Salary Cap Increases $16.6 Million

January 30th, 2023

Lavonte David

Joe has no problem using the term “nerd” to describe the salary cap obsessed.

There’s a simple reason.

The Buccaneers’ own cap guru pridefully did just that in August. Mike Greenberg is general manager Jason Licht’s right-hand man when it comes to contracts. And now Greenberg, per, has the parameters he needs to work magic over the next few months.

The NFL salary cap for 2023 was announced today and it jumped $16.6 million per team, now standing at $224.8 million.

Without Tom Brady on the roster, the full-time cap nerds at report the Bucs are $55 million over the 2023 cap already. (Brady returning opens a lot more potential cap room.) But all that can be massaged and manipulated with the help of Bucs players restructuring deals to give Tampa Bay a little room to maneuver.

As for signing big-money players, Greenberg told The Pat McAfee Show, “The answer’s always, yes.”

Still, the cap will always catch up with a club at some point, kind of like Father Time eventually horse-collaring Brady.

50 Responses to “Salary Cap Increases $16.6 Million”

  1. darengibo Says:

    isn’t the cap expected to REALLY jump in 2024 with the new Sunday Ticket/TV deal?

  2. Davenport Says:

    We are not winning with Bowles and no decent assistant will come here for one year only to be cleared out with Bowles.

    Take 2023 as a clean up year. Put the cap issues and the aging roster behind us – focus on 2024.

  3. NutterBuccer Says:

    Lets not sign old guys like Julio Jones for 9 million who did nothing and we will be alright.

  4. ocala Says:

    Bowles needs to be fired.

  5. Joe Swanson Says:

    Exactly Davenport!

  6. Bill in Seminole Says:

    Prior to yesterday’s Niners-Eagles game I thought Brady signing with the Niners was somebody’s wishful thinking. Post game, I think it became better than 50/50. Have anyone ever seen a conference championship game where one team ran out of QB’s?

    Having said that, the Niners should have let McCaffrey play QB. Anyone else remember Tom Matte coming in to play for the Colts after Unitas and Earl Morrall went down? He played a good QB, for a running back.

  7. PewterStiffArm Says:

    Up in Washington D.C. it doesn’t seem to bother them. Although one day that deficit will come back to bite us all. Just because it increases every year shouldn’t give us the green light to finagle the cap. We need to get younger for speed and also sprinkle in some veterans that will help not hinder.

  8. Marine Buc Says:

    According to Over the Cap – the Bucs are minus $55M…

    We can restructure 6-7 contracts and gain around $45M-$50M.

    We can cut a few players like Brate, Succop and D. Smith and gain another $15M.

    Our draft will cost @ $7M-$8M.

    If Brady ($35M), LVD ($8M) – don’t re-sign with the Bucs that is $43M in dead cap space.

    If we re-sign Jones and Hicks – that is another $8M in dead cap space we could save.

    It will cost @ $25-$30M to re-sign about 15 free agent players who are rotational/special teamers.

    If Brady and LVD come back we are probably able to get everything done. If not this is going to be a difficult task…

  9. Rod Munch Says:

    If you can resign Brady, then you run it back one last time, there is enough wiggle room to get most guys back, and then you hope you have a stellar draft.

    If you don’t resign Brady, then you Tank with Trask and use the year to clean up the cap, then after 2023 you fire everyone, blow-up the team, start over, and do so with a mostly clean cap.

    When the Bucs didn’t go out and waste money every year in the Winston years, and the Bucs had all these contracts with no cap hits to release guys after a couple of years, well that cap management is what let the Bucs go nuts and get Brady and Gronk and keep the team together, they used those previous years of tight cap management to its benefit, and in this current run they also borrowed against the future (which I have no issues with).

    But the cap being a non-issue isn’t true in this case. Normally it is, during the Gruden years it was complete fake news, Gruden just used the cap as a cover for his horrendous player management. But since 2021, the Bucs have used every trick in the book to get by, and those tricks have yet to be paid for. So in 2023, cap hell is real, but you CAN kick the issue down the road a bit more if you have a reason to do so. Brady is the only reason to do so, or Rodgers, but certainly not losers like Carr.

  10. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Rod

    Agreed – It’s pretty simple.

    Bring back –
    Brady ($35M)
    LVD – ($8 M)
    Jones – ($3.5M)
    Hicks – ($4M)

    And that wipes out the minus $55M.

    Restructures and cutting a few players will gain @ $65M…

    The reload is on.

    If Brady moves or retires – the rebuild has begun.

  11. Jmarkbuc Says:


    Why bother running it back with a Swiss cheese defense, an open next offense and a head coach who inspires absolutely no one or nothing?

    Until we get an actual GM, that can make autonomous , bonafide decisions things aren’t going to improve.

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Ugh. That’s not much of a jump.

    Okay, so we’re looking at a really rough year. Will bringing Brady back just kick the can down the road to the following year? If so…I’m pretty much on the fence when it comes to bringing him back.

    We got a superbowl out of him, and a couple good years. Maybe it is time to eat a year and get ourselves out of the cap issues?

    I love seeing Brady play for us though. tough one.

  13. mark2001 Says:

    Rod. The Packers have said they will not trade Rodgers within the NFC. So that is why I’m thinking probably the Jets or LV.

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    You make a good point. Still, depending on who the new OC is, things may change.

    Bowles, when left with just a defense to run, does a good job. No, he’s not inspiring…but the right OC may just make up for it.

    Honestly, I do not expect this team to tank…and I don’t really want them to. Tanking sends a message to the players…and it was hard getting out of a losing culture.

    No way do I believe we have that now. We may just see a turn around IF we can hold onto key players and get the right OC.

  15. Redeemer Says:

    Rod I’m with you. If Brady leaves, reset the books. Then in 24 when the cap really explodes, they’d be ready. Brady’s retirement can also bring some relief. If he signed a one year deal, then was cut post June 1, the hit on his remaining money would be spread across 23 and 24.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Rod Munch Says:
    “…during the Gruden years it was complete fake news, Gruden just used the cap as a cover for his horrendous player management.”

    While I agree Gruden had horrendous player management, the cap issues left behind by rich McKay were 100% real, not fake news.

    Think it through…we were down 4 first rounders because of Gruden and MeShawn, that left us relying on free agency, and the choices made by Gruden and Allen were horrible.

    I do not want to tank, but I do not want to kick the can down the road another year if we can avoid it. Bucs front office has it’s work cut out for them.

    Of course, if Trask ends up being a franchise QB by some miracle, things could really work out over the next few years…assuming the OL and DL are fixed.

  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    We’re going to have to hit big on the draft, IMO. The so-called “big money” free agents we brought in last year were nothing but fizzle. Name one FA acquisition that stood out.
    There’s enough veteran talent on this team to make it work. Say goodbye to free spending and do some darn homework.
    Whatever the cap may be, I expect a different looking team next year. Brady? Well, we need to at least consider his replacement. NOW would probably be a good time! Duh.

  18. mark2001 Says:

    Hit dang… now we are looking at 39 mil. over rather than 55 mil. What will we do with all that reduced cap overage?

  19. Marine Buc Says:

    @ mark

    Not so fast… Over the cap dot com still has us over the current cap by $55,033,921 and that is with the cap number just announced – $224.8M

    And – our current “effective cap space” is currently minus $58M…

  20. sasquatch Says:

    ocala Says:
    January 30th, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    Bowles needs to be fired.

    You’re gonna have to get over this until next year… sorry.

  21. NEfan Says:

    Nothing negative to say about LVD, the man is a baller, pay him.

  22. kyle Says:

    Rod, good post. Im in the blow it up and go 2 and 15 with trask next year thinking. Trade the assets we have now, I know that sucks…

    Then go get one of the qbs in the 2024 draft.

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    LVD is going to go downhill from here. Does no one remember how quickly Brooks did?

  24. stpetebucfan Says:

    So what is the penalty if we go into next season 55million over the cap?

    We’re not permitted any new contracts? I keep reading about the cap with all kinds of teams yet somehow GM’s manage to bring in new FA’s? How does that happen? It’s not just the Bucs.

    According to “Over the Cap, 14 teams are over the cap, with the Saints being in the worst shape; they’re $58.6 million over, slightly more than the Bucs ($55 million).

  25. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    On blowing it up…

    First, no. Not completely. If you blow it up, you are looking at a 5 year rebuild minimum. No way around it between the dead cap and the roster replacements needing to be upgraded all over again.

    If you want to reduce a rebuild by a couple years, that means picking and choosing who we get rid of. Plan ahead. Think about draft capital, but also compete during the rebuild.

    Going 2 and 15 to get a high draft pick is about the worst idea there is. I would think after finally getting rid of a losing culture, you people would know that.

    Good players come to you no matter where you pick. Play to win, and let the chips fall where they will.

  26. Walter Says:

    Still don’t get how Keith Armstrong has a job.

  27. sasquatch Says:

    Let’s not kid ourselves. They’re going to have to release some guys and restructure/renegotiate a whole bunch of guys to put a roster together and hope to be competitive.

    Brady retiring would save us 20 million this year and cost us 20 million next year. Brady re-signing with the Bucs could save us 20 million this year, but would his big time next year. If Brady signs elsewhere, that’s our worst-case cap scenario as his whole 35 million hits this years cap.

    Best case, we have to trim 35 million to get even, and then trim more to sign any free agents

    I can’t see holding onto Donovan Smith when releasing him can save 10 million. Trading Devin White frees up 11 million. Brate’s release saves a couple million. Succop I think could save us 3.5 million. Can we restructure/extend Evans and Godwin? Restructure Jensen, Vea, Davis, Mason?

    It’s a lot of work, and there’s not gonna be money to sign big name external free agents. I don’t see how they can manage that.

  28. mark2001 Says:

    Marine…that is what I get for trying to be an optimist for a change.

  29. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The only way to lower cap is to push it off with restructured contracts… you have to work with players under contract or cut players without guaranteed salary..
    Bringing Brady back would allow future years (years he may not even play) to extend his salary…..for that to happen, he would have to agree to essentially retire a Buc.

  30. mark2001 Says:

    st. pete…don’t look now, but last thing I heard, the Falcons were in the second best cap space, with room to sign some fine FA’s. And a top 10 pick. Let’s hope they have the same level of success with whomever FA’s they sign, as we did with ours last year. SMH.

  31. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Didn’t brooks have a really bad hammy upon his release? It sure looked that way to me.
    It was the least management could do was cut him after all those stellar years of all pro service. Never could quite figure that one out as brooks had already agreed to a huge pay cut if memory serves, and wanted to play, And just needed a little time to heal hammy.
    As for the Bucs now, they need to get rid of the left side of oline as matador’s with a perfected olé blocking scheme is not good for running game or quarterbacking. As we saw this year. It seemed someone’s hands were to hurt to even hold good. That someone still plays left tackle.
    So draft o line early middle and late, and perhaps end up with a couple of starters. Just make sure their last name ain’t marpet, because it did this team little good investing six years into a guard that finally comes into his own just to quit playing.

  32. Marine Buc Says:

    @ mark


    I wish you were right this time…

    Unless Brady and LVD return it will be rebuild time.

    Now we wait. Held hostage by Tom Brady.

    To me the whole thing is very odd. If Brady was returning to Tampa – why not just announce it now?

    I don’t think there is a very big market for Brady. 2-3 teams are probably interested besides the Bucs.

  33. Defense Rules Says:

    I don’t smoke, but I want what some of y’all have been smoking because it’d be worth a ton on the open market.

    For starters, the salary CAP didn’t just go up for the Bucs, it went up for EVERYONE. It still represents the amount of money to pay the Top 51 players on your roster (plus cover a few other niceties like IR, Dead CAP, etc, but we won’t go there). Point being: ALL teams are dealing with the same bottom line, thus … expect to pay top talent more, etc, etc., but it’s not like we just hit the lottery. EVERYONE won the lottery.

    According to Spotrac, our Adjusted Salary CAP is now $227.5 mil (Adjusted CAP is what counts supposedly because it includes Rollover from 2022). We’ve got 54 players on our roster right now, but that includes 5 (Brady, LVD, Hicks, Julio & Gholston) who are on Voided contracts (they’re FAs who we still owe money to in reality), and those contracts total $50.3 mil. Our active 54 contracts total $284.8 mil, and when you add our $0.6 mil of Dead CAP that comes to $285.4 mil. But if you just look at the Top-51 (which is what really matters) that number decreases a little to $283.2 mil for 2023. Subtract that from the Adjusted salary CAP of $227.5 mil and you get MINUS $55.7 mil for our real current salary CAP status.

    Before everyone gets to giddy about the $16.6 mil increase for 2023, folks should keep in mind that it normally goes up by around $10 mil average anyways. And that whole increase wouldn’t even pay HALF of what we owe Tom Brady for NOT PLAYING in 2023 ($35.1 mil). IF he plays for us, we’d owe him an additional $25 mil or more for sure. Yes we could slide some of it to 2024, but then guess what … nah, that’s too easy.

  34. Marine Buc Says:

    @ DR

    As always – very nice analysis.

    If we “reload” this season and have another 8-10 win season with a 46 year old QB – we will probably have a minus $80M-$100M salary cap in 2024…

    Is it worth it?

    Or should we bite the bullet now and admit our window has closed?

  35. Defense Rules Says:

    Bonzai … ‘On blowing it up … First, no. Not completely. If you blow it up, you are looking at a 5 year rebuild minimum’.

    I agree, but we couldn’t blow it all up even if we wanted to. We owe way too much money in terms of deferred salaries. You can’t take a whole bunch of hits of that magnitude all in a single year. Examples:

    o Mike Evans: Dead CAP … $21.4 mil.
    o Chris Godwin: Dead CAP … $35.0 mil
    o Russell Gage: Dead CAP … $9.3 mil
    o Shaq Barrett: Dead CAP … $23.1 mil
    o Vita Vea: dead CAP … $22.6 mil
    o Carlton Davis: Dead CAP … $15.7 mil
    o Devin White: Dead CAP … $11.7 mil
    o Ryan Jensen: Dead CAP … $19.0 mil
    o Leonard Fournette: Dead CAP … $5.0 mil
    o Shaq Mason: Dead CAP $4.3 mil

    Just those are 10 veteran players under contract have a Dead CAP that would be a whopping $167.1 mil in terms of salary CAP hits IF we released them (we won’t talk about what it’d cost to replace them once we released them). Add in the $50.3 mil CAP hits that we owe to Brady, LVD, Hicks, Gholston & Julio for NOT playing in 2023 and you end up with $217.4 mil that just went POOF. Leaving us roughly $10 mil to field a team. Kinda unlikely. IOW, we don’t have the luxury of simply blowing it up; we’ll have to dig out from under this dung heap over probably about 3 years is my best guess. And that’s IF we draft extremely well AND manage our CAP a lot better than we’ve been managing it.

  36. Defense Rules Says:

    Marine Buc … What’s with the Testing 1 2 3? Afraid that Joe has sentenced you to hard labor in the cooler?

  37. Bucs Guy Says:

    Trade Devin White. You should be able to get a 2nd round pick plus another. Doubtful you can get a 1st rd puck unless it is a late 1st rounder. Most teams aren’t looking for an ILB in the 1st.

  38. Defense Rules Says:

    Marine Buc … ‘Is it worth it?’

    He11 no! Atlanta is digging out, and so is Carolina. New Orleans and us are woefully stuck at the bottom of the heap. Going for 1 more year of pretending to be a Super Bowl contender merely seals out fate for many years to come.

    I’m in favor of biting as much of the bullet now (2023) as we can, then spending 2024 & 2025 to ‘get right’ as best we can. Our 2022 season was a disaster because we had no DEPTH to work with. When injuries happened (and we had a LOT), we paid the price. Our starters were beaten to death, and ultimately paid the price themselves in terms of injuries & poor performance on the field in many cases (Jensen, Stinnie & Shaq of course, plus also D Smith, Wirfs, Gage, Godwin, Davis, SMB & several others). Rams suffered exactly the same fate BTW.

  39. Jon Grudin Says:

    Well said and excellent summary, Rod Munch.

    Trading one of Godwin (hate to do it but it’s $35m of cap relief), Gage, D White or Vea (overweight 1/2 time players don’t last long in the Tampa heat) could help. Maybe also try to get back an out of favor QB (Trey Lance, Jordan Love) who might be able to take over if Brady does not return and Bucs can sign a decent OC and QB coach who can develop a QB.

    If Donavan Smith played injured or had personal issues in 2022 give him a pass. Let Julio, Logan and Akeem go (always injured) and develop some young guys. Re-sign Nelson, Nassib and Ghoulston.

    My work here is done.

  40. Marine Buc Says:

    @ DR

    I agree.

    As much as I hate to admit it – our window has closed.

    Philly won a SB in 2018. They have since fired their head coach – switched QBs a few times and are now going to the Super Bowl.

    Let’s hope the Bucs can rebuild that quickly…

  41. Defense Rules Says:

    sasquatch … ‘Let’s not kid ourselves. They’re going to have to release some guys and restructure/renegotiate a whole bunch of guys to put a roster together and hope to be competitive.’

    As always, I appreciate the way you think. I don’t have real high expectations for 2023, but I love being surprised.

    I think the thing that too many forget about restructuring contracts to lessen the salary CAP hit from their contract is that you should only do that for players you’re willing to commit to long-term. Guys like Evans, Godwin, and yes, Wirfs & Winfield. Plus maybe a couple others (I’m a huge fan of Jensen for instance). I’d gladly let all 5 of those retire as a Buc. Beyond that though, I’d be reluctant to spend too much money on guys who aren’t ‘HOF-material’ so to speak.

  42. Defense Rules Says:

    Jon Grudin … I’m in favor of giving Donnie Smith a pass also. There’s no doubt that he played hurt much of the year, and did the best that he could. He’s one of the guys on this team that I consider to be a warrior. His play can be frustrating at times, but he was out there doing his best when a lot of other LTs would’ve been sitting on the bench or in the whirlpool. Besides, he has a Dead CAP of $8.0 mil that we’d have to eat, AND we’d have to then replace him.

    And as far as trading Godwin goes, you might want to rethink that. There’s a lot that goes into Dead CAP, but essentially ‘Dead money is a salary cap charge for a player that is no longer on a team’s roster. The charge continues to count even though the contract of the player has been terminated or traded’.

    Godwin’s 2023 Dead CAP is currently $35 mil. If we trade him, the team we trade him to wouldn’t pick up his Dead CAP, they’d pick up his contract (plus throw in a draft pick or 2 I’m sure). As I understand it, we’d have to still eat a bunch of that $35 mil, based on how many years the contract has remaining, how much he’s already been paid, guaranteed money, etc. And oh ya, THEN we’d have to replace him (which costs $$$?). I’d love to see Chris retire as a Buc. He’s a warrior & he’s got heart.

  43. D-Rok Says:

    Only 16.6 per team – that’s it?? Man, that’s only an 8% increase, which is barely above inflation.

    As I’m sure most NFL fans would agree, we were hoping for more.

  44. bucfan34 Says:

    Think Bobby Bonilla… Stretch Brady’s contract out to age 72.

  45. mark2001 Says:

    Unless Brady comes back, we are looking at a year or two out before the New O scheme and QB would be up and running. If he comes back, the new OC might be able to learn the system, tweak it to his liking, and we could progress faster. But with Trask the only QB in the fold, a guy that might not even be capable of being a starter, and a new OC. And a QB having to learn a new system as well? Asking alot to hit the ground running.
    Regarding the personnel… I don’t know we need to blow the thing up. But if we could get some draft capital for a couple guy starting to move into the zenith of their careers, or that have contracts we don’t plan to reup in another year or two, why not? Get Licht or whomever something to work with to move around in the draft and get some young guys with talent.

  46. stpetebucfan Says:

    I accept everybody’s points here about our dire situation especially D.R.

    I just fear if everybody gives up before the season even starts and the team does decide to tank for high draft position you’ve just introduced the beginning of a “LOSING CULTURE”. Win as many effing games as we can. Pro football careers are short…a year is a lifetime…what do you tell guys who show up and put their butts on the line? Hey don’t overdo it we need to LOSE?

  47. Buccos Says:

    I give Brady a pass for 2022 but do not give one to Donny. I say draft a LT in round 1 and cut #76. He isn’t a good pass blocker and he is even worse in the run game. He is terrible. Get rid of him! Brady is going to have a bounce back season. Make sure that we have a LG this time. I thought Leverett passed the eye test but definitely worse than Marpet. With a solid line and Gronkowski come back we could have a reboot and contend with this roster again.

  48. David Says:

    Doesn’t matter what the cap is going to be.We suck with Bowles as head coach Might as well blow what’s left of this team up for draft picks and rebuild and let Brady go ahead and try and win somewhere else.Waiting to see who the next head coach of the 2024 Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be might be pairing him with the 1# pick that year smh

  49. David Says:

    Those talking about tanking it won’t be a problem in Bowles we trust in that resort

  50. Rpg Says:

    Fire Bowles!