Less than a week remains until the start of the new NFL league year at 4:00 pm New York time on March 15, meaning fans are excited for the talent their team could add in free agency. The gates unlock Monday, March 13 at 12:00 noon New York time, as that is when the legal tampering period begins and teams are permitted to discuss contract terms for those players whose contracts will expire at the end of the league year Wednesday afternoon.
While teams are planning out how they will proceed in free agency, picking and choosing which pending free agents to let go and which ones to pursue, the starting point for every team is how much cap space they have available. And, while the league and union set a uniform salary cap each season, between rollover from the previous season, incentive costs that hit the cap the following year and other cap charges, each team has a unique cap number each season. The numbers for the 2023 season are as follows:
The NFL has finalized its year-end club adjustments, which factor in incentives, roster bonuses, carryover cap space, etc. That figure was then added to or subtracted from $224.8M to determine each team’s adjusted cap number for 2023.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 6, 2023
A look at each team’s adjusted cap number: pic.twitter.com/sxbs04nXE6
Thus, while the league salary cap for the upcoming season is $224.8M, that is only the starting point for teams like the Seattle Seahawks. Adding in $1,595,490 of rollover from the 2022 league year along with $400,000 of credit from unearned per game roster bonusues and then deducting the costs associated with the $3,500,000 of incentives Geno Smith earned and the $1,200,000 injury protection payment charge to Chris Carson, the true 2023 cap number for Seattle is $222,105,490.
This number is the 2023 space available to the team, with teams, of course, able to maneuver through the cap by borrowing from future seasons, or by backloading contracts. In any case, the official cap number for the upcoming season for the Hawks is $222,105,490, though, of course, most of that is already allocated.