We heard earlier this week that the lowest the salary cap would be was $180MM. The initial minimum cap had been reported to be $175MM, so that increase led to some speculation that the actual salary cap could end up being $190MM+.
That would’ve meant there wouldn’t have been that dramatic of a decrease from last year’s cap of $198.2MM, but that speculation looks to have been a bit optimistic. The number most likely won’t reach $185MM and could end up between $182-183MM, a source told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.
The cap had been steadily increasing in recent years, but obviously the COVID-19 pandemic halted that. Revenue loss as a result of the pandemic was always going to send the cap down for 2021, it was only a question of how much, and now we appear to more or less have our answer.
It looks like teams will each have around $15MM less to play with this season, which will give some squads some headaches. While there will still be a lot of shuffling required for teams to get under the number, it sounds like a true disaster was averted.
The initial plan of $175MM was ditched after some “aggressive lobbying” from teams, Florio writes. A source told him that had it been $175MM, it would’ve been chaos as teams would have “flooded the market” with veteran players they cut to get down under the cap.s