The latest report from Pro Football Talk indicates that the 2014 salary cap could be north of $132 million, perhaps by several million dollars. There's no exact figure here and the report should be viewed with some skepticism until we see one, but a guess of $135+ million doesn't seem outlandish.
The ramifications of that would be varied. First, it would give teams more cap space to re-sign their own free agents, giving teams like the Saints and Panthers the necessary ammo to retain their Zach Striefs and Greg Hardys. Second, it would allow teams to chase those impact free agents that make it to the open market with more gusto, given that they have about $10 milllion more in cap space than they did just a year ago. Third, everyone's draft class is basically paid for, which changes the calculus here.
For the Falcons, the large potential increase means they could legitimately fill several holes with free agents for the first time in recent memory. History doesn't suggest that it's the likeliest outcome for this off-season, but with the team forecast to have buckets of cap space a year from now and wanting to get back into contention quickly, I'm not going to rule it out entirely. The best argument against a move up for Jadeveon Clowney or even standing pat at pick #6 instead of moving down hinges on the Falcons needing to find multiple starters in a deep draft class, but if they're able to make free agency work for them, that becomes less of a concern.
Ultimately, the free agent class may not be as deep or as wide as we had once hoped. The smart money is still on the Falcons landing a couple of starters in free agency as they try to put a miserable year behind them.
What do you think of the potential cap increase?