Kansas City got some great news ahead of the NFL Combine and the start of free agency with a report from Adam Schefter. If the headline didn’t tell you enough, this tweet will:
NFL’s salary cap now projected to rise to about $130 million, up 5 percent from $123 million last year, per league sources. More $ for all.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 20, 2014
This is a massive development for the cap-strapped Chiefs. The original thought was the salary cap would rise to around $126 million, giving the Chiefs a little under $6 million in cap room to work with heading into the start of free agency. The news of a potential addition of $4 million to the cap could mean the difference between the Chiefs keeping someone like Dexter McCluster or Geoff Schwartz as opposed to losing them to free agency.
This doesn’t relieve all of the pressure for the Chiefs, but the extra space helps tremendously. Depending on what Alex Smith’s contract extension looks like and if the Chiefs are able to work out a deal with Eric Berry or Tamba Hali, the Chiefs’ cap situation is still very tight. So not much has changed in terms of the need to open up more space. But the amount of space the Chiefs need to open just got smaller, which should help Kansas City prevent further cap problems in the future.
Should the cap be set to $129 million – a more conservative estimate since Schefter said “about” $130 million – Kansas City would have approximately $8.45 million in cap space to work with before the start of free agency. That number is also based the top 53 contracts and not top 51, which is what matters for the March 11 deadline. The Chiefs would have been under the cap before the deadline no matter what so there was not too much urgency to create space now. However, Kansas City may need to make some room with a few June cuts if they find themselves over the cap after free agency.
At least now they have a little more wiggle room to not have to make those cuts. Good news all around.