The NFL looks set to have the first truly post-pandemic season.
The league has cash pouring in from its new $100 billion-plus media deals and expects full-capacity crowds next year — so its salary cap may top $200 million for the first time ever.
The league and its players’ association agreed to a salary cap maximum of $208.2 million in 2022. This is not the cap itself, just the maximum number it could reach for that season.
The cap, which is based on league revenues, went down for only the second time in history in 2021, to $182.5 million from $198.2 million in 2020. The NFL and NFLPA agreed to spread pandemic losses over multiple years, but that could be quickly counteracted by new and expected revenue.
- 30 of 32 teams have received approval to open games at full capacity when the season kicks off in September. The Colts and Broncos are awaiting local approval.
- Total attendance last season was just 1.2 million, compared to 17 million the year before.
- The league agreed to $113 billion in new media deals from 2022-2033, and an estimated $1 billion in data rights over the next four years.
- The league will add a 17th game for each team to its schedule, starting with the 2021-2022 season.
Should final revenue projections dictate a cap above the $208.2 maximum, excess funds will go toward paying back the $17 million in player benefits that were cancelled due to the pandemic. The final figure will be set next February.