NFL Salary Cap 2021 – Updated
The NFL salary cap in 2021 has been readjusted to a new level. The NFL office announced this week that the new salary cap floor has been increased from $175 million to $180 million following talks with the NFLPA.
“As you know, one aspect of the agreements negotiated last summer with the NFLPA to address operations during the pandemic provides that the 2021 Salary Cap will be no less than $175 million. Following discussions with the union that addressed both actual 2020 revenues and projected attendance for the 2021 season, we have agreed to increase the minimum Salary cap for the 2021 League Year to $180 million.
The final Salary Cap for the 2021 season will be set following review of final 2020 revenue figures and other audit and accounting adjustments. The agreement increased the minimum 2021 Salary Cap by $5 million per club, from $175 million to $180 million.
With the pandemic limiting the live game gate at 2020 games for every team along with other revenue streams, the expectation had been that the salary cap would fall significantly from 2020 figure of $198.2 million. Most prior years the cap increased $10 million dollars annually. The new floor mitigates some of that decrease.
Until the official cap is set, teams won’t know exactly where their limits are through free agency in 2021. At the very least, the new floor gives clubs a starting point to begin making plans ahead of the new league year, which opens on March 17. Clubs are expected to make wholesale changes prior to the new year with many high-priced veterans released or traded to get under the cap. The franchise and transitional tags may have fewer teams willing to lock into their high-priced positional salary designations. In additional to the free agency movement, the trade market is primed for a very active period with clubs trying to increase their draft capital and reduce their salary cap figure. Many deals are starting to be agreed upon but will not become official unto the start of the league year on March 17th.