NFC South's $5 million club

Time to take a look at the NFC South players that are scheduled to have the highest 2012 salary-cap figures.

Let’s be clear, these numbers are not what the players will actually make in 2012. These numbers simply reflect what they’ll count against the salary cap. And let’s also be clear that this list isn’t quite complete. You can bet Drew Brees will be on here once the quarterback signs a new deal with the New Orleans Saints. There also are some guys that probably will be cut or have their contracts restructured before the start of the year. Tampa Bay defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is a perfect example of that.

He’s scheduled to count $7.2 million. The Bucs can release him without any salary-cap hit. It’s a similar situation for Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis, who is scheduled to count $5.9 million. Davis is coming off his third torn ACL in two years and is due a big bonus in March. I seriously doubt he’ll get to collect that bonus.

Anyway, as it stands right now, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan is the easy winner for the NFC South’s highest cap figure. He’s scheduled to count $13.5 million toward the cap ($11.5 million in base salary and another $2 million in prorated bonus money). Aside from Ryan, 30 other NFC South players are scheduled to count more than $5 million toward the salary cap. Let’s take a look:

  • Albert Haynesworth, Buccaneers, $7.2 million

  • Thomas Davis, Panthers, $5.9 million