NFL, NFLPA Reportedly Agree to $208.2 Million Salary Cap Ceiling for 2022 Season

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 26, 2021

CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 03: The NFL logo is pictured before the first quarter between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed to a salary cap ceiling of $208.2 million for the 2022 season, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

Pelissero reported the two sides have yet to agree on a salary floor.

If that winds up being the final number, the cap would climb significantly from $182.5 million for the 2021 season.

As with every other major sports league around the world, the NFL has had to grapple with the financial ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic. ESPN's Dan Graziano explained how the effects continue to be reflected in the cap:

Dan Graziano @DanGrazianoESPN

If revenues call for a cap higher than $208.2M in 2022, excess revenues would be used to pay back the $17 million in player benefits that were canceled as a result of the COVID-19 amendments the league and union agreed to last July. (more)

Dan Graziano @DanGrazianoESPN

The 2019 cap (pre-COVID) was $198.2M per team, and at the time the cap was growing by about $10M per year. At that pace, the 2022 cap would have been about $218M. So $208.2M still isn't "caught up." But it would exceed the expectations of many who feared cap might stay flat.

The 2022 cap ceiling represents a step in the right direction. While the actual cap number could still be lower, FanSided's Matt Verderame noted $208.2 million would be the single biggest jump from one year to the next ($25.7 million).

With the number of Americans receiving the COVID-19 vaccine continuing to climb, more and more fans are being welcomed back to live events.

The New York Knicks sold 15,000 tickets for each of their first two NBA playoff games against the Atlanta Hawks, with team governor James Dolan saying nearly 90 percent of the fans purchasing tickets were vaccinated.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in March he was hopeful of having full stadiums for the upcoming season. ESPN's Kevin Seifert reported Tuesday 30 of the league's 32 teams have gotten approval to operate their stadiums at full capacity for the 2021 season and teams will be able to host fans at training camp depending on local and state guidelines.

Both are encouraging signs that the NFL will be back on track and team revenues will be stabilizing this season.