I have talked a lot about the Raiders being behind on their need to meet the league's salary floor requirements as laid out by the CBA. Each time the discussion of how much money the Raiders have to spend under the salary cap comes up, it must be mentioned that they need to spend nearly all of it to meet the cap floor of 89%.
Now at the halfway point of the four-year window from 2013-16 in which teams must meet that 89% league minimum, the NFLPA has released their figures as to what percentage of salary available each team has spent over the past two years.
Those findings as laid out by Tom Pelissero of USA Today, reveal the Raiders are the farthest behind of all NFL teams. They have met just 80.2% of the allotted amount.
The main reason the Raiders are so far behind is from cutting high priced players and leaving behind dead money which doesn't factor into the total. That played a major role in 2013, but 2014 was a different story as they had nearly cleared the books of dead money and had some $61 million to spend under the cap.
After all was said and done, they left $7.4 million unspent from last offseason that rolled over to this year's cap.
Fans see that rollover and think it's a good thing and wise spending choices, but in reality it just contributed to putting the Raiders in the same position they were before, plus a few more million. They currently have over $53 million to spend and with some expected cuts (Matt Schaub and LaMarr Woodley in particular) that number would rise to around $64 million.
It becomes even more crucial now that they spend as much as they possibly can or risk losing it. If they don't spend it on incoming players, they must forfeit the remainder of unspent money to the Player's Union and they will divvy it up amongst the players across the league.
How much more do they need to spend? They must spend about 95% of the salary cap money over the next two seasons. After the expected cuts, they would need to spend some $57 million this free agency period to keep pace for next year and avoid having to spend even a higher percentage then. The amount they must spend the next two years goes up some $40 million relative to their spending over the past two years.
That's the most any team in the NFL must spend. The Jaguars currently have more to spend under the 2015 cap, but their cap floor is at 82.2% (2% higher than the Raiders).
Bargains are great, but in this case the old adage ‘Use it or lose it' definitely holds true.