NFL owners pushing to lower salary cap for 2020 and 2021, per report

Jul 23, 2020 at 1:40 PM--

$198.2 million.

That's the salary cap figure that NFL decision-makers have been working with since the limit was set in March. Actually, they had been working with a number in that realm since long before that, as teams figured the salary cap would reach close to $200 million in 2020.

With so much uncertainty heading into the upcoming season, as the league pushes forward to play amidst a pandemic, NFL owners are pushing for a lower salary cap number, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

No, not just beyond this year. Including 2020.

Owners are reportedly proposing to lower the salary cap for this season and 2021 to partially offset any losses due to the potential (and likely) absence of fans within stadiums. Such a move could create a bit of chaos as several teams try to make roster room to get under a suddenly-reduced cap number.

Pelissero notes that the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is instead pushing for any potential losses to be spread over the salary-cap numbers through 2030, lessening the impact on one or two seasons.

At this point, 90-man rosters are set. Even that number will probably need to be reduced, as the NFLPA has seemingly agreed to go with 80-man rosters heading into training camp to create a safer environment and keep COVID-19 from devastating the league and putting the season in jeopardy.

One NFL general manager told Pelissero that even a $10 million drop would be "too much" this late in the offseason.

A salary cap reduction could halt any further contract negotiations with tight end George Kittle. Running back Raheem Mostert would probably have to forget about finding a way to earn more money this season. The 49ers might not be able to afford more of a commitment, and other teams are unlikely to offer up compensation enticing enough this late in the offseason for San Francisco to consider a trade.

Then you have several players, like fullback Kyle Juszczyk and several of the team's defensive backs, including Richard Sherman, entering the final year of their contracts.

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