With the 2015 NFL salary cap set at $143.28 million, every franchise was in position to spend quite a bit of money to field a competitive team.
While some teams spent their money wisely, eventually landing in the playoffs, others fell short of this goal.
Under the NFL collective bargaining agreement, each club has the right to carry over unused cap space from the previous year. For this reason, some teams have a salary cap greater than $143.28 million.
Below is a breakdown of the 12 NFL playoff teams, complete with their 2015 adjusted salary cap:
Cincinnati Bengals: $152,130,435
Green Bay Packers: $151,471,106
Denver Broncos: $150,066,024
Minnesota Vikings: $149,627,960
Carolina Panthers: $149,371,637
Arizona Cardinals: $148,515,866
Seattle Seahawks: $148,257,738
Washington Redskins: $146,591,745
Kansas City Chiefs: $146,144,200
Houston Texans: $146,025,746
New England Patriots: $144,578,084
Pittsburgh Steelers: $144,058,469
(Information courtesy of the NFL Players Association)
There is not a big discrepancy between the playoff team with the highest salary cap, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the team at the bottom, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
But here is something interesting: several teams that missed the playoffs spent millions more than every club on this list.
For example, the Jacksonville Jaguars had an adjusted salary cap of $168,486,107 for the 2015 season. When spending this much money, it is safe to assume that nobody associated with the organization, from the owner to the fans, expected a 5 – 11 record.
This information proves that spending more money does not always generate more success on the field.