NFL free agency begins March 10th.
With the deadline to apply the franchise tag expired, we now know that some big free agents are going to hit the open market. Ndamukong Suh, DeMarco Murray, and Julius Thomas are all going to be free agents.
The salary cap has been set to $US143.3 million, a 7.5% increase from 2014. As a result, a decent number of teams will have some serious money to spend.
Eleven teams (more than one-third of the league) are currently at least $US30 million below the cap. Four teams are at least $US50 million below the cap.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Saints are in salary cap hell and the Patriots are going to have to get creative to improve their roster.
Here’s the ranking of all 32 teams by cap room (via OverTheCap.com):
- Jacksonville Jaguars — $US68.5 million
- Oakland Raiders — $US54.8 million
- Cleveland Browns — $US53.1 million
- New York Jets — $US50.0 million
- Indianapolis Colts — $US43.9 million
- Tennessee Titans — $US43.8 million
- Cincinnati Bengals — $US39.4 million
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers — $US33.4 million
- Atlanta Falcons — $US32.6 million
- Green Bay Packers — $US32.5 million
- Buffalo Bills — $US30.4 million
- San Diego Chargers — $US29.4 million
- Chicago Bears — $US28.8 million
- Washington Redskins — $US27.4 million
- Philadelphia Eagles — $US26.2 million
- Seattle Seahawks — $US24.4 million
- Minnesota Vikings — $US19.9 million
- Detroit Lions — $US18.7 million
- Carolina Panthers — $US16.0 million
- Denver Broncos — $US15.5 million
- Arizona Cardinals — $US13.5 million
- New York Giants — $US12.7 million
- Houston Texans — $US12.6 million
- Miami Dolphins — $US9.5 million
- Pittsburgh Steelers — $US7.3 million
- St. Louis Rams — $US6.9 million
- Dallas Cowboys — $US6.6 million
- San Francisco 49ers — $US6.5 million
- Baltimore Ravens — $US4.1 million
- Kansas City Chiefs — ($US5.7 million above cap)
- New England Patriots — ($US12.3 million above cap)
- New Orleans Saints — ($US22.4 million above cap)
Keep in mind that these numbers are before teams re-sign their own players and give guys under small contracts lucrative extensions. The Seahawks, for example, are going to be cap-strapped because they have to give Russell Wilson a raise that could add up to $US19 million to their cap.
Here are the 10 best free agents available, according to NFL.com:
- Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle
- Devin McCourty, safety
- Julius Thomas, tight end
- Randall Cobb, wide receiver
- DeMarco Murray, running back
- Jerry Hughes, defensive end
- Mike Iupati, guard
- Greg Hardy, defensive end
- Byron Maxwell, cornerback
- Torrey Smith, wide receiver
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