Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
The Buccaneers face a very healthy salary cap where many other teams will have to get rid of their good players to stay under the cap.
The Buccaneers have a very healthy salary cap situation in a year where many teams will be forced to cut quality players. According to the work done by Craig Powers of SB Nation, the New York Jets, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers will all have to make some difficult decisions. Yes, that is a list featuring two of the Bucs' division rivals, and the Falcons don't have much cap room either.
The salary cap commitment is relatively low, at $102,594,589, per the number on Spotrac (which aren't always correct, so there is some leeway there). That number was much higher prior to restructuring the contracts of Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks. More importantly, the Bucs can free up an additional $12 million by cutting Quincy Black and Eric Wright, although Black will likely still count for a lower amount against the cap if he can't recover from his injury.
One other factor is interesting: the Bucs have just $174.202 in dead money committed against the cap. Only five teams have less dead money counting against their cap. This is caused in large part because of the way they have handled signing bonuses. That is: they haven't handed out any signing bonuses, exactly to prevent dead money and give them more flexibility. It shouldn't be surprising, then, that the Bucs have just $11,640,411 in bonus money committed to the 2013 salary cap. Far less than any other NFL team.
It should be noted that there are cap adjustments coming. Pro Football Talk has an excellent list, but it doesn't make any of the teams in salary cap hell look any better. In fact, it makes the Bucs look a little better, especially so when we take into account the fact that they should be able to free up some more money by cutting Black and Wright.
This is a testament to the excellent job Mark Dominik has done of managing the salary cap, and also to the excellent position the Bucs find themselves in. When free agency opens, you can expect them to be active. Not as active as they were last year, perhaps, but they won't sit still.