Rumored salary cap increase would give the Jaguars significant room for maneuvering

• If the cap ceiling is increased in 2024, the Jaguars could make 1 or 2 additional moves in free agency.

Feb 28, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke during the
Feb 28, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke during the / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have a tight budget heading into free agency. They currently have around $11 million in cap space but they could get a financial breathing room if the cap ceiling goes up, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk suggests.

Florio says that a league executive told him the salary cap for 2024 could be as high as $250 million, $8 million over the expected amount. If the cap does go up, the Jaguars could make a few moves that they wouldn't otherwise be able to do.

Over the Cap has the cap limit for this year at $242 million. The Jags and most likely every other NFL club has surely been operating as if that's the amount they'll have at their disposal. Although $8 million doesn't sound like much it could go a long way toward helping them keep a pair of players or add a couple in free agency.

If the cap stays at $242 million, Jacksonville would probably have to move on from safety Rayshawn Jenkins, defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi, or Zay Jones. By moving on from all three, they would create a bit over $13 million in cap space. With the adjustment, they could keep two of them. Conversely, they could target someone that they weren't planning to do.

One of the Jaguars' biggest needs right now is center, and with that extra $8 million, they could target one of the best ones who are slated to be available in free agency. It could also come in handy in negotiations with either wide receiver Calvin Ridley or outside linebacker Josh Allen. Both are scheduled to become free agents and if cap constraints were a roadblock in negotiations, the extra space should help them bridge the gap.

The extra cap space would help the Jaguars bounce back in 2024

The Jags currently rank 19th in the league in cap terms. Everyone would get the additional $8 million but it would still help them narrow the gap between them and the rest of their AFC South foes. Coming off their first division title since 2019, the Houston Texans don't have many tough decisions to make this offseason. With $69 million in space, they can easily afford to re-sign tight end Dalton Schultz, and edge rusher Jonathan Greenard, their top two pending free agents.

Similarly, the Indianapolis Colts have ample room to operate with this offseason. Even after they lock up wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. and defensive tackle Grover Stewart, they'll have ample space to make a couple splash signings in free agency.

On the other hand, the Tennessee Titans could also be big spenders in free agency. Their $71.8 million in space is the second most in the NFL. If they wanted to, they could outbid pretty much every other team not named the Chicago Bears (first in the league in space) in free agency. That's why that extra $8 million would be huge for the Jags.

Whether the cap goes up in 2024 or not, the Jacksonville Jaguars will need to find a way to make upgrades in the offseason. Otherwise, they run the risk of falling behind while the rest of the AFC South load up on weapons in free agency.

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