Buccaneers might get gifted with some extra cap space ahead of free agency

Tampa Bay could be getting some extra wiggle room to make moves this offseason.

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

We're less than a month away from NFL Free Agency kicking off, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a pretty well-defined list of things that need to get done.

According to OverTheCap, the Bucs have roughly $32 million in cap space heading into free agency. That accounts for the dead money the team absorbed on Monday due to void years on deals for Antoine Winfield Jr., Baker Mayfield, and Mike Evans.

It's already way more space than the team had last season, with the bill coming due for the Tom Brady years forcing the Bucs to take their medicine rather than kicking the can further down the road. Tampa Bay ripped the band-aid off and didn't spend a lot last offseason to set up this exact scenario, where the team has more wiggle room to get deals done both with its own players and potential free agents.

As it turns out, the Bucs might have even more money to play with once all is said and done.

Buccaneers may have more cap space than they expected in 2024

Update: The NFL announced on Friday that the salary cap will be set at $255.4 million. That’s about a $30 million increase from last season.

Most projections have the salary cap set for $242.5 million, but it might not settle there. According toMike Florio of ProFootballTalk, it could be significantly higher which would end up helping the Bucs out with some extra room to work with.

"Another source, with a proven record of accuracy in these matters, says it will be closer to $250 million than to $243 million," Florio wrote.

Not only would this help Tampa Bay out with potential free agents, but it would go a long way in massaging whatever hit deals for Evans, Mayfield, and Winfield have on the cap. Specifically this helps with Evans, as he's the one who is set to be paid the most amount of money that could hit the books the hardest.

With a bit more breathing room thanks to a higher salary cap, it could make giving him a deal closer to the amount he wants easier for the Bucs to stomach.

The NFL setting the salary cap higher than expected isn't the only way Tampa Bay might be able to save some cap space. As painful as it may be, there are a handful of veterans who could end up being potential cap casualties, from Russell Gage to Shaq Barrett.

On the flip side, the Bucs don't need to make as many tough decisions as they did last year in terms of cutting players to save space.

Either way it's already shaping up to be an important offseason for Tampa Bay and it's looking like things are already starting to fall into place.

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