Reports of NFL owners trying to cut $10 million off the salary cap THIS SEASON were eye-opening enough to sound the alarm. Sure, it was sensible for the league to want to soften the blow of the financial hit, but it made little sense for teams to absorb it all in one fell swoop this year.
Instead, it looks like the NFLPA will get its wish, spreading those losses over an extended period of time. But it’s still going to sting in the short term, especially for a team like the Bears:
The proposal being discussed by the NFL and NFLPA would spread the impact of any revenue shortfall in 2020 over four years, with a 2021 salary cap of at least $175 million, sources tell me and @MikeGarafolo. No change to the 2020 cap despite owners' proposals.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 24, 2020
NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero tweets about the NFL and NFLPA tackling the spread of potential revenue shortcomings over four years. The first year figures to be a doozy, with sources suggesting the 2021 season could come with a $175 million cap floor.
In other words, the lowest the cap will be in 2021 is $175 million. Should the league not take as much of a financial hit as currently expected, that number could rise. I imagine players and teams are rooting against the worst-case scenario for all the obvious reasons. But at least there is a contingency plan in place should it get to that point.
On the other hand, the cap dipping to $175 million would be problematic for a healthy chunk of the league. Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com estimates at least eight teams could be over a $175 million salary cap number in 2021. Among those teams is the Bears, who would be $10,482,663 over. However, they aren’t alone. The Vikings ($4,557,579), Raiders ($9,813,777), Steelers ($15,829,828), Chiefs ($25,708,490), Falcons ($39,081,353), Saints ($66,067,833), and Eagles ($71,538,722) round out the group of eight over the cap. Fitzgerald also warns that number could grow to 13 teams. The Texans, Cowboys, Packers, Rams, and Panthers being in jeopardy.
In short, a major cap hit would have major ramifications for the Bears, as well as the rest of the NFC North.
Meanwhile, the NFLPA just sent out this tweet …
A statement following our Executive Committee meeting: pic.twitter.com/pSkq369jeh
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) July 24, 2020
… and even though it’s vague, we’re on high alert to see what it means.