Two separate announcements made on Monday - one by the NFL, and one by the NFLPA - give us a clear picture of the Buffalo Bills' salary cap situation heading into the 2015 league year.
First came word that the official NFL salary cap for the 2015 season has been set at $143.28 million.
Teams were informed today the salary cap will officially be $143.28M, per source.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 2, 2015
Then came word from the Players' Association that the Bills had rolled over $2,647,907 from last year's books into this year's. Factoring in adjustments worth nearly $146,000, the Bills' adjusted salary cap for 2015 is $145,781,930, which ranks them No. 22 in the league.
In terms of actual spending money, however, the Bills rank much higher. When the new league year begins at 4:00 p.m. ET on March 10, Top 51 accounting begins, meaning that the 51 richest deals on the books are the only ones that count against the cap. When that happens, the Bills will have $31.56 million in cap space, which puts them in the top third of the league in spending money, according to Spotrac.com. (That calculation already includes dead money and rookie pool allocations, as well.)
Buffalo could conceivably create even more cap space by releasing veteran players by March 10, though clearly they don't have to, given the amount of space already at their disposal. The NFL's franchise tag deadline is at 4:00 p.m. ET this afternoon, though the Bills are not expected to use it - but if they do, that would subtract from the cap space total, as well.