The NFL salary cap has officially been set at $143.28 million for the 2015 league year, according to the NFL Players Association.
The New England Patriots have until March 10 to get under that number.
New England stands just below $155.9 in terms of total salary cap commitments, as noted by the NFLPA, with approximately $6.4 million in carryover trimmed to $1.3 million in adjustments. The end result is that the organization’s cap figure rests around $144.8 million. And, ultimately, that the Patriots are around $11.2 million over the cap.
Miguel Benzan of PatsCap.com projects the Patriots to be $7.9 million over the cap, when accounting for tenders to exclusive-rights free agents as well as the Top 51 rule, which acknowledges the highest 51 salaries on the roster and doesn’t tack the lowest numbers – of what will ultimately be a 90-man roster – against the cap.
Per Benzan, the Patriots have $147.8 million in committed money along with $4.6 million in dead money, netting in a base total of $152.4 million against the cap.
The Patriots could get under the threshold by reaching a long-term pact with cornerback Darrelle Revis or declining his $20 million team option. That root of that decision will come in the next eight days, before the start unrestricted free agency.
Additional efforts to clear cap room could be found by restructuring the deals of wideout Danny Amendola, defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, linebacker Jerod Mayo, and also Revis’ teammate across the secondary, fellow 2014 free-agent signing Brandon Browner.
But there are also key names to keep in mind, including safety Devin McCourty and kicker Stephen Gostkowski, as New England embarks on unrestricted free agency.