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2012 NFL Salary Caps: Bucs Have Room; Jaguars, Dolphins Do Not

Now that the Super Bowl is over and our commercial-induced temporary insanity has worn off -- seriously, why do we make such a big deal over the commercials? -- it's finally time to turn our attention to the offseason. Considering that the Bucs, Jaguars, and Dolphins have all been living in the realm of "We'll get 'em next year!" since around Week 6, it's somewhat refreshing to be able to hit reset and put the 2011 season behind us.

As we look forward, the big offseason questions facing each franchise write themselves. Who will the Dolphins target for quarterback? Will Khan take the Jags in a new direction? Will the Bucs sign...well, anyone? But before we answer any of these questions, we have to know one important detail: how much room each team has under the salary cap.

Each team's salary cap situation can be a tricky thing to figure out, and I don't claim to have any specific knowledge on how to calculate it. Heck, I'm still trying to figure out the NHL's salary floor and cap, and their system is somewhat simpler than the NFL's version.

Thankfully, though, the writers over at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel have calculated out the salary cap statuses for every team in the NFL. The project the salary cap to be around $124 million in 2012, with each team already having committed this much money toward the season:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $98,899,458
Jacksonville Jaguars: $107,270,274
Miami Dolphins: $116,636,173

According to the Sun Sentinel, the Buccaneers have the fifth smallest amount of money committed to their 2012 roster, which should allow them to make some big free agent acquisitions. Of course, the Bucs were in a similar position last offseason and refused to make any big moves, but sooner or later, they have to spend money in order to reach the salary floor.

The Jaguars and Dolphins are in trickier situations. Both teams need to rebuild and improve, but they don't have much flexibility under the cap in order to make additions and changes. They will have to be creative in order to improve their teams going forward. That's not to say it's impossible for the Dolphins or Jaguars to make a splash...they'll just have to think outside the box some.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.