Last week it was $126 million, now it's expected to reach $133 million.
For a team like the Jets who has had a hard time in competing in free agency in recent years, here's a graphic representation of why this news is important to the league and to the Jets in particular.
In 2013 under a new general manager, the team took their lumps in terms of salary cap to essentially reset for 2014. Now after some serious austerity measures were taken in setting themselves up to spend more effectively than much of the league in 2014, the 10 million dollars that will be added to the cap will change the entire landscape of the NFL.
Take a look.
The teams in green were the ones set up to spend. Throw away whatever the Steelers and Cowboys are doing, but focus on the teams from the Falcons through Chargers.
In the red are the teams that needed to make cuts just to get under the cap until the recent cap news, let alone re-sign any of their own players who were pending free agents. DL Red Bryant being cut in Seattle along with Seattle is an example of the Super Bowl Champions needing to make cuts just to stay under the cap, while not yet signing WR Golden Tate indicates an inability to keep pending free agents.
The teams in orange and yellow are the ones who where in varying degrees of inflexibility. Both of those groups were on the threshold of cuts and ability to re-sign players. Eric Decker in Denver and Alterraun Verner in Tennesse might be some decent examples. Players who are young and talented and might have hit free agency, now might not because their own team should be able to afford to re-sign their biggest ticket players.
It means we need to think about our ECON 101 lessons, at which I am terribly rusty. Remember good old supply and demand? More teams with more money will increase demand and thus raise the price for the same player. If some players out of loyalty to their current teams (now flush with more cap room) sign before free agency, then that makes the supply decrease -- potentially raising the bidding even higher.
That said, now with this news are players who might have signed in the next ten days with their old team before the start of free agency wait to do so? Savvy agents will tell them the money could get nutty on the open market ...
This could be a very fun free agency ...