Over The Cap’s Jason Fitzgerald quotes a provision from the new CBA to indicate that the salary cap for 2021 could be dramatically impacted if the NFL loses a significant amount of revenue this coming season from canceled games or other effects from the pandemic.
The CBA says: “Cancelled Games. If one or more weeks of any NFL season are canceled or [All Revenues] for any League Year substantially decreases, in either case due to a terrorist or military action, natural disaster, or similar event, the parties shall engage in good faith negotiations to adjust the provisions of this Agreement with respect to the projection of AR and the Salary Cap for the following League Year so that AR for the following League Year is projected in a fair manner consistent with the changed revenue projection caused by such action.”
Based on estimates of local and national revenue per team using the Packers’ publicly available data, Fitzgerald says the 2021 cap could go down by as much as $80 million if all local revenue from ticket sales, stadium concessions and other items related to the operation of games is wiped out.
While the loss in national revenue could be smaller, Fitzgerald thinks there’s a possibility for the cap to drop anywhere from $40 million to $85 million from the projected 2021 number of $215 million.
Based on how things stand right now, Fitzgerald calculates that would put anywhere from 14 to 28 teams over the salary cap.
If the owners believe there will be a significant cap drop next year, Fitzgerald adds that could lead to widespread veteran cuts this year as teams work to get under the cap unless the NFL and NFLPA can negotiate a way to push the hit into further seasons.
2020 NFL Season
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell laid out protocols to teams on Wednesday regarding how they may re-open practice facilities, which includes consent from local state government officials, establishing an infection response team, maintaining social distancing, temperature screenings, and “other measures.” (Tom Pelissero)
Goodell wrote that teams should have a plan in place by Friday, May 15 in anticipation of formally re-opening team facilities: “Clubs should take steps to have these protocols in place by Friday, May 15 in anticipation of being advised when club facilities will formally reope.”
Pelissero notes that players will not be allowed in team-facilities through the first phase of reopening, while no more than 50-75 percent of other employees should be in attendance on any days.
Goodell’s notice includes that employees should wear a face cover of some sort while at facilities: “Wear a cloth face covering or medical style mask (not an N-95 mask, which should be reserved for healthcare workers) while at work and in public to help protect against the spread of the virus,” per Pelissero.
Further protocol for re-opening facilities will include administering daily temperature checks upon arrival with a non-touch thermometer for all employees, visitors, or contractors, who must not exceed 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. (Pelissero)
According to Ian Rapoport, NFL officials do not expect the NFL’s schedule to change “at all” due to Coronavirus regulations and will proceed as normal.
Rapoport notes that the NFL will make alterations to the schedule as required, but they are currently planning to start the 2020 season on-time.
Per Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel, the NFL is making it known that the criteria for inclusion in this year’s supplemental draft won’t be affected by the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and there won’t be a flood of draft-eligible players this year.