Editor’s note: Scott Bair is in Indianapolis to cover the NFL Combine. Check back for his comprehensive coverage and catch his nightly updates on SportsNet Central.
INDIANAPOLIS – The Raiders had tons of salary cap space heading into the 2016 season. That was before last year’s carryover was counted in.
The Silver and Black added $13.37 million to their salary cap number from last year’s carryover, the NFL Players Association announced on Thursday. The team rolled over their entire leftover salary cap number from last season.
That leaves the Raiders with near-complete freedom to spend this offseason. They have $94.12 million devoted to player contracts in 2016, according to overthecap.com. The salary cap is projected to be $155 million this season, leaving roughly $74.25 million in available spending this offseason.
The Raiders have plenty of needs, from defensive back to inside linebacker to running back to offensive line.
The Raiders have been smart with their contracts in recent seasons, front-loading deals to maximize future cap space. After the first season, most Raiders veteran free-agent contracts become pay-as-you-go deals.
The team is also in jeopardy of missing the salary cash floor. Teams must spend 89 percent of the salary cap in cash over a four-year period from 2013-2016, and the NFLPA reported just before the Super Bowl that the Raiders are $41 million below the cash floor.
That sum must be reached by the end of the 2016 offseason. The team isn’t worried about reaching that threshold, considering that extensions for Khalil Mack and Derek Carr can be executed before then.
If they don’t reach the cash floor, the Raiders must divide the remaining amount among players on their 53-man roster next season.