The final NFL salary cap for 2014 will fall shy of the rosiest predictions, which were somewhere in the neighborhood of $135 million. Yet for that slight disappointment, it appears we could be heading toward major cap increases each of the next three seasons, and a healthy number for this season besides.
The NFL has notified clubs that the salary cap for 2014 will be $133 million.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 28, 2014
Salary cap projected to rise to about $133 million this year, expected to break $140 million next year and $150 million by 2016, per source— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 28, 2014
This is big news for NFL teams who love to spend big for outside free agents. It's even bigger news for those that want to lock up their own players before they have a chance to test the market, because they'll be sitting on all the cap space you could possibly need to do so. Teams like the Eagles were willing to bet on this outcome, locking up key contributors like Riley Cooper and Jason Kelce ahead of free agency.
If Schefter's Tweet turns out to be true, by 2016 teams will have seen their cap space increase by about $27 million over a three-year span. That's almost as much cap space as the Falcons are projected to have in 2014. Given that the Falcons already could have $30+ million in cap space for 2015, they may want to start planning ahead for that free agent class. Teams around the NFL will plan to do the same.
From the Falcons' perspective, there's more good news here. The supposed limitations that would be placed on this team's cap flexibility by Matt Ryan's contract are certainly reduced or eliminated by these increases, so now's a nice time to lock up your quarterback and frontload the hell out of his deal.
What do you think of the $133 million cap number and possible future increases?