Sports | May 8, 2020 6:30 am

NFL Salary Cap May Take Big Hit in 2021 Due to COVID-19

Lack of revenue could cut next year's salary cap up to 50 percent

Roger Goodell Closes All NFL Team Facilities
A view of the NFL logo before the 2020 AFC Championship game.
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty

This week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on the MySportsUpdate Football Podcast that some NFL higher-ups are bracing for the league’s salary cap to be cut by up to 50 percent next season due to revenue losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Schefter, a 16-game schedule being played with no fans could cost each NFL team upwards of $100 million in lost revenue. Overall, that would set the league back $3.2 billion. If games are canceled, losses in TV revenue could make that figure even larger. 

Due to that, owners and team executives are planning for the salary cap in 2021 to take a massive hit due to COVID-19.

“The various estimates I’ve gotten from executives to owners is that the cap could be down anywhere $30 million to $80 million in 2021,” Schefter said on the podcast

Based on net revenue, the annual salary cap came in at just under $198.2 million for the 2020 season when it was provided to teams in March, an all-time high.

Since clearing $100 million in 2006, the salary cap hasn’t dropped below that figure and it hasn’t been under $120 million since 2012.

If Schefter’s doomsday projection ends up being accurate and the cap is cut by $80 million, it would fall below that $120M threshold. 

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