Aqib Talib deal increases Bucs' cap health

November, 2, 2012
11/02/12
4:43
PM ET
There could be a little extra benefit to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ trade of cornerback Aqib Talib to New England on Thursday.

The Patriots now inherit $871,764.71 in salary-cap space for this year. The flip side of that is the Bucs freed up the same amount.

That’s significant because the Bucs, who have some history of “carrying over’’ cap space now have about $12.4 million remaining in cap space for this season. They’ll need to use a little bit of that as the season goes on and they have to sign more players to compensate for injuries.

But the Bucs still should walk into the offseason with a large chunk of change to carry over to 2013. Presently, the Bucs have about $113 million committed toward next year’s salary cap. The NFL is telling teams to prepare as if the 2013 cap will be around $120 million, even though it probably will go a few million higher. With the expected carry over, Tampa Bay’s cap could end up being over $130 million.

No matter where the exact cap sits for next year, the Bucs should be sitting well underneath it. That will give them plenty of room to find a long-term replacement for Talib (through the draft or free agency) and some other needs.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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