2014 cap set at $133M; Broncos have $19.44M free

The salary cap for 2014 has been set at a whopping $133M, which is up nearly $10M from last season. Adam Schefter reports that the cap is expected to top $140M in 2015, and surpass $150M in 2016.

According to Over the Cap, Denver now has $19.44M with which to work. They can easily double that space by cutting the contracts of Champ Bailey ($10M in savings), Chris Kuper ($4.084M), Jacob Tamme ($3M), and Joel Dreessen ($2.5M), if they're so inclined.

At the least, the team is expected to ask Bailey to renegotiate his deal, and it would be an absolute shock to see Kuper and Dreessen back at more than $1M or so each. Really, though, we expect both players to eventually be cut loose.

Dreessen was scheduled to undergo knee surgery recently, so he wouldn't figure to be released until he's been given a clean bill of health, else the Broncos owe him an injury settlement.

The higher cap figure means Denver would need to pay Eric Decker $12.312M or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie $11.834M to retain them via franchise tender.

Don't expect that to happen.

Restricted free agent tender levels have also been set, with Chris Harris expected to draw a second-round tender ($2.187M). Mitch Unrein and Trindon Holliday are Denver's other RFAs.

Transactions/Rumors

Franchise tags were slapped on New Orleans TE Jimmy Graham (setting up a potential dispute), Jets K Nick Folk (who instantly went from underpaid to overpaid), and Carolina DE Greg Hardy.

San Diego re-signed LB Donald Butler; Oakland retained T Khalif Barnes; Baltimore gave TE Dennis Pitta a new five-year deal; Chicago re-signed CB Kelvin Hayden.

Seattle cut WR Sidney Rice and DT Red Bryant; New England released S Steve Gregory; Arizona dumped LB Jasper Brinkley and their strength coach.

Safety Louis Delmas, who reportedly has drawn interest from Denver, visited with the Dolphins on Friday. Meanwhile, Jason La Canfora reports that Miami has been shopping 2013 first-rounder DE Dion Jordan and is open to dealing WR Mike Wallace and LB Cameron Wake.

The agent for guard Geoff Schwartz met with the Chiefs at the combine, but it sounds like the team will be priced out of retaining the ex-Panther.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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