NEW YORK -- NFL teams will have nearly $12 million more under the salary cap this season, the final year with one in place unless the league and its players' union can reach a new collective bargaining agreement.
The cap was due to increase $7 million to $123 million this season, but additional adjustments stipulated in the current CBA will increase the total amount that teams can spend on player compensation to about $128 million. The $12 million increase is the largest in three years.
The league informed teams Wednesday that a "cash-adjustment mechanism" from final accounting figures in May will give clubs $947,000 of additional salary cap room, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Friday.
About $4 million in cap room had already been added earlier this year. The adjustments were triggered after spending on players fell below 59.5 percent of the league's total revenue in 2008.
The adjustments, first reported by FoxSports.com, do not affect the minimum team salary of $107,748,000.
Aiello said the most recent adjustment would typically carry over to next season's salary cap, but that isn't possible after NFL owners decided last year to opt out of the CBA with two years remaining. Unless a new agreement is reached, there will be no salary cap in 2010.
Recently hired NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said earlier this month that he speaks three or four times per week with commissioner Roger Goodell, although Aiello said Friday negotiations had not begun on an agreement.
"Negotiations with the NFLPA on a new CBA have not commenced," Aiello said. "We have two more seasons to go on the current deal."
The process likely won't be easy with the economy in turmoil, but Smith has said he's hopeful of reaching a deal to avoid a work stoppage for the 2011 season.
NFL owners will likely discuss their strategy for negotiating a new agreement next week at the league's annual spring meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
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