It seems like every day there is news about the NFL salary cap going up for 2014. It originally looked like the cap was only going to go up from $123 million last year to $126.3 million, but then that number went up to $130 million. And then it went up again to $132 million. There's actually speculation that the NFL's 2014 salary cap will ultimately come in at a number above $132 million, but that's where it stands for now.
Based on the $132 million projection, ESPN calculated the cap space for each NFL team. Leading the pack in cap space are the Oakland Raiders ($66.4 million), Jacksonville Jaguars ($55.1 million) and Cleveland Browns ($51.2 million). On the flip side, the Dallas Cowboys (-$18.9 million) and Pittsburgh Steelers (-$6.7 million) are currently over the projected salary cap.
Where are the Detroit Lions ranked based on these projections? They are 22nd in cap space with a projected $10 million to work with when the new league year opens on March 11. This number is based on their current cap commitments for 2014 and their $1.47 million carryover from last year.
Now, it's important to keep in mind that the Lions will have to set aside part of that $10 million for their draft class and their restricted and exclusive-rights free agents. However, they should have enough cap room to make some moves during free agency, and it's not like they absolutely have to get Ndamukong Suh a new deal just to create space. Signing him to a long-term deal remains important, but the Lions should be able to get by even if a new contract isn't in place by the start of free agency.