NFL Insider: Cap May Not Drop

January 3rd, 2021

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

Many, many NFL insiders over the past few months have reported with dread that the NFL salary cap, which is based on gross NFL revenues, would take a massive hit in 2021 thanks to more than a billion lost dollars directly related to The Sickness.

(Joe recently read a comment that Joe was mocking the current global medical crisis by referring to it as “The Sickness.” That is complete nonsense! This will explain Joe’s reasoning.)

A massive drop in the salary cap would be very bad news as key Bucs free agents (Shaq Barrett, Chris Godwin, Lavonte David, Rob Gronkowski?) might have to be waved goodbye, or other starters (Donovan Smith?) outright released.

(Joe is in no way saying these players should/will get released or move on. Just stating facts here.)

Well, in recent months, many rumors have been floated that the NFLPA and the NFL owners will work out a deal to lessen the blow of a drop in the cap.

Now comes word from a well-plugged in reporter that the NFL may not drop the salary cap one dime. Albert Breer of believes if the NFL signs new TV contracts ,which are expected to bring the NFL untold new riches, the owners may agree to keep the salary cap as is.

I’m more confident now than I was a few months ago that the NFL will find a way to at least have a flat (rather than a dropping) cap in 2021, and I think the season getting played on schedule is a key to that. Having all 256 games played, and the playoffs off and running, will set the table for negotiations on new broadcast deals, and if the league can strike new broadcast deals before the League Year kicks off in March, then the chances the owners work with the union to manage the cap increase.

… … some owners view borrowing from future caps to fund the current year as an interest-free loan to players that they don’t really want to give. Having new TV money locked in, I think, will soften their stance. And having the cap flat would mean fewer players cut, a healthier free-agent market, and a more manageable offseason for teams. If you’re not worried about the “interest-free loan”, just about everyone wins if you avoid the shortfall.

In fact, one prominent owner pointed this out to his peers on a recent call, in a plea to get the games played regardless of who might be missing from the lineup in any given week, which contextualizes the NFL pushing through tough situations for individual teams.

This would be huge news for the Bucs. If the salary cap drops, the Bucs could be looking at a very different starting lineup than they have now.

Joe would not expect Ndamukong Suh to return or maybe not JPP, if the cap dropped. And who knows about Shaq or Godwin? And Joe fully understands there is a large fan mob with lit torches hyperventilating to run off Smith because his contract is no longer guaranteed after this season.

Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht will still have to dodge obstacles to keep the core of the team intact. O.J. Howard, by virtue of his injury status, is locked in contractually and his price jumps in 2021. And as stated, Shaq and Godwin will be looking to get paid. Maybe Gronk, as well.

(As it currently stands per, Smith is scheduled to be the ninth-highest paid left tackle in the league for 2021. That will likely drop a couple of slots by the start of the 2021 season. Is Smith a top-10 left tackle? Factoring in his durability — which NFL teams covet more than fans — perhaps. Though Joe is aware many Bucs fans will howl to the contrary.)

Still, if the cap is stagnant in 2021, this would be very good news for the Bucs and their fans fans.

16 Responses to “NFL Insider: Cap May Not Drop”

  1. Says:

    It would be great to be able to keep our starting lineup intact. Adding some new draft picks to the current crew would help bring youth into the team while keeping the veterans who have helped make this team better this year. It never hurts to have a young stud ready to take the job away from the grizzled vets.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    “Interest-free loans”? How about instead ‘mortgaging the future’? That’s much more like what the NFL owners would be doing in this case; they would have committed to future expenses with a ‘guaranteed’ future revenue stream that more than likely wouldn’t really meet those future expenses.

    ‘The Sickness’ as you call it has adversely impacted untold thousands of businesses in our nation. Some have already folded; many others will probably have to fold the longer this continues. Almost all of the business people that I know have pared expenses to get by for the time being. The NFL will ultimately end up doing the same thing is my guess.

  3. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Amazing decision my the owners! The right one of course, their money machine has already suffered attendance,PR hits, they certainly can’t afford to piss off the whole cast of characters which would again be another PR black eye!
    If you are interested check out the prediction about the NFL that the NBA , Texas , name slips my mind right now, made a few years back.

  4. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    ^^^^Mark Cuban ^^^^

  5. Reddington Neck Shores Says:

    Waiting until March is a long time to know if the cap stays or goes. Hits off-season negotiations and contracts. As we read that the super rich get super richer during the pandemic thanks to a weird stock market response to global suffering, these super rich owners will still make tons of money even if they have to spend a touch more to keep their teams intact. Let’s not feel too bad for these guys, the players are the ones leaving the game broken and damaged. Let’s get them (Godwin shaq suh gronk) their money. And how about me13 getting his records today? Go Bucs!

  6. Bird Says:

    I thought it had been confirmed for 17 game season next year.

    Extra game. Extra revenue. Cap stays same.

  7. Bucsfan951 Says:

    If the Bucs can somehow manage to pick a competent starting LT in the first round and follow it up with a competent starting center in the second round, they can save roughly $20-22 million in cap space. That can go a long way to paying godwin and shaq.

    They would need Suh for 1 more year until they can draft d line in 2022 unless they can find a gem in the third round.

    Bucs really needs that secondary to blossom and not spend anymore draft picks on it. I’ve been screaming it since the offseason and I’ll say it again… Bucs should’ve brought it a vet cb.

  8. Georger Says:

    I don’t have a problem with the cap going down. it is not going down just the Bucs itis going down for all teams. Every team will feel the crunch. The Saints, Atlanta and the Panthers are in much worse cap situation than the Bucs with Saints with the 32nd Atlanta with the 30th and the Panther with the 17th worse cap space. The Bucs have the second most cap space in the NFC.

    With the cap going down, this will be a buyers market, teams will not have the money to give out large contracts like in years past. Players will have to sign for much less than last year. You might get Goodwin for 14 million instead of 18 million. Players underperforming will have to take pay cut to stay with their teams or risk being cut(Smith, Brate, Jenson),

    This all favors the Bucs. The biggest of is players take less will want to play for a winner and this is where the Brady effect will help the Bucs get free agents at a great price.

  9. orlbucfan Says:

    Godwin and LVD will be Bucs next season, cap drop or not. Big shame more teams aren’t run by their fans like the Packers. Inbred yahoo ownership is always a trip, usually incompetent.

  10. Ftmyersbuc Says:

    I said this as a comment on your other couple of articles maybe amonth or 2 back being all doom and gloom as about the cap. You take out a loan for the missing revemue and repay it over a number of years. You thought owners would get together and vote to let big name players walk? Gtfou. Seriously?

  11. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Take out a loan?

    They could just reach in to their own wallet… or just take a little less profit. They are even still making a profit.

  12. Marine Buc Says:

    Poor billionaire NFL owners. How will they ever survive?

    Give me a break…

    If they lower the salary cap every NFL player should walk the F out.

  13. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Nobody will want to take a pay cut if your adding a game to the season. Ridiculous! If they cut the cap after adding a game all hell will break loose.

  14. Nutterbuccer Says:

    Smith has played much better this season and the fact brady has only been sacked 20 or so times goes to show he deserves what he’s getting. I would say he’s around the 10th best tackle in the leaguenfor sure.

  15. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    If Smith is considered a “middle of the pack” or a “just average” performer as an NFL left tackle and he is seen as top ten when it comes to durability then the Bucs have not lost anything by paying a little more for him.

    So why all of the continuous discussion about him?

    You said it, Nutterbuccer.

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:

    If you’re talking about Donovan Smith being a top 10 tackle, he is in the top 10 in both sacks allowed and penalties. That’s not my opinion, that’s a fact. I’m going to use the playoffs as a measuring stick on D Smith. If he’s good enough in the playoffs, then great. If not, then the Bucs need to start looking for his replacement.