Originally Posted by Doppelganger
Is there a limit to the amount that can be carried over and is there a limit to the number of times one can carry over money?
If not, would it make sense to try to be the Florida Marlins of the NFL? You bomb for a couple of years, go cheap, and build up a bunch of extra cap room while acquiring high round picks. Let's say you underspend by $26 million a year(the amount the Broncos pushed forward) for 3 years and keep pushing the money forward. In year 4, you would have an extra $78 million (on top of the $121.5 mill) that is allowed. With a budget of almost $200 million, you could get multiple high level players to super short contracts(say 3 years, but give them a ton of money) to fill in the spaces where your good draft class didn't produce. You could even save around $35 million and push that forward to the year after if you wanted. By doing this you would give yourself a very good chance to win a superbowl in a two year window. Then after the second year ends, you cut/trade your good players for picks/cap relief. You may have to go through salary cap hell for a couple of years, but after, you begin to reload again. Doing this cycle you could probably put together high caliber teams for 2 year stretches every 6 years or so.
Would this be a bad strategy?
Your overall strategy can work, however next year the Salary Cap Floor goes into effect, so 26 million a year in savings is not feasible. Every team must spend at least 89% of the salary cap for that year going forward. Suppose the 2013 cap will be 121 million (should be close to that), that would mean every team must
spend at least 107.69 million on players next year. So at most, a team could save up 13.31 million a year for future use. This is why I have been saying free agency this year will be a circus, teams will be striving to spend money to meet the 107 minimum.
There is no cap ceiling however, if a team saved up all that money, they could potentially spend all of it in one year and have a cap spending total of 200 million as you said. Whether or not that is an advantage is to be determined (see 2010 Cowboys and Redskins payroll).
As you can see from the links in the OP, teams that have been rolling over cap the last few years are going to have an advantage in free agency. Teams that do not roll over cap space will be at a disadvantage by not having as much money to work with. I think everyone can agree that the more money you have to spend, the better the chances your team will do well, which is why every dollar is important. The Steelers put in the effort to roll over 500k last year, why didn't the Texans?