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NFL could be facing massive reduction in salary cap in 2021

The NFL could see their salary cap drop upwards of $70M next year, which would put nearly all teams over the cap by big numbers.

Detroit Lions v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The NFL and NFLPA are working to figure out what 2021 might look like in terms of salary cap. Lindsay Jones of The Athletic is reporting that the cap could drop from its current level of $198 million to the mid $120 millions - a $70 million plummet. That would be catastrophic for most teams.

A drop that large would put all but three teams over the salary cap from day one. Some teams would be over by more than double the new cap, according to Spotrac. The Denver Broncos have been conservative with their future commitments, so they would end up far down the list. Even so, they would be sitting at just under $160 million in contract commitments and would need to shed over $30 million just to break even.

Reports that surfaced suggesting that this uncertainty had nothing to do with the Broncos failure to sign Justin Simmons to a long-term deal is unlikely.

The NFL and NFLPA continue to negotiate and they are not going to come to an agreement any time soon. The Executive Director of the NFLPA, DeMaurice Smith noted they will take their time, “We are all trying to get to the right decision more so than getting to the fast decision.”

If I were to guess what the final agreement comes to, it will likely be somewhere in the middle. The $70 million number seems worst case and likely where the NFL wants to start their negotiation upwards with the NFLPA. Perhaps the end up agreeing on something far closer to where the Broncos currently sit for 2021 and maybe a little bit higher. I would be shocked if the salary cap drops more than $25 million, but we’ll just have to wait and see.


What do you think happens with the salary cap in 2021?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Drops by $50M or more
    (155 votes)
  • 42%
    Drops by $25-50M
    (406 votes)
  • 33%
    Drops less than $25M
    (323 votes)
  • 7%
    Increases from current levels
    (71 votes)
955 votes total Vote Now