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Browns have best salary cap position in NFL.

The current Free Agent project here at kanick has uncovered some great news:

Browns are in better shape, cap-wise, than any other team.

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Let’s check out the good, bad, and ugly.

Salary cap projected to be ~121MM.  Salary floor is 89% of the cap, so ~107MM.

edit:  The Salary Floor is 89% of the average cap over a four year period.  So:  take the total caps of 2013, 14, 15, 16, divide by 4, multiply by 0.89, and each team must have spent that amount over the four years.  Good link on this here.

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Good shape

Bengals, $65MM :: Andre Smith, Michael Johnson are priorties.
Only the Bengals have a lower current cap hit number (65MM) than the Browns (73MM).  But the Bengals need to sign Andre Smith and Michael Johnson… and there are quite a few other UFAs the Bengals need to sign or replace so the lower number doesn’t equal more room.

Colts, $76MM :: Freeney is UFA.
Freeney’s 32, if they re-sign him it likely won’t be a huge contract.

Dolphins, $78MM :: Bush, Hartline, Long, S. Smith UFAs.  Sean Smith is a big, hitting CB who would be a decent consolation prize if we miss on Lewis.  But with the Dolphins’ cap room they can keep him if they want to… thus if they’d DONT keep him:  red flag.

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Tight

Raiders, $122MM :: Seymour, Lechler UFA.  Palmer 15MM.

The fool-hardiness of the ‘just get a QB’ strategy on display.

Rams, $125MM :: Amendola UFA.

Skins, $124MM :: Fred Davis UFA.

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Disasters

FA Target #4?

Jets, $143MM ::  Nine players over $9MM 2013 cap hit:  Harris, Sanchez, Holmes, Jason Smith, Pace, Cromartie, Ferguson, Mangold, Revis.  UFAs are  Dustin Keller, Leron Landry.

I could get behind a Dustin Keller signing.

Steelers = $133.5MM (Roeth restructure, Harrison dump seem inevitable).  UFAs wallace, lewis, starks.

Saints, $141MM :: Two of top five hits are OGs:  Jahri Evans 9.9MM and Ben Grubbs 7.3MM.  (Both are signed… both could be had for a 3rd rd pick.)

Cowboys, $140MM ::  16MM tied up in CB Brandon Carr.  11 sack Anthony Spencer is UFA.

Panthers, $130MM ::  Johnson, Gross, Gamble, Kalil, Beason, Williams all at 10MM+.  no sexy FAs.

Ravens :: $106.5MM :: Ravens have SEVEN UFAs:  Flacco, Kruger, Ellerbe, Pitta, Reed, Kemoeatu, and McKinnie.  They’ll get some cap relief from Ray Lewis but the retiree will still have a 1.9MM cap hit.  But that’s eight starting rosters slots to fill with $14MM.  No other team is remotely close to this predicament.

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The rest

Niners, $124MM :: will drop Smith, 10MM; won’t re-sign UFA Moss;

Pats, $104MM :: drop Lloyd, don’t re-sign Welker — here’s a home for Wallace, keeping UFAs Vollmer and Talib will be tough.  Patrick Chung might be nice, cheap partner for Ward and also an Oregon Duck;

Giants, $116MM :: Cruz is RFA.

Falcons, $117MM :: Brent Grimes is only notable UFA.

Cardinals, $123MM :: Kolb, 13.5MM.   UFA Quentin Groves has been mentioned as possible OLB target.  Me not a fan… we’d be his 4th team since 2008.  I don’t want anyone from the Eagles or Cardinals… there was disease in those locker room and I’d rather avoid all of it.

Bears, $110MM ::

Broncos, $105MM :: Clady is big UFA.

Lions, $120MM :: Stafford 21MM.  Cliff Avril UFA, I think he’s coming off franchise so they can’t use that again.

Packers, $111MM :: Rodgers 10MM.  UFAs Benson, Jennings, Shields.

Texans, $115MM :: Schaub 11MM.

Jags, $96MM :: Cox is UFA.

Chiefs, $106MM :: Dwayne Bowe UFA.

Vikings, $108MM :: Henderson UFA.

Eagles, $96MM :: DRC, Dunlap UFAs.

Chargers, $115MM :: Rivers 17MM,

Seahawks, $106MM ::

Rams, $125MM :: Amendola UFA.

Bucs, $90MM :: DE Bennett UFA.

Titans, $102MM ::

Skins, $124MM :: Fred Davis UFA.

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Checking out the other teams’ statuses is worthwhile in that informs who we might be competing with for targets.

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2013 NFL Franchise Tag numbers, FYI.

The NFLPA recently released the projected franchise tag values for the 2013 season, barring any increase in the overall salary cap. — Dec. 28, 2012 (premium)

Position
2010
2011
2012
2013
Quarterback $16.4 million $16 million $14.4 million $14.6 million
Running Back $8.15 million $9.56 million $7.74 million $8.07 million
Wide Receiver $9.52 million $11.4 million $9.51 million $10.35 million
Tight End $5.9 million $7.28 million $5.44 million $5.96 million
Offensive Lineman $10.73 million $10.11 million $9.38 million $9.66 million
Defensive Tackle $7.00 million $12.47 million $7.96 million $8.30 million
Defensive End $12.39 million $13 million $10.60 million $10.98 million
Linebacker $9.68 million $10 million $8.86 million $9.45 million
Cornerback $9.56 million $14 million $10.28 million $10.66 million
Safety $6.45 million $8.8 million $6.21 million $6.79 million
Kicker/Punter $2.81 million $3.17 million $2.65 million $2.92 million

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