The Tampa Bay Buccaneers appear to be continuing their good old salary cap strategy: handing out large base salaries and staying away from signing bonuses in an effort to keep cash and cap hits in line, while avoiding dead money on future contracts. That, at least, is what the Bucs did with Clinton McDonald's and Brandon Myers' contracts, per Pat Yasinskas.
I'm not entirely sure that's a good strategy given the rising salary cap, but it does give us some more insight into the team's contract structure. And that, in turn, means that we can estimate the Bucs' salary cap space. The Bucs had $24 million in cap space coming into free agency, and they've spent the following amounts on their signings by my estimation:
Michael Johnson: $9 million
Alterraun Verner: $7 million
Clinton McDonald: $3.5 million
Brandon Myers: $2 million
Jamon Meredith: $1 million
Danny Gorrer: $1 million
Total spend: $23.5 million
Cap space: $0.5 million
These are rough estimates, and they're probably off by a little bit except in the case of Clinton McDonald and Jamon Meredith, but the overall picture should be correct: the Bucs do not have enough cap space to sign, well, anyone. They don't even have enough cap space left to sign their rookie draft class at this point.
Now, they can probably sign Anthony Collins if they release Donald Penn, but that's about it -- and they already have Josh McCown, Evan Dietrich-Smith and Charles Tillman in Tampa on visits. That's going to take a lot more cap space, which they don't have. In other words salary cap cuts are coming.
This only reinforces what we already knew, of course: Darrelle Revis is a goner. They're probably not going to find a trade partner, which means he'll be cut by 4 PM ET today, and the Bucs will use the resulting $16 million in extra cap space to continue their spending spree.