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When running an NFL front office, cap space is the name of the game. The moment when teams fail to properly manage the cap is when things start to go south.
However, most teams manage their cap well, but some do it better than others, whether they're rebuilding or competing with young talent.
These five teams currently have the most cap space in the NFL.
1. Indianapolis Colts – $58.6 Million
The Colts have significantly more cap space than anyone else in the NFL and made the playoffs last year! That's what happens when you draft well and have a good quarterback in place. The Colts currently have over $58 million in cap space, even after free agency, and are primed to continue improving their young squad over the next couple of years.
2. Houston Texans – $41.3 Million
The Texans have the second most cap space in the NFL and they're an excellent example of how valuable it is to have a quarterback on a rookie contract. The Texans have around $41.3 million in cap space mainly because they only have to pay Deshaun Watson $4 million this season. They also only have three players on the roster with cap hits above $10 million and that includes Jadeveon Clowney's unsigned franchise tag.
3. Miami Dolphins – $37.1 Million
Miami is a peculiar situation because it has the lowest active salary in the entire NFL by a fairly large margin, but nearly $38 million of dead cap money thanks to the release of Ndamukong Suh and Ryan Tannehill. All of that results in around $37 million in cap space and a team that is focused on rebuilding for the future.
4. San Francisco 49ers – $35.3 Million
The 49ers have been able to manage their cap fairly well while rebuilding, resulting in around $35 million in cap space. Their biggest cap hit is Jimmy Garoppolo's $19.4 million and they lost a bit of flexibility when trading for Dee Ford, who now has a $14.6 million cap hit. Although, at some point you have to turn cap space into actual talent and that's what the 49ers have been doing.
5. Cleveland Browns – $33.3 Million
The Browns have been the in the top 5 in cap space for years and that's how they were able to add Odell Beckham Jr.'s $17 million cap hit and Oliver Vernon's $15.5 million cap hit in the same offseason. They're left with around $33 million in cap space right now, but when all those contracts roll over into 2020 the Browns won't be anywhere near the Top 10 anymore. That means it's officially time to start winning in Cleveland.
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Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username itmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.