As we approach the start of the NFL’s new league year, nailing down a salary cap number grows in importance.
Earlier this winter, we learned the cap was expected to get a boost. How much of a boost was to be determined, but NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero reports a rough estimate of a projected cap:
Negotiations are ongoing, but the NFL and NFLPA are projecting a salary cap of roughly $200 million per club for 2020. If new CBA is ratified, revenue would increase from expanded playoffs, which could cause the cap to rise somewhat. Bigger jumps expected in 2021 and beyond.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 28, 2020
A projected salary cap of $200 million would represent an increase of $11.8 million. It’s a hefty increase, to be sure. And one that would mark the seventh consecutive season in which the cap went up by at least $10 million. That’s certainly a sign of a healthy league when revenues continue to increase to the point where the salary cap and team spending can follow accordingly.
And to think, more could be on the way.
Matt Verderame of FanSided hears a larger increase could be on the horizon in 2021:
Multiple league sources tell @FanSided the NFL salary cap could potentially reach $240 million in 2021.
The 2020 projected cap is $200M and could settle as high as $204M depending on a few factors.
— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) February 28, 2020
A salary cap number of $240 million would be straight up bonkers. Full stop.
Jumping to a $240 million cap number would allow for teams with even the tightest cap issues to get in on the spending spree. Yes, that includes the Bears, who are already projected to be $71,778,366 under the cap in 2021, according to OverTheCap.com’s calculations.
An increased cap could allow Chicago’s front office to continue its attempts to retain home grown talent with worthwhile contract extensions. Because while an extension for Allen Robinson is a top priority now, possible new deals for Roquan Smith, Tarik Cohen, Anthony Miller, and David Montgomery could be on the horizon at some point down the line. And while extending Mitch Trubisky’s deal isn’t on anyone’s radar at the moment, an increase of the 2021 cap to $240 million might make it easier for the Bears to pick up the fifth-year option on the quarterback’s rookie deal. Because with a cap of $240 million, an option that is estimated to cost approximately $24 million wouldn’t be as much of a handcuff.
But still … the NFLPA needs to vote for the new Collective Bargaining Agreement for the ball to get rolling on this. And there is still no certainty that will happen, though it is starting to feel like there is a lean toward accepting the deal offered up by the owners last week.