Portland Timbers' 2013 Projected Salary Cap Hit

Jeff Vinnick

With the 2013 season looming, we though it would be a good idea to see what kind of salary cap the Portland Timbers will be facing with their current squad.

File this article under the "major speculation" category, but we thought it might be fun to peer into the salary cap of the 2013 Portland Timbers. Keep in mind that the current squad will most definitely change between now and then. Caleb Porter is certainly not done wheeling and dealing. Regardless, here is our methodology for these numbers:

  1. The 2013 MLS salary cap will be $2.97 million. This does not count allocation money or bonuses from getting into the CCL, which the Timbers wouldn't have anyways.
  2. You can generally expect a 5-10% increase in pay for every player kept on the roster. While this varies, to compensate we've given everybody a flat 7.5% raise.
  3. Only the top 20 players on a club's roster count towards the cap hit.
  4. Obviously Kris Boyd's lofty salary only counts as $335,000 against the cap.
  5. This is all based on the October 2012 guaranteed salary data released by the MLS Players Union.

So, with that said, let's take a look at the raw data I've compiled:

As you can see, there are a few blank spots. Rodney Wallace's contract has been renegotiated. This was probably done to bring his salary under the six figure range, but we have no way of saying for certain. Additionally, Danny Mwanga's sizable contract is no doubt still be reworked. Obviously, Mwanga's current form isn't really worth how much he was getting paid and word on the street was that he was due a big pay raise. Finally, Andrew Jean-Baptiste is still considered to be a Generation Adidas player, so his salary does not count towards the cap.

When all is said and done, not including Wallace's or Mwanga's salary the Portland Timbers currently have a salary cap of:

$2,729,421

Well below the current salary cap obligations. Now, we can assume that Rodney Wallace is probably going to add on around $90,000 if the Timbers were successful in getting his contract down. That leaves Mwanga as the big mystery point. My hunch tells me they'll want him at no more than $150,000 with a pay raise due in 2014 based on performance. So if we add both of those rough figures the cap comes out to: $2,969,421.

This leaves the Portland Timbers with just about $500 left to spend on additional players. This number, of course, not factoring in any and all allocation money that the Portland Timbers have left to spend to increase that cap for the year. Remember, they've already been active with trades and coming in so low in the standings last season means MLS will foot them some extra cash this year.

So there you have it! The Portland Timbers' 2013 salary cap prediction. All in all, I would say that the Timbers are a fairly healthy team as of now, financially. We all heard last week how the Seattle Sounders were potentially over the cap by about $400,000 forcing them to re-evaluate some core players. Additionally, Real Salt Lake was forced to dump some of their key players as well, including Portland's new acquisition: Will Johnson.

Two more points of interest:

I've included two players as counting against the cap, but who might actually not: Darlington Nagbe, and Brent Richards.

The former was obviously a GA player for 2011 and 2012. I'm assuming that he'll be graduating this year based on the amount of minutes he earned in 2012. This is not confirmed, however.

The latter is a bit more murky. Richard's option was picked up for the 2013 season. I don't know if that means he's still counted under the HGP rules wherein his salary doesn't count against the cap.

Feel free to remove and play around with their numbers as well, if that makes more sense to you.

What do you think of the Portland Timbers' potential 2013 salary cap situation?

UPDATE: Fixed some numbers. Forgot that Chara counted towards the DP amount of $367,000. Also forgot that the DP amount is now $367,000 not $335,000.

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