The Arizona Cardinals may not have to make as many cuts as they initially thought. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com is reporting, via his own sources, that the NFL has decided to raise the cap limit to somewhere around $123 million this season, up from $120.6 million last year.
Sources: The @nfl salary cap has been sent to clubs. It is set at $123 million. Up from $120.6M— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 28, 2013
So what does this mean for the Cardinals? Well, it means they are still going to have to make some cuts to get under the cap. With the new structure in place, the Cardinals would be just about at the cap, not accounting for the rookies that they are going to draft and inevitably have to pay this season. That will put them about $4 million over.
We have discussed some possible cap casualties, including quarterback Kevin Kolb (who could restructure his deal, lowering his cap hit), Adam Snyder, Adrian Wilson and others. Still, the Cards would like to re-sign some of their own free agents in Rashad Johnson, Greg Toler and possibly LaRod Stephens-Howling, so more cuts outside of the obvious might be made.
Look for those to start coming down sometime before free agency begins on March 12, the date of the new league year. Anything that the Cardinals have planned to do business is going to get done before then because they want to know what their needs are during free agency and how much money they will have to spend.
For now, buckle up. Anytime your team goes 5-11 the previous year, you can bet a slew of cuts are going to be made.