MARCH 7: A source with knowledge of the process tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that Schefter’s projection of a $150MM cap by 2016 might be a little modest. According to Florio’s source, leaps to $145MM in 2015 and $160MM in 2016 aren’t out of the question.
FEBRUARY 28: Over the last week, we’ve heard multiple reports suggesting the NFL’s salary cap for 2014 should be higher than previously expected, perhaps in the neighborhood of $133MM. ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter confirms as much this morning, and adds that the cap is expect to continue to grow significantly over the next couple years. According to Schefter (via Twitter), the cap could exceed $140MM in 2015 and $150MM in 2016.
While these numbers are subject to change, as we’ve seen with this year’s cap, the projections represent excellent news for the league as a whole, and particularly for teams that find themselves with little long-term flexibility. The Panthers, for instance, have restructured several contracts, pushing higher cap numbers and dead money into future seasons in order to create room in 2014. If the cap is at $150MM+ in two years, those dead money totals and increasing cap numbers will be much easier for the club to swallow.
As I noted last week, substantial growth for the cap is also good news for the players, whose agents will likely point to the league’s increasing revenue when they negotiate contracts. Of course, with only a few extra million for clubs to spend, and dozens of players vying for bigger salaries, only a handful of players per team figure to benefit.
The figure for the 2014 salary cap is expected to be made official very soon, perhaps as early as today.