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Broncos cap space at $19.4 million; NFL sets 2014 salary cap

What does it mean for Denver's free agents like Eric Decker and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie?

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

We finally have a number, and that number is $133 million. The NFL has sent this memo announcing the 2014 salary cap to teams Friday afternoon, according to multiple reports.

It marks an increase of $10 million from 2013, the biggest year-to-year salary cap increase in NFL history.

What does that mean for the estimates it means the Broncos have $19.4 million in cap space to start the 2014 offseason.

This is far, far more than our estimates a month ago, giving the Broncos some breathing room. Does it mean the Broncos are more likely to re-sign Eric Decker? Probably not. Does it mean they have a better chance of keeping Dominique Rodgers-CromartieMaybe.

Does it mean John Elway has even more ammunition with which to be aggressive in free agency, as he always has been? Absolutely.

It's important to note that this $19.4 million cap estimate excludes two important factors:

  • Taking away from the cap room: Restricted free agent tenders. I expect the Broncos to tender Chris Harris Jr. with a first or second-round tender, taking $2-3 million chunk out of this number. There are three other RFA's as well, and ERFA's (Exclusive Rights Free Agents) Duke Ihenacho and Trindon Holliday will likely get tendered.
  • Taking away from the cap room: The rookie pool. The Broncos have to sign their draft picks, right? Over the Cap estimates it will cost Denver $1.3 million this year in cap space to do so. That number may change now that the official cap has been released.
  • Adding to the cap room: Contract restructures and releases. The Broncos' prime candidate for a restructure is Champ Bailey, who's on the last year of his contract and whose $10 million deal is begging for an extension. Other possible restructures/releases to free up some cap room includeJacob TammeJoel Dreessen, and Chris Kuper.

Twitter jokes notwithstanding, I don't expect John Elway to go crazy with this news - he's proven to be a prudent negotiator so far - but this boost in the cap will help the Broncos in big ways this offseason.

Furthermore, it's expected next year's cap will bump an additional $10 million. With Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, and Von Miller all on the last years of their respective deals, the Broncos have found some breathing room in this news from the NFL.