Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Total Salaries: $104,904,794*
Estimated Salary Cap Space: $19,441,899
The Falcons are in pretty good shape where it comes to their available salary cap. They have the room to make a splash in free agency, but as some of their bad contracts prove that may not be the best thing for them.
One quick housekeeping note, to get to these numbers I took out the cap hit for Tony Gonzalez, since it’s extremely unlikely he isn’t off the cap by the start of next season.
Offense: $67,275,319 (28 players)
Not surprisingly, the Falcons spend the majority of their salary cap on the offensive side of the ball. Much of that money goes to quarterback Matt Ryan, but they also have big cap hits for Justin Blalock, Roddy White, Sam Baker and Julio Jones.
Defense: $33,077,191 (21 players)
The Falcons have lots of holes to fill on the defense, so it makes sense that they would have so little cap money currently spent there. This number is sure to rise as they fill needs on the defense line this offseason.
While there are a few bad deals on defense, most of the high-value ones are here as well. How the defensive line shapes up will define whether or not the defense is a good cap unit or a bad one.
Special Teams: $4,552,284 (3 players)
I’m not a big fan of spending much money on special teams. Now, that doesn’t mean they’re not important, they certainly are. You can find cheap kickers and punters, and as long as you’ve built a deep roster, you’re kick return and coverage teams will be good.
Alright, now let’s get down to the nitty gritty and check out the good and bad contracts on the Falcons.
*All salary cap numbers courtesy of overthecap.com.