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NFL salary cap set and Broncos will have plenty of cap space for free agency

The Denver Broncos will have nearly $20 million in cap space after accounting for Joe Flacco’s contract. Not a bad start.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has set the salary cap number at $188.2 million for 2019, which is another impressive jump over the year prior. The move certainly helps the Denver Broncos as they look to make some aggressive moves in free agency to return to contention next season.

First, they carried over $8 million in cap space from last season, which boosted their actual cap number according to Spotrac to $196.2 million. After accounting for the Joe Flacco trade and including the draft pool cap, that leaves the team with $17.6 million in cap space as they head towards free agency.

However, that won’t be the final number. They have already notified linebacker Brandon Marshall that the team would not be picking up his contract option for this year. While that will hit the team with a $4 milling dead money hit, it will also free up another $5 million in cap space. They are also looking at either restructuring Case Keenum to a better deal or straight up cutting him. If they cut him, the $10M dead money hit would hurt, but it would also free up another $11 million in cap space. A trade could also happen, but it would be hard to fathom another team considering that.

If they straight up release both Marshall and Keenum, the Broncos will end up with $31.5 million in cap space for free agency. They could likely to move the needle higher in the days leading up to the legal tampering period a week from now, but those two moves alone would be more than enough to make a couple of key signings.

What they end up with in free agency will help determine their course of action in the 2019 NFL Draft. Currently, the Broncos biggest needs are likely to be quarterback and tight end on offense and inside linebacker and cornerback on defense.