Tampa Bay Buccaneers: salary cap space

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith said the team is not done with free agency. There's a reason for that.

The Bucs still have $13.6 million available in salary-cap space and they still could create more by restructuring contracts or releasing players. Eventually, the Bucs will need to dedicate about $3 million to signing their draft picks and they'll also need to keep some money available to sign players when there are injuries during the season.

But it's fair to say the Bucs still have plenty to room to work with at a time when the free-agent market has calmed down. That's a good thing because there still are plenty of needs to fill.

The Bucs could use a third wide receiver and a third cornerback. They also could use some more depth on the offensive line and at linebacker. I expect the Bucs to be fairly active over the next few weeks. Their offseason program starts in early April and they'll want to have most of their players in place to learn the new systems.

As long as we're talking about the salary cap, let's take a look ahead to 2015. The Bucs already have 50 players signed through 2015. They currently have $116.6 million committed toward the 2015 cap.

McCoy's escalator hits Bucs' cap

January, 22, 2014
Jan 22
TAMPA, Fla. -- As he takes over as general manager in Tampa Bay, there’s good news and bad news on the salary-cap front for Jason Licht.

The good news is that Licht inherits a pretty good salary-cap situation. The Bucs currently have $114 million committed toward a salary cap that’s expected to be somewhere around $125 million. Like all teams, the Bucs also are likely to restructure some contracts or release some players in moves that will create even more cap room. That $114 million number includes $6.8 million in carry-over money for cap room that wasn’t used in 2013.

But the bad news is the Bucs don’t have quite as much cap room as initially thought. As it turns out, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy hit an escalator that took away about $2.5 million in cap space. McCoy originally had been scheduled to count $13.19 against the salary cap. But the escalator now takes McCoy’s cap figure to $15.627 million, which ranks second on the team to Darrelle Revis’ $16 million cap figure.
TAMPA, Fla. -- The 2013 regular-season is over, which means we now know how much salary-cap space teams can carry over to 2014.

I just got a look at the final numbers, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished the season $6.769 million under the cap. That means the Bucs can carry that amount over to 2014.

At the moment, the Bucs have $116.7 million committed to 46 players in 2014. Throw in the carry-over amount and the Bucs will be sitting at $109.9 million.

The salary cap is expected to be somewhere around $125 million. In other words, new coach Lovie Smith and the person who gets hired as the general manager will have a fair amount of cap room to work with.