It’s a good year for players to be hitting free agency.
The NFL salary cap has been finalized at $155.27 million, sources told USA Today’s Tom Pelissero on Friday night. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport confirmed the figure. That’s almost a $12 million jump from last year’s cap figure of $143.28 million.
This means the New England Patriots have $13,563,036 in salary cap space, PatsCap.com’s Miguel Benzan calculated and tweeted out shortly after the figure was reported. That figure includes Jerod Mayo’s retirement, which hasn’t been made official yet.
The Patriots have just nine unrestricted free agents set to hit the open market: running backs LeGarrette Blount and Steven Jackson, wide receiver Brandon Gibson, offensive lineman Ryan Wendell, defensive linemen Akiem Hicks and Dekota Watson, cornerback Tarell Brown and safeties Nate Ebner and Tavon Wilson.
The Patriots could use much of their available cap space to extend the contracts of key defenders Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan and possibly Chandler Jones.
The Patriots could free up even more space by releasing or restructuring the contracts of veteran players with high cap figures.
Thumbnail photo via Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports Images