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.
NFL's salary cap now projected to rise to about $130 million, up 5 percent from $123 million last year, per league sources. More $ for all.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 20, 2014
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.
Film Review: Pettine's 2013 Buffalo Bills Defense
When looking at coach Mike Pittine’s defensive scheme with the 2013 Buffalo Bills, I see a lot of familiar things and a few unfamiliar ones. In a series of quick posts, I will break down what the Buffalo Bills’ defense looked like in 2013.
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.
- Mike Pettine's 2013 Buffalo Bills Defense
- NFL Combine 2014: Doug Marrone Talks About Browns' HC Mike Pettine, and How His Defense Will Change
- NFL Combine 2014: Patriots Officially Announce Michael Lombardi Joining the Team
- NFL Combine 2014: Ken Whisenhunt Asked About Browns' Coaching Search
- 49ers Name Former Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini as Tight Ends Coach
- NFL Combine 2014: Steelers GM Stands by Trade With Browns
- What We've Learned About Alex Mack's Negotiations
- Mike Mayock Talks About the Best Fit for the Browns at QB