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The strange world of the NFL Salary Cap

If you write player contracts with incentive bonuses that are likely to be met (i.e. with application, effort and good fortune), you create cap room for next season. Paid bonuses -- normally a happy, desirable outcome of incentives -- reduce allowable spending in the following year. Enter crafty management, and incentive clauses purposefully designed to not be attained. And coaching decisions to ensure this result when cap room next year is more valued than your best effort now. I detect a slight whiff of rent dissipation: the cap creates rent for the owners, and the accountants dissipate it. Reuben Frank has the details.

Via Newmark's Door.