NFL salary cap set to hit $ 208 million in 2022
The NFL salary cap is set to get back on track in 2022 – and spending is also set to be back, with another jump in the cap slated for 2023.
Sources say next season’s cap is expected to reach the high of $ 208.2 million agreed to by the NFL and NFL Players Association in May. The final number has not been officially announced, but it is expected to be revealed at the annual NFL Labor Seminar next week.
The salary cap this season is $ 182.5 million – down from $ 198.2 million in 2020, but much higher than it would have been if the league and union hadn’t. agreed in August 2020 to spread a projected multibillion dollar shortfall from the COVID-19 pandemic over several years. Players are still “repaying” what amounted to a low-interest loan that allowed players to continue to receive full salaries and bonuses in 2020 despite empty stadiums, and the agreement to secure a cap to cap of 2022 accelerated this repayment process.
Many very expensive free agent contracts and extensions were still closed in 2021. But the $ 15.7 million cap drop has left many teams doing cap gymnastics, using salary conversions, for years. cancellables and other maneuvers to stay in compliance. Some free agents have gone for one-year deals, hoping to return to a more robust market in March.
Sources have warned that unexpected stadium capacity limits due to a COVID spike or an unlikely lockdown could still impact the number of 2022 caps. But these are not considered likely scenarios . No NFL games were canceled in 2021, stadiums were mostly full, almost all local revenue returned, new TV deals were finalized earlier this year in concert with the one-season extension Regular 17 games, the expanded playoffs began last year and the NFL is bursting with more play money and other new revenue streams.
All of this has also generated optimism, the cap will rise significantly in 2023 as new TV deal money hits and triggers media “kicks” in the 2020 collective agreement that may increase players’ revenue share from 48% to 48.8. %. (The CBA is a revenue sharing agreement in which the cap is based on players’ share, divided into salary and benefits.)
The magnitude of the ceiling jumps in 2023 will depend in part on how the NFLPA decides to handle the reimbursement of certain player benefits that were canceled in 2020, such as performance-based pay, Pro Bowl pay and help with tuition fees. The deal called for repayment of those benefits after 2023. No decision on these issues is likely until the union’s annual board of representatives meeting in March, a source said.
The good news for players who bet on themselves and for teams that have felt the cap for a year or two: Relief and virtual normalcy are coming.