When discussing how NFL teams spend their money on players, the conversation typically turns to the annual salary cap, which is set at $208.2 million for the 2022 season.
But we all know the cap can be manipulated, and plenty of teams spend far more than the cap number each and every season. Contracts are restructured to avoid too much money counting against the cap. Signing bonuses are a simple way to get around the cap.
For example, if a player receives a $20 million signing bonus on a four-year deal, he typically collects that cash in one lump sum when the contract is inked. But when it comes to the salary cap, it’s usually split up evenly over the life of the deal. So, in this case, only five million would count against the cap each season.
So with that in mind, we wanted to see how much every NFL team is spending in 2022. Not what each team is spending against the cap, but what every franchise is dishing out in pure cash.
And the No. 1 team on the list? That would be the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, who are shelling out more than $272 million in 2022. And $123 million is to just three players: Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, and Cooper Kupp. But here’s the signing bonus slide-by mentioned above.
In base salary, those three are earning just $13 million combined. But tack on $105 million in signing bonuses and another five million for Donald’s roster bonus, and you get to $123 million. Regarding cap spending, the Rams rank 30th in the NFL out of 32 teams.
How much money every NFL team is spending on players for the 2022 season
Here’s a look at what all 32 NFL teams are spending in total cash on players for the 2022 season.
- Los Angeles Rams: $272,107,966
- Buffalo Bills: $267,566,979
- Cleveland Browns: $260,889,731
- New Orleans Saints: $259,641,883
- New York Jets: $258,914,265
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $258,790,327
- Los Angeles Chargers: $251,048,697
- Green Bay Packers: $250,134,643
- Jacksonville Jaguars: $246,486,233
- Denver Broncos: $236,010,123
- Carolina Panthers: $233,254,872
- Miami Dolphins: $229,276,719
- Seattle Seahawks: $225,281,813
- Detroit Lions: $221,696,185
- Minnesota Vikings: $220,185,515
- Pittsburgh Steelers: $219,180,263
- Arizona Cardinals: $217,734,596
- Baltimore Ravens: $217,523,945
- Tennessee Titans: $217,074,230
- Philadelphia Eagles: $215,845,813
- San Francisco 49ers: $213,863,367
- Las Vegas Raiders: $213,296,825
- Washington Commanders: $206,883,085
- Kansas City Chiefs: $206,384,457
- Houston Texans: $203,196,247
- New England Patriots: $193,579,809
- Indianapolis Colts: $193,118,643
- Cincinnati Bengals: $188,842,769
- New York Giants: $187,836,041
- Dallas Cowboys: $182,877,238
- Atlanta Falcons: $155,137,314
- Chicago Bears: $137,582,729
Salary info courtesy of Spotrac