The Detroit Lions freed up $11.5 million in cap space last week by releasing Nate Burleson and Louis Delmas. This week, they got nearly $4 million in additional cap space, and they didn't even have to do anything for it.
This week's extra cap space comes courtesy of an overall bump in the 2014 salary cap. Adam Schefter reports that instead of going up to $126.3 million for 2014, the NFL is going to raise the salary cap all the way up to $130 million. For some teams, that extra room may not be all that big of a deal, but that's a pretty significant amount for the Lions, which were expected to have a limited amount of cap space.
The Lions still don't have a ton of cap space or anything, but between this year's number going up and their carryover from last year, they have nearly $8 million to work with. That number goes down once you factor in the rookie pool and tenders for restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, but as Dave Birkett pointed out, you can still make a splash in free agency even with a limited amount of room based on how you structure certain contracts.
Now, the Lions aren't expected to go on a spending spree or anything like that, and generally speaking, they aren't expected to be as active as last year. However, with nearly $8 million in cap space right now, another move or two could give them at least $10 million to work with. And if the Lions can get Ndamukong Suh a new deal, they could have a pretty significant amount of space despite being over the cap at this time last week.