The NFL salary cap has been set at $133 million, Jason La Canfora reports. And yes, this is (finally) the final number on the 2014 salary cap.
The $133 million in cap space represents a $10 million jump from last year, which is extraordinary under this CBA. Still, that kind of growth is expected to continue, with the 2016 salary reportedly estimated at a whopping $150 million already, while Albert Breer even claims the 2015 cap will grow by over $10 million. That's a staggering departure from recent flat caps.
With a $133 million cap, ESPN estimates the Bucs' cap space to be a slightly below-average $19 million, and OverTheCap.com comes up with a nearly identical number, so it's likely to be correct. That's before the Bucs implement some likely salary-saving moves. Those moves are likely to include asking Donald Penn and Davin Joseph to take pay cuts, if not outright cutting them. Michael Koenen and Jeremy Zuttah may be in for a nasty surprise as well, and a few other players on the roster could be asked to take pay cuts as well.
Finally, they could convert some of Darrelle Revis' salary to a roster bonus, pushing cap hits into a future -- a significantly more interesting option now that cap space is set to increase by leaps and bounds over the next couple of years.
The Bucs have plenty of space to be a bit of a factor in free agency, but they can't touch the top teams. Four teams are projected to have over $40 million in cap space, while eight should have more than $30 million in space. Unless the Bucs go through some hefty cuts they can't afford to be truly big players in free agency -- but then, that may not be the plan, either.