Prior to Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack opting out of his contract, the team had an estimated $42.368 million in available cap space. What happens to the team's cap space now that Mack, for the time being, no longer has a cap hit in 2016?
Mack's base salary in 2016 was set to be $8 million. When you remove him from the Top 51 players (which are used in calculating the cap space), you add a minimum salary player from the bottom, which costs $450,000. Therefore, the net gain in cap space is $7.55 million, which pushes the team's cap space up to $49.918 million. Here are the formal calculations updated for your reference:
NFL 2016 Salary Cap (Confirmed): $155.270 million
Browns' Rollover from 2015: $20.734 million
Browns' Adjustments from 2015: $625,000
Browns' 2016 Adjusted Salary Cap: $155.270 million + $20.734 million + $0.625 million = $176.629 million
Browns' Top 51 Cap Total: $125.097 million
Browns' Dead Money for 2016: $1.614 million
Browns' Total Cap Spent for 2016: $125.097 million + $1.614 million = $126.711 million
When you subtract the two subtotals above ($176.629 million - 126.711 million), we conclude that the Browns have "$49.918 million in cap space" as of March 2nd.