Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NFL Free Agency: League Salary Cap Set, How Does It Affect the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The NFL has announced the salary cap for 2013, and it’s higher than most anyone expected. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network and NFL.com tweeted this afternoon that the salary cap has been set at 123 million dollars, an increase of almost 2.5 million from 2012’s total. Most experts were predicting a smaller increase, so this jump to 123 million is certainly a benefit for teams close to or above the salary cap.

In other words, not the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With the updated salary cap information, the Buccaneers will likely have over 33 million dollars of salary cap space before letting go of Eric Wright and Quincy Black. The extra couple of million dollars will do very little to help the Buccaneers, and will do more to help teams with overloaded books re-sign important players and not allow them to come available for the Bucs to sign.

Also, keep in mind some of the cap space available to the Buccaneers has been carried over from last year, and will not be used to lock up players long term. The last thing Tampa Bay needs is to be stuck over the cap in an offseason where a quarterback will need to be signed (either Josh Freeman or someone else).

The good news is that Tampa’s division mates New Orleans and Carolina are both over the cap, and the Falcons are right at the number, with very little room to spare. So if big name free agents are coming to the NFC South this offseason, they’re likely coming to Tampa Bay. Let’s see just how Mark Dominik and his crew decide to spend the funds available.

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