TWENTY-SIX MILLION DOLLARS IN A CALENDAR YEAR.
I'm sorry for yelling in the morning and everything, but it's sort of impossible to contain myself. That number is just so ridiculous, and it's exactly what was reported by TSN's Darren Dreger early this morning, shortly after he broke news that the Flyers had signed Shea Weber to a 14-year, $100-plus million offer sheet.
The word is that Weber could earn $26 million in one calendar year as part of this deal. (That's not a cap hit by any stretch of the imagination. It's a yearly salary.) We'd suspect that year would be near the front of the deal as the Flyers attempt to stop Nashville from matching. You know, since the Predators are poor and can't possibly give $26 million to a player in one calendar year. Ignoring the cap and stuff. They don't have the dollars.
But does that number make sense? Is it even legal? To the CBA!
Section 50.6 of the CBA is titled Maximum Player Salary and Bonuses etc. etc. We'll translate legal speak into English as best we can here:
(a) No [contract] may provide for a total aggregate Player Salary and Bonuses that is in excess of twenty (20) percent of the [salary cap] for any League Year (the "Maximum Player Salary and Bonuses"). For a Player signing a multi-year [contract] pursuant to which he receives the Maximum Player Salary and Bonuses in any League Year during the term of such [contract], the Maximum Player Salary and Bonuses for every League Year covered by the multi-year SPC shall be based upon the Upper Limit at the time the SPC was signed.
So in a nutshell: There's a limit on how much teams can spend on a player per season via salary and bonuses. That limit is 20 percent of the salary cap, and if it's a multi-year deal, the limit for every season of the contract is based on whatever the salary cap was when the deal was signed.
In Weber's case, this means that his total salary and bonuses in each of the 14 years of his contract cannot exceed 20 percent of the current salary cap. What's 20 percent of the current salary cap then, you ask? Well, the current cap it $70.2 million, carry the seven ... that means Shea Weber's maximum annual salary, including potential bonuses, must max out at $14.04 million. That's what we call less than $26 million.
Dreger's report didn't say "in one season," though. It said "in one calendar year," which could complicate things. Could just be a nuance we're missing here, or it could be that the report is incorrect. I'd go with the former considering the source -- Dreger is the most reliable in the business.
But really, if the report is accurate, nothing really changes for the Predators. It doesn't matter if it's in one season or in one calendar year. Can they really afford $26 million in 12 months when their estimated value as an organization is only $163 million in total?