2020 Salary ReCap NFC South Edition

2020 Salary ReCap NFC South 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. Please remember that these numbers are subject to change as moves are made this week.  Yesterday we broke into the NFC East, let’s talk about the NFC South


Atlanta Falcons

Available cap space $4,322,104

Atlanta is in trouble. They have major cap issues and have some glaring roster needs. The only team to record less sacks than Atlanta was the Miami Dolphins. To say Vic Beasley was a bust would be an understatement add in the fact that aging Adrain Clayborn is set to hit the free agent market, the Birds desperately need legitimate edge rush help. To make matters worse, they most likely won't  be able to compete for their star Tight End Austin Hooper who is about to hit the open market and presumably get a considerable amount of cash.

Possible cap casualty

Devonta Freeman averaged a sluggish 3.6 yards per carry last season. Cutting the injury prone back would save only $3.5 million, but Atlanta needs all the cap space they can get.

Carolina Panthers

Available cap space $34,537,733

Change is in the air in Carolina. The Ron Rivera era is over and the roster  already looks very different, with team leader Luke Kuechly's retirement and the release of veteran TE Greg Olsen. With a long list of expiring contracts re-signing top corner James Bradberry should be a priority. GM Marty Hurney and new HC Matt Rhule have their work cut out for them.

Possible cap casualty

Cam Newton is probably the least likely casualty on this list. But he is in his final year of his contract and Carolina would save more than $19 million against the cap if they decide to part ways with the former 1st overall pick.

New Orleans Saints

Available cap space $9,323,192

With very little cap space, it may be a difficult free agency in the Big Easy. New Orleans will undoubtedly need to make some cuts and they do have a handful of players that they can cleanly part ways with. Sean Payton and co. have worked around precarious cap situations in the past and will surely be up to the task again.

Possible cap casualty

Kiko Alonso was already a perfect cut candidate entering the final season of his contract with a cap hit of nearly $8.7 million in 2020. Add the fact that he tore his ACL for the third time in the Saints playoff loss. The soon to be 30 year old Linebacker looks like he will find himself unemployed.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Available cap space $79,894,844

Tampa is in a good spot to re-sign Jameis Winston if that's the route they decide to go. Keeping star pass rusher Shaquille Barrett will cost a good deal of cash but is a must. They also may give WR Chris Godwin an extension as he will be a free agent in 2021. Some veteran help on the O-Line and in the secondary would be welcomed, but they may opt to resolve those issues in the draft. The Buccaneers have plenty of cap space and plenty of needs to spend it on.

Possible cap casualty

Cameron Brate is most likely safe due to the Bucs having the 4th most cap space in the league. However, the Bucs have the opportunity to get out of Brate's contract with no dead money. They'd save $6 million if they release him.

The NFC South should be one of the more explosive divisions in football next season, even if a few weapons are lost elsewhere. Look for this to be one of, if not the, most explosive divisions in football next season. 


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