The long-awaited salary-cap numbers for 2012 have been computed, according to ESPN’s John Clayton.
Free agency starts March 13. Let’s look at the current numbers for each AFC West team:
Salary-cap situation: $50.735 million under.
Comment: The Broncos can do whatever they want. It begins with in-house free agents Brodrick Bunkley and Matt Prater. The new Denver regime has said it will not spend wildly just to spend, so don’t expect any crazy sprees.
Salary-cap situation: $62.995 million under.
Comment: Scott Pioli’s Chiefs’ has always been in good cap shape. He has been criticized for not doing much, though. Pioli has concentrated on role players. Maybe this is the year he makes a huge splash. Because of the cap room there is no reason the Chiefs can’t keep both Dwayne Bowe and Brandon Carr.
Salary-cap situation: $11 million over.
Comment: The Raiders are one of four teams still over the cap. They will easily get under the cap, but the question is how much room will they clear up? They will need to do some things in free agency, though, because of their lack of draft picks. I think, in the end, the Raiders will be able to pick up some quality players in free agency.
Salary-cap situation: $9.2 million under.
Comment: The Chargers can make some more room, starting with cutting tackle Marcus McNeill. General manager A.J. Smith hasn’t made many big splashes in free agency. He may have to do some things this year as he enters a critical season. The Chargers have several in-house free agents to address as well.