NEW YORK: NFL clubs will each have an extra $12 million (10.9 million euros) to spend on players next season under new 2016 salary cap figures released by the NFL Players Association.
The players union was notified Friday that the team payroll maximum figure for the campaign that kicks off in September will be $155.27 million, jumping up from last season’s $143.28 million.
The new mark is nearly double the salary cap from the 2003 season, a testimony to television rights fee increases and total revenue hikes nearly across the board.
When the NFL instituted a salary cap in 1994, it was $34.6 million for each team.
The cap boost especially will provide more operating room for the Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills to maneuver when NFL free agency begins March 9.
Those teams were all within $10 million of the cap for 2016 before the increase.
Teams with the greatest riches on offer in the multi-millionaire pool of free agents include the Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears. They all have more than $50 million in cap space available.