In order to understand where you are going, it is often helpful to look at where you have been.
In 2013, the Falcons had four significant categories of player spending account for the Salary Cap total:
1. Current Salary (53 total players) $89.766M
This was money paid to players for...well, playing... and being healthy. At the top of this list are MR2 and RW84, both over $9M apiece for a Cap number. Towards the bottom of this list, you will find names like Darius Johnson, $262K.
2. Injured Reserve (11 players) $15.075M
As you can imagine, this list has big, sexy names on it like JJ and Kroy. It is a huge part of that whole 4-12 thing.
3. Practice Squad (6 players) $ 0.528M
The reason why this is not a bigger number, is that the Falcons pulled some of their practice squad guys up, so their salaries hit above in #1. Even though the PS impact on the Cap can technically be millions, it seems fairly typical to run in the $400K-$700K range.
4. Dead Money (36 players) $ 14.224M
(thank you Over the Cap for the data)
So, what can we learn from this?
My two big takeaways are: a) Cap science is uber complicated. b) There are many other dollars that need to fit under the cap other than the 53 dudes that suit up each Sunday.
What are your thoughts?