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Thursday, February 21, 2013
Current cap situations in the AFC South

By Paul Kuharsky

INDIANAPOLIS -- Cap numbers can be fluid, but I know at this time of year it’s of huge interest. It tells us who can shop in free agency and with how much.

Here’s where our four teams stand against the cap currently:
Colts: $43.427 million under

Jaguars: $23.807 million under

Titans: $18.021 million under

Texans: $5.768 million under

Everyone has guys who are slated to be overpaid, and just because teams have room -- or a ton of room -- doesn’t mean every scheduled salary will be judged to be worth paying. (Titans GM Ruston Webster said Thursday that Tennessee wouldn't be cutting anyone for the start of free agency, but could cut guys once the team upgrades with free-agent additions or draft selections.)

We'll start talking to team executives here soon, and I will certainly ask about the possibility of a cut or two before the new league year starts on March 12.

We looked a bit at whether teams got sufficient bang for their buck based on their offensive and defensive spending in 2012.

Mike Sando at the NFC West blog has expanded on that in a couple of posts.

The Texans ranked 25th in defensive spending and fielded the league’s fifth-ranked defense. Plus-20 was the second best differential in the NFL.

The Colts ranked 32nd in offensive spending and fielded the league’s 12th-ranked offense. Plus-20 was tied with the Giants for the best differential in the league.

One thing to keep in mind about the Colts spending so little on offense, or the Titans ranking 32nd in salary cap spending on defense: Young players are inexpensive. If the Colts add a veteran lineman or two and the Titans grab a free agent end and safety, their cap numbers will be closer to average in 2013.