NFL Salary Cap Projected to Rise to Between $196.8M and $201.2M in 2020

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2019

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff in an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

The NFL salary cap will rise again in 2020, reportedly settling in a range between $196.8 million and 201.2 million, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network: 

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

This is the seventh consecutive year the cap is projected to climb more than $10M per club year over year. Since 2011, the cap has increased roughly 65 percent and $76 million per club. Total projected player costs, including benefits, will be more than $7.7 billion in 2020. https://t.co/6Dxr3Dd3jQ

The salary cap in 2019 sat at $188.2 million. 

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

The final cap number is usually set by the NFL and NFLPA in late February/early March. Total projected player costs, including benefits, will be more than $7.7 billion in 2020.

Another jump will be good for teams looking to either secure their own star players in the long term or those teams hoping to make a splash in free agency. Think the Dallas Cowboys, who will have to make important decisions regarding quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper. 

Ideally, the Cowboys would bring both players back on long-term deals. Less ideally, the team could agree to a long-term pact with one of the two—in this scenario, almost assuredly Prescott—and use the franchise tag on the other. 

And the worst-case scenario would be keeping one on the franchise tag and losing the other altogether. But the added cap space will help, especially since the Cowboys already agreed to long-term extensions in the past year with defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (five years, $105 million), running back Ezekiel Elliott (six years, $90 million) and linebacker Jaylon Smith (six years, $68.4 million). 

According to Spotrac, the Cowboys are expected to have around $88 million in cap space for the 2020 season based on the players with contracts running into next season. But between the potential new contracts for Prescott and Cooper and the need to fill out the remainder of the roster, things could get very tight in Dallas. 

That's one example of a team that will benefit from having a bit more wiggle room getting under the cap, though every team will welcome the added flexibility.