It’s the deadest of dead zones in the NFL offseason, so even though training camps and something resembling football are right around the corner, there is no true on field news to speak of. Most of the news cycle is filled with power ranking, fantasy football projections and other offseason evaluations, and that includes the annual salary cap health review from Pro Football Focus.
To the surprise of exactly no one, the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints both ranked in the bottom three of the league, sandwiching the Las Vegas Raiders who are feeling the cap crunch that results from stacking poor draft classes on top of poor draft classes. While the Seattle Seahawks fared better than the 30th ranked Rams, many may be surprised that the Hawks came in just two spots better at 28th.
Our annual look at the three-year Cap Health of all 32 NFL teams based on five criteria:— Brad Spielberger, Esq. (@PFF_Brad) July 5, 2023
- Bengals repeat at No. 1
- Both Super Bowl teams still in the top half
- 3 AFC East teams in Top 5 of roster valuation
The biggest factors dragging Seattle down in the evaluation were the lack of veterans on the roster as a result of several consecutive poor draft classes to close out the last decade, combined with limited projected cap space over the next three seasons. In addition, in spite of the success of the 2022 draft class members in their rookie season, the Seahawks still came just below league average in terms of active draft capital on rookie contracts.
However, in spite of the harsh grading, PFF did note regarding the Hawks that,
The real takeaway is this: The Russell Wilson trade ages better every single day, as the financial freedom and extra draft capital has breathed new life into a consistently successful organization.
And while it’s certainly early, if the 2022 draft class can continue to make significant on field contributions and the 2023 draft class can come anywhere close, a lot of future salary cap issues will work themselves out thanks to significant savings from the rookie wage scale.