While it is impossible to know the exact figures we can ball park this and get an illuminating look at how the salary cap is affecting the roster. Most of the information I have gleaned on this came from this site;
Thanks to Carlosabrown for pointing out the link. The information here is not up to the minute. There are some discrepencies compared to other sources. For example they have Floyd Womack as a $935,000 hit on our cap. He is in fact an unrestricted free agent. It's possible the Cardinals owe that against the cap but I believe this is an erroneous number.
The salary cap for the 2012 season is $120.6 million dollars. I'm going to break down where that money is allocated among the Cardinals players. The top 5 earners, the faces of the franchise if you will, pull in 45% of that figure - about $54.5 million this year.
- Larry Fitzgerald - $20.25 million ($5 mil salary / $15.25 mil in bonuses).
- Calais Campbell - $10.6 million (The franchise tag number).
- Kevin Kolb - $10 million (I've also seen 10.5 which includes a $500k workout bonus).
- Darnell Dockett - $7.15 million (About half salary, half bonuses).
- Adrian Wilson - $6.5 million (All salary).
The lower half of the top ten earners take in less than half that - $23.985 million, representing 20% of the total cap. If you're adding at home that's 65% of the salary cap being consumed by ten guys. Can't even take the field yet.
- Stewart Bradley - $6 million (A lot of scratch for a back up).
- Daryn Colledge - $5.5 million (Roughly a 50/50 split between salary and bonuses).
- Kerry Rhodes - $5 million (That's 2 DBs in the top ten. Factor that into losing Marshall).
- Patrick Peterson - $4.185 million (Parting with Marshall making even more sense now).
- Lyle Sendlein - $3.3 million (Two linemen in the top ten and no OT?).
To be fair I don't know what Levi Brown's cap number actually is. He surely will push Sendlein out of the top ten earners. I'm just going to plug in the the $2.4 million listed as his salary in dead money for now. It's not going to be accurate but doesn't distort the overall picture significantly. The idea here is to look at how this all works as a whole.
- Paris Lenon - $2.667 million (The man has earned his pay, against expectations).
- Levi Brown - $2.4 million (Again, not an accurate number).
- Jeff King - $2.283 million (Can we afford two TE at this price?)
- Todd Heap - $2.15 million (I suspect Heap becomes a cap casualty).
- Rex Hadnot - $2 million (Just a smidge over new guy Adam Snyder).
Chansi Stuckey was in this range too. $2.275 million. Zero wonder about why he got cut. With younger, cheaper talent available at tight end I don't see both Heap and King making it with how tight our money is. Was anyone else aware that we have no less than six tight ends on the roster? Don't believe me? Check out the official website.
Adding up the 11th through 15th we get a salary cap hit of $11.5 million, roughly 10% of the total. That's just less than half of the previous five. We've accounted for 75% of the salary cap and still can't get a scrimmage under way. So in consideration of that I'll throw seven players into the next bunch to get us up to twenty two. At least we could field a charity pick up game at that point.
- Dan Williams - $1.99 million (NT is the keystone of the 3-4. Earn your keep Dan).
- Adam Snyder - $1.9 million (On par with Hadnot's money).
- Jeremy Bridges - $1.725 million (Your starting right tackle, for the moment).
- Chris "Beanie" Wells - $1.1 million (A comparative bargain I would suspect).
- Ryan Williams - $1.025 million (Very similar number to Beanie)
- Daryl Washington - $908,750 (Yes, he IS going to ask for his payday some day).
- Michael Adams - $825,000 (A lot of young corners are trying to steal his job).
Okay, for those seven players we run up a total of $9.47 million, representing another 8% of the cap. We can finally field a scrimmage and it only cost us 83% of the salary cap. That's right folks, we've got to fill out the rest of the team on a whopping 17% of the available money.
There are some very noticable names missing from this list too, such as Andre Roberts, Sam Acho, O'Brien Schofield, AJ Jefferson, John Skelton. Not to mention the free agents we should expect back such as Larod Stephens-Howling, Rashad Johnson, Greg Toler and possibly Early Doucet, maybe even Clark Haggans. Did I mention we don't have a viable starter at right tackle? Well , I hinted at it at least. We're going to be adding a crop of rookies soon too and before them some more free agents, we can hope.
It's fantastic to know we have Larry Fitzgerald for the next seven seasons. How wonderful does it feel knowing he accounts for almost 17% of the cap alone? Most of his money is in bonuses. He could help out by restructuring but that only puts that hurt off to a later time.
You can see the difficulty facing Rod Graves. Clearly there need to be some restructures. There need to be some cuts made. There will be tough choices. It makes me laugh when the casual fan announces how he could do the job so much better. Any armchair GMs have any good ideas to make this work?