The floor for the 2021 salary cap has been set at $180 million. As expected, the ceiling won’t be much higher.
As one source with knowledge of the dynamics has explained it to PFT, the fact that the franchise-tag deadline wasn’t extended by the league and the union can be interpreted as an indication that the cap won’t significantly exceed the $180 million floor. Per the source, the cap will at most be $183 million.
It could have been a lot worse. As the NFL Players Association explained in an email to all players, a copy of which PFT has obtained, the players received their full and complete pay in 2020, with not a penny placed in escrow (unlike other sports leagues). Also, the union explained to players that, without the CBA finalized last year by the league and the NFLPA or the negotiation in July that allow the season to proceed, the salary cap would have been “tens of millions” below $180 million.
The union also anticipates that normal growth to the cap will resume in 2021, as the new TV deals kick in and as stadiums (as expected) begin to fill with money-paying fans.
That’s good news for everyone — league, players, media, and fans. And it’s another sign that, gradually but inevitably, normalcy will return.