For some teams, the looming NFL free agent season is going to be difficult to piece things together. The defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers are right up against the supposed new salary cap and will have to work some magic to bring back most of the same roster who comprised last year’s surprise Super Bowl team. The Redskins, Cowboys, Colts and Vikings are all over the cap and need to figure out which veterans to cut. But other teams, like the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs, figure to cash in on the new salary cap rules.
Both the Rams and Chiefs have well over $30 million to spend given the league’s new salary cap floor that guarantees a team will spend nearly all of a year’s given salary cap. The Chiefs were among last year’s lowest payrolls and now both young franchises will be forced to extend their own players and bring in veteran acquisitions to round out the cap. This means teams might be a bit more aggressive to bring in players they want at prices higher than normal.
Then again, with over 450 players hitting the free agent pool, including several larger names, the Chiefs and Rams don’t have to play the desperate card. The Chiefs especially are a desirable free agent locale given their upward momentum, weak division and steady roster from last year’s 10-win season. Most analysts believe the Chiefs are only a few pieces away from putting it all together and ruling atop the AFC West for some time, and those pieces might arrive in this year’s free agent crop.
ESPN currently has the Chiefs at 34.3 million under the cap and the Rams at $35.6 million under. The Bucs lead all teams with nearly $60 million to work with, but it’s also a team with more holes than most — despite last season’s surprise record at 10-6.