The NFL announced to day that 2013 salary cap will be set at $123 million. This is up from $120.6 million in 2012, and more than what was expected. Initial reports predicted that the cap would be between $121.1 million and $122.3 million.
As it stands right now, the top 51 salaries for the Seahawks (only the top 51 count against the cap) account for $119.1 million if you include the “dead money” from players cut this past year. Seattle rolls over $13.2 million of unused cap room from last season, meaning their spending cap is $136.2 million.
Basically, the Seahawks have $17.1 million to spend this offseason if they chose to.
Now the question is how to use it. John Idzik, who used to manage the cap for the Seahawks until he was hired to be the GM of the Jets a month ago, said he always wanted to carry over 10-12 million each year. If you do it every year, then you’re still spending the same as everyone else (except the first year you do it), but it provide flexibility in case you need it.
If the Seahawks decide not to do any carryover now that Idzik is gone, then it’ll have to do so in a short term way or they’ll be in trouble. If they spend to their cap number, the’ll have $136 million in salaries, but the 2014 cap is unlikely to be above $126 million.
Obviously, the smart thing to do is to continue rolling over the extra cap room so as to not create problems for next year. If the Seahawks do that, and I expect that they will, then that leaves them approximately $5 million to spend.
$5 million. That isn’t very much. The rookies will eat up about half of that. A much needed contract extension for Kam Chancellor will use up the rest.
And that leaves the team in a bit of a bind. They lack the ability to re-sign Jason Jones, or sign a starting DT, or even go get a WR or a WLB.
What I expect is that the Seahawks will find some ways to free up some cap space (that’ll be another article) and then still go into the season with less than the $12 million of cap room for the carryover. The expectation will be that someone will get beat out for their roster spot, and then get cut.