Wednesday was a key day for salary-cap purposes. Each team’s cap commitment switched from the top 51 players to all players that count against the cap, including dead money.
With that in mind, let’s check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' cap situation.
They now are $10.2 million under this year’s cap. They might have to tap into that room if they have some injuries, but I wouldn’t expect any major signings.
The Bucs will do one of two things with the cap space they have remaining for this year. They’ll either carry it over to next season, a maneuver they’ve used in the past. Or they’ll eat up cap space for this year by restructuring the contracts of cornerback Darrelle Revis and safety Dashon Goldson to lower their cap figures for next season. The Bucs made a similar move last year when they restructured Vincent Jackson's and Carl Nicks' contracts of at the end of the season.
Either way, the Bucs are likely to free up somewhere close to $10 million for next year’s cap. As it stands right now, the Bucs have $114.5 million committed to 40 players toward the 2014 cap, which is likely to be around $123 million.
That means the Bucs will have plenty of flexibility if they decide to lock up quarterback Josh Freeman for the long term. The good news is the Bucs don’t have a lot of other key players headed toward free agency.