2021 salary cap floor raised to $180 million, giving 49ers a little wiggle room

Feb 18, 2021 at 6:41 AM--


The San Francisco 49ers have been working this offseason with the assumption that the 2021 salary cap would end up at the floor of $175 million.

"We're operating under the premise of the floor, which is 175," general manager John Lynch told reporters in January. "We felt like that was best to operate off of that and kind of formulate our plans off of that. If it's anything on top, that's gravy for us. I think that's how a lot of teams are operating."

It was always assumed that the salary cap would end up being higher, possibly as high as between $180 million and $185 million. But it's better to work with the floor and avoid any surprises. The 49ers — and all NFL teams — officially got a (very) little more wiggle room on Thursday.

Pro Football Talk reports that the NFL and NFL Players Association have advised teams that the new minimum salary cap per team would be $180 million. It could still end up being higher, though.

"This is not the final Salary Cap for the 2021 League year, which will be set following review of final 2020 revenue figures and other audit and accounting adjustments," said the memo to teams, per Pro Football Talk. "This agreement simply increases the minimum 2021 Salary Cap by $5 million per club, from $175 million to $180 million."

Of course, anything in this range would be a significant drop from the $198.2 million salary cap from last season due to the pandemic's impact. For the 49ers, it could mean losing several players to free agency. The team would like to bring back offensive tackle Trent Williams and extend linebacker Fred Warner. The futures of several others remains uncertain.

Knowing the final salary cap figure would certainly help the 49ers attempt to work out their offseason plan.

"The memo provides no indication as to when the salary cap will be set," notes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

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