NFL Salary Cap Projected to Rise from $187M to $191.1M in 2019

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorDecember 11, 2018

FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2017, file photo, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference, in New York. The NFL expects a five-year contract extension with Commissioner Roger Goodell to be finalized soon, despite a threatened lawsuit by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, that “our expectation is this will be wrapped up soon, but we can't project an actual date.”(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)
Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

The NFL's salary cap will range anywhere from $187 million to $191.1 million in 2019, per NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy:

The salary cap has made huge leaps in recent years, growing from $143,280,000 in 2015 to $177,200,000 in 2018, per Over the Cap.

If the cap grows to $187,200,000 or more in 2019, it would represent the sixth straight offseason in which it grew by $10 million-plus. The cap was $123 million in 2013 and $133 million in 2014.

Kevin Clark of The Ringer wrote about the steadily rising salary cap in a January 2018 piece, noting that teams need to be ahead of curves to compete and stay relevant in an evolving league. That includes sharp teams adapting to a pass-happy, offense-friendly league, but it also involves dishing out money to free agents during the offseason.

Clark noted that the six teams that spent the most prior to the 2017 season made the playoffs. He also wrote the following:

"Multiple league executives, coaches, and experts told me that it is changing the way teams are built at an unprecedented pace and turned free agency from a last resort into a legitimate team-building strategy, like it has in other sports."

That's good news for some free agents on the horizon, especially pass-rushers. That position is more valuable than ever, as edge-rushers are the best bet to stop white-hot offenses like those of the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams.

Look at the Rams' 15-6 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday, for instance, as L.A. quarterback Jared Goff was sacked three times and hit on eight occasions overall. The Rams, who hadn't scored fewer than 23 points all season, could only manage 214 yards of offense and two field goals.

The league likely took notice, and some monster paydays could be ahead for 2019 free agents like Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark and Houston Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

Ultimately, the rising cap is good for the league. However, it's excellent news for players who best fit today's NFL, as they'll likely be getting fat second contracts.

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