UPDATE: The final salary cap total for each NFL team appears to be settling between $180-181 million, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
UPDATE: Executive Director of the National Football League Players Association Demaurice Smith wouldn’t speculate on the exact number for the salary cap today when speaking at a Super Bowl event, but did say he thought they would be above the $175 million floor, per Tom Pelissero. The $185 million number below appears to be in play.
The NFL salary cap will be finalized this offseason with negotiations between the owners and players’ union. The cap was estimated to drop to $175 million after negotiations last year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some league officials believe the 2021 salary cap is set to land closer to $185 million, per Tom Pelissero.
The salary cap reached $198.2 million in the 2020 season but as expected, it is set to drop due to the lack of fans in the stands over the course of the season. The league has one last game to complete a full season during the COVID-19 pandemic. The preseason was canceled and there were games delayed during the regular season, but barring anything over the next 72 hours, they will have played every single regular season and playoff game.
Teams have been used to the salary cap always going up, but they will need to make solid financial decisions this offseason more than ever as it’s still uncertain how quickly the NFL will bounce back from the loss of revenue. We still do not know if or when stadiums will be filled up to max capacity again as coronavirus vaccines continue to be distributed throughout the country.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith are set to meet with the media on Thursday.