NFL clubs will have quite a bit more money to spend on player salaries in 2022.
The NFL's salary cap for 2022 will rise to $208.2 million, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported, expanding by $25.7 million compared to this season. That is the maximum amount agreed upon by the NFL and NFL Players Association in May.
The large increase stems from a lowered 2021 cap due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The previous cap in 2020 was $198.2 million, but because teams played in front of limited or no crowds last season, the 2021 cap was adjusted accordingly and reduced to $182.5 million, its lowest mark since 2018. That required teams to get somewhat creative in efforts to be in compliance with the cap, and led to some veteran free agents preferring one-year contracts in order to take better advantage of the expanded cap for 2022.
Until the pandemic, the NFL salary cap had seen steady annual increases in recent years in the range of $10-12 million per year.
Pelissero and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport first reported the expected increase on Dec. 5, noting that there is optimism for another cap rise in 2023.