2013 NFL salary cap could be higher than expected, according to report

Doug Pensinger

Teams may have more money to spend on players for the 2013 NFL season than initially believed.

It is widely believed that the 2013 NFL salary cap will sit right around $121 million, essentially flat compared to the cap number for the 2012 season. The official cap number has yet to be determined, but a Tuesday report from Pro Football Talk suggests that the final amount could end up exceeding $122 million.

The NFLPA shared additional insight into the 2013 salary cap situation on a Wednesday afternoon conference call. Mark Levin, the union's Director of Salary Cap and Agent Administration, emphasized that the cap had not yet been set and suggested that it could go up, topping the expected $121 million figure.

A final cap number will be determined when after the league gets a complete revenue picture. Levin noted that revenues were "modest" and expected a bump upward in the final cap number. The league and union will meet in Indianapolis during this week's Scouting Combine to work on the 2013 salary cap.

If the number does move upwards from the current projection, that would come as a relief to a number of NFL teams currently pressed tightly against the $121 million projection. A SB Nation survey of individual teams' cap situations for 2013 showed more than two-thirds of the league within $10 million of the projected number. Since then, teams have been cutting players to free cap space ahead of the March 12 deadline to be in compliance with the cap.

March 12 also happens to be the date that free agency opens. Extra space, even $1.5 million, will go a long way toward helping teams look for help on the market or re-sign their own players ticketed for free agency.

The NFLPA also said that the organization expects the cap numbers to climb significantly starting in 2014, when new television deals go into effect. The league has disputed that notion in the past.

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