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NFL teams could lose $70 million in 2021 cap due to coronavirus

The NFLPA stated the effects of COVID-19 could go beyond the 2020 season

Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The NFLPA had a call Friday afternoon to provide updates on player safety and where we stand as training camp nears. We touched on some of the highlights from the call, but we didn’t expound on the possibility of the salary cap dropping.

NFL teams could see a significant reduction in salary cap in 2021 that would likely lead to many players being cut in cap-saving measures. According to NFLPA executive DeMaurice Smith and president J.C. Tretter, who plays for the Browns, the impact of revenue loss amid the coronavirus pandemic won’t just impact this season, but 2021 as well.

Smith said he projects that if there is a “dramatic drop in revenue this year” that there could be losses of approximately $70 million per team and would see the 2021 salary cap drop all the way to $120 million. The 2020 salary cap for each team is $198.2 million. As of right now, the San Francisco 49ers have $173 million committed to the salary cap in 2021. That’s not including the 26 unrestricted free agents the Niners will have, which include some of the best players on the roster. I wonder if these projections are playing into George Kittle’s contract situation and causing the team to play hardball. Smith said there had been discussions trying to avoid that, and there’s a possibility of spreading out the decline over several upcoming years, an option the NFLPA prefers.