2022 NFL salary cap space by team

How much salary cap space do all 32 NFL teams have following the start of the 2022 NFL league year on March 16?

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The NFL salary cap has settled at $208.2 million for the 2022 season. Each team had to be under that mark by March 15 and must remain under it throughout the 2022 season. Let’s examine how much salary cap space each team has.

2022 NFL salary cap space by team

During the early parts of the offseason, and especially in free agency, the salary cap situation for each NFL team changes almost daily. As teams sign free agents or cut current players on their roster, it will impact their cap space for the upcoming league year.

Each team’s salary cap space is updated before Wednesday at 8 AM ET. Salary cap numbers are from the NFLPA salary cap report, and all numbers are listed in millions and rounded to one decimal place.

Arizona Cardinals salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $5.2 million

Atlanta Falcons salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $2.5 million

Baltimore Ravens salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $4.3 million

Buffalo Bills salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $9.8 million

Carolina Panthers salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $30.0 million

Chicago Bears salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $13.8 million

Cincinnati Bengals salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $18.1 million

Cleveland Browns salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $21.5 million

Dallas Cowboys salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $15.2 million

Denver Broncos salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $13.4 million

Detroit Lions salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $18.2 million

Green Bay Packers salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $14.2 million

Houston Texans salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $24.3 million

Indianapolis Colts salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $22.1 million

Jacksonville Jaguars salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $6.9 million

Kansas City Chiefs salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $18.1 million

Las Vegas Raiders salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $5.4 million

Los Angeles Chargers salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $18.3 million

Los Angeles Rams salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $6.9 million

Miami Dolphins salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $19.9 million

Minnesota Vikings salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $12.2 million

New England Patriots salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $1.0 million

New Orleans Saints salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $20.8 million

New York Giants salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $6.3 million

New York Jets salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $17.3 million

Philadelphia Eagles salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $14.1 million

Pittsburgh Steelers salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $13.3 million

San Francisco 49ers salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $1.6 million

Seattle Seahawks salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $16.4 million

Tampa Bay Buccaneers salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $4.0 million

Tennessee Titans salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $2.1 million

Washington Commanders salary cap space

  • Top 51 cap space: $11.0 million

Top five teams in terms of salary cap space

As of April 20, there are just five teams with more than $20 million in cap space and only one team with more than $30 million. Here are the current top five teams in terms of salary cap space.

1) Carolina Panthers | $30.0 million

Carolina was one of the teams in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, and that saw them clear a lot of cap space. It is intriguing to see the moves the team has been making. It seems unlikely they will be able to mount a significant challenge in 2022 with Sam Darnold. Therefore, clearing cap space and pushing dead money into the future seems like an odd decision-making process.

2) Houston Texans | $24.3 million

The Texans’ process of building for the future can begin now that Watson is out of the building. If Houston decides to save their cap space in 2022, they could have plenty of salary cap space heading into the 2023 NFL offseason.

3) Indianapolis Colts | $22.1 million

After trading for Matt Ryan, the Colts briefly dipped out of the top five in terms of cap space. However, they converted $12 million in roster bonus and base salary to a signing bonus. That has reduced the cap number on Ryan’s contract to just $18 million. Therefore, the Colts are now back in the top five in the NFL in terms of salary cap space.

4) Cleveland Browns | $21.5 million

It might seem surprising to see the Browns this high on the list after the Watson contract and the trading for Amari Cooper and his contract. However, the Browns have structured both deals in such a way that they have minimal impact on the cap in 2022. They might be flush with cap space in 2022, but the Browns will have to work out their mathematics in future seasons.

5) New Orleans Saints | $20.8 million

I bet you never imagined you would see the Saints on this list after their cap situation just a month out from the 2022 NFL league year. However, the Saints have restructured a ton of deals and moved money around all over the place. They have cap space now, but they will be back in cap management mode all over again in 11 months.

Which teams have the least salary cap space in the NFL?

On April 20, there are 12 teams with less than $10 million of cap space and six teams with less than $5 million. Here are the current bottom five teams in terms of salary cap space.

1) New England Patriots | $1.0 million

The Patriots are another team close to the salary cap despite having a rookie QB. New England has never been shy paying mid-level prices for veterans and that is the case here. They have no players counting over 8% of the cap but 15 players between 2-8%. This roster should have good depth of talent, putting the pressure on Mac Jones to perform.

2) San Francisco 49ers | $1.6 million

The 49ers are in a weird spot at the QB position. They drafted Trey Lance last year to be their future. However, right now they have Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract counting for 12.7% of their salary cap with a cap number of $26.95 million. With the QB market having shrunk considerably in recent weeks, the 49ers may now have to wait until a potential training camp injury if they want to move Garoppolo for considerable compensation.

If they move Garoppolo, the 49ers will be extremely cap-rich in 2022. While Garoppolo will likely be off the books regardless in 2023, saving nearly $25 million in cap space that they could roll into that 2023 would give them a ton of options in free agency next year. However, potentially having Garoppolo as a backup option could be even more important if the 49ers find themselves in a playoff situation this season.

3) Tennessee Titans | $2.1 million

The Titans have Ryan Tannehill counting for more than 18% of their cap with a $38.6 million cap number in 2022. They then have six players counting for more than 5% of their cap space. Included in that is Julio Jones, who has a $14.3 million cap number — but he’s been released with a post-June 1 designation. Their newest addition, Robert Woods, also carries a $13.5 million (6.4%) cap number.

4) Atlanta Falcons | $2.5 million

Given that the Falcons are not expected to challenge this year, their salary cap situation is alarming. The problem for Atlanta is that they are carrying $62.1 million in dead money in 2022. Of that, $40.5 million is attributed to Matt Ryan’s contract, with $15.5 million for Julio Jones.

The positive aspect for the Falcons is that all of that $62.1 million will be cleared in 2023. therefore, while the Falcons are hamstrung this year, they should have plenty of resources to invest next offseason.

5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers | $3.9 million

The Buccaneers’ salary cap space this offseason has been all over the place with Tom Brady first retiring and then returning. Brady is one of four players set to count for more than five percent of the Buccaneers’ salary cap (Donovan Smith, Lavonte David, and Mike Evans), but at $20.3 million his cap hit is relatively minor.

The Buccaneers’ salary cap is reasonably well spread over their roster and it demonstrates the depth they have built into this roster. However, they also have more than $20 million in dead money charges for Ali Marpet, Ndamukong Suh, and Rob Gronkowski through retirement and contract void years.

What is the “top 51 rule” when it comes to offseason salary cap space for NFL teams?

During the offseason, the NFL does not count the salary of every player on the team towards the salary cap. Instead, they use a process of only counting the 51 most expensive contracts in terms of the team’s salary cap hits. This rule stretches until the start of the season. At that point, all 53 players on the roster count towards the salary cap.

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN