Early AFC West salary-cap check

January, 8, 2013
1/08/13
5:50
PM ET
The focus is on 2013 for all but eight teams in the NFL.

Teams will soon be readying for free agency. To get a feel for what teams will have to spend in free agency, ESPN’s John Clayton has the current salary-cap numbers.

Please remember all salary-cap numbers are fluid and things change. But this gives you a working idea of where each team stands.

In the AFC West, the best team is in the best cap standing. The Broncos, who host Baltimore on Saturday in the divisional playoff round, are $18.5 million under the cap. They should be able to add some solid pieces if they wish. They do have to either extend or give the franchise tag to standout left tackle Ryan Clady. That will take up some space.

The Chiefs continue to be in good cap health. It is $16.1 million under the cap. It has free agents, receiver Dwayne Bowe, left tackle Branden Albert and punter Dustin Colquitt, to deal with. I think Albert and Colquitt are more likely to return to Kansas City at this point, but it has flexibility.

San Diego is $8.7 million under the cap. It should be enough to get a couple of starters. The Chargers need the most help on the offensive line.

Meanwhile, Oakland is one of 10 teams currently over the salary cap. Oakland is $4.5 million over the cap. It was severely over the cap last season. This year, the Raiders, who will have to address punter Shane Lechler, tight end Brandon Myers and linebacker Philip Wheeler in free agency, will still have to make a lot of tough decisions and will have to tweak some contracts again. But they should be able to do a little more than they did last year.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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