The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of many teams in the NFL who are looking at a grave salary cap situation entering the 2021 season. If the salary cap were to steadily increase, like it has for over a decade, the Steelers would be just fine. Sure, there would be changes to the roster, but nothing which would cripple the team’s roster/decision making ability.
Nonetheless, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL is looking at a very uneasy salary cap situation this offseason. With hardly any fans in seats this past season, and TV deals due to renew, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to a salary cap floor of $175 million dollars in 2021. In other words, no matter how bad the situation was, the cap would not fall below that number.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that floor number has increased from $175 to $180 million.
NFL informed teams today the salary cap this season will be a minimum of $180 million.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 18, 2021
Yes, it increased by just $5 million, but this is at least a sign of the league suggesting things might not be as bad as once thought. There are some factors to consider with the league’s financial situation which is still unfolding.
Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated outlines two major factors of the eventual 2021 salary cap:
Two things to remember, re: 2021 salary cap ...— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 18, 2021
1) TV deals getting done, as has been the expectation, would likely make the owners more flexible in borrowing from future years.
2) A major drop in the cap hurts a LOT of people (veteran players, free agents, teams, etc.)
Once the new television deals are done, the league will have a better idea as to what the cap number will be for the 2021 season. Teams are in the dark at the moment, with league sources stating they might not know the official salary cap for next season until the day before the new league year starts in March.
If the television deals get done sooner, that number could be made final sooner than later. The fact the base number went up to $180 is a step in the right direction, and the Steelers, along with many other teams, should hope the cap can at least stay at $198, where it is currently, and then move forward after the 2021 season with yearly increases.
A lot still to unpack with the 2021 salary cap, so be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers as they prepare for the new league year, NFL Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.