The NFL is reportedly holding off setting their 2021 salary cap, instead waiting to finalize their new television right agreements first, according to CNBC’s Jabari Young.
Fox, ViacomCBS, NBC and ESPN currently pay the NFL close to $6 billion a year, according to Young. DirectTV tosses in an extra $1.5 billion for the Sunday Ticket package.
The next TV rights agreement could be a ten-year deal worth $100 billion. Shorter options with higher per-year totals are also apparently under consideration.
As for the cap, popular estimates for the 2021 season are somewhere in the $180-$185 million range, a steep decline from last season’s $198 million total. With losses almost a certainty, it will be the first salary cap decrease since 2011.
That being said, the salary cap is expected to balloon to over $200 million in 2022.
A finalized cap figure for the upcoming seasons needs to be established by March 17.
With the impending TV rights agreement set to be one of the most lucrative in history, the NFL is likely holding out to see if they can shuffle enough future money around to ensure a smaller salary cap decrease for this coming season.
An increased salary cap would be outstanding news for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are one of the most cap-strapped teams in all of football.
The Steelers are likely looking towards free agency with dread, as they will not be able to resign a number of their key contributors set to hit the open market in a matter of weeks.