More evidence emerges of a $180 million salary cap

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Chiefs owner Clark Hunt has said that the final salary cap for 2021 may not be known until hours before the league year begins. Evidence is increasing that it will be in the range of $180 million.

PFT reported last month that, with a guaranteed floor of $175 million, there was a belief that the final number would be slightly higher. Earlier today, ESPN’s Adam Schefter seconded that notion, pegging it in the range of $180 million to $181 million.

Few have yet to comprehend the consequences of what would be an $18.2 million reduction per team in last year’s number. Teams routinely plan their contracts under the assumption that the cap will keep going up. A reduction to $180 million will force multiple teams to cut multiple veteran players in order to get under the new ceiling.

Some teams can’t wait for that to happen, because they have the cap space to target the veterans who suddenly will become free agents. The teams in a cap crunch obviously would prefer the cap to be higher.

Thus, before the NFL and the NFL Players Association can begin to negotiate a new cap, the teams must come up with a preferred figure. Some teams ultimately will not be happy, if it falls that far. Many players who don’t realize what’s coming will not be happy, either.

The superstars will still get their money. The rookies will still get their money. The veterans in the NFL’s broad middle class could end up getting screwed, as the losses arising from the ongoing pandemic hit the cap hard in 2021.

Whether they’re cut and forced to look elsewhere for something/anything, whether they’re squeezed to take less to stay put, or whether they’re free agents who don’t realize the money won’t flow like it usually does, 2021 is going to potentially be a rough year for the cut of player between the best of the best and the wage-scaled youngsters.

24 responses to “More evidence emerges of a $180 million salary cap

  1. NFL should keep the cap the same as the 2020 season but temporarily remove the rule requiring teams to spend 90% of the cap.

  2. Last I checked both the teams and the players signed the collective bargaining agreement. So they will have to deal with it accordingly.

  3. This will give teams an excuse to not spend their money and invest in longevity. It also makes it much more difficult for a player to spend his whole career with one team. That’s not good for the league.

  4. I would imagine many of us wish the company we work for had $180 million to share among 53 employees.

  5. The Rams will obviously keep Donald but might have to let Ramsey, Woods and Brockers go.

  6. Greed and nothing but greed by owners that enjoyed record profits for years. And the veteran middle of the road players are the ones getting screwed. And the fans cheer on the rich getting richer off the backs of the players.

    It’s absurd.

  7. Evidence is increasing that it will be in the range of $180 million.
    ____________________________________

    And that’s $30mil under the estimate(Feb 2020) of $215mil it’d have been sans COVID and 2022 was estimated to be $227.5mil, I’ll bet it’ll be no where close as the owners had between $5-$7bil of lost revenue this season that they’re going to want to get back before they increase the cap too much.

  8. OK how is going from making 10 mil a year to 8 mil a year getting screwed. Considering they work 16 weeks plus fool around in the spring and fall and now it looks like pre season is on the table too, I dont feel pain for them

  9. Say what you want about Bill Belichick the GM, but the fact that he’s positioned the Patriots with a projected $60M+ in cap space at the exact time other clubs will be squeezed to keep players isn’t a coincidence. I might not fully trust him to draft a WR, but I definitely trust him to find some “middle class” veterans to bring in and have an impact in 2021.

  10. I will continue to advocate for the elimination of the salary cap. The lack of one hasn’t hurt baseball. Let teams set their payrolls at whatever they can afford. Small market teams like the Packers & Steelers had dynasties before there was a salary cap. The Bills made 4 straight Super Bowls before there was a cap. In fact, the cap was the reason the Bills slid onto mediocrity for the next 20 years. Having teams have the same size payrolls hasn’t made it any easier for small market teams to win.

  11. Doesn’t seem right to lower the salary cap without giving teams sufficient time to adjust; don’t think a few months is enough.

  12. TG1 says:
    February 7, 2021 at 2:52 pm
    NFL should keep the cap the same as the 2020 season but temporarily remove the rule requiring teams to spend 90% of the cap.
    ———–
    1 of the NFLs biggest draws is parity where anyone has a chance each week. What your proposing means youd have teams trying to win now who are spending close to 200 million and then a 50 to 100 million plus gap if not more with teams looking to make a profit.

  13. Just about everyone suffered in some way during this world wide pandemic and were impacted financially. The NFL is darn lucky the financial loss wasn’t worse.

  14. ImaPayne says:

    February 7, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    OK how is going from making 10 mil a year to 8 mil a year getting screwed. Considering they work 16 weeks plus fool around in the spring and fall and now it looks like pre season is on the table too, I dont feel pain for them

    _______________

    Because that 2 mil a year is just lining a billionaire’s pocket.

  15. “Having teams have the same size payrolls hasn’t made it any easier for small market teams to win.“

    I can’t agree with you. Equivalent payroll may not totally level the playing field but vastly different payrolls gives some teams a huge advantage.

  16. warsip says:
    February 7, 2021 at 3:14 pm
    Greed and nothing but greed by owners that enjoyed record profits for years. And the veteran middle of the road players are the ones getting screwed. And the fans cheer on the rich getting richer off the backs of the players.

    It’s absurd.
    ___________________________________

    NO what’s absurd is people like you don’t take into consideration the risk is all on the owners and the fact that over the last 100yrs the NFL and it’s owners built the NFL into what it is today. These owners have to spend billions to buy a team and billions more a year to keep those teams running, player pay, feeding & housing players during training camps and for all away games, insurance for the players, etc, etc, etc but some people NEVER think of all those costs that are incurred.

    Besides the players are getting paid just fine and I know you won’t understand this but the fact is the players don’t matter that much, what I mean is this it doesn’t matter if Brees retires, Brady retires or whoever, the fans aren’t going to quit watching because a player retired or quit, it’s the game people watch for not the players. Sure there are some players people love to watch but the fact is they aren’t going to quit watching if that player stops playing(no one quit watching when Peyton retired), it’s the “GAME” that people want to see and as long as it isn’t scabs they’ll continue to watch.

    @ jrterrier, they did give them sufficient time, the NFL announced last May the cap would be coming down and put as estimate of $175mil on it and still teams handed out huge contracts after they knew the cap was going to be reduced, so I don’t feel sorry for those teams, they shouldn’t have handed out all those huge contracts knowing the cap was going to get cut! Now they have to deal with it and they have no one to blame but themselves.

  17. The multiple of average CEO pay to a typical worker was 21 to 1 in 1965. In 2019 it was 320 to 1. That’s an increase of 1,500 per cent.

    But keep hating on AOC and what the best football players on the planet make.

  18. The cap is set according to the previous seasons revenue with the TV money being the big supplier.

    Also that player not getting 10 mil but 8 means that other 2 goes towards another player. Owners want their team to win outside of Mike Brown who just wants to make profits.

  19. Just give players a % of the cap numbers can go up and down with the cap space instead of fix amount

  20. fanfrommontreal says:

    February 7, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    Bill Belichick is smiling. The Patriots will be around 60M$ under the cap!

    ——–
    And what are they going to do with it? This season showed how much Brady covered the lack of talent on offense in New England. So of that 60 at the very least a third(20 million) will go toward will go towards signing a qb and likely your looking closer to 25 to 30 but just saying 20 leaves them with 40 million in cap space and no recieving threats, no quality tight end and a decent rb on offense. So yea I’m not so sure hes smiling…

  21. Keep in mind that number could have been a lot lower than $180M but the players preferred to spread the losses over a couple of years instead of all this year.

    I think the players who perform to their contract will still get their money but those who under-performed their contract may have a hard time getting a roster spot. That would seem to be fair.

  22. mackcarrington says:
    February 7, 2021 at 4:20 pm
    I will continue to advocate for the elimination of the salary cap. The lack of one hasn’t hurt baseball. Let teams set their payrolls at whatever they can afford. Small market teams like the Packers & Steelers had dynasties before there was a salary cap. The Bills made 4 straight Super Bowls before there was a cap. In fact, the cap was the reason the Bills slid onto mediocrity for the next 20 years. Having teams have the same size payrolls hasn’t made it any easier for small market teams to win.

    6 73 Rate This

    The Packers have won the superbowl twice since free agency started, you really think if there is no cap and owners can pay players anything small market teams are going to be able to compete more?? Packers would need wayyyyy more donations, I mean “stock sales” to have a slight chance

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