Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC South [Print without images]

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Buccaneers need to watch 2014 cap

By Pat Yasinskas

For those who caught my earlier post about how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have nearly $18 million remaining in salary-cap space this year, curb your enthusiasm.

There’s not likely to be any big spending spree after the Bucs traded for Darrelle Revis and gave him a new contract. That’s partly because there’s not much left in free agency, but mainly because the Bucs have to start looking at next year’s salary-cap situation.

In a twist of fate, Tampa Bay has $112 presently committed toward the 2013 cap and $114 million committed toward the 2014 cap.

For those asking if the Bucs have spent to this year’s salary floor, they’re in compliance already. Teams have to spend to 89 percent of the cap, which means about $109 million. Plus, the Bucs are going to add to this year’s cap soon enough.

Assuming they remain without a first-round draft pick, they’ll have to shell out a little more than $3 million in cap space to their draft choices. They’ll also need money to sign practice squad players and to sign replacements when injuries happen during the season. The Bucs also are likely to give receiver Mike Williams a contract extension sometime this offseason.

They can do all that and still be about $10 million under this year’s cap. That’s very significant because the Bucs have a history of rolling over unused cap space.

If the Bucs carry over $10 million to 2014, their team cap will be more than $130 million.

That might not seem all that important right now. But let’s say quarterback Josh Freeman, who is entering the final year of his contract, goes out and has a huge season.

The Bucs would be set up nicely to pay Freeman.