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How Ryan Jensen’s retirement affects the Bucs’ cap

Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen officially announced his retirement on Saturday, which will see the Bucs give him a retired designation. But how does that affect the salary cap for 2024 and beyond?

As it stands, Jensen has $16.6 million in dead money on the salary cap for 2024 — that’s because Tampa Bay has reworked his deal in 2022 and 2023 when he was unable to play in the regular season due to the knee injury he suffered in 2022. The team could in theory take all of that dead money in 2024 to clear it in 2025, but it doesn’t have to.

Should the team wait to put Jensen on the retired list after June 1, his dead money would only count at $4.8 million for 2024, according to Greg Auman of FOX Sports. The rest of that money, which would come out to $11.8 million, would carry over into 2025.

Because the Bucs have some big decisions to make regarding high-profile free agents like quarterback Baker Mayfield and wideout Mike Evans, it’s likely that they’ll use that post-June 1 designation to save some money on the salary cap this year. In doing so, it might be a little easier to retain the players the team was hoping to bring back and to possibly add some new ones in free agency to maintain a competitive roster going into next year.

Story originally appeared on Buccaneers Wire