2014 cap is projected to be $126.3 million

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For more and more NFL teams, the time of the year has come to think about next year.

In a salary-cap environment, one of the biggest things about which to think is the spending limit.  Per multiple reports, league owners were told at Wednesday’s quarterly meeting that the salary cap for 2014 currently is expected to be $126.3 million per team.

That’s a $3.3 million increase from the current maximum, which translates to an increase of only 2.68 percent over last year.

The cap has grown slowly in recent years due in large part to unexpectedly high benefits costs.  Since the 2011 labor deal was finalized, accounting creativity has been needed in order to ensure an uptick in the cap.  In 2012, for example, a little pigskin-style robbing of Peter to pay Paul was needed to prevent the spending limit from actually dropping.

The cap is expected to continue to make slow, steady growth.  A larger bump is possible in 2015, the first year in which the calculations will take into account the new broadcast contracts, which start in 2014.