There are some indications that the dollars will flow freely during the free agency period that starts Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk quoted a league source who said as much on Saturday. “Deals will be higher across this year across the board. Teams will be spending this year.”
One team that spent already is the Packers. They gave cornerback Sam Shields a four-year, $39 million deal to stay in Green Bay. Shields will receive a $12.5 million signing bonus and at total of $30 million in the first three years of the deal.
After being very soft last year, the cornerback market is back. Brent Grimes is staying in Miami for $32 million over four years. There is said to be a lot of interest in Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner. If the Redskins do want to get in the bidding on Patriots cornerback Aquib Talib, as has been rumored, they will have to be create to fit what may well be a $10 million per year contract under the cap.
The cash should flow to other positions as well. Simple math dictates that it should. The salary cap increased $10 million this year, from $123 million per team in 2013 to $133 million. That gives the teams some immediate cash to work with
And there’s more money coming. The cap is expected to leap into the neighborhood of $160 million in 2016 as new TV deals kick in. That will enable teams to backload money into future years without as much of a cap crunch.
Perhaps most important, teams are now forced to spend the money. The CBA requires teams to spend 89 percent of the unadjusted cap on a rolling four-year average. Without getting into the fog of the details, it means that the 15 teams that have about $20 million or more in cap space (with $22 million, the Redskins are in that group) will not be able to sit on that pile of cash.