AFC South Recon: Updated Salary Cap Numbers And More

Get us out of cap hell, Mr Smith. - Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

The NFL Players Association has updated salary cap numbers. The Texans are toeing the line with their careful spending. Meanwhile, the Colts have just woken up, hungover, and are wondering where $30 million in cap space ended up.

The NFLPA posted new salary cap numbers for each team on April 3rd. As always these numbers are constantly changing, but they give us a good idea of where each team stands. First, let's take a look at where they were almost a month ago. I'll swipe my own table from here.

AFC South Salary Cap Space - March 12, 2013
Houston Texans $10,342,693
Indianapolis Colts $40,517,130
Tennessee Titans $20,691,942
Jacksonville Jaguars $31,922,364


Houston Texans - $3.8 million

The Texans spent roughly $6.5 million in cap space for 2013 and brought in free safety Ed Reed, punter Shane Lechler, and fullback Greg Jones. Reed makes up the majority of it with a $3.3 million cap hit. This is pretty shrewd spending by general manager Rick Smith and the gang, but the Texans have very little wiggle room moving forward.

Indianapolis Colts - $9.4 million

That's right, the Colts have spent upwards of $30 million so far. Most recently, they've added former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey on a one-year, $3 million dollar deal. It's a smart, low-risk signing for a guy that has a lot of physical ability. In typical Al Davis style, the Raiders drafted Heyward-Bey with their 7th overall pick in 2009 because of his fantastic 40 time. It was a huge reach for them then but a fine signing for the Colts now.

Jacksonville Jaguars - $28.3 million

It must feel good to be number one in something! The Jaguars are keeping it low-key, but did add some depth in their receiving corps by adding former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi on a two-year deal worth up to $4.7 million.

Tennessee Titans - $6.4 million

The Titans recently added Chris Spencer, a guard from the Bears. Et tu, Kevin Walter! Both signed a one-year deal.

***

I'll leave you with this Salary Cap FAQ from AsktheCommish. The cap is such a curious thing; I found it to be pretty enlightening. This part in particular was helpful:

Is there a Minimum Salary?

Answer: Yep. Under the new CBA, The cap for 2012 is $120.6M per team. Each team must average $119.2 M. That is a league-wide average not an individual team minimum. League-wide, teams must spend 99% of the cap in 2011 and 2012. In 2013 and beyond, they must spend 95% of the cap. In the event that player costs are less than this overall league minimum, then, on or before April 15 of the next League Year, the NFL shall pay an amount equal to such deficiency directly to the players.

In terms of minimum salary for each team, the salary floor is 89% of the cap. However, that does not start until 2013. Hence, there is in essence no salary floor in 2011 or 2012. (Note this point, as there is plenty of misinformation about this running rampant in the press!)

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