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NFL salary cap expected to increase to about $130M

The NFL's money pie just got a bit bigger.

Several executives from the NFL believe the salary cap will jump from $123 million in 2013 to around $130 million in 2014 for a five-percent increase, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday. The executives are working off the projected $130 million when organizing their offseason plans. ESPN first reported the news.

The hike should take pressure off some teams sitting near the cap bubble. The increase in the cap is larger than what most projected -- around $126.3 million.

Teams over the cap, such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys, will get more relief before going through a roster purge that would get them under the cap.

The extra $4 million will also be beneficial for some teams trying to keep or extend their own players. The Carolina Panthers are a perfect example.

The Panthers have some big-money decisions this offseason. General manager Dave Gettleman must decide whether or not he can afford to keep pass rusher Greg Hardy, extend quarterback Cam Newton and keep some of his secondary together. Additional money will make those decisions a bit easier.

Gettleman did a stellar job pillaging the secondary free-agent market last offseason. Adding an extra couple million dollars could give similar-minded general managers the ability to add solid veterans late in free agency while still paying their top-end players a premium.

On the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the guys speculate on big names who could be cut, then talk offseason forecasts for the Packers and Raiders.

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