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Understanding the New Salary Cap, and Examining Each Team's Current Cap Space


If the new salary cap rule seems confusing to you, it shouldn’t…..All you need to know how to do is count to 14.

Okay, that’s a lie, there’s a little more to it. But honestly it’s pretty simple, like 1st grade simple. Let’s get to it….

The rule states “Each tournament, a team’s payroll cannot exceed $14.”

- Payroll means the combined salaries each player is due to make in the next tournament.

Here’s an example of the rule: The Rapids have both Ty Johnson and Shawn Godinho on their roster. Ty is due to make $7 in the next tournament and Shawn $2. This means that the Rapids current payroll is $9, which is $5 under the cap.

There are 2 things, however, that everybody needs to understand.

#1: If a player is on a team's roster, but isn’t going to play in the next tournament THEY STILL COUNT on the team’s payroll. So, for example if the Rapids had another player on their team named Billy and he is due to make $3 in his next tournament, but couldn’t play in the next tournament, Billy’s upcoming $3 salary would still count on the Rapids payroll. Thus, the Rapids payroll would be $12.

#2: Bonus money in contracts is no longer allowed. Why? Team’s could use it to abuse the cap. For example, if the Rapids gave each of their players a $5 bonus for winning a championship, and then they won it, the Rapids payroll would suddenly go from $12 to $27. Now, players whose current contracts include bonuses aren’t going to have them taken away. That wouldn't be fair since their contracts were signed when bonuses were allowed. But, any contracts signed during the duration of this CBA cannot include bonus money.

Well folks, that’s literally all there is to it. I’m going to assume that if you were confused about how the new rule works, you aren’t now and we can move on. Now let’s examine each team’s payroll for the upcoming JAL XII by looking at this graphic below.

Unless you’re blind, you noticed that the underdogs are currently over the cap. To avoid a big slap on the wrist the u-dogs have a few options to get themselves under that big bad red line. Here they are…

Reconstruct a contract

If both sides agree, the CBA states that reconstructing a contract is perfectly okay. What this means is that the terms of a contract are simply changed. Remember when Kam Chancellor held out for the Seahawks earlier this year? He did so because he wanted to reconstruct for his contract for more money and the Seahawks said no. If one of the players on the underdogs is willing to do the opposite and reconstruct their contract to get paid less money, than the underdogs could get under the cap.

Cut a player

If the underdogs cut somebody on their roster they wouldn’t have to pay them anymore and could get under. Simple.

Trade a player

This would be the same as cutting a player, except the underdogs would have to make sure that the player they got in return for whoever they traded away costs less. For example, if the u-dogs traded Adam Clark, whose due salary next tournament is $5 for Shawn Godinho, whose is $2, then the u-dogs payroll would change from $16.50 to $13.50.


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