Contrary to popular belief, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t end up opening the season with the most salary-cap space of any team in the NFL.
The Bucs held that honor for part of the preseason, but they got edged out when final roster cuts were made and teams tweaked their rosters for opening day. According to salary-cap numbers obtained by ESPN.com, the Bucs ranked No. 3 in the league when the season started Sunday.
Tampa Bay entered the season with $27.5 million in cap space. That number doesn’t include Wednesday’s signing of long-snapper Scott Albritton and all numbers here were current only through Sunday.
The average cap space for all teams to start the season was $11 million. The other three NFC South teams were well below the average.
The Atlanta Falcons opened the season with $2.04 million in cap space. The Carolina Panthers (thanks in part to Jordan Gross' contract restructure) had $4.2 million. The New Orleans Saints had $2.9 million.