Sitting here in early February, more than a month before free agency (March 13), exact salary cap numbers are not yet important. But they will be. So with that, and to get some perspective (if not concrete groundwork) for what lies ahead for the front office, this breakdown by Omar Kelly at the Sun-Sentinel is helpful. The Cards, as of now, are schedule to have about $118 million against the cap, which is projected to be in the $123M-$124M range (it has not yet been set). This is a 2012 projection, so it already eliminates contracts that are expiring.
That number includes for now the contract of tackle Levi Brown, who is scheduled to have a cap number of almost $17M but won’t have that by the time free agency begins. Brown will either have to be restructured or be released, but even if he comes back, that will lower the number considerably. Right now, the Cards have 11 players who are scheduled to have cap numbers of at least $3M in 2012: Brown, WR Larry Fitzgerald ($14.5M), QB Kevin Kolb ($10.5M), DT Darnell Dockett ($6.6M), S Adrian Wilson ($7.5M), S Kerry Rhodes ($5M), LB Stewart Bradley ($6.5M), G Daryn Colledge ($5.5M) CB Patrick Peterson ($4.2M), C Lyle Sendlein ($3.3M) and TE Todd Heap ($3.4M).
That number will increase by one, one way or the other. Defensive end Calais Campbell’s cap hit should easily join that group, whether it is through a new long-term contract or because of a franchise tag (projected to be at least $10.5M for defensive ends.) That also doesn’t include the handful of restricted free agent tenders that must be submitted before free agency starts.
(A reminder, however, that the offseason cap is figured with only the top 51 salaries. The entire roster doesn’t have to be taken into account until the start of the regular season.)
Tags: Adrian Wilson, Calais Campbell, Darnell Dockett, Daryn Colledge, free agency, Kerry Rhodes, Kevin Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald, Levi Brown, Lyle Sendlein, Patrick Peterson, salary cap, Stewart Bradley, Todd Heap
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