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How much money will Washington have to spend in their first season as the Commanders? According to yesterday’s reports, the 2022 NFL Salary Cap number will be set at $208.2 million. With the new league year starting next week, teams have just over a week to get in line with the cap.

The 2022 number is up more than $25 million over last year’s $182.5 million. That sends a slightly misguided message though, as the cap was dropped last season for Covid “losses”. It was the first time in its history, that the cap number had dropped. In 2020, the cap was $198 million, so the 2022 number is a gain of approximately $10 million over that.

That’s a decent increase that some teams will be desperately happy to see.

Commanders Cap

Depending on which online resource you check, the Commanders are sitting between $178 million and $182 million in cap money already allocated. That leaves them with somewhere in the neighbourhood of $30 million to spend without doing any contract re-structuring of existing players.

That puts Washington near the top ten in the NFL, in terms of how much money they have to spend.

It may seem like a good chunk of change, but given that Washington is desperately seeking a franchise quarterback, they might need it.

For comparison’s sake, the Miami Dolphins lead the league with approximately $61 million to spend. The Saints have to dump over $40 million by next week to get under the total cap number.

Also of interest, is that the Dallas Cowboys are currently more than $21 million over next year’s cap. While they can re-structure contracts like Dak Prescott’s, they will also lose an asset or two, like wide receiver Amari Cooper.

2022 salary cap figures

According to Sportrac, here are the 2022 Team Cap Numbers:

Team Cap Space
Miami Dolphins $61,232,642
Los Angeles Chargers $57,530,555
Jacksonville Jaguars $56,096,704
Cincinnati Bengals $48,778,062
New York Jets $44,728,732
Denver Broncos $39,188,529
Indianapolis Colts $36,986,936
Seattle Seahawks $35,399,263
Carolina Panthers $31,307,899
Washington Commanders $30,354,046
Pittsburgh Steelers $29,598,950
Chicago Bears $25,689,286
Tampa Bay Buccaneers $21,310,880
Philadelphia Eagles $20,861,126
Las Vegas Raiders $20,646,588
Detroit Lions $20,132,913
Cleveland Browns $18,574,425
Houston Texans $16,850,873
New England Patriots $11,503,099
Baltimore Ravens $9,792,591
San Franciso 49ers $2,952,032
Arizona Cardinals $2,744,575
Buffalo Bills $-3,914,149
Kansas City Chiefs $-4,296,851
New York Giants $-5,841,002
Atlanta Falcons $-6,590,266
Tennessee Titans $-6,905,413
Los Angeles Rams $-13,172,364
Minnesota Vikings $-14,725,024
Dallas Cowboys $-21,164,940
Green Bay Packers $-29,795,758
New Orleans Saints $-42,349,119

Franchise And Transition Tags

The new cap number creates some pretty lofty franchise and transition tag numbers as well.

It will now cost an NFL team almost $30 million to franchise tag a quarterback ($29,703,000). An offensive lineman will cost about $16,662,000. That doesn’t apply to Brandon Scherff as he has already been tagged twice. It seems increasingly likely that the perennial Pro Bowler will not be returning.

A wide receiver will cost $18,419,000. A linebacker even more than that, at $18,702,000.

Perhaps the most surprising trend, is that running backs have dipped to under $10 million ($9,570,000). Only kickers and punters garner less ($5,220,000).

Franchise tags guarantee a team compensation if another team signs the player, transition tags do not. As such, transition tags use the average of the top ten players at the position as opposed to the top five that franchise tags use.

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