2020 Salary ReCap AFC North Edition

2020 Salary ReCap AFC North Edition

It's that time of year again! Come March 18th, football season is officially back! No disrespect to the XFL, but there's nothing like the real thing. Now we can turn our attention to free agency and soon after, the NFL Draft. In advance of a potential new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the NFL and NFL Players Association are projecting the league's salary cap to rise to $200 million this season, marking the seventh consecutive year the cap has increased by at least $10 million.

The league year and free agency doesn’t officially start until 4:00pm EST on March 18th. However the action will start on March 16th when teams are legally allowed to negotiate with impending free agents. Since there are just a few short weeks away I decided to assess each team’s salary cap situation and predict where the available cap space will go. I also included each team’s likeliest cap casualty. Make sure to check back each day for the latest installment as this will be released in 8 parts. Today we’re breaking down the home of the defending NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, the AFC North!


Baltimore Ravens 

Available cap space $30,740,854 


After a great season with a disappointing and stunning end Baltimore enters free agency with limited money to spend, but limited holes to fill. Locking in Matthew Judon will likely be a priority, and hopefully they save enough to finally get Lamar Jackson a higher profile receiving target. 


Possible cap casualty 

Sam Koch will be 38 this season and is due to receive the 3rd highest salary among all punters at $3.25 million. As loyal as Koch has been since being drafted by the Birds in the 6th round all the way back in 2006, a younger, cheaper alternative can surely be found. 



Cincinnati Bengals 

Available cap space $44,867,026


The Bengals are looking to have themselves an exciting offseason after a very dismal season. They are in line to get their next franchise QB Joe Burrow, possibly tag their ultra talented receiver AJ Green and still have adequate cap space to start their rebuilding phase. Upgrading the offensive line will be high on Zac Taylor’s priority list. 


Possible cap casualty 

Andy Dalton's 2020 cap hit is $17.7 million, with zero dead money and it's the final year of his contract. With Joe Burrow seemingly destined to be the face of the franchise in Cincinnati, the Red Rifle will likely find himself as free agent for the first time in his career if the Bengals can't find a trade partner. 



Cleveland Browns 

Available cap space $61,964,940


No team had a more exciting offseason in 2019 than Cleveland. The Browns are poised to be active early and often again in free agency. They have plenty of cap space to work with and can easily make more. Replacing the former “high” draft pick, starting Left Tackle Greg Robinson, will be top priority. They could also use to upgrade the safety position, especially if they let Damarious Randall walk. 


Possible cap casualty 

Olivier Vernon is set to make $15.5 million in 2020 with none of that guaranteed. Injuries limited the former pro bowler to 10 games with just 26 tackles and 3.5 sacks. New GM Andrew Berry is looking to be aggressive in free agency and Vernon makes an easy cut target to free up even more cap space.


Pittsburgh Steelers

Available cap space $1,580,175


Pittsburgh will have to do a lot of maneuvering and will have to cut some veterans just to make enough room for their incoming rookies and maybe a few low key signings. Their cap situation is almost as terrible as their towels. Expect a very quiet offseason from the Steelers. 


Possible cap casualty 

Mark Barron is a prime cut candidate. Pittsburgh would save $5.25 million by cutting ties with the veteran Linebacker/Safety who is in the final year of his contract. With limited financial wiggle room, look for the Steelers to move quickly on releasing Barron. 

The AFC North will have no shortage of storylines entering the 2020 offseason. With Lamar Jackson’s encore, the return of a hall of famer in Pittsburgh, the first pick in the NFL draft, and whatever the hell the Cleveland Browns are doing, the AFC North is primed for a very exciting 2020 season. Make sure to tune in next time as we talk about the AFC South. 


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