Several teams in rough cap shape in 2021

Getty Images

The NFL salary cap usually grows each year. Next year, it’s expected to shrink. And some teams are going to feel the pinch.

Friday’s agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association guarantees that the salary cap won’t drop any lower than $175 million, but even that represents a significant drop from this year’s $198.2 million cap. Until a few months ago, most teams were expecting the 2021 cap to grow to somewhere in the neighborhood of $215 million, which means teams have $40 million less to spend next year than they were planning for when they were negotiating many of their players’ long-term contracts.

According to OverTheCap.com, eight teams are already over a 2021 cap of $175 million with the players they have signed through next year, before they sign a single free agent next year or draft any rookies. That group includes the Eagles, Saints, Falcons, Chiefs, Steelers, Bears, Raiders and Vikings.

Those teams will have to cut players and restructure contracts just to get under the cap before the start of the league year. Teams cut players and restructure contracts every year, but next year it will prove to be particularly difficult for teams that had a lot of players under long-term contracts that were negotiated before anyone dreamed that a pandemic would cause the cap to plummet.

It’s still possible that the cap won’t shrink as much as everyone expects. New revenue is coming this year from additional playoff games, and the NFL and NFLPA may reach further agreements that keep the cap from dropping as much as expected. But right now, some teams have to be concerned about the salary cap crunch they’re facing in 2021.

56 responses to “Several teams in rough cap shape in 2021

  1. Not one of the teams mentioned, but I would have a look at the Ravens cap situation in 2021. Matt Judon isn’t on the cap, as he is on the tag this year. Ronnie Stanley is a free agent, and will be looking to set the market at LT. And then there is that Jackson guy.

    Good luck with that.

  2. It figures that the year the Washington Football Team (EST.1932) was set to have a ton of cap space is the year the cap shrinks.

    The Washington Football Team (EST.1932) can’t catch a break.

  3. You might as well throw Dallas in there. At $2 million under they will be well above $175m once you add Dak’s second franchise tag or new contract into the figure. His agent may have given him the worst financial advice in league history if he told him to walk away from 5 years at $35m/year.

  4. Saints fans, enjoy your last year of relevancy before getting bounced out of the first round at home again. Then – years of purgatory with Jameis as your quarterback and Mr. 4.6 40yr dash Michael Thomas whining on social media everyday

  5. If you spend big you better win quick. Chiefs may be set up to win for years after spending pretty big – that’s the exception…maybe.

  6. As much as i want the Eagles to win another Superbowl, they structured everything to win on Wentz rookie contract and to pay the piper later. A bunch of the guaranteed money to their players is backloaded which makes them difficult to restructure.

    A not insignificant amount of money is guaranteed to Jeffery because of Roseman’s insane move to guarantee Jeffery’s 2020 money just before the 2019 season while he was under contract for 2 more years anyway.

    Can’t cut him, can’t trade him, can’t play him. All you can do is eat the money.

  7. The Raiders aren’t a 6 win team and now they have to cut contacts. Yikes. Great management by the reality TV stars.

  8. I don’t feel bad for the players. Most have a college education that they can fall back on and they can still earn a pretty good living.

  9. Almost all these teams have big cap numbers and not actual money. All these teams will be well under the cap by the time free agency comes around.

  10. navyvandal says:
    July 25, 2020 at 9:02 am
    LAUGH at tommy being gone folks! WE HAVE 100 MILLION+ IN CAP SPACE NEXT MARCH 🙂

    ———————

    It’s almost as if Bill knew there would be a pandemic this year ….

  11. It seems Arm Chair Quarterbacks like us care about the Salary Cap more than the teams do. On the road to riches and Super Bowl rings, real teams only care about one thing… Winning.

  12. I don’t know if I’m looking at this correctly, but I think the Raiders have something like 20 free agents next year. I don’t think getting under the cap is going to be an issue for them.

  13. navyvandal says:
    July 25, 2020 at 9:02 am
    LAUGH at tommy being gone folks! WE HAVE 100 MILLION+ IN CAP SPACE NEXT MARCH 🙂

    —————————————-

    I find it odd that after someone who was THE key member to bringing home 6 SB trophies there have been quite a few digs at TB12 like this one since he left.

    You should be grateful.

  14. Tried to warn.

    Pats to hold court in this area for years. Many vets to retire and/or flood to actual contenders.

    BB to have pick FA litter.

    Chiefs finished.

  15. navyvandal says:
    July 25, 2020 at 9:02 am
    LAUGH at tommy being gone folks! WE HAVE 100 MILLION+ IN CAP SPACE NEXT MARCH 🙂
    _____
    The Colts do every year.
    Congrats….I guess.

  16. Eagles signed every free agent to a 1 year deal for a reason. This will be Jeffrey’s last year, Kelce will retire, Malik Jackson will be cut, and DeSean Jacksons contract will be restructured (if he has a good year). They’ll continue their youth movement and be just fine. I do worry a bit about Zach Ertz though.

  17. I find it odd that after someone who was THE key member to bringing home 6 SB trophies there have been quite a few digs at TB12 like this one since he left.

    You should be grateful.
    ____________________________________________________

    I AM BEYOND Grateful for what Tom has accomplished. Unlike other people claiming his arm is shot and he was a jerk not throwing to anyone not named edelman, i cannot begin to tell you how much tom was a major idol of mine. Tom will forever be my idol. He surpassed Mo Vaughn, Nomar, Pedro, SEABASS and Ray Bourque. To me, he is everything i want my kids to emulate in terms of being called a nobody and being the best we have ever seen. I am simply stating that everyone has reminded us for months that the dynasty is over. it may very well be, but to have 100 Million in CAP Space with Belichick at the helm is a HUGE advantage. I say this as a bostonian married to a Chicagoan. My wifes Bears are in deep trouble with the contracts of Khalil Mack and others next season.

  18. boknowsvt says:
    July 25, 2020 at 9:35 am
    I don’t know if I’m looking at this correctly, but I think the Raiders have something like 20 free agents next year. I don’t think getting under the cap is going to be an issue for them.

    2 0 Rate This

    —————

    You clearly don’t get the cap. Dead money for cuts or money you kicked down the line, still counts against the cap.

    The key is to have pricier, older players on short term deals or good value guaranteed money deals you pay out immediately, so if you do have to walk, you’re not still owing money to the player.

    Pats lost Van Noy and Shelton on D, but won’t miss a beat because tbey have guys who will be as good already in place for good value (John Simon and Beau Allen).

    You need to think 2 seasons ahead or you get caught into cap hells.

    The Chiefs just put themselves in there by pulling a 2012/2013 Ozzie Newsome/Flacco debacle.

  19. Cap management. A century old tradition in Green Bay.

    Curly Lambeau always was a cheap ol’ s.o.b.

  20. skekung says:
    July 25, 2020 at 7:53 am
    If you spend big you better win quick. Chiefs may be set up to win for years after spending pretty big – that’s the exception…maybe.

    ———————

    Soon to be the Kansas City Football Team (EST1960)

  21. I would think because of the virus they would let the cap stay exactly as it was for 2020 in 2021. Everyone is taking a hit. The NFL and it’s owners don’t want any part of each team paying out 23.2 million once.

  22. iwaswhitecastleisafoodgroup says:
    July 25, 2020 at 9:37 am
    navyvandal says:
    July 25, 2020 at 9:02 am
    LAUGH at tommy being gone folks! WE HAVE 100 MILLION+ IN CAP SPACE NEXT MARCH 🙂

    —————————————-

    I find it odd that after someone who was THE key member to bringing home 6 SB trophies there have been quite a few digs at TB12 like this one since he left.

    You should be grateful.

    11 4 Rate This

    —————
    We are all very grateful, including BB drafting and developing Brady, JimmyG and now Stidham. Or, the amazing work BB did with Cassel on the fly.

    Once Brady made it about himself, that’s when I started becoming less grateful. lol

    Thanks for everything, BB. That’s where it starts and ends…BB the GM and Coach.

    See everyone in 2021 with a vaccine and the most cap space of any playoff contender in the AFC, and a future QB under a rookie deal.

  23. touchback6 says:
    July 25, 2020 at 9:40 am
    Tried to warn.

    Pats to hold court in this area for years. Many vets to retire and/or flood to actual contenders.

    BB to have pick FA litter.

    Chiefs finished.

    —————

    You’ll be wrong again as usual. Just like you were about BB not bringing any quarterbacks in because Stidham is the guy.

  24. fearsome4 says:
    July 25, 2020 at 10:16 am
    Yet everyone wants to talk about the “cap hell” the Rams are in.

    0 0 Rate This

    ————-

    Umm, you just tried to do it and failed, into cap hell and now rebuilding which will take years.

    Your team will finish in last dud to it. Get it?

  25. Bears over the cap and still haven’t figured out their QB. It’s the bane of the organization for 70 years now.

  26. Not sure WHY Dallas was mentioned by a Fan saying ADD Dallas to the list? Dallas did NOT pay Dak for just this reason! We will be WAY Under the cap and in great shape next year Without Daks over priced average arse. You really think that we will gut our team for Dak? Lol. We didn’t this year and won’t next year! We will go with Dalton if Dak doesn’t sign a friendly deal. Dak Has Zero leverage as NO team can afford him next year! Lol Dak and his almighty ego.

  27. crush22 says:
    July 25, 2020 at 9:49 am
    navyvandal says:
    July 25, 2020 at 9:02 am
    LAUGH at tommy being gone folks! WE HAVE 100 MILLION+ IN CAP SPACE NEXT MARCH 🙂
    _____
    The Colts do every year.
    Congrats….I guess.
    ————————————————————————————-
    Patriots won division every year but twice since 2001 including the last 11 years in a row. Played in AFCCG the last 7 years in a row. Played in 9 SB’s since 2001. Won 6. When the Colts reach that kind of consistency get back to us.

  28. Maybe we’ll get a break from the lectures about insisting on signing for a percentage of the cap?

  29. Bears over the cap and still haven’t figured out their QB. It’s the bane of the organization for 70 years now.

    _______________________________________________________

    As a bostonian married to a Chicagoan, its more serious than that. Its the Halas/McCaskey ways. THEY WANT YES MEN AS COACHES In 2015, they hired Fox. most of my wifes family were ecstatic. I told them to be cautious. Fox can take a pile of trash, and polish it up. However he cant make it over the hill. Hell, he did not even know Trubisky was being selected until a few hours before the draft. And Fox stands there like Mr. Ed chewing guy with dumbfounded looks on his face. Trestman was even worse. I root for my wifes bears, but enough is enough. Kevin White, Leonard Floyd, copious amount of picks traded for who

  30. I don’t care what experts say. If you are going to sign Free Agents in this league you are going to have to pay somewhere down the line. You can not get around the Cap Master that’s why I so enjoy the 1st day of free agency and watching the wanna-bes spending like drunken sailors on 3 day liberty trying to buy a championship. If you want to win in this league, draft well, extend your own people creatively, and sign free agents judiciously to your kind of deal. If you don’t do all 3 you will land in cap hell.

  31. “You really think that we will gut our team for Dak”?

    What team, you pretty much stink. Were you even in the playoffs last year. NO!!!

  32. The 2021 cap is completely irrelevant. Everything changes every year. They are not going to apply a cap that forces teams to be over before the season starts.

  33. bondlake says:
    July 25, 2020 at 9:57 am

    It’s about time the NFL takes a broadside.

    ———————————

    It’s the NFL players that will pay for it. If they play this year the TV deal covers the salaries.

    I also find it odd that more people don’t understand that owners with billions, often playing in multi-billion dollar partially public funded stadiums can’t pick up 23.2 million dollars and keep the cap exactly the same as 2020.

    Let’s blow all the rosters up and start over I guess.

  34. Under the proposed $175 m cap, there are 14 teams that cannot make any moves. Philly would be 93 million OVER and the defending champs some 30 mill over too.

    In the best shape are the Colts, Chargers, and Patriots who would have at least 52 million to play with.

  35. Every year the cap is a problem for somebody, and every year it gets worked out.

  36. 33vikes says:
    July 25, 2020 at 1:56 pm
    The 2021 cap is completely irrelevant. Everything changes every year. They are not going to apply a cap that forces teams to be over before the season starts.
    __________________________

    Wanna’ BET? If the owners are going to lose say $3Bil in revenue this season they’re damn sure going to at least get even with-in a few years, as business owners they’d be idiots not to! Like any smart business owner when faced with declining revenues you make whatever adjustments are necessary to get back to making money or you won’t be in business much longer.

  37. boknowsvt says:
    July 25, 2020 at 9:35 am
    I don’t know if I’m looking at this correctly, but I think the Raiders have something like 20 free agents next year. I don’t think getting under the cap is going to be an issue for them

    ———-

    They’ll have to replace those 20 players…

  38. The Chiefs have quite a few guys that will restructure and/or get cut. Clark, Mathieu, & Hill will probably restructure. Fisher and Hitchens will probably be gone. It all comes down to having a good o-line and at least marginal talent around Mahomes. He turns serviceable guys into good players.

  39. Seems like the owners are making the players take the brunt for their losses in 2020.

  40. Based on “Over the Cap” you can say almost 20+ teams are right at the bubble “IF” it is going to be 175 million cap #. I’m do not believe it will be that low, but time will tell. As far as Raiders specifically theyare approx. 10 million over. They could easily cut a number of players that just dont perform this year whose contracts have a zero dead space number, but a large cap# . Examples would be some obvious-Tyrell Williams-11.6 million, Marcus Marriotta -10 milllion, Gabe Jackson -10 million, Trent Brown -14 million, and even LaMarcus Joyner would only be 2.5 in dead space to clear 11.2 million. One thing not mentioned Raiders have very little free agents next year, except for maybe Hankins. Hopefully he plays to earn a nice contract.

    Bottom line -Go Raiders!

  41. Leanne H says:
    July 25, 2020 at 6:36 pm
    boknowsvt says:
    July 25, 2020 at 9:35 am
    I don’t know if I’m looking at this correctly, but I think the Raiders have something like 20 free agents next year. I don’t think getting under the cap is going to be an issue for them

    ———-

    They’ll have to replace those 20 players…
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Maybe , maybe not…No guarantees that some of them will even make the final 53 this year. Maliek Collins and Hankins are the UFA’s ones to watch. Most others are ERFA’s, or RFA’s.

  42. I thought fir sure I heard the other day that the Raiders were 30 mill under the 198. That would put them under 175. Did something change? Maybe by signing Hill?

    Whatever, Raiders will be fine as will many others.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.