After a one-year drop, the NFL’s salary cap is on its way back up.
The financial impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 season was felt during the 2021 offseason when the cap dropped to $182.2 million from the $198.2 million cap in 2020. A return to normal league revenue will be reflected with a significant increase in the cap this upcoming offseason.
A report posted on NFL.com says the cap is expected to hit the agreed upon max amount of $208.2 million next offseason.
Sources say next season’s cap is expected to reach the $208.2 million maximum agreed upon by the NFL and NFL Players Association in May. The final number has not been officially announced, but it’s expected to be revealed at the NFL’s annual labor seminar next week.
While this jump of $26 million is indeed large, it shouldn’t be confused with things returning to complete normalcy. As OverTheCap.com’s Jason Fitzgerald says, the 2022 cap would’ve been in the range of $218-221 million had it not dropped this year. The league is still at least one year away from the cap getting back to its normal growth.
The Cincinnati Bengals managed to remain active in free agency this year despite the drop in the salary cap, so this increase should allow them to be aggressive again. Teams and agents will still likely push contract value down a year or two to account for another sizable jump in 2023.