According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the NFL has officially set the salary cap for the 2023 season at $224.8 million, up from $208.2 million a year ago.
“The CBA is a revenue-sharing deal, and new media contracts, 17th game, etc., are all contributing to a rise that should continue,” Pelissero tweeted. “The league anticipates it will provide more info concerning total projected costs, including player benefits, in early March.”
This is close to the estimated number ($225 million) NFL teams had been operating under since last season, and most organizations have already used a significant portion of that allotment, including the Detroit Lions.
Two additions to the salary cap will adjust the amount of money each team will be able to spend in 2023: “rollover” money from the previous season and any contract “adjustments” made following the season's conclusion.
For the Lions, we already know that they will be rolling over $2.22 million from 2022, based on a report from ESPN’s Field Yates. The “adjustments”— contract alterations where terms were not met, i.e. bonuses not achieved, game checks not earned, etc—will likely be updated sometime in early March after the league has reviewed players' contracts.
Last year, the Lions saw an increase in cap space of $8 million based on adjustments, but they are not expected to reach a number that high this season. For example, we already know that Kalif Raymond hit enough incentives to earn him over $1 million in bonuses this season, and Jamaal Williams earned $250,000 for reaching 1,000 rushing yards.
Keeping in mind that the final salary cap number for the Lions is still in flux, at this time, Detroit has roughly $16.2 million in available cap space for the 2023 season.
While $16.2 million doesn’t seem like a large amount, it is actually the 13th most available in the league. In fact, there are actually 14 teams that are all over the salary cap allotment at this time, despite the increase.
Additionally, keep in mind that “adjustments” will further alter this number, as well as player cap casualties (i.e. releasing Michael Brockers will free up another $10 million in cap space). So keep an eye out over the next several weeks as numbers continue to roll in.
Looking around the division, the Chicago Bears have the most salary cap space in the league with around $90 million, per over the cap, while the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings are both over the available amount by $16 million and $23 million, respectively.