The NFL has informed teams that the salary cap for the upcoming season has been set at $133 million, an increase of $10 million over the amount teams were allowed to spend in 2013.
Such an increase comes as a mild surprise, as the expectation had been that the salary cap would rise by only roughly $5 million heading into the 2014 league year. The $123 million salary cap in 2013 improved by only a modest $2.4 million from the previous year, and with the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement in 2011, it seemed likely that the salary cap figures would remain relatively flat for several years.
Adjustments in the calculations of expected league revenues in recent weeks continued to push those projections higher until the NFL and the NFL Players' Association, which confirmed the figure in a press release Friday afternoon, settled on $133 million.
By finalizing the salary cap, teams will be able to clearly navigate two upcoming deadlines: One for the franchise and transition tags, which is Monday, and the start of free agency and the new league year, which is March 11.
It has been reported that the Washington Redskins will now have closer to $30 million available to spend during free agency, and they will need that money as they attempt to re-sign and replace the 18 players whose contracts are set to expire.
Their biggest priority remains outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, who is a candidate to be given either the franchise or transition designation if the teams cannot work out a long-term deal by Monday.
According to NFL Network, Orakpo would receive a one-year, $11.455 million contract offer if given the franchise tag, which results in the forfeiture of two future first-round picks if another team signs him, or a one-year, $9.754 million contract offer if given the transition tag, which essentially would allow the Redskins the right of first refusal on another contract offer.
Additional salary cap room can also allow a team to pick up additional veterans for their applicable minimum salary value, which would benefit the Redskins as they attempt to fill out their roster.
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