Each year the NFL’s salary cap is determined based upon the profit and net loss of the league from the previous season. The NFLPA and NFL agreed to a lessened $175 million salary cap floor ahead of the 2020 NFL season to compensate for any profit losses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFL and NFLPA recently renegotiated that number to $180 million before doing final audits to reach a final salary cap number for the 2021 season.
So what does this all mean for the Kansas City Chiefs as it relates to the 2021 NFL season? Well, it’s certainly good news.
According to estimations based on a $180.5 million salary cap, OverTheCap.com projects that the Chiefs will be $23 million over the cap. That means they’re still going to have to make some cuts and move some money around in order to get under the cap by March 19. That was always going to be the case with any lessened salary cap. This just provides them with some extra buffer room. The fact that this number will very likely go up and could reach or exceed $185 million is very good news.
Brett Veach spoke on the challenges of navigating the unique salary cap situation ahead of the 2020 NFL draft. The team has a number of different strategies and which one they employ this offseason will be based on the final salary cap number.
“We’ve even talked about having different game plans,” Veach told reporters. “We know it won’t be lower than $175M, but it could anywhere from $175 to $195 million. I don’t think it’ll get much higher than that, but even from $175-195, it’s a big deal for us. So that’s challenged and fortunately, I have some good people that I work with, Brandt Tilis and Chris Shea. We’ve been going through some different models. A few at $175M, a few $180M, a few at $185M. . . So, they tell me anything over $185M and we’re in pretty good shape. But we’re prepared if it’s $175M too.”
Right now, it looks like the league is approaching that sweet spot where Veach and his staff all want to be for the 2021 NFL season. This will allow them to keep building the roster for the now and the future without any financial setbacks. Of course, this is all still dependent on where that final number lands, but the increase in salary cap floor certainly has people around the league feeling a lot more optimistic about 2021.
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