A clearer view of Titans' spending, cap

April, 1, 2014
Apr 1
11:36
AM ET
As of Monday, the Titans had $9,002,702 in salary-cap room.

But note the way that is phrased. Having "$9,002,702 in salary-cap room" is different than "they are $9.002 million under the cap."

The NFL's 2014 salary cap is $133 million. But teams have adjusted, individual caps based on carryover from previous years.

The Titans' cap this season is not $133 million. It's $133 million plus $6.953 million they carried over. Tennessee's cap number is technically $139.953 million.

They have over $9 million in salary-cap room. But they are only $2.049 million under the league's "official" cap.

It's a safe bet that the Titans will spend that money on their draft class contracts and a few veterans added later.

When they part ways with Chris Johnson, they'll gain another $6 million.

Between that and the surprising $133 million cap number that was higher than the Titans probably planned for, they may not outspend the league cap this season.

They did in 2013. When the salary cap was $123 million, the Titans spent $128.758 million.

Yes, a team routinely miscast as cheap by much of its fan base spent well over the league's cap a year ago.

That's because they had a great deal of carryover from 2012 -- over $12 million.

A good share of the money they failed to spend in 2012 got spent in 2013. And now that is happening again, although to a smaller degree.

Carrying money forward is healthy. It gives a team cushion for emergencies. It makes possible a new deal for one the Titans' own guys before camp like they've done in the past with Michael Roos and Jason McCourty. It helps position them to chase an big, high-priced free agent next spring if they so desire.

And it makes it so the Titans will have no issue at all spending at least 89 percent of the league cap from 2013-2016, as mandated by the CBA.

They are already well on their way to doing that.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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