2020 Salary ReCap AFC South Edition

2020 Salary ReCap AFC 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. Today we’re breaking down the AFC South.


Tennessee Titans 

Available cap space $50,408,536


Re-signing Derrick Henry and figuring out their QB situation will be the main focus for Tennessee. Replacing Tannehill at QB is still in the cards, but it's looking more unlikely as we approach FA. Tagging Tannehill or Henry may be necessary to keep them both. Filling those top two offensive positions will take most of that free cap space but Tennessee has a solid roster and easy ways to create more. 


Possible cap casualty 

Delanie Walker has struggled to stay on the field the past two seasons, playing only one game in 2018 and seven last season. Cutting the soon to be 36 year old Tight End would save Tennessee nearly $6.5 million of cap space. 


Houston Texans 

Available cap space $61,286,117


Houston, we actually don't have a problem. At least not a problem that a large amount of cap space can't fix. Cutting their right guard Zach Fulton and getting an upgrade should be in the cards. They also need to address their backfield. Both Carlos Hyde and Lamar Miller are slated to be FAs and I have a feeling neither of them will lead the backfield this season. 


Possible cap casualty 

Duke Johnson Jr. has two years left on his contract. Houston could save $4 million this year and over $5 million in cap space for 2021 if they release the veteran back who had just 127 touches last season. 



Indianapolis Colts 

Available cap space $86,162,964


Re-signing veteran Left Tackle Anthony Castonzo is a must. Upgrading the receiver position should be a priority as well. It remains to be seen if Indy is content to stick with Brissett as their signal caller, if they decide to go for a veteran QB it will most likely be Phillip Rivers and they certainly have the cap space to win a bidding war. 


Possible cap casualty 

Margus Hunt is in the final year of his contract and has $0 dead money on his $4 million dollar deal. Not that Indy needs to save cap space, the move would be performance based. The burley Estonian defensive lineman played all 16 games last season and only managed 17 tackles.


Jacksonville Jaguars 

Available cap space $34,793,254


With quite a few roster holes and not too much room to work with. The Jags will try to maneuver their way around the cap. Trading veteran CB A.J. Bouye to Denver for a 4th round pick gave them some room to work, but they can't stop there. Trying to trade Nick Foles and cutting some overpaid veterans as well as restructuring deals will be the game plan. Keeping star pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue should be the top priority, if at all possible. 


Possible cap casualty 

Marcell Dareus will turn 30 in a few days and has missed 18 games due to injury over the past 3 seasons for the Jags. The former Alabama standout is due $22.5 million in 2020. Jacksonville will clear $20 million of that in cap space if they release the veteran defensive lineman. If you're wondering about "Big Dick Nick" the team would actually lose almost $12 million if they cut him this season. 


The AFC South sent two teams to the playoffs last season including the media darling, feel good Tennessee Titans. If the Colts upgrade their QB position, this could be a 3 team slugfest in 2020. Look for a splashy offseason from the South. We’re almost through the AFC, tune in for our final installment next time as we jump into the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, and the rest of the AFC West!


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