NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL’s salary cap for 2016 will be $155.27 million, an increase of nearly $12 million.
The NFL Players Association confirmed the figure Sunday, and will release the franchise and transition tag numbers on Monday. Free agency begins March 9, but teams must apply those tags by Tuesday.
Among the players whose contracts have expired and might wind up getting tagged are Super Bowl MVP linebacker Von Miller of Denver, and other All-Pros such as Carolina cornerback Josh Norman, Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin and Kansas City safety Eric Berry.
Since the 10-year labor agreement was reached in 2011, the cap has risen more than $35 million per team. The increase is the largest since 2006, when the salary cap went up from $85.5 to $102 million.
This year’s increase is based on several economic factors, including a new Thursday night TV package that includes both CBS and NBC. Other league revenues also exceeded projections in 2015.
Adding to the number last week was an arbitrator’s ruling that the NFL had misplaced certain revenues that should have been applied to the cap. That put another $50 million overall into the cap.
Most teams have carried over a significant amount of salary cap room from last season, as allowed under the collective bargaining agreement. Jacksonville carried over the most space, $32.7 million, according to union figures.
The total carry-over amount from 2015 was $203,963,112, making the average carry-over per club $6.4 million.
Next behind Jacksonville were Tennessee with $20.78 million and Cleveland with $20.73 million. The Jaguars (5-11), Titans (3-11) and Browns (3-11) combined for 11 victories last season and they hold the first, second and fifth selections in April’s draft.
The smallest carry-over amount was $11,587 by Seattle.
By the end of 2016, the 32 teams must spend an average of 95 percent of the salary cap over the four-year period that began in 2013.