Setting expectations on cap projections

A quick glance at projected salary-cap room for NFC West teams might reasonably fuel expectations of a spending spree within the division.

Those expectations are realistic in some cases, but it's also worth noting that cap room will shrink in some cases.

Projections made at this point cannot fully account for the escalator clauses that have become such a big part of contracts for highly drafted rookies. While each team knows how such escalators will affect its own cap situation, it's tougher to know for sure how other teams are affected.

The picture will become clearer for NFL teams once a new labor agreement is in place. At that point, the NFL will provide official league-wide salary information to each team.

In the meantime, the projections offered Wednesday are as accurate as they can reasonably be.