what OverTheCap.com had been projecting for the offseason. Fist bumps for landing that close to the number. Well done by the folks at OTC.
For the Bears, this means they are at $90,893,199 under the cap. It isn’t the $100+ million that early projections were forecasting, but it is still the most for any NFL team. And by leaps and bounds, too. The next closest team is the Atlanta Falcons, who have $56,414,855 worth of wiggle room under the cap. At the other end of the table, the New Orleans Saints are a whopping $60,476,996 over the cap. It is undeniably the worst cap situation in the league. Other notable cap numbers for teams in the red belong to the Vikings ($23,441,507 over the cap) and Packers ($16,483,743 over the cap). That is a tough scene, for our NFC North rival friends in the north and northwest of us. You just hate to see it. (😈)
Another noteworthy set of numbers that came out last night were Franchise and Transition Tag costs.
The MMQB’s Albert Breer has more on that front:
Of note here is the running back number, which is so ridiculously low it makes my head spin. We’ve been discussing the likes of Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard, Josh Jacobs, and Miles Sanders hitting free agency this offseason. But the Franchise or Transition Tag numbers are so comically low that it might behoove the Giants, Cowboys, Eagles, and Raiders to retain Barkley, Pollard, Sanders, and Jacobs, respectively. Then again, if they don’t, then I can imagine that the per-year average salary ask for each of those players likely starts at that Transition Tag price point ($8.429M) on the low end and goes beyond the Franchise Tag cost ($10.091M) on the high end.
Additionally, seeing the tag numbers make me wonder what this could mean for the Bears. There isn’t a pending free agent who stands out as someone Chicago needs to tag in order to keep them in the fold for next year. But if there is truly “mutual interest” between the Bears and David Montgomery, perhaps a tag could be deployed to give the two sides more time to discuss a deal. It might not be a popular option among the analytics community that doesn’t value running backs as highly as others. However, the Bears have to hit a certain spending threshold this offseason. Perhaps one way to do that is to pay a little more for a running back now than you otherwise would. After all, it’s not as if the Bears can just sit on the cash. So let’s keep our eyes open for that potential curveball.