Salary Cap Reduction, Reality or Myth?

We’re a ways away from knowing the truth of the matter, but it has been widely speculated that there will be a salary cap reduction in 2021 due to Covid-19’s financial effects during 2020. The number I keep seeing thrown around is in the 175 million range for next year.

Even with some real creativity, certain teams are going to be very distressed, financially in relation to the cap, by this number. While it’s an interesting exercise to speculate on what will happen, how the dominoes will fall in such a unique situation, I’m skeptical about the reality of this scenario though.

Would the NFL really chance diluting the quality of their product? Would ownership of the affected teams really vote to cut their own teams throat? The more I think about it, the less I believe this will actually happen.

There’s a lot of great speculative minds in here, and I would like to see what you think.

Does the fact they added a 17th game to the schedule effect it at all?

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Its posturing by the owners and being used as a bargaining chip.

I’m curious why you think this?

There was clearly lost revenue and they work on a revenue sharing plan (called a salary cap) that is set based off revenue earned the year prior.

I’m curious to see how they decide to address this but the NFL has repeatedly told teams and players to expect a reduced salary cap.

Posturing doesn’t mean its 100% fake. Don’t get the two concepts conflated.

I take this to mean you think the owners will agree to not reduce the salary cap in exchange for some concession from the union?

Any thoughts as to what they’re seeking?

The owners had a great excuse to slide in a 17th game now which will truly weaken the product with more injuries.

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They already got extra playoff games and a 17th regular season game. The 17th game was something they’d been fighting about for a long time.

Does the reduction in cap space mean that there are going to be a lot of solid above average free agents scrambling around and having to take prove it deals for a year?

At the end of the day, I think the cap number will be in excess of $190M. They lost gate revenues, but they gained on streaming revenue that wasn’t budgeted for. They will borrow from future tv contracts (that expire after the 2022 season) to make up the difference. But, like Wes said, the owners will try to get a concession from the NFLPA to make it work.


I believe this as well.

Look at the extensions given out since that 175 number came out.

Teams aren’t operating as if that number is accurate


Couldn’t be said that some of those extensions are an attempt to lower a players cap hit for next year as well?

Good points all around, been wanting to ask this for awhile but kept forgetting.

I’m not … I was just curious what you thought they were posturing for. What do you think the end game will be.

Personally I have no idea how they will address this problem so I’m curious what others think might happen.

I figure something has to give and it’s going to be a sticky situation to resolve.

I believe the cap in 2020 was 198 mil. So your not expecting it to drop much if any at all?

With an extra game check coming in that should increase each players actual cap implications too.

It’s going to be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

But for reference in 2011 the NFL cap decreased. That was the year of the lockout. So it’s not unheard of.

The NFL has said that teams should expect a decrease this year. I believe we will see a decrease of some kind. The real question is how much and how will they address it?

How many regular season games are on the schedule for 2021?

Last I heard was 17, with Denver being added, just unknown whether home or away.

Exactly. Do you know how long the owners have tried to get the players to agree to a 17th game? A while. Now its happening.

2020 was 198.2M and no I don’t think it’ll go down much.

The extra game check will only come into play if the owners vote to have a 17th game in 2021 and I haven’t heard they are going to do that and if the cap goes down, I don’t think they will. FYI, if they do approve a 17th game, the Lions will be charged an extra $6.7M in base salary for the year . . . if they don’t cut anyone.

2009 $123M
2010 Uncapped
2011 $120M
2012 $120M
2013 $123M

So stagnate for four years. But other than that time, we never had a drop before and I can’t see the owners or the players wanting a significant drop. I think both would rather see no increase for a couple years rather than a steep decrease followed by incremental increases. But I do think the owners will play it that they are conceding something to the players by agreeing to a smaller decrease.

Some of if not most are guys who would have been unrestricted FAs.