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Buccaneers won't have a lot of cap casualties this year

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have quite a lot of cap space. They're set to spend nearly $113 million on their top 51 players, which is what counts during the offseason. It's not clear how high the 2016 NFL salary cap will be, but it was at $150 million last year and should be higher this year. That means they'll have at least $37 million in cap space, before re-signing anyone -- and it's likely to be closer to $50 million.

That's quite a lot of cap space, and probably a big part of the reason why Pewter Report has reported that Alterraun Verner, Vincent Jackson and Logan Mankins (if he doesn't retire) will be back this season with a combined salary of nearly $24 million. The Bucs could save quite a lot of cap space by cutting them, but they don't quite need to.

That doesn't mean there will be no cap casualties this offseason, though. It's hard to see the team justify keeping Bruce Carter at $4.25 million, though perhaps Mike Smith can find ways to use him that Lovie Smith couldn't. George Johnson's $2 million and Brandon Myers' $1.75 million are hard to justify as well -- but neither of them need to be cut before the first week of the regular season to save their cap space.

There's more at stake than just this year's cap space. Every dollar the Bucs save this season, they get to roll over into next year. So unnecessary cap spending now can quickly lead to issues in the future. The upside for the Bucs is that the structure of their contracts means they have very little dead money, either now or in the future, so a New Orleans Saints scenario is extremely unlikely. But frivolous spending still isn't ideal.