Turned out to be easier than I thought.
[url=http://www.ottawasun.com/2016/02/02/redblacks-gm-desjardins-faces-several-free-agent-decisions]http://www.ottawasun.com/2016/02/02/red ... -decisions[/url]
The collective agreement that prevented a labour dispute on the eve of that (2014) season hiked the cap to $5.0 million from $4.4 million, providing a significant boost to salaries, but subsequent increases have been modest.
What has developed over time is a process in which teams assign perceived values for each position on the field, leaving it up to the individual player to decide whether he'll sign for that amount. The budget for a "field" or wide-side cornerback could be $90,000, with a pass-rushing defensive end pegged at $170,000 and a starting quarterback at $300,000.
Truthfully, I can't imagine it's quite THAT strict. It may be a way to deliver the news to a guy like Jovon Johnson that you no longer have any use for his services. I find it hard to imagine that a starting corner is valued a shade above the rookie salary. But if you're spending far less at the defensive tackle position (just to make an example) maybe you can treat yourself elsewhere.
I think it's really just a tool to stay organized.