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As The Rush Of Free Agency Winds Down, The Cap Situation

So many, all the time, want to know: How much salary cap space do the Cardinals have left?

There is an answer, approximately, in dollars all the time. But not only is it a fluid situation, it's also somewhat misleading. I've said this a ton of times. If a team wants to make something work within the cap, they can make it work. We only see these moves coming out piecemeal, but there is foresight being given to what deals are offered, what the roster still needs, and what cap space must be given to each. Restructures can lower 2020 cap numbers. So could extensions.

Also, don't forget this time of year only the top 51 cap numbers on the roster count on the cap. So anytime a new cap number is added -- for instance, when Brett Hundley was re-signed this week -- the cap hit taken from the current space won't be Hundley's entire cap number but instead his cap number minus the cap hit of the lowest guy on the top 51 at the time.

OK, so those are the eternal caveats. As we come to the end of the week, the two places that try to keep track of this stuff -- overthecap.com and spotrac.com -- are close to each other, with the former estimating (and that's all it is) the Cards at around $8.8 million and the latter around $9 million.

But it's been a busy week, and with slower-than-usual internal reporting of contracts, the contract details for new signings aren't updated as quick. Neither site has accounted for yet all the agreed-upon deals that have happened since Saturday (perhaps because they are yet to be signed): Hundley, Chris Banjo, Jonathan Bullard, Max Garcia, Charles Washington, D.J. Foster, Trevon Coley and Marcus Gilbert. That's a hefty list of players, all of whom because of veteran status will at least take some bite out of the cap because they figure to be in the top 51.

The Cards will also need around $7 million in cap space for their six draft picks (but in accounting with the top 51, they will need less than $5 million until the end of the preseason.)

This is all an attempt to give some nuance to the question about how much cap space is left. They probably shaved another $3M to $4M overall off the cap with the most recent pickups, but we don't know for sure. Even if they stand at around $4M to $5M left, I wouldn't anticipate too many more moves before we reach the draft (which, with picks and undrafted pickups, would probably be around 17 to 20 players.)

GM Steve Keim
GM Steve Keim

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