The Tampa Bay Buccaneers still have $18.3 million in cap room

According to Pro Football Talk, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers currently have $18.3 million in 2012 cap room. Despite going on a massive spending spree in free agency, it appears that the Bucs have managed to keep significant room under the salary cap.

They won't be able to spend all of it, however: these numbers include just the salary cap numbers of the top 51 players, while during the season all 53 players on the roster, any players on injured reserve or other reserve lists and any practice squad players will count against the salary cap. In addition, the Bucs have two exclusive-rights free agents in Preston Parker and Legarrette Blount who have yet to sign their tenders, and are thus not counted toward the cap yet. Finally, the Bucs must reserve around $5 to $6 million to sign their yet-to-be-drafted rookies.

It appears that the Bucs are done spending in free agency for now, despite two sizable holes at running back and linebacker. While the Bucs could use some help at those positions, they appear content to address them in the draft - and possibly again in free agency after the draft. They still have the salary cap room to do so, but it appears unlikely that they'll actually use it - for now.

The cap numbers for the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers are particularly interesting to me. Those three times all have less than $2 million in cap space left, which vastly limits their flexibility. Although the Saints have been able to sign a number of free agents, they have done so at the expense of future cap hits. We'll see how this develops in the future, but it appears that those teams are setting themselves up for long-term problems.

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