INDIANAPOLIS -- For the past few weeks many in the league believed the salary cap for the 2014 season would be about $126.3 million per team. But with ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter’s report Thursday that the cap will show a bigger bump from this past season’s $123 million per team, coming in at $130 million, the Denver Broncos will have slightly more room to work with as they go about the business of filling the depth chart.
Under John Elway, the Broncos have taken a measured approach for the most part in free agency. Certainly Peyton Manning's signing in 2012 doesn’t qualify as measured, but for the most part the Broncos have used one- and two-year deals for their veteran free agents.
This past year, guard Louis Vasquez received a four-year deal on his way to an All-Pro season, but Terrance Knighton and Wes Welker received two-year deals. Stewart Bradley and Shaun Phillips signed one-year contracts, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie signed what was a two-year deal on paper, but turned into a one-year deal five days after the Super Bowl.
When free agency opens in March, the Broncos will have to be under the salary cap with their top 51 contracts. At the moment, those top 51 salary-cap figures for players under contract amounts to $117.8 million. By a rule put in with the current collective bargaining agreement, the Broncos can also roll over any available cap space from this past season into 2014.
That figure is $6.573 million. So, including the rollover, the Broncos actually will have about $18.673 million worth of cap space to work with in the coming weeks. And that is before the Broncos do, or don’t, talk to Champ Bailey about his $10 million cap figure for 2014 -- the second highest on the team -- or Chris Kuper’s $5.915 million cap figure, seventh highest on the team.