Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing a source with knowledge of the process, reports that the 2016 salary cap could increase even higher than the $150 million figure floated a few weeks ago.
According to Florio’s source, the NFL salary cap could increase to as much as $145 million in 2015 and $160 million in 2016.
Last year, the cap sat at just $123 million, but managed to increase by $10 million this season. That’s an influx of $320 million in cap space for teams to spend. Plus, teams will have to spend 90 percent of their cap space on free agents as agreed upon in the CBA.
Florio mentions that the 50-50 split in revenue is largely the reason for the recent increase in available cap space.
The NFL’s new television contracts will kick in next year, which is why there could be dramatic spikes in future years.
It’s worth mentioning that just because the cap increases and teams will be forced to spend most of it, doesn’t mean that teams are going to be handing out sizable contracts to mid-level free agents. Rookies are under contract for four years at a reasonable cost and first-round picks have a fifth-year option. It’s more likely that a large portion of the cap space will be directed towards keeping their best players and locking up extension candidates, than on upgrades in free agency.