To say the covid-19 pandemic has not hit the sports world hard is an understatement. The NFL announced that the 2021 season salary cap will be $182.5 million for each roster. The salary cap is a 7.9% decrease from last season.
The league increased the salary cap year after year from 2012 to 2020. To stop some of the red ink some teams may be going through, the league adjusted the salary cap to keep each team's financials in check. The New Orleans Saints for instance under the new cap guidelines are $57.7 million over budget so they will surely need to buy down contracts or make trades.
At the moment 10 teams in the NFL are over budget, they include the New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, and champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A flipside to this coin is that the Washington Football team has around $50 million to play with to prepare for the new season.
Fans react to NFL 2021 Salary Cap
The general observation on social media is that the players are getting hit the most with salary restrictions due to the covid-19 pandemic. Unlike MLS for example, the NFL has a healthy revenue stream and with more sponsorships in the works, the general perception is that the players got the shaft.
With a new TV deal in the works, money from online gaming, and expanded playoffs the league looks set to increase its cash flow via other channels than regular season attendance. While these numbers will balance out the reality is the NFL executives have looked at team spending as the focus point to save money.