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Rapoport: NFL Salary Cap could drop by $40 million for the 2021 season

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What’s the opposite of “cha-ching?”

Dollar Bills Photo Illustration by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

In recent years, the Minnesota Vikings haven’t had to worry too much about salary cap issues, thanks to the work of Rob Brzezinski and the front office. Prior to this season, the Vikings had been able to retain a lot of their own talent and continue adding pieces. This past offseason has seen some familiar names depart, which is just a part of the cycle of things in the NFL.

If what Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network is reporting is true, however, there are going to be a whole lot of teams waving goodbye to big-name players after the 2020 season, and things could get a little crazy.

Rapoport is reporting that the salary cap for the NFL for the 2021 season could decrease by as much as $40 million per team. In highfalutin financial terms, that’s a hell of a lot. A $40 million per team drop would be a combined loss of $1.28 billion. . .with a “b”. . .across the NFL. That would mean a whole lot of high-priced names would be getting cut loose and there wouldn’t be a whole lot of money for them to sign big deals elsewhere.

Right now, the salary cap stands at $198,200,000 per team. If the cap does drop by $40 million per team, that would put things at $158,200,000. Based on that figure, according to the folks from Over the Cap, there are 21 teams that are already over the 2021 salary cap based on the money they’ve already committed, including every team in the NFC North.

As of now, according to OTC, the Vikings have a cap figure of $182,026,119 for the 2021 season. Obviously there’s money that could probably be moved around and what have you, but the Vikings would have to create about $24 million worth of space just to maintain the status quo. That’s no mean feat, even for a wizard like Rob Brzezinski.

Rapoport cites the potential for games having limited attendance because of the COVID-19 crisis and social distancing guidelines as being the main catalysts for the potential drop in cap space.

The National Football League is already going to look different in 2020, and there’s the potential for it to look even more different in 2021 if the financial tap gets turned off. I’m sure there will be a drop, but hopefully it won’t be quite as bad as what Rapoport is speculating.