The Dance

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How are the Buccaneers going to create cap space, retain players, draft new ones, and also keep themselves from not mortgaging the future? Well, don’t look at me. If I knew the answer to that, I would be sitting on Wall Street, holding down a six-figure job, taking the Staten Island Ferry to and from work every day. But you and I can speculate on some of the creativity Jason Licht might employ to keep the Buccaneers’ piggy bank in the black and out of the red.

Each year the NFL sets the salary cap for the upcoming season. And each year NFL teams begin their “funny math” equations to figure out ways to circumvent, maneuver, or stretch that number. Football contracts are a financial magic show.

The important term to remember, the financial holy grail of the football contract, is the guaranteed money. It doesn’t matter how many years the contract is spread over or how large the contract. The guaranteed money is the amount that at some point is going to be the reason teams can sign free agents, lose their own, or work to figure out ways to make room to do either.

How Will The Bucs Make Room?

How will the Buccaneers find their wiggle room? You might have heard already that for a team that has practiced self-control when it comes to the cap, the Buccaneers are suddenly finding themselves in a position where a lot of important decisions will have to be made.

It’s time to say goodbye to some recent free agents who by sheer coincidence of contract can be let go with no implications to the salary cap. There may be some veterans traded or cut, not just because they don’t fit into the plans for this team, but because there is little or no dead money associated with their contracts.

The Buccaneers will probably be doing a lot of dancing in the next few weeks. The salary cap is the very thing that gives football its parity. The way a team uses that cap will determine their success on the field. Though no NFL championships have been won in Spring. Jason Licht will spend a lot of time between now and April figuring out how to build the perfect house, and yet have a mortgage the Buccaneers can live with.

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