As a reaction to all the discussion regarding the Seahawks' future cap space immediately following the news of Kam Chancellor's extension, I decided once again to get, if not a precisely clear, but somewhat transparent picture on the Seahawks' future cap space at the end of the next three seasons.
To do so, I looked at the contracts of players that are set to expire after the end of the next three seasons, since these - at this point in time - are numbers that, at the very minimum, we can definitively count on.
Things like rollover money and an expected increase to the league-wide salary cap are fluid at this point, and not easily projected, so I left them out. I was also not able to find much info on dead money that will be coming off of the books in the next three years, so I left that out as well. Of course, these things, once factored in, will likely increase the Seahawks' cap space.
I went to Spotrac.com to find out which Seahawks players' contract are set to expire and how much their cap hit was in their final contract year. Whether Spotrac.com is accurate with their info regarding contract numbers, I do not know, nor do I have the resources or network to confirm their numbers. However, for the sake of this article, I will take for granted that their numbers are accurate and reliable. Though, even if their numbers are not precisely accurate, I do believe that it is safe to say that they are very well within ballpark figures.
Then, I listed the players whose contracts, at this point in time, are set to expire in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and I added their cap hits up for according to their year that their respective contract expires (until I reach the same exact figure three times, ensuring that my math contained no errors). I ignored base salaries, bonuses, and average salaries, as those are not the same as cap hits. I also ignored fluctuating cap hits for players who are and will be on the roster at some point or another for the next three years, since that is way more work than I care to incorporate into this.
All in all, because my methodology was not comprehensive, I will not be able to project hard, cold numbers at the end of the next three years; only a rough estimate.
So, having said that, and without further ado, based on my math, the Seahawks at this point in time have exactly:
- $28,426,920 worth of cap hits that are coming off the books after the 2013 season concludes.
- $36,673,517 worth of cap hits that are coming off the books after the 2014 season concludes.
- $55,736,584 worth of cap hits that are coming off the books after the 2015 season concludes.
2016 looks fucking awesome, doesn't it?
While that's not going to be the exact amount of cap space each offseason because players who are on and will be on the roster will have annually fluctuating cap hits, it provides a rough estimate of how much cap space we can expect the Seahawks to have at the end of each of the next three years, provided that everything as of today remains static.
Of course, everything as of today will not remain static. There will be cuts, trades, free agent acquisitions, contract re-negotiations (something we should all expect, given the number of young players who will be eligible for re-negotiations and extensions during that time), and future draft picks, all of which will affect the amount available in cap space on a yearly basis.
Again, this does not include rollover money, dead money coming off the books, or any expected increase to the league-wide salary cap, all of which should likely increase the Seahawks' cap space. The numbers are strictly based only off of the cap hit of the player in the final year of his contract.
And again, this also does not factor in the annual fluctuations of cap hits of the players who are on and will be on the roster. For example, this year, Zach Miller's cap hit is $11 million, up from $7 million last year. Next year, it will be down to $7 million. The year after, it will be $6 million. Some will go up, some will go down, so this will affect the actual cap space that will be available at the end of the next three years.
Despite all that, the numbers above ultimately paint a somewhat broad, if not precise picture. If reliable, that picture is that the Seahawks are in and should be great shape after the end of each of the next three years, cap-wise, especially as they enter the 2016 offseason.
Note: I expect players who are soon to be or are eligible for re-negotiation to have a lot of their cap hits allocated towards 2016.