In an attempt to brace itself for the financial hit that came with playing through a global pandemic, the NFL and NFLPA negotiated a 2021 salary cap that would be no lower than $175 million.
Eleven months later, it turns out the cap’s floor will be slightly higher than original projections:
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 18, 2021
To be clear, the league didn’t set the spending floor for $180 million. Instead, we should look at this announcement as saying the lowest possible ceiling for the 2021 salary cap is $180 million. The NFL has a salary spending floor, which will be far lower than $180 million.
Overall, the increase to $180 million is good news. Granted, it’s not as good as the $198.2 million cap that teams entered 2020 with — but the decrease isn’t looking to be as steep as it could’ve been. And to that end, 32 general managers around the league breathed a sigh of relief.
As how this impacts the Bears, it cuts two ways. On one hand, we should be glad that the salary cap isn’t going to bottom out as badly as once feared. On the other hand, the Bears are still estimated to be over the cap by $8-10 million, so they still have some work to do. And then they have to augment the roster after getting out of the red. In other words, the challenges are only beginning to pop up — even as clarity comes to the cap’s situation.