Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew have said all offseason the team would have plenty of cap space to sign their draft picks and accomplish what they want to do in free agency.
They were right.
The NFL salary cap has grown from a projected $126 million to $133 million for 2014, per ESPN. That’s an eight percent increase from the $123 million cap last season, and it could be headed much higher in years to come.
According to the report, the cap is projected to balloon to $140 million in 2015 and $150 million in 2016.
“We knew it’d be higher than what the estimates were that were out there,” Mayhew said last week at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“We didn’t know how high it would go, but I don’t know if surprised is the word. I didn’t look at that and go ‘Oh, that surprised me. That’s good.’ We weren’t necessarily surprised. We knew it was going to go up.
“I think it’s going to continue to go up, so we anticipate that happening. We just don’t know what the exact number is.”
The estimated leaps in the cap for 2015 and 2016 coincide with lucrative television deals kicking in for the league.