Cleveland Browns Now Set to Have $49.71 Million in Cap Space

Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

With Adam Schefter's latest number on an updated salary cap for the 2014 NFL season, we present a full breakdown of the Cleveland Browns having the third most cap space in the NFL heading into the offseason.

As of February 9, it was estimated that the salary cap for the 2014 season would be about $126.3 million, which led to our projection that the Cleveland Browns would have $45.46 million in cap space this offseason. At the NFL Combine today, Adam Schefter released the news that the salary cap is now projected to be about $130 million.

That news is sure to make a lot of teams happy, but it might actually work against a team with a lot of cap space like the Browns. Sure, Cleveland can add about $3.7 million more in cap space, but so do 31 other teams in the NFL, which might be just enough for certain teams to re-sign a player they previously felt they wouldn't be able to.

In determining the Browns' new cap space, we are going to make one additional adjustment: the $0.55 million in additional 2013 rollover money we determined Cleveland would have, based on several players being on the non-football injury list. The additional money ($3.7 million + $0.55 million) gives the Browns a new projected cap space value of $49.71 million, which still ranks as the third most in the NFL.

Updated Derivations of Browns' Cap Space (as of 2/20/14)

NFL 2014 Salary Cap: $130.0 million
Browns' Rollover from 2013: $25.09 million
Browns' 2014 Adjusted Salary Cap: $130.0 million + $25.09 million = $155.09 million

Browns' Top 51 Cap Total: $98.19 million
Browns' Dead Money for 2014: $7.19 million
Browns' Total Cap Spent for 2014: $98.19 million + $7.19 million = $105.38 million

When you subtract the two subtotals above ($155.09 million - 105.38 million), you can see how the "$49.71 million in cap space" figure was derived.

The heightened salary cap also increases the franchise tag prices, if they were to be used on C Alex Mack or SS T.J. Ward. The new values ($130 million cap) vs. the previous values ($126.3 million cap) are listed below:

  • C Alex Mack - $11.434 million (new), $11.126 million (old)
  • SS T.J. Ward - $8.249 million (new), $8.012 (old)

You're only looking at about $220,000 - $350,000 more than originally projected, which shouldn't make or break a team's decision to use the franchise tag.

The projected salary cap pool for the 2014 NFL draft picks was recently released, and Cleveland will have to keep that in mind with their draft picks, as they will need around $6+ million this year for them. I will be breaking the exact rookie pool calculations down this weekend.

Note: we consulted several sources for our salary cap figures, including OverTheCap and Spotrac. The NFL should announce the final 2014 NFL salary cap some time in late-February or early March.

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