A week ago, reports came out that the NFL salary cap could climb up above $122 million, which was an unexpected increase from an expected $121.1 million cap. We could be looking at even more of an increase. Pro Football Talk is reporting that a source believes the salary cap could exceed $123 million.
This applies to every team, but like we said last week, some teams are better at managing the cap than others. Give those teams an extra million or two and they can make it sing. The 49ers are getting up near that cap limit, but we already know they'll be clearing a nice chunk of space when they trade Alex Smith. Add in another million or two, and things suddenly look all the better.
An example of poor cap management would have to be the Pittsburgh Steelers. According to Albert Breer, the Steelers are working with Ben Roethlisberger to re-work his current deal and lower his 2013 cap hit. Per Breer, the Steelers have ten players that account for $100 million of their cap space. They will likely get Roethlisberger's deal re-done, but they are simply putting off the inevitable salary cap hell. For now they're in a bad version of purgatory.
Of course, the Steelers have been to three Super Bowls since the 2005 season, and won two of them. While it would be nice to win and maintain salary cap sanity, if they have to pay the piper now, I don't think many fans would trade in those two Super Bowl victories.
We'll have more details tomorrow from our cap guru, Jason Hurley, but for now this allows for teams to add a little bit more guaranteed money on the front end of the deal. It is not a ton of money, but every dollar can be critical to building a winner that can stand the test of time.