With very limited fans in attendance this season and revenue slipping due to the pandemic, the NFL set the floor for the salary cap in 2021 at $175 million – which would be a $23.2 million drop from last season. Considering the cap typically increases by about 10% each year, a lower cap would require a lot of adjustments to be made by teams.
However, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported on Sunday that the salary cap is expected to be roughly $180-$181 million, which is higher than the initial estimate. The Rams would still be more than $20 million over the limit, which they will have to fix by March 17 when the new league year begins.
Though the NFL’s salary cap is not expected to be officially set until next month, league sources believe it will be roughly $180-$181 million. Throughout the past season, many expected it to be around $175 million, but it now is projected to come in slightly higher, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 7, 2021
According to Over The Cap, the Rams would be $26.8 million over a salary cap of $180.5 million. However, that’s before the Jared Goff-Matthew Stafford trade becomes official. With Goff’s $22.2 million dead cap hit and Stafford’s $20 million cap hit, the Rams will be paying about $7.5 million in 2021 than they would’ve paid for Goff alone.
But they can restructure Stafford’s deal and possibly even add a void year in 2023, which would lower his cap hit to $4.86 million, thus saving $15.14 million. Either way, the Rams have a lot of work to do to get under the cap, whatever the number winds up being.