Jerry Jones might just help Mike Brown make a boatload of money this season. That's because, contrary to initial reports from ESPN's John Clayton, the reputed "salary floor" in which each individual owner was responsible for spending 90 per cent of the salary cap won't take effect until 2013. Instead, in 2011 and 2012 NFL owners must collectively spend 99 per cent of the aggregate salary cap, or an average of $119 million dollars per team.
According to NFL general counsel Jeff Pash, if the league falls short of that mark, then the difference must be paid out to the players pro rata across the league. The NFL isn't too concerned about reaching that floor in spite of owners like Mike Brown and Tampa Bay owner Malcolm Glazer, two of the more "frugal" owners in the league. That's because the league is confident that owners like Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder (and judging by this week, Robert Kraft of the Patriots and Jeffrey Lurie of the Eagles) will more than compensate for any under spending by opening up their generous wallets.
For Bengals fans, that means that the elation over the prospect of Mike Brown having to spend his money on player salaries has been dampened, at least until 2013. As of this writing, the Bengals sit $49 million dollars under what would be the individual salary floor. When Bengals 101 spoke to the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy this afternoon, Reedy confirmed that Mike Brown indeed is not obligated to spend any amount of money on player salaries this season.
Judging from last night, Brown doesn't intend just to line his own pockets. Two glaring holes were apparent in the Bengal roster, with Cedric Benson still an unrestricted free agent and Johnathan Joseph departed for the Houston Texans. The signing of Nate Clements addresses one of those. If Brown goes hard to resign Benson, or even goes after fellow free agent Ronnie Brown, then he might be serious about improving this team's chances.
For Bengals fans, the hope is the Nate Clements signing is a message that Mike Brown isn't waiting until 2013 to spend his money.
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