clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Buccaneers estimated to have $10 million in cap space

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don't have a lot of cap space to play with this year, but they can easily create enough to room to do some damage in free agency.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have around $10 million in cap space, estimates. According to NFLPA records, the Buccaneers currently have $6.8 million in cap space they'll carry over to next season, and the Bucs are on the hook for around $122 million in 2014 cap space.

That's enough to sign a couple of reasonably-valued free agents, but not much more than that. The Bucs won't be able to sign any of the premium free agents with that kind of cap space, but they can easily create more space. While Carl Nicks' contract won't see him get cut, and cutting Mike Williams would similarly result in a hefty $6.4 million cap hit, releasing a few other players will give the Bucs a lot of cap relief.

Most players account for very little dead money due to the way the Buccaneers have structured their contracts, making the creation of additional cap space very easy. Davin Joseph will almost certainly be cut, or at the very least he will have to take a hefty pay cut. He was one of the worst starting guards in the NFL last season, and his $6 million cap hit is much too large.

Donald Penn might be asked to take a pay cut, too, as cutting him would free up $7.4 million in space. Penn had a below-average season for his standards, but was still an above average left tackle and the Bucs should be able to get a few more years of quality play out of him.

Two special teamers might also provide some relief: Michael Koenen and Connor Barth account for a combined $5.25 million, which is a ridiculous amount to pay specialists. Koenen  has been below average as a punter with the Bucs, and most of his value comes from his booming kickoffs. Those are valuable, but not $3.25 million per year valuable. Barth's $2 million is more reasonable, but because he doesn't have the leg to handle kickoffs, his value is diminished as well.

Cutting those four players would give the Bucs an immediate $18.7 million in cap relief, and giving them a total of around $29 million in cap space to enter free agency. They'd have to replace those starters, of course, and they're unlikely to release all of them -- but they have the leverage to get these players to accept pay cuts, which would free up a significant amount of space as well.

Finally, they could get some players to restructure their contracts, pushing cap hits into the future by converting salaries to bonuses. Darrelle Revis would be the main candidate, as he's due to earn $16 million this year. The Bucs are likely to keep him on the roster, but they could soften his cap hit this year by converting his salary to a roster bonus. The Bucs have the contractual right to do that, so they won't even need to negotiate over it -- not that Revis would have a reason to say no to that.

Don't expect the Buccaneers to be overly active in free agency, though, at least in terms of signing premium free agents. That's not the philosophy general manager Jason Licht adheres to.