MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While the Miami Dolphins are on the outside looking in on the NFL Playoffs again this year, there is hope thanks to salary cap management that gives the team a lot of flexibility in the offseason. But Miami isn’t alone when it comes to tons of salary cap space.
According to ESPN.com, the Dolphins will carry over $5.3 million in salary cap space from last year to give the team a total of $35.8 million heading into the offseason. While that’s a ton of cap space in the context of the modern NFL, it’s nowhere near the most in 2013.
ESPN reported that eight teams, including the Dolphins, make up 79 percent of the total 350.7 million in combined salary cap space in 2013.
At the top of the list is the Cincinnati Bengals with $55.1 million in space, followed by the Cleveland Browns with $48.9 million and rounding out the top three was the Indianapolis Colts who will have $46 million in cap space next season.
The Dolphins have the fourth most cap room in the NFL and right behind Miami is another Florida team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with $31.3 million.
On the flip side, the mess that is the New York Jets will be tough to clean up in a hurry due to past poor cap decisions. The Jets carried over $3.4 million in cap space, but head into the 2013 offseason $19.4 million over the salary cap.
Right behind the Jets is the Dallas Cowboys who will be $18.2 million over the cap, followed by the New Orleans Saints at $14.7 million and the Carolina Panthers at $11.8 million over the cap.
Obviously, running up to the salary cap doesn’t always equate with success. Just the opposite is true many times. The New England Patriots will carry over $5.6 million in salary cap space and have a total of $18.6 million to spend next season.