NFL salary cap for 2021 set at $182.5 million, giving 49ers nearly $24 million in space

Mar 10, 2021 at 6:40 AM--

The NFL's salary cap for 2021 has finally been set. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the league is informing teams that they will be allowed to spend a maximum of $182.5 million on player salaries for the upcoming season. The figure is $15.7 million less than the $198.2 million cap figure from last year.

Most of the drop is due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected nearly all aspects of our daily lives for a year now. The salary cap is based on calculations used from the league's revenue. A limited number of fans—no fans for some teams, like the San Francisco 49ers—were allowed to attend NFL games last season due to local COVID-19 restrictions. However, the league managed to make it through the 2020 season in its entirety with only a handful of game postponements.

Before the pandemic, it was expected that the NFL's new media deals would significantly raise the salary cap in 2021. That obviously did not happen. Before the pandemic, teams anticipated this year's salary cap to be set around $215 million. Instead, it currently sits at about $32.5 million less.

Based on the information from, the 49ers currently have $23.98 million in salary-cap space, which ranks No. 11 in the NFL in terms of available money. A year ago, the 49ers ranked No. 27 in salary-cap space.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have the most money to spend this year, with nearly $74 million in salary-cap space, as of this post. Ten teams are currently over the cap limit.

NFL free agency is scheduled to kick off at the start of the new league year on Wednesday, March 17. Teams can begin negotiating with the representatives of impending free agents on Monday, March 15.

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