I wasn't planning on writing a Part IV to this series until I heard Ross Tucker's Football Today podcast from Monday. About 16 minutes in, Tucker begins discussing the salary cap situation with Matt Williamson. At the 20-minute mark, Tucker enlightened me on a key issue for the contract floor.
"You only have to get to that amount by the end of the season," said Tucker of the minimum salary floor. "It's not like you need to do that by the start of the season."
With this piece of information, it makes more sense for the Buffalo Bills to wait and see on those contract extensions for guys like Stevie Johnson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Demetrius Bell. They can sit tight and if Fitzpatrick has a monster year, the team can lock him up long-term. If Stevie's numbers come back down to earth, they aren't on the hook for $50 million on a new contract he signed in August.
Conversely, teams cannot exceed the salary cap at the beginning of the season (or middle, or end for that matter). Apparently, the salary floor will not function in the same manner, which makes sense. Not spending money doesn't give you a competitive advantage, it just annoys the other owners paying into the revenue sharing pool.
There is going to be a lot of information on the new CBA coming out very quickly. We'll do our best to keep you updated and informed.