The salary cap for the 2022 season has been set, and the number signifies a return to normalcy.
The NFL's salary cap has risen to $208.2 million per team for the 2022 season, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Monday.
It's an increase of $25.7 million from last year's cap of $182.5 million and right on line with earlier projections from December. The large increase stems from a lowered 2021 cap due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced teams to get creative with contracts while many of last year's free agents accepted one-year deals with the hope of returning to an expanded cap ahead of 2022.
Until the pandemic, the NFL salary cap had seen steady annual increases of about $10-12 million per year. Now that the pandemic is in the rearview, teams will have more flexibility heading into the 2022 season and free agents will have the opportunity to earn bigger contracts.
In addition to this upcoming season's salary cap number, franchise tag values and fifth-year option values for the 2022 season were confirmed. Teams have until May 2 to exercise fifth-year options on players drafted in 2019 and have until March 8 to designate franchise tag players.