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NFL salary cap to increase to at least $174-178 million in 2018

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NFL teams will have more money to spend next year

NFL: Washington Redskins at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Rapoport and others are reporting that NFL teams were given a projection for an increase in next year's salary cap. The cap will go from $167 million to between $174.2 million and $178.1 million. This will be in line with recent increases in the cap since new TV deals were signed in 2011 and more recently. This number could go higher when the official number is set before the owner's meetings in March.

Salary Cap by year:

2017: $167 million

2016: $155.27 million

2015: $143.28 million

2014: $133 million

2013: $123 million

2012: $120.6 million

The Washington Redskins are in good shape for next year’s cap, but have a few key free agency decisions that could be helped with some extra money on the books. The team could not work out a long-term deal with QB Kirk Cousins again last offseason, and used the franchise tag for a second consecutive year to keep him on the roster. Next year the contract dance will happen again and Cousins will be looking for a significant payday based on the last three seasons of play. Contract projections have Cousins earning anywhere from $23-28 million per year, but would likely have a lower cap number the first year. If the Redskins use the transition tag on Cousins he will be on the books for ~$29 million, and a 3rd franchise tag will cost over $34 million.

According the Overthecap, the Redskins have $55.5 million in cap space next year based on a salary cap of $180 million(the team also has ~$3 million that can be carried over from 2017). This does not include several key players that could be re-signed including Cousins, Zach Brown, Spencer Long, Ryan Grant and others. The Redskins also have several players who could be released after this season for significant cap savings like Niles Paul($1.875 million), Ziggy Hood($1.25 million), and others.