How bad is the Bucs' salary cap situation heading into 2023? – Bucs Wire

We’ve been hearing about it all throughout the 2022 season, and now, the time has arrived to confront the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ daunting salary cap situation.
After multiple years of contract restructures and void years in pursuit of keeping their Super Bowl window open as long as possible, the bill is starting to come due for the Bucs this offseason.
Just how bad is it?
According to Spotrac, the Bucs are currently projected to be around $55 million over next year’s salary cap right now. That’s without re-signing any of their pending free agents, such as Tom Brady, Lavonte David, Jamel Dean, Mike Edwards, Sean Murphy-Bunting and others.
A large chunk of that is a $35 million dead cap hit for Brady, thanks to previous restructures of his contract over the past couple of years. Other pending free agents are also carrying dead cap numbers for 2023 right now, but none of them are anywhere close to Brady’s.
Obviously, re-signing any of those players would give the Bucs the opportunity to kick the can down the road even further with more restructures and void years, which would save them cap space in 2023, but cost them even more on the back end.
Next year’s official salary cap number hasn’t been set yet, so that $55 million overage is still a vague projection at this point, but it’s safe to say whatever that number ends up being will still require some tough decisions on Tampa Bay’s part this offseason.
It’ll be hard for them to keep most of their 23 unrestricted free agents, sign new veterans to replace them, or target any expensive players via trade.
All of this puts even more importance on the 2023 NFL draft, where the Bucs will need to nail as many picks as possible to take advantage of cheap rookie contracts while they deal with their salary cap crunch.
Throw in the fact that young stars like All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs, Pro Bowl linebacker Devin White, and Pro Bowl safety Antoine Winfield Jr. will all be up for lucrative long-term extensions soon, and you’ll see just how much of a challenge this offseason could be for the Bucs from a financial standpoint.
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