Thursday, April 4, 2013
Salary-cap updates for AFC North teams
By Jamison Hensley
The Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals opened free agency with a lot of salary-cap room, and three weeks later, they still rank among the top-five teams with the most cap space.
According to the NFL Players Association, the Browns have the second-highest amount of cap space with $27.2 million (49 players under contract). Only the Jacksonville Jaguars have more with $28.3 million. Cleveland used $17.3 million of its 2013 cap space when it signed linebacker Paul Kruger ($8.1 million), defensive lineman Desmond Bryant ($8 million) and pass-rusher Quentin Groves ($1.2 million) in free agency.
The Bengals are fourth in the league with $25.9 million in cap room (48 players under contract). Cincinnati used over $30 million of cap space in retaining their own free agents, which included four starters.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Pittsburgh Steelers rank fifth in the smallest amount of cap space with $2.06 million (48 players under contract). The Steelers will receive an additional $5.5 million in two months because guard Willie Colon was designated a June 1 cut.
The Baltimore Ravens are in the middle of the pack with $5.3 million in cap room (42 players under contract). The Ravens are one of 14 teams who have less than $6 million in cap space. Baltimore will get $807,000 in cap room when the release of linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo becomes official (if he's not designated a June 1 cut). The Ravens will also free up an additional $2 million on June 1 for the release of safety Bernard Pollard.
The salary cap is $123 million in 2013 and only takes into account the 51 highest-paid players on the roster.