The salary cap in 2021 was expected to take a significant jump when compared with the 2020 season, leaving teams with plenty of space to sign free agents.
However, if fans aren’t allowed in the stands for the 2020 season, the cap might not go up very much – if at all. According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, the cap could actually go down a significant amount.
Schefter mentioned if there are no fans for the 2020 season team revenues would be down around $100 million. That would be a $3.2 billion loss for the NFL as a whole, which would impact the cap.
Here’s more from Schefter: “The various estimates I’ve gotten from executives to owners is that the cap could be down anywhere $30M to $80M in 2021.”
The full conversation can be seen below.
Something to monitor: The salary cap in 2021 could potentially 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 $30M to $80M in 2021" — @AdamSchefter
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) May 5, 2020
Of course, this is all speculation at this point. The NFL made it clear the league plans to play the season as scheduled.
No decision has been made on whether or not fans will be able to attend, however.
Teams with major contracts to hand out in the coming years might have to make some tough roster decisions.
A major loss in revenue is the worst case for the NFL right now. We’ll have to wait and see what the 2020 season brings.