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Salary Cap Has Huge Jump To $255 Million In 2024

Teams get $30 million more than last season

The NFL announced this year's salary cap number on Friday, and it was a doozy.

The salary cap for 2024 will be $255.5 million. Last year, it was "only" $224.8M. What that means for the Cardinals is that they should have approximately $55M in salary cap space currently, which is ninth in the league, according to overthecap.com.

Their "effective cap space" is nearly $44M. (Effective cap space takes into account signing 51 players -- the number used in the offseason for the cap -- and the rookie class. The Cards currently have more than 60 guys under contract for next season.)

It's nice to have more space, but of course, every team got the same benefit so in many ways, it evens everything out. One large plus for the Cardinals, or any team with an expensive veteran quarterback, is that it helps ease that cap hit. Kyler Murray has a cap number of $51.4 million in 2024, a giant jump from the $16M of last season but already taken into account with the Cards' cap space at the moment.

(Notable from overthecap.com -- the jump in cap of $30.6 million for this season nearly matches the original salary cap of $34.6 million in 1994. It's been quite the 30 years, with a 738 percent rise since then.)

The giant jump, according to the NFL, came from the repayment of money "advanced by the clubs and deferred by the players" during the Covid pandemic. Money, and cap space, was set aside given the financial restrictions of the 2020 season. (The cap actually dropped $16M in 2021, and has slowly moved back.) The league also got a huge increase in media money for 2024, which is shared with the players through the cap.

What this all means for the immediate Cardinals future may or may not be much. GM Monti Ossenfort made clear this week free agency was something to "supplement" the roster with the draft remaining its main engine. The Cards already had some room to work with on the cap. 

For his part, owner Michael Bidwill said Ossenfort will have the resources to do what he wants to do in free agency.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) signs his contract extension on Monday, July 25, 2022 in Tempe, AZ.

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