NFC South salary-cap check

Rookie contracts are getting done and DeAngelo Williams has restructured his contract with the Carolina Panthers.

That means it’s time for an update on where each NFC South team stands in relation to the salary cap.

The Atlanta Falcons are $2.18 million under the salary cap. But they’ll catch a break after June 1 when they get $4.5 million from the Tyson Clabo release. The Falcons also are likely to give quarterback Matt Ryan an extension at some point this offseason and the deal is likely to be structured in a way that will free up some cap space for this year.

After restructuring Williams, Carolina is $8.46 million under the cap. That has some fans thinking that there’s a spending spree coming. But, seriously, who’s out there that really excites you? I wouldn’t rule out a signing or two, but I think general manager Dave Gettleman is more interested in creating carryover money to help with next year’s salary-cap situation.

The New Orleans Saints are $1.6 million under the cap. That number is a little different than what I told you the other day after the Saints had signed all their draft picks and the discrepancy was due to the fact that the NFL Players Association hadn’t updated their numbers to reflect only the top 51 cap figures. Anyway, the Saints don’t have much room to work with. They’ll need more than $1.6 million to eventually sign practice-squad players and keep some money available in case they have injuries and need to sign replacements.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are $19.3 million under the salary cap. They still have three unsigned rookies and are expected to attempt to work a contract extension with wide receiver Mike Williams.