Header Banner

AFC Cap Space Breakdown 2023: A Deep Dive into the Financial Dynamics of Each Team

1.) Bengals

  • Cap Space: $19,607,330
  • Active Cap Spending: $205,964,218
  • Dead Money: $593,004

The Bengals are looking down the barrel of having three super large contracts to negotiate and manage almost simultaneously. Joe Burrow is a lock to the be the next highest paid player in NFL history. Then there is a serious debate to be had at whether or not to keep both Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. Are the Bengals waiting for the Vikings to set the market with their deal for Justin Jefferson in the same way that they waited on the Justin Herbert extension? This is a team who historically doesn’t spend a lot of money but they drafted so well that it seems like they should finally do so.

Embed from Getty Images

2.) Colts

  • Cap Space: $19,167,598
  • Active Cap Spending: $187,411,825
  • Dead Money: $24,903,267

The Colts are another team who historically doesn’t spend much. Unlike the Bengals though, it doesn’t seem that will be changing anytime soon. With Anthony Richardson on a rookie contract, they could be using this cap room to surround talent around him, but don’t hold your breath. This cap room will be rolled over but likely not used fully.

3.) Jaguars

  • Cap Space: $18,312,810
  • Active Cap Spending: $203,175,542
  • Dead Money: $4,701,497

The Jaguars are likely looking to roll this money forward to next season when a deal for some stars like Trevor Lawrence and possibly Calvin Ridley may be called for. Lawrence will still have a low cap hit and this money could be used to surround him with more talent.

4.) Browns

  • Cap Space: $17,207,003
  • Active Cap Spending: $217,870,317
  • Dead Money: $16,205,829

The Browns need to be preparing themselves for some rather larger Deshaun Watson cap hits in the future, so rolling over cap space now seems smart. A possible Nick Chubb deal may be coming next along with an extension for Amari Cooper.

5.) Patriots

  • Cap Space: $17,095,961
  • Active Cap Spending: $182,812,364
  • Dead Money: $21,824,272

The Patriots still have room to make a possible move this year. If not, they’ll roll over the funds for next offseason with Mac Jones will on his rookie contract. They were able to sign some veteran pass catchers, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mike Gesicki.

6.) Jets

  • Cap Space: $16,291,158
  • Active Cap Spending: $203,424,785
  • Dead Money: $8,325,051

Thanks to the massive pay cut by Aaron Rodgers, the Jets cap health for this season and beyond is in a much better shape. They can still make some moves if an opportunity arises, but they’ve also been able to avoid cutting some players, like Corey Davis. They’re all in and so is their QB.

7.) Dolphins

  • Cap Space: $13,188,576
  • Active Cap Spending: $203,530,782
  • Dead Money: $8,471,899

The Dolphins are another team that could strike if an opportunity arises like they did last season with the trade for Bradley Chubb. Like the rest of their division, with the exception of New England, their window is now. Miami is prepared to spend to take advantage of it.

8.) Titans

  • Cap Space: $12,797,955
  • Active Cap Spending: $179,418,162
  • Dead Money: $38,084,286

The Titans were candidates for a complete tear down and rebuild but they’ve put that off for at least one more year. They doubled down by not only retaining talent, like Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill, but they also signed DeAndre Hopkins. They’ll roll over a decent amount of cap room to help next offseason in what will be either a rebuild or another delay.

9.) Texans

  • Cap Space: $12,669,506
  • Active Cap Spending: $186,246,383
  • Dead Money: $31,840,680

The Texans are definitely hoping to put his cap space to good use next year, but for 2023 are just hoping to see some glimpses from C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson to give them hope for the future. The only real contract of note for them is the continuous mega, short-term extensions they keep giving to Laremy Tunsil, which they will likely be forced to do yet again at some point.

10.) Chargers

  • Cap Space: $12,372,262
  • Active Cap Spending: $211,362,150
  • Dead Money: $2,185,929

After reaching a quasi-deal with Austin Ekeler and a massive extension with Justin Herbert, the Chargers window is seeminly now, with it closing a bit more in 2024. Khalil Mack, Austin Ekeler, and Keenan Allen may all be playing their lost season for the Bolts.

11.) Steelers

  • Cap Space: $11,020,604
  • Active Cap Spending: $204,294,597
  • Dead Money: $13,264,647

The Steelers have invested heavily thanks to Kenny Pickett‘s rookie contract. Alex Highsmith is only the latest Steeler defender to get a nice contract. A team that is seemingly always a playoff contender, the Steelers may have a nice window with their QB’s contract, but stars like T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward, and Minkah Fitzpatrick aren’t getting any younger.

12.) Broncos

  • Cap Space: $9,093,552
  • Active Cap Spending: $212,703,285
  • Dead Money: $10,407,777

What can you say about the Broncos and their cap situation? It basically all hinges on the relationship between Russell Wilson and Sean Payton. The Wilson contract is enormous, but if he can’t turn it around in 2023 it becomes completely a dead weight. They have some young players who need contracts coming up soon include Jerry Jeudy and Patrick Surtain II. They dealt Chubb to avoid the extension Miami gave to him, will they be forced to do the same for their other two young stars?

13.) Ravens

  • Cap Space: $8,788,241
  • Active Cap Spending: $202,983,585
  • Dead Money: $11,330,704

The Ravens had a big offseason when it came to contracts. They got a deal done with Lamar Jackson, which seemed like. a good contract for both sides. Then they followed that up with a head scratchingly big deal with Odell Beckham Jr. They spend their money differently than most other teams, ie. the big contract to off-the-ball linebacker Roquan Smith. Despite this they always are competitive, so we’ll see how the OBJ and Jackson deals age.

14.) Bills

  • Cap Space: $5,729,649
  • Active Cap Spending: $216,445,479
  • Dead Money: $5,230,333

The Bills are in a tough spot when it comes to the cap. They need Josh Allen to stay healthy to even stand a chnace, which didn’t happen last season. The window with Stefon Diggs is closing and they had to let Tremaine Edmunds sign with the Bears. They probably over reached with the Von Miller contract and need him to reclaim his former dominance to get past the Chiefs and the Bengals. Their division got tougher once again and the Bills are just scraping by when it comes to the cap. This may be a make it or break it year for them in regards to their current window.

15.) Raiders

  • Cap Space: $4,874,189
  • Active Cap Spending: $199,264,929
  • Dead Money: $30,474,999

The Raiders have done some perplexing contracts and its unclear where they truly see themselves. The Chandler Jones contract seems like a massive swing and miss so far and was Devante Adams really worth getting? They have everything riding on Jimmy Garappolo, so we’ll see if he can make it through the season and be effective. If not, its likely a complete rebuild heading into 2024.

16.) Chiefs

  • Cap Space: $748,038
  • Active Cap Spending: $211,385,303
  • Dead Money: $7,786,537

They’ll clear some more space for small moves during the 2023 season, but the defending champs are in the best spot, so long as Patrick Mahomes is healthy and if Travis Kelce doesn’t play like his age. Their cap situation is been helped a lot thanks to the amazing contract they agreed to with Mahomes and the fact that Kelce is basically playing on a 50% discount because he’s a tight end. Next offseason, the Chiefs are likely to re-do Mahomes contract to take into account all of the new QB contracts that have happened this year.