According to Adam Schefter, league sources believe the 2021 salary cap will be somewhere around $180-$181 million.
The cap won’t be officially set until next month sometime before the official start of the league year on March 17.
While this number is lower than the $185 million figure that was mentioned earlier this week, it’s still above the $175 million floor that was negotiated by the NFL and NFLPA coming into this season.
Every dollar will help teams who are expected to face a major challenge adjusting to the salary cap falling for the first time in decades due to revenue losses from the pandemic. It was at $198 million in 2020 and had risen around $10 million a year for most of the past decade.
The NFL has yet to provide teams with their annual cap projection and hasn’t committed to how they would spread out the impact of the multibillion-dollar revenue shortfall in 2020 over the next few years. They have begun negotiations with the NFLPA on where to set the cap and how to borrow revenue losses from future seasons.
One factor that could help is the upcoming new media deals that are expected to be extraordinarily lucrative. The NFL also has the right to expand to a 17-game regular season, but a new media contract would have to be finalized before the NFL officially adds the 17th game to the regular season in 2021.
Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said earlier in the week that teams may not have a final salary cap figure until “hours before the start of the league year” March 17.
Even if the cap ends up at or around $185 million per year, there’s going to be a cap crunch this offseason that will likely result in some notable cap casualties. Beyond that, it could make for a tough free-agent market.
We’ll have more regarding the salary cap as the news is available.