SPORTS CHART OF THE DAY: History Of The NFL Salary Cap

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The NFL lockout is nearing its end, and we now know that the 2011 salary cap figure will be $120 million. That is big drop from 2009, but still way up from the early days of the cap.

The NFL first used a salary cap in 1994. That year, payrolls for each team were capped at an anemic $34.6 million. Peyton Manning alone made $19.2 million in 2010.

Since 1994, the cap has risen 246.8 per cent. Even if we adjust for inflation, the cap is 127.7 per cent higher. And that is after the cap fell 7.0 per cent from the last capped season (2009). So you can see why the league was eager to reel in the salaries a bit.

Here is a year-by-year look at the NFL’s salary cap (white) as well as the cap figures adjusted for inflation (red)…

NFL Salary Cap

All data via and

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