Jeff at the DP answered my questions about the salary cap and his recent valuation of $129M . First thing to note is that he confirms his number includes 72 players, even though only the 53 that ultimately make the roster will actually be counted. So shave $10M right off the top (subtract 19 players at an average of $500k per year). Next, trade Orton (-$9M), renegotiate with Dawkins (-$3M), cut Buck (-$2M), Hill (-$2.4M) and Haggan ($-$2M). So that's another $18.4M we should be able to shave off with a scalpel (rather than chopping like crazy with a machete). With those simple adjustments, we're now at $100M as a baseline, but there are still reasons to think we're underneath even that number... Jeff's numbers include all major performance based bonuses as far as I can tell, including Andre Goodman taking 75% of the snaps ($1M), Tim Tebow taking 45% of the snaps ($1.5M), as well as whatever's going on with Brian Dawkins' ridiculous number. Additionally, in my own humble opinion, it looks like Jeff's numbers are set to include worst case scenarios, essentially. I don't know if he's going for the shock factor, or if maybe he had someone from the Broncos send him the numbers, but there is reason to suspect that each estimate was taken with the highest number possible. As to the issue of dead money, which is very much alive, it seemed to me that Jeff Legwold tap danced around it a little. He said his numbers included the dead money, explained what dead money is, but stopped short of committing and never actually said dead money will be included in this year's cap. To be clear, he seems to be leaning toward thinking the dead money will be included, but he doesn't sound sure. He basically said that most contracts last year were put together within cap guidlines, but that just doesn't seem like a good reason to believe cap baggage from an uncapped year will be brought in to the new cap. Why would the league go back and force teams to retroactively take these hits? Why would they want to? What purpose would it serve? Personally, I still doubt dead money will be included. Specifically, I don't think we'll have to take major hits for key guys.. But I'm not sure either. Jamal Williams and Justin Bannan were signed without a salary cap in place and were released before it came back. Riddle me how the league is going to now come in and essentially impose a cap on these ghosts. I have an email in to John Clayton at ESPN (regarding the "dead money" issue), but haven't heard back, yet. Hopefully we get an answer from one of these salary cap gurus pretty soon, because I'm telling you, something still sounds fishy. If I'm right about the dead money, at least on Bannan and J-Wall, then we stand at around $92M - giving us plenty of money to sign our rookies, Brandon Melbane, Marcus Thomas, DeAngelo Williams, Jeff King and a FB. If I'm wrong and we do have to include it, then we can still be at $100M with just the few easy moves listed above - rather than the scary number of $129M. At $100M, we'd still be pretty tight after signing Von Miller and a RB. We wouldn't, IMO, have the money to sign a top-tier DT. So cross your fingers.