One of the factors in the Great Peyton Manning Race Of 2012 is going to be his contract demands and what that means for each team. (He said he isn’t looking for a bunch of guarantees, but the market, and all the teams involved, is going to render that moot. He’s going to get guarantees, and they will be pretty big, I’d guess.) A lot of people want to know where the Cards stand with their cap space, but that’s not easily determined right now. Teams haven’t been told yet, with free agency — and the need to be compliant with the cap — beginning Tuesday, what the 2012 cap number will be. There have been guesses it will be a little north of $120 million, but it has yet to be set.
So when, for instance, John Clayton says the Cards only have $3.1 million in cap space, that’s an estimate for now. Then again, it’s clear there won’t be a ton of room. They will clear a lot when they do something with the $16.9M cap number of tackle Levi Brown (at this point, I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t force a chance to be on the open market). But there are other alternatives.
General manager Rod Graves said other restructures, beyond Brown, are possible. “Depending on where the cap falls, there may be a need for us to take a look at it at some point,” Graves said. “We’re not ruling it out.”
Whether that means guys like Larry Fitzgerald or someone like Stewart Bradley, for instance, is anyone’s guess. Keep in mind when a player of Fitz’s stature re-does his deal, all it is doing is pushing cap space into the future, and can become a future problem to buy time today. That’s what the Steelers have been going through and why they’ve had a big purge of late. It’s a juggling act.
Tags: free agency, salary cap
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