Thursday, April 4, 2013
Updating cap space in the AFC East
By James Walker
We are nearly a month into free agency, which means most of the major signings are complete.
So let's take a look at updated salary-cap space for the AFC East. The latest numbers were provided this week by the NFLPA:
Unlike 2012, the Bills have been very cautious in free agency this year. Buffalo didn't do much in the beginning but signed some players in the second wave, like quarterback Kevin Kolb and defensive tackle Alan Branch. Buffalo still has decent room left to make quality signings. But it appears the Bills are more focused on building through the draft under first-year head coach Doug Marrone.
New York entered the offseason tied to a lot of bad contracts. But first-year general manager John Idzik did a solid job of gutting the team to get under the cap. The problem now in New York is fielding a competitive team. The Jets signed a few bargain-basement players but haven't done much in free agency. Expect a few more cuts or trades for cap relief. Star cornerback Darrelle Revis and popular backup quarterback Tim Tebow are the most likely targets.
The Patriots have been an interesting team in free agency. A contract extension with quarterback Tom Brady provided some room to make quality free-agent signings such as Adrian Wilson, Danny Amendola, Sebastian Vollmer and Aqib Talib. With just $10.3 million left, the Patriots most likely are done with major signings.
The Dolphins entered the offseason with more than $40 million in cap room and spent it freely on big-name free agents such as Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe, Brent Grimes, Dustin Keller and Philip Wheeler. Miami now has the lowest amount of cap room remaining in the AFC East at $8.26 million. I expect the Dolphins to make a couple more trades or roster cuts this offseason to provide some cap relief. Candidates include wide receiver Davone Bess and cornerbacks Dimitri Patterson and Richard Marshall.