NFL salary cap projected to range between $187 million and $191.1 million in 2019

The NFL salary cap is, once again, on the rise.

On Tuesday, the NFL announced that the salary cap is expected to increase by at least $10 million per team for a sixth straight year. According to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, the NFL has informed teams that the 2019 salary cap is projected to range somewhere between $187 million and $191.1 million. Last season, the salary cap was set at $177.2 million, which means it's expected to grow roughly six percent for a second straight year.

As the NFL's announcement noted, the salary cap has now grown 40 percent since 2014. 

Our John Breech has all the numbers you need since 2003:

2019: $187 million to $191.1 million (projected)
2018: $177.2 million
2017: $167 million
2016: $155.28 million
2015: 143.28 million
2014: $133 million
2013: $123 million
2012: $120.6 million
2011: $120 million
2009: $123 million
2008: $116 million
2007: $109 million
2006: $102 million
2005: $85.5 million
2004: $80.58 million
2003: $75 million

The increase is good news for cap-strapped teams trying to prevent key players from departing in free agency. A team like the Bears, who rank near the bottom of the league in terms of available cap space, might struggle to retain pending free agents like Bryce Callahan and Aaron Lynch, but the additional cap space could help them in that endeavor. 

As it stands, the Colts are projected to have the most cap space to work with this offseason with the Jets coming in just behind them. It wouldn't be entirely shocking to see the biggest free agent available, Le'Veon Bell, wind up with one of those two teams, though other suitors might get involved.

Other notable names who could hit free agency include Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, and Rams defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. You can check out the full list of pending free agents here. 

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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