“Us Cap Nerds Are Getting Some Recognition”

August 4th, 2022

Top Bucs nerd speaks out.

Yes, the salary cap went down in 2021 and, somehow, the Bucs were able to bring back every starter from their Super Bowl — and they were a Super Bowl caliber team that got knocked out by the eventual champ.

That kind of stellar salary cap management around the NFL. The legend of Tampa Bay’s magical salary cap management took on a new mystique.

And then came 2022, the Bucs keep adding big name after big name while other teams don’t — and some can’t.

Jason Licht’s money man, a Mark Dominik hire years ago, a guy Licht has called “the real GM,”gets a ton of the credit. That’s Mike Greenberg, who has become an obsession for Pat McAfee, the national radio, YouTube star and former Pro Bowl punter. McAfee often talks about how the Bucs are elite at manipulating the salary cap.

This week, he brought Greenberg on to talk all things Bucs cap. Greenberg enjoys feeling the love.

“I talk to a few of the cap people around the league. We just appreciate that us cap nerds are getting some recognition,” Greenberg said. “Because no one ever wants to talk about the spreadsheet guys and girls, so we appreciate it.”

You can hear the Greenberg segment here if you’re into that kind of talk.

Joe’s greatest interest in Greenberg is how he spills many of his contract scoops to ESPN insider Adam Schefter. The two grew up in the same New York town.

As for signing big-money players, Greenberg said, “The answer’s always, yes.”

Greenberg says there is trash-talking among the NFL nerd-community. They keep track of each other’s financial moves and often will be shooting the crap before exact terms are released. “You have to be able to make fun of other people,” Greenberg said.

17 Responses to ““Us Cap Nerds Are Getting Some Recognition””

  1. SB~LV Says:

    Big Head Mike

  2. Dooley Says:

    Merlin Mike

  3. Maniac Buc Says:

    Boring stuff. Who cares??? Well, we care, we just don’t care. Keep getting it done and let’s keep winning.

  4. Ausgust 1976 Buc Says:

    “Big Brain Mike” lol
    It has been a good couple of years of being a sought after destination with Brady in Tampa.
    But we will see how he juggles the cap after the time of Brady is no more.
    To Be Continued…….
    We saw what Bruce Allen and Gruden did, it was “player bandaid after player bandaid” The Bucs became “Retread U”
    Which could be the future when Brady leaves if Trask or someone is not able to fill the QB position that gives the Bucs a real chance to win

    GO BUCS!!!!

  5. Mike pizzoli Says:

    Before free agency the BUCS we’re going to have 57 million in cap space next year according to overthecap.com Now the BUCS are over 50 million in the hole for next offseason, not that I mind I’m all for going all in this year it’s just amazing how money got pushed to next year.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    ‘That kind of stellar salary cap management around the NFL. The legend of Tampa Bay’s magical salary cap management took on a new mystique.’

    Magical? Not really. Greenberg’s done a very good job of structuring contracts in such a way that we stay under the CAP for the given year. He’s done it in the same way dozens of others have done it, by kicking the can down the street as we all keep saying. No magic there.

    But EVENTUALLY it becomes like playing musical chairs. EVENTUALLY the music stops & there’s one chair missing. And EVENTUALLY that missing chair belongs to you, and it’s game over until someone else wins and a new game starts.

    My ‘prediction’ is that 2023 will be when there’s no chair for us, and it’s time to ‘pay the piper’ as they say. Most knowledgable Bucs’ fans can see the writing on the wall, and have put all the eggs in the 2022 basket. We’ve got what it takes to run the table, except adequate defensive depth in a couple of position groups. Still plenty of time to fix that though.

  7. Dooley Says:

    The cap is projected to get bumped up next March to about $230M which is the firs year of the new 8 year tv deal, If the trend remains consistent the cap should be up to $300M by 2026. Bucs will be fine

  8. Rod Munch Says:

    Void years, which in theory will lead to a future of ‘cap hell’ is how they’re doing it – and I say great, do whatever you need to in order to keep this window open for as long as possible.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Dooley … You’re a little high on next year’s CAP it looks like; Spotrac projects it to be $218.2 mil not $230 mil. Still, that’s NOT the big issue we’ll have to deal with next year.

    Spotrac shows us with 62 players with contracts that we’ll have to pay, but we’re really only concerned with the Top-51. Those total out to $281.5 mil currently, meaning that we’re already OVER the projected CAP by $63.3 mil. And that DOESN’T INCLUDE any Dead CAP that we’ll have to pay (this year’s Dead CAP cost us $19.4 mil).

    What it DOES INCLUDE is what will do us in: payments to 5 players who WILL BE Free Agents but who we’ll still cost us CAP dollars (because we kicked the can down the street). Those are Tom Brady ($35.1 mil CAP Hit); LVD ($6.9 mil); Akiem Hicks ($4.9 mil); Julio Jones ($3.5 mil); and Will Gholston ($2.4 mil). That totals out to a whopping $52.7 mil … again, NOT including Dead CAP (that’ll depend on several factors).

    Just by way of comparison, the Bucs rank #31 in the league for 2023 with our MINUS $63.3 mil salary CAP AT THIS POINT, pretty close to the bottom of the barrel. Right below us in #32 spot is the New Orleans Saints at MINUS $65.8 mil for 2023. Right above us at #30 are the Carolina Panthers at MINUS $37.3 mil for 2023. Kinda get the feeling that the NFC South has screwed the salary CAP pooch?

    As bad as all that sounds, that’s not the REAL problem. Bucs will have 31 players who are on our current roster who’ll be FREE AGENTS in 2023, with someplace between 10-12 of those being starters and/or key players. SEVEN of those 31 will be from our Secondary. IF we expect to retain any of those 31, they’ll also need to be paid. Did I mention that we’re STARTING negotiations with a $63 mil DEFICIT? But let’s all enjoy the 2022 ride and worry about that CAT 5 hurricane in 2023.

  10. SKBucsFan Says:

    Well said as always Defense Rules.
    The Bucs will be in tough next year both in terms of talent and spending ability. Enjoy it while we can.

  11. NeverGIVEup Says:

    Never known Defense Rules to be such a Debbie Downer…. G Thanks DRules…. No Really…

    Thanks 🙂

  12. Mike pizzoli Says:

    Thank you Defense Rules you really expounded on the point I was trying to make earlier, as sobering as the reality of next offseason is I am so excited by the attitude of the front office for this season, the most important thing will be to make it all worth it with another Super Bowl victory this year

  13. Scotty In Fat Antonio Says:

    I think the Aints have been the REAL salary cap gurus

  14. D-Rok Says:

    “Nerds….nerds….nerds….NERDS!” Great slapstick movie right there.

    Greenberg certainly has his abacus calibrated and ready for number-crunching. Awesome job!!!

  15. ManzielMadness Says:

    Yet somehow the $hitty Saints get away with it year after year. they started 2022 with 75M over the cap and managed to clear $110 million and tried to trade for Watson. They also added Marcus Maye, Tyrran Matthieu and Jarvis Landry. Cap is a myth.

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    NeverGIVEup … ‘Never known Defense Rules to be such a Debbie Downer’.

    Unlike what ManzielMadness claims, the salary CAP isn’t ‘a myth’. For years the Bucs played it straight & didn’t do any ‘creative math’ with the CAP. I personally think that we got away with that because we never REALLY paid BIG bucks to anyone, especially our QBs. Of course, in our case Bucs’ QBs never really warranted the BIG bucks, so there’s that.

    Starting in 2019 when BA came, our front office got a LOT more creative in terms of contracts so we could ‘afford’ better talent. Yes it meant ‘kicking the can down the street’, but it also paid dividends (a Super Bowl win for starters). That strategy can work for several years, but in time the ‘unpaid debt’ gets bigger & bigger … and THEN you have to accept the consequences for a couple years. Such is life. (Ask the Falcons)

    In my experience NeverGIVEup, Debbie Downers constantly focus on the future to the exclusion of the present. We’ve built a pretty good team, and I expect that it’ll make the playoffs this season. How far we go in the playoffs is anyone’s guess at this point; lots of factors play into making a Super Bowl champion. In my case though, I prefer to enjoy the present and ‘worry’ about the following years later. Not a danged thing I can do about it anyways.

  17. D-Rok Says:


    You always make excellent, reasoned points always backed up with descriptive stats to illustrate your point. I immensely enjoy your comments as they usually give me pause. Most times, your points are spot-on. Good job, buddy – keep it up!!!