The NFL informed teams on Wednesday, March 10 that the 2021 salary cap will be $182.5 million, per Tom Pelissero. NFL free agency opens in one week, on March 17.
The NFL owners and NFLPA negotiate the final figure each year based on revenues. Last year, the cap rose to $198.2 million. It was due to come down this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It impacted attendance and league revenues took a hit. The owners and players negotiated prior to last season that the 2021 cap would not go lower than $175 million. The two sides sorted through current and projected revenues under new television deals and spread the hit over multiple years.
Teams have until the 17th to get under the salary cap figure based on their top 51 player salaries. Over The Cap entered today projecting 12 teams over the cap, but that was based on a cap of $180.5 million. A $2 million bump would put the Cowboys and Lions under the cap, but all 32 teams are making moves that will keep this a fluid situation.
As of now, the Saints are in the worst position at $59 million over the cap, while the Jaguars are in the best position at $71.8 million under the cap.