Now that carry-over space has been determined, let’s take a look at where each NFC South team is sitting in relation to the 2013 salary cap.
The cap won’t be set until just before the league year starts in March, but it is expected to be slightly more than $120 million. Two NFC South teams are well under the cap and two are way over it and will have plenty of work to do in the next two months.
Atlanta Falcons. After spending closer to the 2012 cap than any other team in the NFL, the Falcons were able to carry over only $307,540 in cap space. But they also were given a $1 million adjustment for reasons that aren’t clear. They’re sitting at $113 million with 48 players under contract for 2013. But that cap room could disappear quickly if they re-sign potential free agents Brent Grimes and Sam Baker.
Carolina Panthers. The team carried over $3.654 million in cap space, but the situation remains a mess. With 56 players under contract, the Panthers are sitting at $131.7 million. There’s no doubt new general manager Dave Gettleman will attempt to restructure some contracts, but he’s going to have to release some veteran players just to get under the cap.
New Orleans Saints. They were able to carry over $2.7 million. With 55 players under contract, they’re sitting at $140.2 million, the second-highest current figure. General manager Mickey Loomis will have to restructure contracts and there is little doubt the Saints will part ways with some veterans.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They’re in the best cap shape in the division. They carried over $8.5 million and also were given a $1.643 million adjustment. They likely will try to re-sign defensive end Michael Bennett, defensive tackle Roy Miller and a few other potential free agents. But the Bucs, who easily can free up an additional $7.75 million by releasing cornerback Eric Wright, still should have plenty of room to make some moves in free agency.