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Golden Nuggets: The salary cap in 2021 could potentially take a massive hit due to COVID-19

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for May 9, 2020

Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

COVID-19 could affect the NFL well beyond 2020. On his podcast, ESPN’s Adam Schefter spoke about the salary cap and how it could take a massive hit in 2021 due to the global pandemic. Here is Schefter on a podcast with Twitter user “MySportsUpdate.”

Considering the pandemic and everything that’s stopped in the world, I don’t think enough people are talking about the salary cap in 2021 is going to be affected big time by this whole thing. This could end up being brutal economically for the NFL. Even if we do have games, the revenue is going to take a massive hit.

Schefter: Again, it’s a hypothetical, so I want to be very clear about this, but it’s a plausible hypothetical at this point. If there are no fans in the stands this year and they’ve played the games, let’s say they play 16 games and no fans, that would mean roughly $100 million less revenue per team. That would be $3.2 million less revenue, which would be factored into the 2021 salary cap. The various texts I’ve gotten from various people, from team Executives to club owners, is that the salary cap could be down anywhere from $30 million to $80 million in 20201.

You might say, well, okay, the NFL and the NFLPA are going to meet and won’t let that happen. I agree, they’ll meet and do whatever it takes to mitigate the damage. Still, if owners have $100 million on average less revenue per team, they’re not absorbing those losses by themselves. They’re under no obligation to do anything different because the CBA spells out that the salary cap for any given year is derived off the total revenue from that year. If total revenue is down $3.2 billion, then the salary cap will be adjusting accordingly. If you’re a team paying a top quarterback like Patrick Mahomes or Dak Prescott a huge contract, well, you might be squeezing the rest of the roster if the cap drops. These are potential scenarios to think about, wonder about. These are in the realm of possibility.

That’s a lot of info, but, if true, that’s certainly will affect contract negotiations for the San Francisco 49ers. The team has been known for being one of the best in the NFL at managing the salary cap. With a George Kittle extension looming, and then you add in Trent Williams, Richard Sherman, and a few other important contracts, and Paraag Marathe and the rest of the front office will need to find ways to get even more creative than they already are.

Onto some links:

How Trent Williams found great shape a year away from the game (Blair)

49ers examining training camp outside of California due to coronavirus (Maiocco)

2020 NFL schedule: 10 best games include Chiefs-Ravens, 49ers-Saints and Bengals-Dolphins (CBS)

5 toughest games on 49ers’ schedule (Madson)

Young hilariously never worried when 49ers picked successor (NBC Sports)

49ers’ Kyle Juszczyk tired of being Jimmy Garoppolo’s offseason bodyguard (49ers Webzone)

A move from 3-4 to 4-3 linebacker should help Alfieri make the 49ers (SI)

Did the NFL’s Schedule-Makers Screw the 49ers? (SI)

Veteran Benjamin knows competition awaits with young 49ers receivers (Biderman)