The Patriots reportedly believe some of their competitors are in bad shape cap wise which will result in even more players being released over the next few weeks and the free agent market being depressed to the point where they might be able to get some good bargains. This made me wonder what had changed from previous years when teams like the Redskins would be $20 million over the cap the weekend before the new league year began and still be able to sign three big money free agents the next weekend without having to cut any good players. The reason the "cap is no longer crap" is the new 89% cash floor which was part of the 2011 CBA and thought to be a victory for the union by forcing the Mike Browns of the NFL to actually spend. But, the cash floor will also make it much harder for teams to borrow from future caps to support current higher spending because it will be much harder to burn off dead money than it was before the cash floor came to be. Before, if a team found itself in cap prison, it could burn off all this dead money by going through a season or two where their current payout would be significantly less than the cap. Now that the team has to pay out at least 89% of their cap in new money every season, it will not be able to emerge from cap prison so quickly. Going forward in this CBA, teams are going to have to adopt a more pay as you go mentality. This is why this tight cap period is going to be so hard on so many teams. My guess is the Patriots front office understood this from the beginning. Just another reminder of how fortunate we are to be fans of the best franchise in the NFL.