NFL Salary Cap 2019: What Is the New League Limit, Which Teams Have the Most Cap Room?

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates after drawing the Houston Texans offisides in the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium on December 9 in Houston, Texas. The Colts are projected to have the most cap space to work with this offseason. Tim Warner/Getty Images

The NFL salary cap will rise to approximately $190 million in 2019, the league announced on Tuesday.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said teams were informed the projected salary cap range will be between $187 million and $191.1 million, up from $177.2 million this season and a 40 percent increase from the 2014 campaign.

Read more: NFL Playoff Picture 2019: Which teams secured a postseason spot in Week 14?

The latest increase marks the sixth consecutive year the cap has risen by at least $10 million. The league added that total projected player costs, including benefits, will be more than $7.3 billion in 2019.

Another sign of the NFL’s continued success and growth.

— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) December 11, 2018

While the exact salary cap figure will be determined before free agency opens on March 13, news of the increase will be welcome by cap-strapped teams.

According to Spotrac, the average salary cap space in the league currently stands at $42.6 million. As it stands, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Philadelphia Eagles are both over the salary cap, while the Minnesota Vikings have less than $10 million to allocate.

The Vikings signed Kirk Cousins to a three-year, $84 million deal in the offseason but have a number of decisions to make this summer, with defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and running back Latavius Murray among the players up for renewal.

The former currently earns $8 million a year, while the latter receives an annual salary of $5 million. Minnesota's front office might have little room for manoeuvre.

The graphic below provided by Statista illustrates how the NFL salary cap has risen over the years.

The salary cap in the NFL has risen by at least $10 million in each of the last six years. Statista/NFL

Ezekiel Ansah and DeMarcus Lawrence are currently the highest paid players among the upcoming free agents, both with an annual salary of $17.1 million.

Their respective teams, the Lions and the Cowboys, have plenty of salary cap room to retain their services. Detroit is around $39.6 million below the cap, while Dallas has just over $51 million of cap space.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Indianapolis Colts are projected to have the largest cap space in the league. The two-time Super Bowl winners currently have over $123 million worth of salary cap room and it would not come as a surprise to see the Colts bidding for the services of Le'Veon Bell.

The running back is expected to be the biggest free agent available in March. Bell opted to sit out the entirety of the season after failing to reach a long-term agreement with the Pittsburgh Steelers, following the team's decision to franchise-tag him for a second consecutive season back in the summer.

The New York Jets are also expected to be among the big spenders in the offseason, as they are the only team along, with the Colts, to have over $100 million in salary cap space.

The Jets selected Sam Darnold with the number 3 overall pick in this year's draft but could be set for another high pick as they are currently 4-9.

Their record is the joint-third-worst in the league, alongside those of the Falcons, Jaguars and Bills. Only the Raiders, Cardinals and 49ers have a worse record, as they are all 3-10.