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NFL salary cap: 2022 number expected to be $208.2 million, representing $25.7 million increase

The NFL is getting back on track from a salary cap perspective.

Commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell and Director of the National Football League Players’ Association, DeMaurice Smith pose with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement on the front steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 5, 2011 in Canton, Ohio. Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Bud Lite

The NFL still has six weeks of regular season football and the entire playoffs to go, but we’re already getting information about what the 2022 offseason might look like. NFL Network reporters Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero are reporting the 2022 salary cap is “expected to reach the $208.2 million maximum agreed upon by the NFL and NFL Players Association in May.”

Negotiations took place in part because the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in revenue shortfalls. It’s unclear exactly how much revenue was lost given we don’t see open books from the owners, but the pandemic cost the league some amount of money.

The owners and players negotiated a deal in August 2020 that spread expected revenue shortfalls over several years rather than all in one season. The cap would have been around this number in 2021 had their not been a pandemic, but this suggests things are moving back on track.

NFL Network also reported “optimism the cap will spike substantially again in 2023 as money from new TV deals hit and trigger media ‘kickers’ in the 2020 collective bargaining agreement that can increase players’ share of revenue from 48% to as high as 48.8%.” The players negotiated a new CBA that was signed in 2020. The players still do not get an event split of revenue, but they’re getting a greater percentage than in years’ past.