An Updated Look at Every Team’s Cap Situation Heading into Start of Free Agency

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    Jets head coach Adam Gase and GM Mike Maccagnan

    Jets head coach Adam Gase and GM Mike MaccagnanSeth Wenig/Associated Press

    Hope is a beautiful thing for an NFL fan, and it’s what the upcoming free-agency period will bring for many. Beginning March 13, teams can officially sign new players, execute trades and otherwise improve their rosters for the 2019 season.

    Even if a team only won a handful of games in 2018, it has a legitimate chance to build a playoff-caliber squad.

    However, teams can only improve during free agency if they have the salary-cap space to make the right moves. Squads that are dangerously close to the cap—which is set at $188.2 million for 2019, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport—need to focus more on maintaining the pieces they have. In some cases, even that will be difficult.

    So, where does your favorite team sit on the salary-cap spectrum? Here you’ll find updated cap numbers for all 32 franchises, along with roster analysis, major needs and an overall gauge of cap situations.

         

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    Cardinals QB Josh Rosen

    Cardinals QB Josh RosenAssociated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $39.6 Million

    New Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury inherited a roster in need of several upgrades. Arizona desperately needs help along the offensive line and in the secondary, and it could use another quality pass-catcher.

    There is enough cap space for Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim to be somewhat active in free agency. They already have been—adding cornerback Robert Alford, tight end Charles Clay and defensive end Brooks Reed—but one or two big-name players should be on the shopping list.

    Of course, a lot is going to depend on what Keim and Kingsbury do at the quarterback position. Arizona has 2018 first-rounder Josh Rosen on the roster, but the team is “almost universally” believed to be targeting Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray at No. 1 overall, according to NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones.

    Murray and Rosen have completely different skill sets, so the Cardinals’ plan at quarterback should partially determine which pieces they bring in as support.

    Cap Situation: Good

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    Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett

    Falcons defensive tackle Grady JarrettAssociated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $7.4 Million

    The Atlanta Falcons had a disappointing season in 2018, and they may have to take another step back before they get better—at least on paper.

    The team used the franchise tag on defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, which eats $15.2 million in cap space. Unless an extension gets done that lowers Jarrett’s cap hit—and D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the two sides aren’t close to a deal—Atlanta won’t even be able to retain its own free agents.

    The Falcons already dumped Robert Alford and Brooks Reed to help make room for Jarrett’s deal. Running back Tevin Coleman, guards Andy Levitre and Zane Beadles and wideout Justin Hardy are likely gone as well. Strengthening the roster through free agency isn’t going to happen.

    If the Falcons are going to improve in 2019, it’s going to happen through the draft and because the roster is healthier. Atlanta cannot afford to be a player on the open market.

    Cap Situation: Troublesome

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    Ravens LB C.J. Mosley

    Ravens LB C.J. MosleyNick Wass/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $57.6 Million

    The Baltimore Ravens have decided not to franchise-tag linebacker C.J. Mosley, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This is a tad surprising because Baltimore has the cap space to do so.

    Of course, this also means the Ravens have the cap space to give Mosley a fair-market deal. Re-signing key players such as linebacker Terrell Suggs, backup quarterback Robert Griffin III and wideout John Brown will be possible if the Ravens want.

    In addition, Baltimore should be able to upgrade some positions in free agency. If it wants to add a wide receiver like Adam Humphries or Cole Beasley, it can. If it wants to add a pass-rusher like Justin Houston—whom the Kansas City Chiefs are expected to release, per Matt Verderame of FanSided—it can.

    The Ravens aren’t as flush with cap space as some potential contenders are, but they have more than enough room to be active participants in the free-agency frenzy.

    Cap Situation: Terrific

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    Bills QB Josh Allen

    Bills QB Josh AllenJeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $77.3 Million

    For the Buffalo Bills, this offseason has to be about surrounding second-year quarterback Josh Allen with talent. Fortunately, Buffalo has plenty of cap space to do just that.

    The biggest needs around Allen are at wide receiver and along the offensive line. While there aren’t any elite options expected to be available, adding a wideout like Adam Humphries, John Brown or Tyrell Williams is a possibility. The Bills could also afford to add a guard like Mike Iupati or steal offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James from the AFC East rival Miami Dolphins.

    Buffalo has the cap space to go after some big-time talent on defense too, though it’s much less of a priority. The Bills ranked second in overall defense in 2018 (294.1 yards allowed per game), but adding another pass-rusher or strengthening the depth in the secondary are possibilities.

    Cap Situation: Ideal

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    Panthers head coach Ron Rivera

    Panthers head coach Ron RiveraJason Behnken/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $15.2 Million

    Injuries were partially to blame for the Carolina Panthers’ disappointing 2018 season. Tight end Greg Olsen suffered a season-ending foot injury, and Cam Newton‘s lingering shoulder issues hampered the offense over the second half of the season.

    A lack of talent wasn’t Carolina’s biggest problem, and that’s fortunate because the Panthers don’t have the cap space to be major players in free agency.

    Carolina has already decided to part with longtime linebacker Thomas Davis, and other notable players like safety Mike Adams and wideout Devin Funchess are set to hit the open market. It would be surprising for the Panthers to spend big to keep their own free agents, and going after notable external free agents is unlikely.

    The team may be able to add a little depth on the open market, but any real talent upgrades are going to have to come via the draft.

    Cap Situation: Troublesome

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    Bears GM Ryan Pace

    Bears GM Ryan PaceNam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $12.7 Million

    The Chicago Bears don’t have a ton of cap space, but they don’t have any notable holes to fill either. While pending free agents like safety Adrian Amos and cornerback Bryce Callahan could create some needs if not retained, there isn’t a single position that the team has to address in free agency.

    The biggest need is at kicker, and there are some notable ones set to hit the market. If general manager Ryan Pace doesn’t like his options in the 2019 draft class, he has enough cap room to go after a veteran like Jason Myers, Matt Bryant or Sebastian Janikowski.

    Chicago can otherwise afford to build through the draft and continue to develop young players like quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and running back Tarik Cohen. The Bears were a 12-win team in 2018, and they can afford to be conservative in the offseason.

    Cap Situation: Manageable

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    Bengals head coach Zac Taylor

    Bengals head coach Zac TaylorDarron Cummings/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $50.5 Million

    Can new head coach Zac Taylor get the Cincinnati Bengals back to the postseason for the first time since 2015? It’s possible, especially if key players can get back to 100 percent.

    Injuries were the biggest problem for the Bengals in 2018. Cincinnati started 4-1 and was at 5-3 eight weeks into the campaign before the injured-reserve list started to look more like the starting lineup. If healthy, the Bengals can be relevant in the AFC North, and with a few upgrades, they may even have a shot to reach the playoffs.

    They aren’t set to lose many key contributors. Tight end Tyler Eifert has loads of upside but a significant injury history. Cornerback Darqueze Dennard is a serviceable starter but not irreplaceable.

    Cincinnati’s biggest needs are along the offensive line (37 sacks allowed in 2018) and at linebacker. It has the cap space to go after some of the top free agents at these positions. The question is whether notoriously cheap owner Mike Brown will open up his pocketbook.

    Cap Situation: Terrific

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    Browns GM John Dorsey

    Browns GM John DorseyTony Dejak/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $70.7 Million

    The Cleveland Browns took a big step in 2018, winning seven games after having zero victories the year before. General manager John Dorsey has built a strong foundation for the franchise in just over a year, and he has an excess of cap space to work with this offseason. However, Dorsey doesn’t plan to spend recklessly.

    “I don’t think we’re a team yet to go for it,” Dorsey said, per Marla Ridenour of Ohio.com. “We have a young, talented team. Let’s build a foundation here. Let’s build a team of substance.”

    Cleveland will likely build through the draft again while adding one or two key pieces in free agency. Going after Justin Houston, who has that Chiefs connection with Dorsey, would make sense. So would going after a complementary receiver, as the Browns don’t seem likely to re-sign Breshad Perriman.

    Don’t expect the Browns to scoop up every big-name player in free agency, though the team could financially afford that approach if it wanted.

    Cap Situation: Ideal

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    Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence

    Cowboys defensive end Demarcus LawrenceAssociated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $28.4 Million

    The Dallas Cowboys are in a surprisingly strong situation, even after committing $20.6 million to pass-rusher Demarcus Lawrence via the franchise tag. Dallas doesn’t have a ton of needs—getting back tight end Jason Witten helps take care of one—and there is enough cap space to add one or two starting-caliber players in free agency.

    However, the Cowboys shouldn’t be too active this offseason. They will need to get extensions done with quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott and wideout Amari Cooper in the near future, and each deal is going to be sizable.

    Realistically, Dallas can afford to add another receiver or bring in a quality defensive player, but it should focus on saving money and rolling over cash for those future deals. Don’t expect the Cowboys to go star-shopping or to overpay to keep players like Beasley, who wants a deal with $20 million guaranteed, according to The Athletic’s Calvin Watkins.   

    Cap Situation: Good

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    Broncos GM John Elway

    Broncos GM John ElwayMichael Conroy/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $17.6 Million

    Assuming the trade for quarterback Joe Flacco becomes official when the new league year begins March 13, the Denver Broncos will have a little under $18 million in projected cap room. Unfortunately, this may not be enough for them to be a major free-agency player, and the Broncos do have some notable needs—primarily at wide receiver and along the offensive line.

    Adding depth in the secondary could also be a concern. Bradley Roby is set to hit free agency this year and Chris Harris Jr. will reach it in 2020.

    Denver can potentially free up some cap space by releasing, trading or restructuring the contract of quarterback Case Keenum. He is set to earn $21 million in 2019 but only carries $10 million in dead money.

    If Keenum goes, Denver could try to get a free-agent tackle or wide receiver or even re-sign pending free-agent center Matt Paradis. Otherwise, major talent upgrades will have to come via the draft.

    Cap Situation: Manageable

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    Lions head coach Matt Patricia

    Lions head coach Matt PatriciaNorm Hall/Getty Images

    Projected Cap Space: $35.4 Million

    The Detroit Lions appear to have the ammunition needed to dramatically improve this offseason. The most notable loss is safety Glover Quin, who was released in February. The team still needs to make a decision on pass-rusher Ezekiel Ansah, though.

    “Kind of still in the evaluation process for Ziggy,” general manager Bob Quinn told reporters last Wednesday.

    The Lions potentially need new pieces at safety and edge-rusher. They also could use additional depth in the secondary, another quality pass-catcher and a versatile linebacker to help execute head coach Matt Patricia’s multiple-look defense. Targeting former Patriots who are familiar with Patricia—like wideout Chris Hogan, defensive end Trey Flowers or cornerback Jason McCourty—would both make sense and be fiscally feasible. 

    Fortunately, the Lions have the cap space to address most of their needs in free agency and can then select the best player available at No. 8 overall in April’s draft.

    Cap Situation: Good

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    Packers GM Brian Gutekunst

    Packers GM Brian GutekunstAssociated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $33.4 Million

    The Green Bay Packers aren’t as far away from contention as last year’s 6-9-1 record might indicate. As long as new head coach Matt LaFleur is able to get the best out of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, there won’t be many holes to fill.

    Green Bay needs to add to its pass rush, especially if veteran Clay Matthews departs in free agency. It also could use upgrades along the offensive line—53 sacks allowed in 2018, tied for third-worst in the league—though the best place to address that may be in the draft with its two first-round picks.

    The Packers may be best served by bringing back players such as Matthews, Randall Cobb and Bashaud Breeland while adding new pieces through the draft. If general manager Brian Gutekunst wants to pursue a top-tier free agent or two, though, he has the cap space to do so.

    Cap Situation: Good

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    Texans QB Deshaun Watson and head coach Bill O'Brien

    Texans QB Deshaun Watson and head coach Bill O’BrienAssociated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $68.4 Million

    Even after giving pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney the franchise tag, the Houston Texans have plenty of cap space to use in free agency.

    The biggest need is improving the offensive line in front of quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was sacked a league-high 62 times in 2018. Whether this comes in the form of a tackle like Ja’Wuan James, a center like Mitch Morse or a guard like Josh Sitton, the Texans should attack the line in free agency and in the draft.

    Aside from the line, the Texans should focus on retaining players like safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Kareem Jackson, adding some depth to the cornerback position and possibly grabbing another pass-catcher to complement DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V.

    The Texans won’t need to spend big in free agency, but they can afford to.

    Cap Situation: Terrific

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    Colts GM Chris Ballard

    Colts GM Chris BallardDarron Cummings/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $105.8 Million

    The Indianapolis Colts are poised to take a significant leap in 2019. General manager Chris Ballard has already assembled a playoff-caliber roster, and head coach Frank Reich had the team playing like a legitimate contender in 2018.

    The needs for Indianapolis aren’t great—a healthy Andrew Luck already solidifies the game’s most important position—but the Colts could use help at wide receiver, along the defensive front and in the defensive secondary. Fortunately, Ballard has more cap space to play with than any team in the league.

    The Colts can pretty much outbid anyone on the open market for a pass-catcher or a potential No. 1 cornerback like Ronald Darby. Ideally, Indianapolis will pick up one or two top-tier players in free agency while also adding depth. That, combined with another strong draft, should have the Colts battling for a first-round bye in the fall.

    Cap Situation: Ideal

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    Jaguars GM David Caldwell

    Jaguars GM David CaldwellMichael Conroy/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $263,136

    The good news is that the Jacksonville Jaguars don’t need many pieces to be legitimate contenders in the AFC. The bad news is that one of the needed pieces is at quarterback, and the answer isn’t going to come cheaply.

    According to ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano, the Jaguars are expected to land Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles. Depending on Foles’ contract demands, Jacksonville may have to clear several players cleared off its payroll. Jacksonville already has well under $1 million in projected cap space.

    Cutting quarterback Blake Bortles would save about $4.5 million but would require the Jaguars to pay out $16.5 million in dead money. Other players will probably have to go as well, and it’s unlikely the Jaguars will be able to bring back pending free agents such as Donte Moncrief, T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant.

    Still, if Foles is a significant upgrade over Bortles in the regular season, it might be enough to get Jacksonville back into the playoffs.

    Cap Situation: Dire

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    Chiefs head coach Andy Reid

    Chiefs head coach Andy ReidMichael Conroy/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $8.9 Million

    Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is in charge of a championship roster already. That’s good for him because Kansas City doesn’t have much cap space to be adding to it in free agency.

    The caveat here is that the Chiefs can clear about $14 million in cap space by trading Justin Houston or cutting Justin Houston. It’s unclear which route they will take.

    Matt Verderame of FanSided reported that the Chiefs plan to release Houston. Brooke Pryor of the Kansas City Star reported that the Chiefs are still gauging interest from potential trade partners.

    Kansas City may have the cash to add a couple of role players in free agency. However, the Chiefs aren’t likely to overspend. Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be eligible for a contract extension after the season. Wideout Tyreek Hill is entering the final year of his contract and is in negotiations for a “record-setting” deal, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

    The Chiefs won’t be in trouble if they part with Houston, but moving him in order to add another pricey player makes zero sense.

    Cap Situation: Manageable

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    Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn

    Chargers head coach Anthony LynnAl Bello/Getty Images

    Projected Cap Space: $25.1 Million

    The Los Angeles Chargers are projected to have a fair amount of cap space, but it’s unlikely they’ll be major players on the open market. Philip Rivers is entering the final year of his contract and will need an extension sooner than later. Running back Melvin Gordon will be due an extension soon as well.

    Even if the Chargers put those deals off until next offseason, they’ll likely focus on retaining key pending free agents in 2019. Players like Tyrell Williams, Adrian Phillips, Denzel Perryman, Brandon Mebane and Donnie Jones are set to hit the open market. The Chargers should focus on keeping at least some from this group.

    If Los Angeles does re-sign some of its own, it’s unlikely there will be much cap space left to bring in additional talent. That will instead go toward signing draft picks and toward future deals for other key players.

    Cap Situation: Manageable

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    Rams DT Ndamukong Suh

    Rams DT Ndamukong SuhGregory Payan/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $35.4 Million

    The Los Angeles Rams have more cap space than quite a few other teams. However, they also have a large list of players scheduled to hit the open market. Retaining just one or two of them is going to eat away the cap space L.A. does have.

    Scheduled to become free agents March 13 are Ndamukong Suh, Rodger Saffold, Lamarcus Joyner, Dante Fowler Jr., C.J. Anderson and Sam Shields—all starters or key contributors during Los Angeles’ Super Bowl run.

    L.A. freed up cap space by releasing Mark Barron and John Sullivan, though they could return with lower salaries, according to Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times.

    The Rams may lose a piece or two, but they have enough cap space and enough players under contract to keep the core intact for another season.

    Cap Situation: Good

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    Dolphins head coach Brian Flores

    Dolphins head coach Brian FloresMichael Conroy/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $16.5 Million

    The Miami Dolphins got their new head coach in Brian Flores. Now, they have to address numerous questions on the roster—starting with what to do at quarterback. A decision must be made on Ryan Tannehill, and it could affect the team’s plans in free agency. He’s due to carry a cap hit of $26.6 million.

    Miami also needs to decide the futures of offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James and pass-rusher Cameron Wake—though if Tannehill stays, affording either may be nearly impossible.

    In addition, the Dolphins could use an upgrade to the pass rush and at guard. There are options available in free agency, though Miami doesn’t currently have the resources to go after them. Unless Miami is able to dump Tannehill’s contract, any roster upgrades will most likely come via the draft.

    Cap Situation: Troublesome

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    Vikings GM Rick Spielman

    Vikings GM Rick SpielmanDarron Cummings/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $5.4 Million

    For Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, the tough decisions this offseason are going to involve in-house free agents. The Vikings have little room to work with and several high-end players scheduled to hit the market.

    As things stand, Minnesota could lose linebacker Anthony Barr, running back Latavius Murray and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson—two starters and a quality role player from 2018. None of these players will return unless cuts at other positions are made.

    The Vikings could also stand to improve the offensive line. Again, however, there isn’t the cap space to go after a player like Ja’Wuan James or Jared Veldheer in free agency. Armed with eight picks, Minnesota can afford to make a few deals in April’s draft, but it’s likely to be quiet early in free agency.

    Cap Situation: Dire

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    Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

    Patriots head coach Bill BelichickJeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $20.5 Million

    We’ve become accustomed to seeing the New England Patriots plug in pieces each offseason with mostly positive results. However, head coach Bill Belichick may need to do more plugging than usual this offseason, as several key contributors are set to hit free agency.

    Players New England could lose include Trey Flowers, Danny Shelton, Stephen Gostkowski, Ryan Allen, Malcom Brown, Chris Hogan, Cordarrelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett. Most of these players were starters or notable contributors during New England’s latest Super Bowl run. The Patriots might be able to retain one or two of them.

    New England could potentially clear up a little cap space with a team-friendly restructure/extension for quarterback Tom Brady, who is scheduled to make $27 million. Barring that, though, we’re likely to see an exodus of Patriots and only a few notable additions in free agency.

    Still, given the core pieces in place, New England will still probably be a contender in 2019.

    Cap Situation: Manageable

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    Saints RB Mark Ingram

    Saints RB Mark IngramButch Dill/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $9.1 Million

    The New Orleans Saints don’t have many glaring roster weaknesses, which is good because the team is projected to have less than $10 million in cap space in 2019.

    There are some decisions to be made with pending free agents like running back Mark Ingram, defensive end Alex Okafor and safety Kurt Coleman. New Orleans also needs a replacement for recently retired tight end Benjamin Watson. It wouldn’t hurt to add another pass-catcher to the receiving corps either.

    Unfortunately, the Saints have little cap space and only one pick in the first four rounds of the draft, so it’s hard to see much improvement to the roster. As is the case with Tom Brady, quarterback Drew Brees could provide cap relief by restructuring/extending his contract—he’s set to carry a cap hit of $33.5 million. Barring that, the Saints could be in trouble.

    Cap Situation: Troublesome

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    Giants S Landon Collins

    Giants S Landon CollinsChris Szagola/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $26.2 Million

    According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the New York Giants are unlikely to give the franchise tag to safety Landon Collins. This means the Giants will have a need at safety, but it also means they’ll have a good amount of cap space with which to address other needs.

    Aside from Collins, the Giants don’t have any pending free agents worth breaking the bank to retain.

    New York could use help along the offensive and defensive lines, depth in the secondary and, with Collins out, another safety. If the Giants want to go after a tackle like Ja’Wuan James or a safety like Adrian Phillips, they have the cash to do so. While the Giants can’t go on a shopping spree, they can target one or two top-tier free agents.

    The Giants could end up with more free-agency ammunition as well. Rapoport and NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo have reported that New York is considering trading defensive lineman Olivier Vernon, who is set to carry a cap hit of $19.5 million in 2019.

    Cap Situation: Good

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    Jets GM Mike Maccagnan

    Jets GM Mike MaccagnanMichael Conroy/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $99.1 Million

    It’s time for the New York Jets’ rebuild to officially begin. New York has a young quarterback in Sam Darnold and a new head coach in Adam Gase. The front office can now fill out the roster with supporting talent.

    A lot of this talent is going to be fresh. It makes sense to retain backup quarterback Josh McCown and possibly cornerback Morris Claiborne or cornerback Buster Skrine, but there aren’t any pending free agents who have to be brought back in 2019.

    However, several positions of need must be addressed this offseason if Darnold is going to have a successful second season. The Jets need help along the offensive line, could use a true No. 1 receiver and a workhorse running back, and desperately need a high-end pass-rusher.

    Fortunately, the Jets are armed with nearly $100 million in cap space, so they can address many of these needs before April’s draft.

    Cap Situation: Ideal

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    Raiders GM Mike Mayock

    Raiders GM Mike MayockAssociated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $69.5 Million

    If new general manager Mike Mayock is eager to put his stamp on the Oakland Raiders, he’s in luck. Not only are the Raiders armed with three first-round draft picks, but they’re also flush with cap space and have few players they must retain—aside, possibly, from tight end Jared Cook.

    This doesn’t mean the Raiders are going to go overboard in free agency. If spending big was the plan, they would have paid Khalil Mack last season instead of trading him. The Raiders will likely punt their spending spree for at least another season.

    However, Oakland won’t have any trouble signing a big-time free agent like running back Le’Veon Bell or trading for a player like Antonio Brown—a move that NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport has reported the Raiders are interested in making.

    Cap Situation: Ideal

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    Eagles head coach Doug Pederson

    Eagles head coach Doug PedersonBrett Carlsen/Getty Images

    Projected Cap Space: $12.6 Million

    The Philadelphia Eagles would be in a much worse cap situation if they had decided to hang on to backup quarterback Nick Foles. Instead, they’re betting that Carson Wentz can stay healthy for an entire season and looking at retaining other players. Defensive end Brandon Graham already received a new three-year, $40 million deal.

    Even with Foles out, Graham’s new deal leaves some tough decisions on the table. The Eagles don’t have a ton of cap space and have players like Ronald Darby, Timmy Jernigan, Golden Tate, Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles scheduled to hit free agency.

    While Philadelphia may retain one or two of the aforementioned players, it is unlikely to be a buyer in free agency. There aren’t many glaring holes on the roster—as long as Wentz can stay at 100 percent.

    Cap Situation: Manageable

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    Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger

    Steelers QB Ben RoethlisbergerAssociated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $15.9 Million

    The Pittsburgh Steelers’ approach to the offseason will depend on two things: a potential trade of wide receiver Antonio Brown and getting a contract extension done with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

    According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers have been discussing an extension for Roethlisberger. A creative one could push some of his salary back to next season. Brown, meanwhile, is due to earn $22.1 million.

    Both of these moves could free up cash for a team that desperately needs it.

    The Steelers have some major needs, most notably at cornerback and at linebacker. Pittsburgh doesn’t have a reliable starter opposite Joe Haden, and it never found a quality replacement for Ryan Shazier.

    Pittsburgh also has some notable pending free agents of its own to deal with, including starting guard Ramon Foster, linebacker Anthony Chickillo and punter Jordan Berry.

    The Steelers will only really be in trouble if they’re forced to carry the current contracts of Roethlisberger and Brown in 2019.

    Cap Situation: Manageable

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    49ers GM John Lynch

    49ers GM John LynchDarron Cummings/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $69.0 Million

    This should be a fun offseason for San Francisco 49ers fans. The team is armed with a boatload of cap space, has the No. 2 pick in April’s draft, doesn’t have many key players to retain and should have quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo back at 100 percent sooner than later.

    It would make sense for the 49ers to bring back fullback Kyle Juszczyk and possibly safety Jimmie Ward. Otherwise, the bulk of San Francisco’s cap space could and should be used to bring in fresh talent.

    While general manager John Lynch shouldn’t spend recklessly in free agency, he has the money to pursue several top free agents. He could conceivably bring back Michael Crabtree, add safety Earl Thomas and pass-rusher Justin Houston, and still have money to roll over to next offseason.

    Cap Situation: Terrific

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    Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and GM John Schneider

    Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and GM John SchneiderAssociated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $33.3 Million

    For a team that isn’t too far away from being a title contender, the Seattle Seahawks are in great shape in terms of cap space. Giving the franchise tag to pass-rusher Frank Clark does take up more than $17 million in room, but it also prevents a major hole from opening up.

    Even with Clark getting the tag, general manager John Schneider finds himself in the top half of the league in terms of average cap space, and he doesn’t have too many holes to fill.

    Seattle could use upgrades along the offensive and defensive lines, and it wouldn’t hurt to bolster the receiving corps. The Seahawks can afford to add one or two premier players in free agency, retain K.J. Wright or J.R. Sweezy and still roll over some cash for Russell Wilson‘s eventual extension—he’s entering the final year of his current contract.

    Cap Situation: Good

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    Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians

    Buccaneers head coach Bruce AriansAssociated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $13.7 Million

    New Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians and general manager Jason Licht have some tough decisions to make.

    The Buccaneers reached a new three-year deal with tackle Donovan Smith, which means they don’t have to use the franchise tag and have a little breathing room. However, there isn’t a lot of free cash to play with.

    Tampa is already set to lose guys like Adam Humphries, Vinny Curry, Brent Grimes, Chris Conte and Ryan Fitzpatrick in free agency, so the roster is going to look far different than it did in 2018. The Buccaneers also have some notable needs including running back, secondary help and pass-rushers.

    Tampa may have to release wideout DeSean Jackon or restructure his contract—he’s set to earn $10 million—and may have to prematurely extend quarterback Jameis Winston (fifth-year option) to do more than sign a couple of depth players and draft picks. Adding a top-tier free agent is likely out of the question.

    Cap Situation: Troublesome

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    Titans head coach Mike Vrabel

    Titans head coach Mike VrabelWesley Hitt/Getty Images

    Projected Cap Space: $45.7 Million

    In his first year as Tennessee Titans head coach, Mike Vrabel had to navigate a roster devoid of receiving talent and hampered by injury, including quarterback Marcus Mariota. He would presumably prefer to avoid both of those issues in 2019.

    The Titans have a lot of cap space and few critical players headed to free agency. Retaining pass-rusher Derrick Morgan would make sense, especially with Brian Orakpo retiring, but the Titans can afford to use most of their cap space on talent upgrades.

    Adding another high-end pass-catcher has to be a top priority. After that, the Titans should focus on adding to their pass rush and improving the interior of the offensive line.

    Tennessee should be able to fill multiple voids with quality players before entering the draft in April.

    Cap Situation: Terrific

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    Washington head coach Jay Gruden

    Washington head coach Jay GrudenAndrew Harnik/Associated Press

    Projected Cap Space: $15.9 Million

    The Washington Redskins are in real trouble, mostly because quarterback Alex Smith is expected to miss the 2019 season with a broken leg. He carries a cap hit of $20.4 million this year, which is a lot for someone who won’t play. But with $42 million in dead money remaining on his contract, cutting him isn’t a realistic option.

    This means the Redskins either have to go with Colt McCoy in 2019 or try to add another quarterback on the cheap. Washington also needs to flesh out its receiving corps—Jamison Crowder could leave in free agency—strengthen the offensive line and bolster its backfield depth.

    According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, a new deal with Adrian Peterson could take care of that last need sooner than later.

    With some creative moves, Washington can navigate free agency and the draft, but bringing in Foles at quarterback or trading for Brown at receiver will be financially difficult.

    Cap Situation: Troublesome

       

    All contract and cap information via Spotrac.

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