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Chargers Salary Cap and Contracts


Well-Known Member
I wanted to start a thread to collect cap and contract info. I'll try to put a good synopsis of SD's cap info when I get back home and have some time.

But for now .... here's some news:

If anyone gets a chance to hear the replay of Sirius NFL Radio Movin' the Chains, I'm the 3rd caller in the first hour.

This is STRAIGHT from Pat Kirwan's mouth while he was looking at Hardwick's contract:

Cap charge - $ 3.48 million
Roster bonus - $ 2.8 million

Cap charge - $ 2.95 million
Roster bonus - $ 2.2 million

Cap Charge - $2 million

He didn't give me any info for 2009.

Cap Charge - $ 3 million


Roster bonuses count just like base salary, all of it goes in that year's cap. Option and signing bonuses can be prorated over the life of the deal. In other words, AJ "frontloaded" Hardwick's contract, by giving him $5 mill in bonus the first two years, but NONE of it is a prorated signing bonus.
Click on the link for Hardwick's updated base salary:

2004 230000.00
2005 305000.00
2006 500000.00
2007 750000.00
2008 2000000.00
2009 2500000.00
2010 3000000.00
2011 3675000.00


Well-Known Member
Chargers | More on Hardwick's new contract
Fri, 23 Jun 2006 15:29:57 -0700

ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli reports San Diego Chargers OC Nick Hardwick's new contract is worth $17 million in so-called "new money," and includes roster bonuses totaling $5 million this year ($2.8 million) and next spring ($2.2 million), keeps Hardwick around through 2011. For this season, Hardwick's salary cap charge is $3.486 million. But after this season, his cap charge does not rise above $3 million until 2011, the final year of the contract, when it peaks at $3.675 million.


Well-Known Member
Wow, Nick got a better deal than first reported. The front loading of the contract does make him a larger cap hit in the first two years than previously thought.


Well-Known Member
Trumpet_Man said:
I know Shamrock has seen this fans site but for others, here is a cool link for Chargers contracts. The official contract word is at the link Shamrock posted for the NFLPA.

I like the info that guy collects, but he can't "put it together" ....

Look at the top, and he shows SD with $25 mill in available space. I think SD is down to somewhere around $ 7-9 mill of avail space, when you count all the deals that have been down, and the rookie pool.

I might get a chance to mess around with the numbers tonight, but if not, then probably not until next week.


Well-Known Member
Shamrock said:
I like the info that guy collects, but he can't "put it together" ....

Look at the top, and he shows SD with $25 mill in available space. I think SD is down to somewhere around $ 7-9 mill of avail space, when you count all the deals that have been down, and the rookie pool.

I might get a chance to mess around with the numbers tonight, but if not, then probably not until next week.
No doubt he lags on updating the Cap number and contract numbers....

The cap space sounds about right with all the recent deals etc you mentioned.


Well-Known Member

NFL | Revenue sharing could be vital for future CBA negotiations
Sun, 2 Jul 2006 08:49:22 -0700

Ron Borges, of the Boston Globe, reports the revenue-sharing plan needs to work for enough teams to help keep the CBA after the 2009 season. Under the current revenue-sharing plan, the players receive 59.5 percent of league-wide total gross revenues. This causes lower-revenue team s to pay a higher percentage of their take into the pot than a team that makes more profit. Some clubs claim that while they pay upward of 70 percent of their total revenue to cover player costs, a team like the Washington Redskins only uses 40 percent and has a competitive advantage to use that extra money on other perks. Many league owners and executives anticipate the revenue-sharing plan will not work, with the owners terminating the CBA after the 2009 season and threatening labor peace.


Well-Known Member
Shamrock said:
I like the info that guy collects, but he can't "put it together" ....

Look at the top, and he shows SD with $25 mill in available space. I think SD is down to somewhere around $ 7-9 mill of avail space, when you count all the deals that have been down, and the rookie pool.

I might get a chance to mess around with the numbers tonight, but if not, then probably not until next week.
Well, if you go all the way to the bottom, you'll see that the site was last updated April 7, 2006. :icon_mrgreen:

I'm sure once he gets to updating it again, it'll be much more accurate with all the contract stuff of the last 3 months.


Well-Known Member
Expect NFL salary cap to keep going through the roof
Updated 7/7/2006 7:43 PM ET
By Larry Weisman, USA TODAY

Take a good look at the numbers.
No matter how big they seem, they'll look puny in just a few years.

A new labor deal, agreed to in early March, sent the NFL salary cap to heights previously unthinkable and set the table for further growth.

NFL SALARY DATABASE: Sort the salaries by player, position, team and more

"We've already seen a very substantial increase and that was reflected in a very active free-agent period," says agent Tom Condon, whose clients include Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson. "I think we will continue to see player salaries increase. Teams can utilize the cap any way they choose and spend what their individual budgets allow."

The salary cap for the upcoming NFL season is $102.5 million per team, an increase of $17 million above the 2005 figure. How big an increase is it? When the salary cap was set at $75 million in 2003, it was also a $17 million increase — from 1999 ($57.3 million). The cap was $52.4 million in 1998, so it has almost doubled in eight years.

The popularity of the game and the players and the NFL's ceaseless efforts to market every aspect of it make this a lucrative operation for all parties.

"The revenues are continuing to grow and the salary cap will continue to grow alongside it," says agent Neil Schwartz. "Therefore, players make more money, owners make more money and so do general managers, coaches and assistant coaches. Everyone reaps the fruit."

One of the first reapers in free agency this offseason was center LeCharles Bentley, whom Schwartz represents. Bentley left the New Orleans Saints in March for the Cleveland Browns and a contract worth $36 million for six years, most ever for a center.

The NFL Players Association's research department says the average player salary rose 5% in 2005 to $1.4 million and that the average starter earns $2,259,000. The median salary for all starters was $1.7 million, an increase of 17%. The average for quarterbacks, running backs and offensive tackles was in excess of $3 million.

Among the big earners in 2005: Quarterbacks Michael Vick and Matt Hasselbeck. Vick collected $23.1 million from the Atlanta Falcons and Hasselbeck, who led the Seattle Seahawks to the Super Bowl, earned $19 million.

Offensive linemen did not fare badly, especially prized left tackles. Orlando Pace of the St. Louis Rams scored $18 million from the St. Louis Rams and Seattle paid Walter Jones $17.7 million.

Those figures include total signing bonus dollars, even if the contract defers some of the payments. While such bonuses are prorated over the life of the contract for salary-cap purposes, they are counted here in the year they are earned.

Therefore, Manning's representation in our database at a salary of $668,520 discounts the $34.5 million signing bonus given him in 2004 when he signed a seven-year deal worth $98 million. The low base in the second year was to benefit the Colts' cap.

Fret not for Manning. His 2006 compensation: $10 million.

There's no true method for determining the highest-paid player. Any analysis that computes an average per year figure for the life of contract builds in the numbers agreed to for future years that are not guaranteed and that will likely not be paid. In most cases, a veteran player reaching a season with a high base salary will be asked to extend his contract and exchange his base salary for a signing bonus. Many veterans also restructure their contracts at a lower salary or opt to be released instead.

Find this article at:


Well-Known Member


We've just caught wind of a potential investigation of the NFL Players Association by the United States Congress regarding the manner in which the union metes out discipline to the NFLPA-registered contract advisors.

A league source tells us that Congress could be looking into potential antitrust violations arising from allegedly selective enforcement of regulations and generally arbitrary and capricious actions of the union when investigating and punishing agents.

Under such a theory, the argument would be that some agents get nailed for certain conduct that other agents can engage in without scrutiny.

Stay tuned.


Well-Known Member

We've obtained more information regarding the sudden interest of the U.S. Congress in the NFL Players Association, and it appears to us that someone is calling in a political favor.

That someone is agent Carl Poston, who has an office in the district of one of the persons who are now trying to apply pressure to the players union on his behalf.

As it turns out, Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) and Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Tex.) have penned a letter to NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw expressing their general concerns regarding the union's procedures for disciplining agents -- pointing to the particular pending action against Poston, who is described in the correspondence as an agent who has been successful in obtaining significant contracts for his clients.

The letter begins by explaining that the Congresspersons recently have become aware of the matters involving the union and Poston, and that they have concerns regarding the disciplinary procedures, given that (in their view) the NFLPA's activities affect commerce and may give rise to antitrust violations.

The letter then lists several specific concerns: (1) the NFLPA has the sole authority to determine who will be an agent and the NFLPA alone sets the rules regarding them; (2) the mechanism for resolving disputes permits discipline to be pursued even if the player has made no complaint; (3) the NFLPA has the sole right to select the arbitrator, who is paid by the NFLPA to preside; (4) there is no procedure for making disclosures regarding any potential biases on the part of the arbitrator.

Next, the letter requests that the union make several revisions to the procedure for disciplining agents: (1) a requirement of a verified complaint before discipline will be pursued; (2) an effort to ensure that the arbitrator will be neutral, impartial, and unbiased; (3) a requirement that the arbitrator make disclosures to the parties so that an evaluation may be performed as to whether there is the potential for bias; (4) the availability of discovery devices used in most legal proceedings; (5) steps to prevent surprise, such as the identification of witnesses and the exchange of exhibits prior to the hearing; (6) the availability of subpoena power for the arbitrator, so that the agent subject to discipline may compel persons to appear and testify; and (7) the prohibition of direct contact between the parties and the arbitrator.

Finally, the letter explains that, if the NFLPA does not voluntarily make these changes, legislation will be drafted that, if enacted, would require the union to do so. Likewise, the letter states that hearings regarding the matter could be conducted.

Regardless of whether two members of the House of Representatives have the juice to get Congress interested in this topic at a time when there are far greater issues facing our nation, we agree with most of the changes that have been suggested. We disagree only with the requirement of a verified complaint, if the requirement will be a verified complaint from one of the agent's clients.

The reality for NFL players is that: (1) a lot of them aren't very bright; and (2) the curious culture of the locker room requires most players to stand behind their chosen representatives, lest the players look like stooges for hiring them in the first place. Thus, it's not surprising that a guy like linebacker LaVar Arrington wouldn't complain about the conduct of Carl Poston, even though Poston screwed up Arrington's December 2003 contract extension by, you know, not reading it, and advised him in February to pay back $4 million in earned money in order to get onto the market early enough to . . . ask for too much money and sign a deal not much better than the one Arrington would have gotten if he'd waited for the Redskins to release him before a $6.5 million roster bonus came due in July.

Bottom line -- Carl Poston isn't in hot water because the NFLPA doesn't like him. He's in trouble because he admitted that he didn't read a contract before allowing his client to sign it. Even if Arrington genuinely doesn't care, the NFLPA has an obligation, in our view, to protect other players who might fall victim to similar behavior.

So in our view the NFLPA should seriously consider making most of the suggested changes, but the NFLPA likewise should not relent in its efforts to hold Poston accountable for his gross negligence in the representation of an NFL player.

Even if the NFL player in question thinks that "gross negligence" means a picture of a fat chick in lingerie.


Well-Known Member


We've obtained more information regarding the NFL's interpretation of the new rule regarding the signing of franchise players to long-term deals. As it turns out, our previous analysis of the rule was partially wrong (but also partially right).

Under the prior CBA, a multi-year deal signed by the franchise player and his team prior to July 15 resulted in the loss of the franchise tag for the full duration of the contract (barring circumstances such as retirement or career-ending injury). After July 15, a multi-year deal could be executed between the franchise player and the team, without consequence.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells us the procedure has changed in light of the revised CBA: "Under the new agreement, a club has until 4:00 p.m. (New York time) on July 15 to sign its designated Franchise Player to a multi-year contract or extension. After the deadline, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club, and that contract may only be extended after the club's last regular season game." (Aiello also advised us that, because July 15 fell on a Saturday, the actual deadline this year would have been Monday, July 17 at 4:00 p.m. EDT.)

For now, the controlling language is the "Term Sheet" negotiated by the NFL and the NFL Players Association in March. Per the exact language of the Term Sheet, "FP signed to multi-year contract before 7/15 results in loss of designation for only one year; any contract signed after that date through the end of the season can be only for one year."

The NFL's position regarding this provision, then, is that a long-term deal signed prior to July 15 now restores the franchise tag for the following season. But we (and possibly many others in and around the league) interpreted the phrase "loss of designation for only one year" to mean that the team would forfeit the ability to use the tag in the following season.

Here's why. First, we considered the new rule in light of the old one. Previously, signing a multi-year deal before July 15 forfeited the tag for the life of the contract. Now, it's lost "for only one year."

Second, the phrase "loss of designation for only one year" is meaningless if it refers to the current league year, because the CBA plainly states at Article XX, Section 1 that "each Club shall be permitted to designate one of its players who would otherwise be an Unrestricted Free Agent as a Franchise Player each season during the term of this Agreement." (Emphasis added.) Thus, it's impossible for a team to: (1) designate a franchise player; (2) sign the franchise player to a multi-year term deal; and (3) use the franchise tag on another player. Common sense suggests that, since there's no designation to be lost in the current year since the designation can't be re-used, the key phrase in the Term Sheet applies to the next league year.

In this regard, it's important to keep in mind the fact that Aiello has provided us with only the Management Council's interpretation of the rule. At this point, it's not clear whether the NFLPA agrees. Though we're attempting to obtain more information regarding the union's position, it's possible that the union will contend that the Detroit Lions have lost the ability to use the franchise tag in 2007 by signing Jeff Backus to a long-term deal.

The issue, however, most likely won't become relevant unless and until the Lions attempt to use the franchise tag in 2007. Then, the union could file a grievance in the name of the player whom the Lions are attempting to restrict via the franchise tag, arguing that the Lions have no tag to use.

Before then, however, the NFL and the NFLPA surely will be revisiting this provision during the process of incorporating the Term Sheet into the CBA. If, however, the two sides had finished the job before July 15, the Lions would likely have had a greater level of certainty as to whether a long-term deal with Jeff Backus triggered the loss of the tag for 2007, or not at all.

Regardless of whether the tag is lost for a year or not at all for deals signed before July 15, the fact remains that no multi-year contract could have been signed by the Lions and their 2006 franchise player after July 15.

Thus, contrary to other reports regarding the issue, the Lions would not have lost their franchise tag for the duration of the Backus contract if a long-term contract had been signed after July 15. Instead, as Aiello advised us, a multi-year deal after July 15 could not have been executed or approved.

So under the NFL's interpretation of the new July 15 rule, the Lions at no time were in danger of losing their franchise tag for 2007 or beyond. As Aiello said, "[T]here is no longer any scenario under which a club would lose its tag for future years. They either do a multi-year deal before the deadline (and keep the tag), or they do a one-year deal after the deadline (and keep the tag)."

In fairness to the league, the NFL's position isn't something that was developed within the past few days. In an NFL.com item dated March 11, the league explained that the franchise player could be signed to a long-term deal before July 15 without losing the ability to use the tag in the future.

Stay tuned, possibly, for the union's position on this.


Well-Known Member


There's talk in league circles that, within five seasons, the salary cap could rocket from $102 million to a whopping $165 million.

(It's a long way from the $34.6 million per-team spending limit that first was implemented in 1994.)

Others believe that the cap will land between $145 million and $150 million by 2010.

Either way, the increase in the money that each franchise can spend on its players is going to be even more staggering, and it's a direct result of the continued growth and prosperity of the greatest professional sports league in the known universe. It's also a product of the increase in the percentage of Total Football Revenue that will fund the cap, which gradually moves from 61.89 percent in 2006 to 62.95 percent in 2010.

As a practical matter, this means that younger players (especially rookies) need to get themselves in position to hit the market when the cap approaches and/or passes $150 million. Why? Because someone is gonna get a ton of money in those years, and if a player is already under contract at the time, the chances of joining in the feast decreases.


Well-Known Member

Here's another reason for players to do shorter deals -- folks in league circles expect the restricted free agent, transition, and franchise tenders to double within the next few years.

Players become eligible for restricted free agency after three years. But if they are still working under the terms of a rookie contract after the third season, the player is bound by the terms of that deal, and can't qualify for restricted free agency.

Ditto for unrestricted free agency, which kicks in after four years. Rookie who signed five-year or six-year contracts can't qualify for free agency until those contracts expire. (And, in turn, they have less leverage at the bargaining table when negotiating an extension after three or four years, since the team still holds their rights through the first year or two in which the player would be eligible to hit the open market.)

With more second-day picks getting four-year deals under the new CBA, some players have dealt with this issue by negotiating escalators that will increase their fourth-year salary to one of the various levels of restricted free agent tenders. The quandary remains whether to take the extra signing bonus money to cover the four-year term. For many guys, however, it's not an option, since teams have been insisting on four-year deals for slots that used to get only three-year terms in most cities because, as described above, teams are reacting to the new CBA's limits on contract length.


Well-Known Member
Shamrock said:
NFLPA.org - Kiel

2003 225000.00
2004 305000.00
2005 380000.00
2006 500000.00
2007 545000.00
2008 545000.00

USA Today Salary Database - Kiel

2003 signing bonus was $ 1,250,000. That is an annual amortization of $ 208,333.

If Kiel was let go after this season, the Chargers would assume $ 416,667 of dead space on the 2007 salary cap.
I unnerstan it ain't my money, but that doesn't seem to be too big ova hit.


Well-Known Member
BFISA said:
I unnerstan it ain't my money, but that doesn't seem to be too big ova hit.
No. It's salary cap pocket change.

$400k+ is minor. S. Davis was about $700k dead space hit this year, and we wasted a $700k signing bonus on "Stephanie" Shea.


Well-Known Member
Chargers already at work on '07 - Chargers.com - 1/29/07

The NFL Salary Cap won’t get in the way of the Chargers’ plans. According to Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ed McGuire, the Bolts expect to have nearly $10 million in cap space once the free agency period begins in early March. That number takes into account the contracts they’ll offer to their Restricted Free Agents and Exclusive Rights Free Agents.

The Salary Cap for the 2007 season is projected to be at roughly $130 million. Under that projection, $109 million would count toward player salaries and the additional $21 million would cover the player benefit packages that are collectively bargained.

Clayton: Who will be the teams to beat in 2007? - 2/9/07

San Diego Chargers - Cap room: $21.4 million