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2016-17 nfl playoff teams salary cap, empty stadium

NFL Salary Cap

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Chris Bibey

The NFL Draft is upon us, with the Cleveland Browns set to take the top pick. As teams start trading picks and shuffling the draft order, it's interesting to look at the ROI the top teams realized last season.

Looking back at the 2016-2017 season, some teams spent their money wisely while others didn't receive much return in regards to on-field productivity.

Here is a breakdown of the 12 NFL playoff teams, including their 2016 adjusted salary cap (data courtesy of the NFL Players Association):

  • Seattle Seahawks: $154,522,927
  • Houston Texans: $157,186,080
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: $157,628,978
  • Kansas City Chiefs: $157,955,930
  • Detroit Lions: $158,591,216
  • Atlanta Falcons: $158,801,671
  • Dallas Cowboys: $159,261,183
  • New England Patriots: $159,642,451
  • Green Bay Packers: $163,439,289
  • Miami Dolphins: $166,767,319
  • New York Giants: $167,320,159
  • Oakland Raiders: $168,332,753

Generally speaking, there isn't much difference between the playoff team with the lowest adjusted salary cap, the Seattle Seahawks, and the team with the highest, the Oakland Raiders.

Where you notice the biggest difference is when examining the teams that failed to make the playoffs. For example, the Jacksonville Jaguars 2016 adjusted salary cap (the highest in the league) checked in at $190,301,710. This is approximately $31 million more than the Patriots.

At $154,095,041, the Denver Broncos had the lowest cap number on the season. Despite a respectable 9-7 record, the team was unable to land a spot in the playoffs.

Winning in the NFL takes more than money. The Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers ($176,591,934), and Tennessee Titans ($176,357,826) had the three highest adjusted salary caps for the 2016-17 season. Even so, none of these teams continued beyond the regular season.

With the start of the 2017-18 season still months away, it won't be long before all 32 teams begin to make roster moves with the idea of bringing home the Vince Lombardi Trophy.