With the NFL regular season over and the playoffs drawing closer to completion, all sights will be set on the offseason. Though the 2021 NFL Draft is the easiest method to upgrade a team and acquire elite talent, NFL Free Agency will start shortly after the 2021 Super Bowl.
To be a player in free agency, however, teams need cap space. Some teams, like the New Orleans Saints, have none (in fact negative) space under the cap, but some NFL teams are set to be big spenders.
All salary cap projections are courtesy of Spotrac.com and accurate as of Jan. 12, 2021.
Top 5 team's by 2021 offseason cap space:
5. Cincinnati Bengals: $34.3 million
The Bengals are really in the second tier of spenders by cap space for this offseason. With Joe Burrow recovering from injury, the Bengals will certainly try to use either free agency or the draft to bolster one of the worst offensive lines in football from 2020.
4. New England Patriots: $54.6 million
Bill Belichick and the Patriots are rarely big spenders in the free-agent market, often relying more on undervalued veterans and the draft to build out their roster.
These are not Tom Brady's Patriots anymore, however, and the Pats have clear needs all over the squad, and specifically the offense.
Whoever is starting at QB next year for the Patriots (likely a drafted rookie) will need help on the offensive line, and at every skill position.
3. New York Jets: $61.6 million
The Jets are primed to select the new face of their franchise at second overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, and they can use their $60+ million in cap space and other draft picks to ensure that quarterback's success.
Aside from the emergence of Mekhi Becton as an elite young left tackle, New York desperately needs help on the offensive line, and across the defense.
2. Indianapolis Colts: $63.7 million
The Colts' main objective this offseason will be figuring out the quarterback position. Do they bring back veteran Phillip Rivers, who led them to the playoffs, eating up most of their cap space? Do they draft a QB and move on? Is Jacoby Brissett the guy?
The QB questions must be answered before the Colts decide how to allocate resources this offseason and in NFL free agency.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: $73.4 million
The first big acquisition of the Jaguars 2021 offseason will be acquiring the new head coach to lead their franchise (all signs point to former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer).
The second will be drafting Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Where they go next is a mystery. With the most cap space in the league and needs at basically every position, the Jaguars could be players for all the top free agents in 2021.
The NFL teams with the least cap space are:
30. Atlanta Falcons: $ -32.3 million
31. Philadelphia Eagles $ -82.4 million
32. New Orleans Saints $ -99.8 millionPublished 13 Jan 2021, 02:16 IST