INDIANAPOLIS -- Although nothing is official, the 2014 NFL salary cap is expected to come in close to $130 million. That total is about $4 million higher than expected.
The additional space to spend clearly helps the St. Louis Rams. As we covered on Tuesday, the Rams originally appeared to be up against the cap. Estimating a 2014 cap in the neighborhood of $126 million, up $3 million from 2013, the Rams would have had somewhere in the neighborhood of half a million dollars available going into free agency.
Instead, the Rams will now sit with closer to $4.5 million, a dramatic increase that should also allow them more flexibility in their approach to the offseason.
The Rams are still expected to release or restructure some veteran contracts, including cornerback Cortland Finnegan, guard Harvey Dahl and center Scott Wells. If they release that trio, it would save the Rams between $12-15 million, depending on where Finnegan would land next. That could put the Rams in position to be more active in free agency.
St. Louis wants to and should make every effort to keep offensive lineman Rodger Saffold. He figures to have other suitors willing to pay him but a little more wiggle room could also help the Rams in their efforts.
While the additional $4 million helps every team, the Rams' cap situation isn't as tight as it once appeared.