Jaguars owner Shad Khan told reporters in a sit-down interview on Wednesday that the Jaguars we're actually $17 million over the salary cap(*) and have the sixth highest payroll in the NFL. This statement of course, led to a lot of confusion by the fan base who were under the impression that the Jaguars actually were in the tops in the NFL in salary cap space.
The 2012 NFL salary cap is currently set at $120.6 million for the season, which is the maximum amount a team can spend on it's players. The 2012 season was a bit unique however, with some teams having the ability to roll over unspent cap space from the previous season into 2012 as a one-time deal. The Jacksonville Jaguars were one of those teams who carried cap space over, adding another $31 million to their "cap space".
Now, for the fun math part.
You will notice that I added an asterisk to the point about the Jaguars being $17 million over the salary cap. It is true the team is over the salary cap, but not really. The Jaguars are over the league salary cap of $120.6 million by $17 million, according to Khan. The Jaguars however are still well under their adjusted salary cap with the roll over room, but I don't have official numbers outside of what's been reported by other outlets.
As far as the Jaguars having the sixth largest payroll in the NFL, that's simply just where the team ranks as far as cash "out the door".
Also worth mentioning, the Jaguars currently have over $13 million in "dead money" on their 2012 salary cap, led by $5.676 million to Mike Thomas, $2.5 million to Aaron Kampman, $2.1 million to Drew Coleman, and $1.2 million to Derrick Harvey according to Spotrac.com.
It still looks bad, but it's not as bad as the initial sticker shock of realizing the Jaguars are $17 million over the cap. It's still an indictment of the front office, however, to just simply add to the list.