Falcons: 2023 NFL Salary Cap Is Set

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The NFL has set its salary cap for the upcoming season. According to NFL Network, teams are expected to have $224.8 million in cap space, which puts the Falcons’ 2023 cap space at more than $56 million, per Spotrac.

Atlanta only trails the Chicago Bears for the most cap space entering the season, and the club is finally putting behind them the dead money associated with the deals of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Dante Fowler, and others. Deion Jones still accounts for a significant amount of the team’s cap space in 2023, but nowhere close to the record-setting, league-leading marks the Falcons dealt with in 2022.

The Falcons could also cut Marcus Mariota this offseason, which is something SportsTalkATL has talked about extensively:

Mariota seemingly stepped away from the Falcons after learning about his demotion. A phantom injury ended his season despite never appearing on any injury report.

According to reports, the Falcons informed Mariota of the change on Thursday morning; by Friday, the team learned the veteran planned to step away. And the Falcons’ head coach went further to say the injury wasn’t an issue all season and that it was Mariota’s prerogative.

The two sides are headed for an inevitable divorce. The former Oregon star’s biggest draw was his support of a young quarterback and his veteran leadership. Now, he’s practically useless in that capacity after leaving the team and Ridder high and dry.

The Falcons will save a whopping $12 million by releasing him while only incurring a $2.5 million dead cap figure. It’s almost impossible to see the Falcons keeping him on the roster in 2023 on his current contract.

Mariota is one of only four players with a cap hit of more than $10 million next season, he won’t be on the team next year under the same contract. I’d even go as far as to assume the Falcons’ 2023 cap space is already at $68 million without Mariota.

Grady Jarrett and Jake Matthews have the two highest cap hits, and the Falcons could sniff $90 million in cap space with max restructures for both, but I’d argue against that. Atlanta isn’t going to compete for a Super Bowl in 2023, so it makes sense to front-load all contracts to maximize the window of opportunity.

The Falcons’ 2023 salary cap is set, and because of the NFL’s 17th game, new media deals, and increased profits, it’s a record-setting league-wide salary cap. It should only be expected to continue to rise too.

Teams have until 4 p.m. ET on March 15 to get under the salary cap before the free agency period officially opens.

Photographer: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

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