How much cap space are Lions projected to have?

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Based on the recent salary cap projections, the Detroit Lions could be working with around $10 million in cap space when the new league year opens.

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.

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