Sports Talk

Some teams cutting it very close on the salary cap

With just three days to go before the start of the league year, some NFL teams still need to make some moves to get under the $123 million salary cap.

The latest numbers from Mike Garafolo of USA Today show the Cowboys $6.8 million over, the Saints $6.6 million over, the Panthers $3.5 million and the Redskins $2.1 million over.

That means those four teams still need to cut some players or restructure some contracts, although those numbers may already need to be altered after the Cowboys restructured several contracts and the Panthers cut Chris Gamble. Other likely moves include the Redskins cutting or restructuring DeAngelo Hall and the Saints cutting or restructuring Jonthan Vilma and Will Smith.

For the Cowboys and the Redskins, the NFL-imposed salary cap penalties for allegedly overspending during the so-called uncapped year are a significant problem. For the Saints and the Panthers, it’s just a matter of cutting it very close and needing to get some last-minute moves done.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Browns ($47.4 million under the salary cap), Bengals ($42.9 million), Colts ($37.5 million), Eagles ($34.2 million) and Buccaneers ($32.2 million) are in great cap shape. If those teams have some expensive targets in free agency, they can go after them right out of the box, with plenty of cap room available.