The NFL and its franchises have taken a major financial hit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the consequences of this will be a substantial salary cap reduction in 2021.
This year’s NFL salary cap is $198.2 million. According to OverTheCap.com, the 2021 cap is projected to be $176 million, a sizable drop.
At least one AFC head coach, speaking with The Spun on condition of anonymity, thinks the ramifications of this cap slashing will be massive–and the potential fallout is not being discussed widely enough.
“No one is talking about this coming Armageddon to the National Football League,” the coach said. “Because of COVID and all of this, next year’s salary cap is going to fall through the floor.”
In the eyes of this AFC coach, the league has a “big f—–g economic tsunami” heading its way. His team, he said, will be in good financial shape, but more profligate franchises are going to have major issues.
“There’s going to be big-name players in their prime next year who are going to have to be cut because teams can’t afford them,” the unnamed coach told The Spun.
Per OverTheCap.com and Spotrac, there are 10 franchises currently in the red for 2021, based off the projected cap number. Several teams, most notably the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles, are substantially over the $176 million mark.
Of course, teams can cut dead weight contracts and restructure current deals in order to create more space. Still, it will be interesting to see if some of the teams more desperate to free up money wind up doing what this head coach is suggesting and releasing expensive, high-level players.