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How much cap space do the Seahawks have after adding Jadeveon Clowney

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL regular season got started on Thursday evening in a barnburner of a game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, with the visiting Packers coming away with a 10-3 victory. While that may not have been what NFL fans were looking for in terms of excitement from an NFL game, and while the quarterbacking of the game was woeful to watch, at least the regular season has arrived.

With the arrival of the regular season, Field Yates of ESPN posted a thread on Twitter which provided the cap space for all 32 NFL teams as the season opens. This allows us to answer the question of how much space the Seattle Seahawks have after acquiring Jadeveon Clowney from the Houston Texans. I took a high level look at this on Monday, but in the four days since that was published the Hawks have brought back Geno Smith, Nick Bellore and Jaron Brown, and while those are not massive changes, they are enough to adjust the team’s cap outlook.

Thus, without wasting further time, here is where all 32 teams stand in terms of cap space in order of the teams with most cap space on down to those with the smallest amount of cap space.

So, while the Seahawks have $8.566M in cap space, they are likely to need roughly $3M to cover injury replacement players over the course of the season. In addition, a reserve of a few million will also likely be kept in order to cover the potential hit from per game roster bonuses of contracts the team has given to certain players, including Mychal Kendricks, K.J. Wright, D.J. Fluker, Mike Iupati and Ziggy Ansah.

Thus, while they certainly have plenty of space at the moment, if a rash of injuries to the wrong players coincides with those five players all staying healthy, the team could find itself running low on cap space before the end of the season. That said, compared to NFC West rivals the Arizona Cardinals ($2.651M) and the Los Angeles Rams ($852k), the Hawks are sitting fairly pretty.

Interestingly, based on the Rams cap space number it appears they used up several million in cap space with the recent Jared Goff extension, meaning his future cap numbers could be lower than one might expect. With Los Angeles taking advantage of early extensions to spread out cap hits, Goff appears likely to have cap hits averaging around $26M per year starting in 2020. Not large enough to be crippling, but large enough to likely be a concern for those observers who are not yet sold on Goff as anything more than a product of McVay’s system.

Leading the NFC West in cap space for the 2019 season, just as they have for several years in a row, are the San Francisco 49ers. However, the two big questions for the 49ers this season appear to be whether Garoppolo will prove to play at a level anywhere near his contract, and whether the current front office will be around in the future to work on building a roster with the limited amount of cap space they have starting in 2020. If the 49ers do not perform on the field this season, the franchise will have managed to squander tens of millions in cap space while winning just ten games over the last two seasons.

Perhaps the Bay Area in general can serve as a lesson not to hand the reins of an NFL franchise over to a talking head from television, regardless of whether they went to Stanford or Dayton.