Thursday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the projected 2014 NFL salary cap would far exceed previous estimates. According to Schefter, the cap will be set at $130 million which is $4 million more than the previous estimate of $126 million. This give the Raiders already large cap surplus another boost.
NFL's salary cap now projected to rise to about $130 million, up 5 percent from $123 million last year, per league sources. More $ for all.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 20, 2014
The Raiders cap was previously estimated at about $61 million. Now, according figures by Overthecap.com factoring in the new reported cap number along with the $2.25 million in cap carryover from last season, the Raiders will have $64,417,920 in cap space available this off-season.
It has long been projected the Raiders would have by far the most money to spend this off-season, in large part due to a great deal of dead money coming off the books which bogged them down the last couple seasons. That dead money had the team with the lowest salary being paid out to players actually on the team.
In a recent meeting with local media, Reggie McKenzie said "Just because I have $5 in my pocket doesn't mean I have to spend all of it." No, he doesn't. Just most of it.
There is not only a cap ceiling, but there is also a cap floor so the Raiders will likely have to spend most of their available cap money. The salary cap floor rule states that teams must spend 89% of their available cap money. It is an averaged they must maintain over a four-year period running from 2013 through the 2016 season.
That should make for a very interesting off-season in which the Raiders will have their choice of just about any free agent on the market along with the ability to re-sign any of their own players they choose.
Free agency opens March 11. Until then, that money will be burning a hole in Reggie McKenzie's pocket.