The Ultimate NFL Salary Cap Team

Brad ZakSenior Analyst IJuly 9, 2008

Cnnsi.com recently established a feature where Bucky Brooks and Mike Lombardi assembled two teams where they could select any player in the NFL.  The lone caveat was that they had to stay under the salary cap and couldn't duplicate players.

I found this to be a really cool idea and immediately started brainstorming a team of my own.  The salary cap for this upcoming season is estimated at near $115 million.  The result: a team that not even a rigged Madden draft could duplicate. 

My head coach would be Tony Dungy because with all the potential egos and personalities coming in, the even-keeled Dungy would be the perfect equilibrium.  Hot-shot Jason Garrett will man the offense as Frank Spaziani implements his hard rushing schemes into my defense.

* Denotes Starter

PlayerPositionTeam Salary 
Tom Brady*QuarterbackPatriots $  14,626,720.00
Trent EdwardsQuarterbackBills $       734,470.00
Matt RyanQuarterbackFalcons $    2,000,000.00
Adrian Peterson*Running BackVikings $    2,431,360.00
Joseph AddaiRunning BackColts $    1,561,750.00
Ahmad BradshawRunning BackGiants $       383,501.00
Michael RobinsonRunning Back49ers $       808,812.00
Tony Richardson*FullbackJets $       491,720.00
Randy Moss*Wide ReceiverPatriots $    6,006,720.00
Marques Colston*Wide ReceiverSaints $       458,960.00
Wes WelkerWide ReceiverPatriots $    3,731,720.00
Brandon MarshallWide ReceiverBroncos $       556,480.00
Steve SmithWide ReceiverGiants $       649,320.00
Devin HesterWide ReceiverBears $       795,000.00
Jason Witten*Tight EndCowboys $    4,105,000.00
Heath MillerTight EndSteelers $    1,726,720.00
Kevin BossTight EndGiants $       417,660.00
Flozell Adams*Offensive LineCowboys $    3,097,943.00
Jason Peters*Offensive LineBills $    4,450,000.00
Logan Mankins*Offensive LinePatriots $    1,406,720.00
Ryan Lilja*Offensive LineColts $    1,625,000.00
Dan Koppen*Offensive LinePatriots $    3,006,720.00
Jamaal BrownOffensive LineSaints $    2,148,260.00
Matt LightOffensive LinePatriots $    5,208,387.00
Nick MangoldOffensive LineJets $    1,450,500.00
Chris SneeOffensive LineGiants $    2,779,166.00
Keydrick VincentOffensive LinePanthers $       955,000.00
Osi Umenyiora*Defensive EndGiants $    4,987,500.00
Patrick Kerney*Defensive EndSeahawks $    3,249,999.00
Justin TuckDefensive EndGiants $    2,454,250.00
Elvis DumervilDefensive EndChiefs $       551,230.00
Haloti Ngata*Defensive TackleRavens $    1,984,990.00
Vince Wilfork*Defensive TacklePatriots $    2,040,054.00
Tommie HarrisDefensive TackleBears $    1,645,470.00
Patrick Willis*Middle Linebacker49ers $    4,081,000.00
Jon BeasonMiddle LinebackerPanthers $    1,718,740.00
Ernie Sims*Outside LinebackerLions $    2,605,000.00
DeMarcus Ware*Outside LinebackerCowboys $    2,157,000.00
James HarrisonOutside LinebackerSteelers $    1,550,470.00
Demeco RyansOutside LinebackerTexans $    1,276,250.00
Shawne MerrimanOutside LinebackerChargers $    2,643,620.00
Antonio Cromartie*CornerbackChargers $    1,731,120.00
Terrence Newman*CornerbackCowboys $    2,422,440.00
Cortland FinneganCornerbackTitans $       466,013.00
Cedrick GriffinCornerbackVikings $       776,360.00
Richard MarshallCornerbackPanthers $       756,240.00
Reggie Nelson*Free SafetyJaguars $    1,362,500.00
Antoine Bethea Free SafetyColts $       462,250.00
Sean Jones*Strong SafetyBrowns $    2,421,720.00
Atari BigbyStrong SafetyPackers $       445,000.00
Nick FolkKickerCowboys $       397,000.00
Andy LeePunter49ers $       997,666.00
Zak DeOssieLong SnapperGiants $       484,945.00
  

 

Total Salary

 

$113,282,436.00

Quarterback

Quarterback is the most important position in the NFL and I shelled out big bucks in order to have the best in Tom Brady lead my huddle.  Trent Edwards will be a ready backup for a very reasonable price while Brady helps groom Matt Ryan into his potential replacement. 

Running Back

My team is no different than any other as I plan on using the running back by committee.  I would spell superstar Adrian Peterson with Joseph Addai in order to keep both of them healthy.  They are also both great pass-catchers that will live off check-downs from Brady. 

Bradshaw provides depth as Michael Robinson is our special teams go-to-guy.  Tony Richardson will lead the way at fullback as he's done for so many great running backs. 

Wide Receiver

I couldn't break up the Brady to Moss connection especially when Moss comes at only about $6 million a year.  I paired him along side Marques Colston whose salary was just as enticing as his size. 

Wes Welker provided Brady with his ultimate slot option and rising star Brandan Marshall provides depth.  Devin Hester is the game-breaking return man that every fantasy team needs.

Tight End

Jason Witten knows how to control his body and create space.  He would easily become Brady's favorite red zone target with his ability to catch in traffic.  Heath Miller makes a very economical second tight end choice that could cause a handful of match-up problems.  Kevin Boss is here merely just for depth. 

Offensive Line

The big hogs are anchored by one of the biggest of the hogs, Flozell Adams, at tackle.  The fast developing Jason Peters provides the other bookend.  Logan Mankins brings his tough demeanor to play guard along with Ryan Lilja who is powerful as well as cheap.  Dan Koppen will represent Boston College at center and hopefully bring a full beard to the table as well.

Jamaal Brown and Matt Light will help keep Adams and Peters fresh on the line as Chris Snee, Mangold, and Vincent offer versatility as backups. 

Defensive End

The Giants showed in the Super Bowl that a bevy of pass rushing defensive ends can help contain even the most potent of offenses.  Osi Umenyiora and Patrick Kerney provide prototypical pass-rushing skills that will help dominate the line.  Justin Tuck and Elvis Dumervil are two very cost-friendly rotation guys.

Defensive Tackle

Haloti Ngata and Vince Wilfork are perfect run stuffers whose work at the buffet line will pay dividends in slowing down the run.  If they can clog the middle it will allow the ends to run wild on the outside.  Tommie Harris can also pressure the quarterback from the tackle position.

Linebacker

Patrick Willis is just a tackling machine and may develop into best linebacker since Joe Montanya.  Ernie Sims may be able to write a check for 100 tackles over the next eight seasons and plays hard on every down.  DeMarcus Ware is the edge rusher of the core who should be aloud to roam with the rest of the talent on defense.

Beason, Harrison, Ryans, and Merriman could all easily start but will be great additions for various situations.  Merriman could help spell Ware and keep the two fresh while Harrison should come in on long yardage to help provide coverage.

Cornerback

Antonio Cromartie and Terrence Newman could change the game instantly with one single interception.  Cortland Finnegan has great potential and a bargain basement salary.  Cedrick Griffin and Richard Marshall are strictly situational players.

Safeties

Reggie Nelson is a special talent who can cover a lot of ground on the field.  Sean Jones can come up and make hits or ball-hawk from his safety position.  Bethea and Atari Bigby offer great compliments at ridiculously low prices. 

Kicker and Punter

Nick Folk has incredible power behind his kicks and comes for a kicker worthy salary.  Andy Lee had a 40-yard net punting average last season but hopefully won't be used much with our offense.