At this moment, the Atlanta Falcons don’t have enough salary-cap room to sign their draft picks.
They’re only $2.183 million under the cap. But there is help, which a lot of people have forgotten about, on the way.
When the Falcons released veteran right tackle Tyson Clabo earlier this offseason, they set themselves up for a boost in cap space by designating him as a June 1 cut. For a few more weeks, the Falcons have to carry what would have been Clabo’s full cap figure ($6.05 million).
But, after June 1, the game changes. At that point, the Falcons will be off the hook for Clabo’s $4.5 million base salary. He’ll still count $1.55 million against this year’s cap and he’ll count $3.1 million against the 2014 cap.
Still, that $4.5 million in June will be big for the Falcons. It will give them more than enough money to sign their rookie draft picks. It could leave them enough to bring in someone like veteran defensive tackle Richard Seymour or maybe an experienced linebacker.
The Falcons also are likely to get a contract extension done with quarterback Matt Ryan sometime this offseason. If structured properly, and I’m sure it will be, a new deal for Ryan could free up additional cap space.
I’m not predicting a big summer surge of signings by the Falcons. But, after June 1, they’ll have enough cap room to make a strategic strike or two.