Over at Shutdown Corner, Doug Farrar posted the five teams that have the least amount of cash money committed for the 2011 season. Most discussion of Tampa Bay's salary situation have focused on the salary cap number, as that is what the salary floor has been based on in years past. However, it looks like the salary floor will be based on actual cash spending, forcing teams to spend more instead of relying on accounting tricks.
The significance of this change is easy to see when we look at the cap and cash numbers Doug Farrar cites. Each team listed has a cash commitment that is at least $10 Million lower than their cap number. Each team, that is, except for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whose cash and cap commitment differs only $300,000. Interestingly, while the Bucs have by far the least amount of money committed to the salary cap, the Panthers have less cash committed, and the Browns have only $600,000 more cash committed. While the Bucs are far below the cap, they aren't the only team: 14 teams are spending less than 70% of the cap in cash.
But with a cap likely set somewhere around $120 Million, and a salary floor at at least 90% of that in cash spending, the Bucs will have to dig into their wallets to get to the salary floor. Expect the Bucs to sign a couple of players to big contracts, whether it be their own free agents or new additions.