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Why latest 2021 NFL salary cap update is good news for Patriots originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The New England Patriots have plenty of work to do during the 2021 offseason to construct a roster capable of getting the team back into the NFL playoffs, and luckily for them, they will have a boatload of salary cap space at their disposal.
The NFL reportedly has told teams that the salary cap will be no lower than $180 million for next season. This represents a $5 million increase from the minimum number that the league and NFLPA agreed on last year.
ESPN's Adam Schefter shared the league's memo Thursday:
Why is this good news for the Patriots? Simply put, it gives them even more room under the salary cap to spend on talent.
OverTheCap currently projects the Patriots to have about $62.2 million in cap space this offseason, which is the fourth-most of any team. The Patriots have the financial flexibility to add some top-tier players over the next few months, which they didn't have the ability to do last offseason.
However, it's one thing to have the money to sign the top veterans available on the free agent market, and it's another to actually sign them.
The Patriots might have to overpay to bring in some of the most talented players. New England struggled to a 7-9 record and missed the playoffs in their first season after quarterback Tom Brady's departure. The Pats are not expected to be a legit Super Bowl contender in 2021, so don't expect veterans chasing a championship ring to come to Foxboro on the cheap, especially with the uncertainty at quarterback.
Free agency is scheduled to begin March 17. This is also when trades can become official. It's one of the most important dates on the offseason calendar for the Patriots as they re-tool their roster.