Report: Seahawks have nearly $30 million in cap space
Team-by-team salary-cap space
By Mike Florio | ProFootballTalk.com
The Seahawks are $29.8 million below the salary cap, according to one of the country's top websites for football news. ProFootballTalk.com listed a team-by-team status vis-a-vis the 2012 salary cap of $120.6 million, and listed the Seahawks with the eighth-most space in the league.
In the NFL -- unlike the NBA -- you can't always use salary-cap space as a guide for what a team will do. Similarly, the exact amount of space is not really that important given the variety of ways that contracts can be structured or restructured to fit into the guidelines.
For instance, if a team is tight against the cap, it can simply take the money that a player was going to make in salary -- which counts against the salary cap that year -- and convert it into a signing bonus, which can be pro-rated over multiple years. The player gets the same amount of money. In fact, he gets it in one lump sum, but for salary cap purposes, only a fraction of that signing bonus counts against the team for the given year.
What is more important about a team's standing with respect to the salary cap is to explain how it is positioned for the long term, and right now, the Seahawks are very healthy in that regard. They don't have aging players signed for multiple years beyond 2012, and they have room to make additions.
When I covered the NBA, the team's exact standing in relationship to the salary cap was extremely important. It determined whether a team could make a big offer to a free agent by being significantly under the cap. Football is different. You can't look at a team's relationship against the salary cap, and state, "This is how much money this team can offer defensive end Mario Williams." What you can tell is whether a team is positioned to make a big offer to a top-tier free agent without making wholesale changes to the roster or deferring significant salary-cap costs to future years. The Seahawks -- given their space beneath the salary cap -- are not in that situation.