According to ESPN's John Clayton, the 2011 NFL Salary Caphas been set at $120 million. The 2009 salary cap was originally $123 million, but pushed to $128 million due to a one-time adjustment. As we all know, 2010 was an uncapped (therefor unfloored) season.
Since February, the players have been willing to accept a $141 million player cost number -- which includes both salaries and benefits paid to players -- per team, multiple sources told Clayton. By agreeing to a $120 million cap, the players allow $21 million per team to be in benefits. Now that a cap number has been formed, teams need to determine the minimum cash payroll number, or what teams will be required to spend.
The guaranteed spend forces every team to put up more than 90 percent of the salary cap in cash each season. A couple of weeks ago, the owners talked about having the guaranteed spend number at close to 100 percent of the salary cap, according to sources. That number and percentage could still be adjusted.
There have been rumors of owners wanting 99% of the salary cap in cash, but I have serious doubts that will occur and believe it will stick around the 90% mark. I've long since said the way to inject more cash to the veterans is to force teams to spend more by raising the salary floor, so you don't have what teams did during the uncapped year in 2010. Each NFL team will have to spend at least $108 million on player salaries in 2011.
So what does that mean? Teams are going to spend in free agency, especially the Jacksonville Jaguars. During the 2010 season, the Jaguars were the 3rd lowest team salary wise with just $89.5 million. This means the Jaguars will need to spend roughly $20 million between their rookies and free agents, if the guaranteed spending sticks at 90%. If it moves up to 99%, the Jaguars would need to spend roughly $29 million in 2011.