I get that the league is flush with TV money, and they want to give small-market teams a chance to…

The max is just a percentage of the total cap. So it won’t be any better or worse than the lower maxes. A $40 million salary with a $120 million salary cap is effectively the same as a $20 million salary with a $60 million cap. I think it’s better to interpret theses contracts as percentages as opposed to raw numbers. It’s easier to compare over time that way. And don’t forget, whatever increases in money the players are getting, the owners are always getting more.