Now that the NFL Draft is complete and teams are still reviewing their personnel needs, one factor dictating their decisions will be their salary cap space. Some teams have more space than others and will use this to their advantage or perhaps their disadvantage.
According to Spotrac.com, here’s some top teams with their current cap space. These numbers can change on daily basis and the following just provides a snapshot on let’s say who has a lot of money and who doesn’t.
The top three with money to spare:
Cleveland Browns -$32 million
Jacksonville Jaguars – $27.4 million
Philadelphia Eagles – $23.8 million
On the low end with not a lot of cash to spare:
Pittsburgh Steelers – $1.7 million
San Francisco 49ers- $1.9 million
Washington Redskins – $2.8 million
Here’s a few story lines.
The addition of quarterbacks Jordan Rodgers and Matt Scott, which was a nice pick, could prove to be interesting but if mediocre quarterback Blaine Gabbert goes down, what is this team going to do? Well, there is experienced Chad Henne who pinch hit last season but he really wasn’t a better alternative.
Would the Jaguars use some money to pick up a veteran quarterback as insurance? Maybe they’ll drop Henne. They’ve repeatedly said no to Tim Tebow but they don’t really have a franchise quarterback with Gabbert.
The team traded away some picks and while all eyes are currently on their quarterback battle, there is a hole at safety. They passed on Syracuse’s Shamarko Thomas at the end of the draft but picked up two undrafted free agent safeties, Ryan McWethy (Wisconsin-Platteville) and Ricky Tunstall (Delaware).
Maybe they know more about their safety depth than we do.
We all know the team doesn’t need any more quarterbacks but they still have some holes to fill. What about a defensive end? As they switch to a 3-4, they picked up 20-year-old Joe Kruger (Utah) and David King (Oklahoma) in Round 7. The question now is whether these two will be ready to go at the start of the season.
The clock is quickly ticking toward June 2 for the team and that makes them happy as $5.5 million in cap space will be cleared when guard Willie Colon’s contract will hit the team’s books.
Most of that money will likely go to signing the team’s draft class but this could change. Many thought the Eagles would add a tight end in the draft but instead they did nothing. Tight endHeath Miller is recovering from knee injury incurred late in the season and maybe the team putting all of their eggs in one basket for him in 2013.
While not at the bottom of the list with $5.4 million in cap space, many pundits thought Cowboys didn’t address its defensive needs but now the team is making offensive news. They have asked right tackle Doug Free for a “substantial” pay cut at more than $2 million.
Should the team release him, it would count at $10 million against the salary cap, reported NFL.com, but the team can only apply half that amount to 2014’s cap if it happens after June 1.
At the end of the day, the team knows Free doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room. They may have their eyes on veteran free agent Eric Winston or Winston Justice for help.