Let me preface this by saying that we don't know if there's even going to be a salary cap in the NFL in 2011. As a Viking fan, since our team is getting bent over by the worst stadium lease deal in the NFL at the present time, I hope like heck there's a cap in 2011, as well as the usual revenue sharing, because if that's not the case. . .and the Vikings don't get a new stadium soon. . .football in Minnesota as we know it is in big trouble.
But with that having been said, ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas has posted how much every NFL team has committed to a potential 2011 salary cap. Now, we all know that there was no salary cap in 2010. . .in the last capped year, 2009, the salary cap was around $123 million.
Right now, the Vikings have $108.4 million in salary committed to 2011, which is the third-highest total in the NFC North. The Packers have committed $129.8 million, the Lions $113.8 million, and the Bears $104.9 million.
From 2006. . .the year the last CBA was signed. . .onward, the salary cap had increased by $7 million every season. The salary cap was $102 million in 2006, $109 million in 2007, $116 million in 2008, and up to $123 million in 2009. By that precedent, if there is a salary cap in 2011. . .or whatever the next season of football is. . .one would think that it would end up being somewhere between $135 and $140 million.
Obviously, without a collective bargaining agreement, we don't know yet how unrestricted free agency, restricted free agency, franchise and transition tags, or any of those other things are going to work. These numbers don't include rookie salaries, either, as those will more than likely be on a set rookie wage scale in the next CBA.
But based on what the cap had done prior to it disappearing before the 2010 season, the Vikings should have right around $30 million to burn this off-season. Of course, a good chunk of that is probably going to be committed to Sidney Rice and Chad Greenway. However, at last check, the Minnesota Vikings still had the best salary cap guy in the business in their front office in Rob Brzezinski, and Zygi Wilf has shown that he is going to go out and get the job done, regardless of what it takes, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Vikings make a couple of moves to inject some talent into this roster prior to the 2011 season.