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NFL salary cap due for 'substantial increase' in 2015

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The NFL owners came out of meetings Wednesday with an idea of the 2015 salary cap, but the NFL Players Association has a different opinion.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The National Football League had its owners meetings this week, and one of many topics covered was the projected salary cap for 2015. The owners gave an approximate number between $138.6 and $141.8 million, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. However, the NFL Players Association disagrees, expecting the number to be much higher.

On Thursday morning, the NFLPA released a memo to its executive committee, player reps and contract advisers, with its view on the subject:

"As you may have read, recent media reports from the NFL owners meetings in Dallas projected the 2015 NFL Salary Cap to be between $138.6 and $141.8 million. Last year, these same "projections" called for a flat cap that was ultimately a $10 million increase from the previous year. The salary cap is inextricably tied to League revenues and as we saw last year, substantial increases in revenue will lead to substantial increases in the salary cap.

We have become increasingly concerned about these early projections and in the upcoming months the NFLPA will issue projections based upon our analysis of expected revenue. We believe that this will aid players, agents and general managers to more effectively forecast the salary cap and aid players in contract negotiations. Additionally, we will provide you with information previously shared with players about the current spending levels of all teams and their compliance with the minimum cash spending requirements of the new CBA.

As Partners in this business, our expectation is that NFL revenues will continue to grow and our business will continue to thrive."

In so many words, the NFLPA is basically stating that with league revenues coming in at a higher percentage than ever before, the cap should continue to increase at an equal rate. When the NFLPA comes out with its own cap projection, it will likely be somewhere well north of the NFL's figure.

The current salary cap is $133 million, so even if the NFL's lowest figure becomes reality, it is still a $5 million jump. With the NFLPA getting testy about the figure, it is safe to assume the final number will be higher, giving the league another serious jump in salary without increasing the size of rosters.

There are a few teams that would love to see a serious increase in the cap, specifically the New Orleans Saints. Should the cap number settle on $140 million, New Orleans would actually have to shave $20 million just to be cap compliant, per Over the Cap. The Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins would also have to shed contracts to fit under the salary cap.

Here is how the 2015 cap breaks down for each team, projected at $140 million:

Team Cap Space
Oakland Raiders $53,351,162
Jacksonville Jaguars $43,542,172
New York Jets $41,415,680
Cleveland Browns $38,181,890
Seattle Seahawks $34,391,030
Tennessee Titans $33,296,652
Indianapolis Colts $31,724,674
Denver Broncos $31,113,668
Tampa Bay Buccaneers $31,093,495
Chicago Bears $30,970,313
Cincinnati Bengals $29,940,910
Atlanta Falcons $26,836,029
San Diego Chargers $26,223,487
Green Bay Packers $17,784,036
Buffalo Bills $17,365,927
New York Giants $17,343,332
Detroit Lions $16,962,243
Washington $15,759,322
Houston Texans $11,072,218
Carolina Panthers $10,815,777
Minnesota Vikings $9,852,564
St. Louis Rams $5,395,253
Philadelphia Eagles $4,508,844
Pittsburgh Steelers $4,425,765
Baltimore Ravens $3,295,483
Dallas Cowboys $2,297,645
Kansas City Chiefs $1,745,325
New England Patriots $1,589,619
Miami Dolphins -$2,611,177
San Francisco 49ers -$9,087,358
Arizona Cardinals -$9,843,495
New Orleans Saints -$20,010,991

Teams can also carry over cap space from this season into 2015, helping some cap-strapped franchises save a few million, with the numbers per the NFLPA. Jacksonville and Cleveland have the most carryover of any team at $22 and $19 million, respectively. Philadelphia comes in third, carrying over $15 million, with the Jets at $12 million and the Titans at $11 million filling out the five highest totals.