Report: Packers among NFL cap kings

According to a recent CBS report, the Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Viking, New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs have done the best job of battling the cap and their competition in the salary cap era.<p>

The study is based upon team-by-team analysis of win-loss percentage and postseason history during the salary-cap era inaugurated eight years ago (before the 1994 season). The analysts factored in a number of seasons a team has finished below the .500 mark, and strength of division schedule.

The Packers and Broncos edge out Miami simply based upon Super Bowl wins, according to CBS During the salary cap era, Green Bay has been to two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XXXI after the 1996 season and falling short to the Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII. Denver is the only team during the salary cap era to win two Lombardi Trophies.

Miami has qualified for the postseason more than any other team during this period, having pulled in some extra postseason bonus cash in a whopping seven years. Green Bay, Minnesota and the 49ers have each qualified for the postseason six times while the Steelers, Patriots and Cowboys have qualified five times, Jacksonville four times and Kansas City three.

Green Bay has also faced the stiffest competition during this period. The NFC Central proved to be the NFL's toughest division, comprising a league-best .538 winning percentage and 22 collective playoff appearances, according to the report. In addition, NFC Central squads failed to crack the .500 mark only 12 times in eight years.

The Packers have the best won-loss record since the inception of the cap, going 86-42 (.672).

Green Bay and Miami are the only teams to have never finished below .500 since 1994. Both the Dolphins and Packers have also endured at least one major overhaul in coaching and roster makeup during this period. Miami had to endure the passing of the torch from the legendary Don Shula to Hall of Fame candidate Jimmy Johnson to the solid Dave Wannstedt.

Andrew Brandt is Green Bay's capologist. The former player agent was hired by Green Bay in 1999 to manage the salary cap. He is responsible for negotiating contracts with players agents and fitting those numbers under the team's cap. He has been proficient thus far at avoiding cap problems for future seasons.

The salary cap system, which was initiated upon agreement by the National Football League and the player's union, went into effect in 1993. In an effort to make the league more balanced, the league shares revenue, the bulk coming from television, among its now-32 members. The salary cap is the amount of money league-wide that teams can pay players. It is roughly 63% of DGR (designated gross revenues) coming into the NFL.

"The cap is a complicated bird," Brandt said. "I always compare it to like stuffing an octopus in a box. There's always something hanging out. What you have to do with the cap is recognize one thing: For every action there's a reaction."

Since the Packers hired Brandt, many other teams have followed suit by naming their own money manager.

The Philadelphia Eagles are quickly proving to have a tremendous grasp of the cap. Head coach Andy Reid has combined with team president Joe Banner, who has established himself as an extremely strong cap manager.

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