Time to take a look at the NFC South players that are scheduled to have the highest 2012 salary-cap figures.
Let’s be clear, these numbers are not what the players will actually make in 2012. These numbers simply reflect what they’ll count against the salary cap. And let’s also be clear that this list isn’t quite complete. You can bet Drew Brees will be on here once the quarterback signs a new deal with the New Orleans Saints. There also are some guys that probably will be cut or have their contracts restructured before the start of the year. Tampa Bay defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is a perfect example of that.
He’s scheduled to count $7.2 million. The Bucs can release him without any salary-cap hit. It’s a similar situation for Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis, who is scheduled to count $5.9 million. Davis is coming off his third torn ACL in two years and is due a big bonus in March. I seriously doubt he’ll get to collect that bonus.
Anyway, as it stands right now, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan is the easy winner for the NFC South’s highest cap figure. He’s scheduled to count $13.5 million toward the cap ($11.5 million in base salary and another $2 million in prorated bonus money). Aside from Ryan, 30 other NFC South players are scheduled to count more than $5 million toward the salary cap. Let’s take a look:
Jordan Gross, Panthers, $11.5 million
Charles Johnson, Panthers, $11 million
Steve Smith, Panthers, $10.7 million
Will Smith, Saints, $10.15 million
Chris Gamble, Panthers, $9.75 million
Davin Joseph, Buccaneers, $9.5 million
Gerald McCoy, Buccaneers, $9.44 million
DeAngelo Williams, Panthers, $8.7 million
Josh Freeman, Buccaneers, $8.545 million
Roddy White, Falcons, $8.03 million
Jonathan Vilma, Saints, $7.63 million
Travelle Wharton, Panthers, $7.6 million
Sedrick Ellis, Saints, $7.6 million
Albert Haynesworth, Buccaneers, $7.2 million
Dunta Robinson, Falcons, $7 million
Jermon Bushrod, Saints, $6.9 million
Donald Penn, Buccaneers, $6.43 million
Roman Harper, Saints, $6.35 million
Jabari Greer, Saints, $6.25 million
Jeff Faine, Buccaneers, $5.925 million
Tony Gonzalez, Falcons, $5.92 million
Thomas Davis, Panthers, $5.9 million
Quincy Black, Buccaneers, $5.75 million
Jon Beason, Panthers, $5.5 million
Ryan Kalil, Panthers, $5.35 million
Justin Blalock, Falcons, $5.3 million
Jeremy Trueblood, Buccaneers, $5.25 million
Jahri Evans, Saints, $5.2 million
Cam Newton $5.01 million
Now looking at these we have 10 guys on that list. Out of those 10, I think Davis, Gross, Steve , Gamble, and Wharton should get restructured contracts. Should be able create a little more Cap Room for us, which I think is going to be a little tight anyways.
What do you guys think?