NFC South cap space update

July, 10, 2012
7/10/12
3:23
PM ET
It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on NFC South salary-cap space, so let’s do it now.

At the moment, the New Orleans Saints have the division’s least amount of cap space at $2.16 million. With franchise quarterback Drew Brees still looking for a long-term deal and fourth-round draft pick Nick Toon still unsigned, the Saints may have to make some moves just to fit those two under the cap.

The Atlanta Falcons are $2.8 million under the cap. The Falcons already have all their draft picks signed and have no pressing contract issues. They still have enough wiggle room that they could add a player or two before the start of camp, but I wouldn’t look for anything major.

The Carolina Panthers, thanks largely to spreading out Travelle Wharton’s cap hit over two years, are in very good shape at $8.8 million under the cap. You could see the Panthers make a few moves to shore up their depth during the preseason, but I wouldn’t count on any outside spending spree. If anything, I’d expect the Panthers to perhaps try use this cap space to work out contract extensions with some of their own players.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are $15.7 million under the cap. Whenever they sign first-round pick Mark Barron, he’ll count about $2.6 million toward the cap. That still leaves plenty of money and you could see some moves. But what’s really left out there? Not a lot. Like the Panthers, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bucs start extending some of their own players, once they see who really fits in coach Greg Schiano’s system.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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