The website Overthecap.com has compiled a list of how teams currently shake out with the Salary cap for 2014. The offseason officially begins today and not the focus begins to turn with how is your team going to improve. Teams with a lot of cap space conceivably can make a splash in free agency and upgrade before the draft. Other teams need to go into cap management mode.
The Bengals look to be pretty healthy according to this list. They currently stand at 8th in available cap space with 23.6 million dollars for 2014. This is based on an adjusted cap of 134.9 million and an estimated spend of 110.3 million.
Of the healthiest teams in cap space only three were playoff teams. The Bengals share that distinction with the Packers and the Eagles. About half the teams are in a position where they need to make major adjustments to be healthy under the cap. Some notable teams in this position are the Seahawks, Chiefs, Patriots, 49ers and Saints.
The top 3 teams in available space are the Raiders, Jaguars and Browns. Not surprising considering how they fared in 2013. These teams have the potential to improve greatly if they spend right. (in some cases that is a big if).
The bottom 3 teams in cap space are the Saints, Steelers and Cowboys. (I am smiling at the Steelers struggles) The Cowboys are a projected 24.6 million over the cap while Pittsburgh and New Orleans are both +12 million over.
This is just an interesting look at how the cap numbers look now. Deals will be reworked, players will be cut and some creative accounting will be done that will drastically alter these numbers this offseason. It is just good to know that the Bengals are a healthy team in cap space and could make a run at quality free agents if needed. Now, whether they do or not is an entirely different matter.