The New England Patriots are projected to be near the top of the league in cap space for 2017, and now they have more concrete numbers.
“The NFL plans to inform teams this week about the projected salary cap for the 2017 season,” per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, “which is anticipated to be somewhere between $163 million and $165 million, league sources told ESPN.”
The NFL typically estimates below the actual to prevent teams from overspending too early. The salary cap in 2016 was projected to be between $150-$153.4 million, but was actually $155.27 million. In 2015, the cap was projected to be between $138.6-$141.8 million, but was actually $143.28 million. The salary cap has grown between $10-12 million each season since 2013.
In all likelihood, the actual 2017 salary cap will be closer to $167 million. The Patriots are projected to have roughly $75 million in cap space, which will be used on players like LB Dont’a Hightower and CB Malcolm Butler.
The final 2017 salary cap numbers will be available in March.