Salary Cap Expected to Rise, Good News For Falcons

Falcons Fan

getty A fan of the Atlanta Falcons cheers on his team.

Fantastic news for Atlanta Falcons— the salary cap is expected to increase to “roughly $200 million,” NFL’s Tom Perlissero reported at the NFL Combine.

Reports were made back in December saying the NFL salary cap was expected to be raised between $196.8 million and $201.2 million for the upcoming 2020 season. The final amount is supposed to hit the heavier end of the spectrum.

The new CBA still needs to be ratified as of March 2nd and the new salary cap is due to the proposed playoff expansion.

What is CBA?

You have probably been reading numerous draft articles wondering what all of this CBA commotion is about. CBA stands for the NFL’s ‘Collective Bargain Agreement.’

The proposed CBA includes:

  • A provision expanding the regular NFL season to 17 games. As a result, players will receive 48% of the revenue that will eventually climb to 48.5%.
  • An expanded playoff setup of 14 teams, with only the top seed in each conference receiving a first-round bye. 
  • Limit the number of international games teams play.
  • Reduce the number of training camp practices from 28 to 16. 

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Benefiting Atlanta

The new CBA will indeed benefit the Falcons. Of course, the higher the salary cap the bigger the benefit.

The Falcons don’t have a lot of cap space left over from the 2019 season. Raising the cap helps each NFL team spend more, however, but it’s particularly useful to teams that don’t have a lot of cap space from the previous season.

The Falcons currently possess about $4.5 million in space. The Falcons have the third-least amount of cap space in the NFL. They are also one of only three other teams with under $10 million in space.

According to space.spotrac, they reached the Falcons’ total by assuming the 2020 NFL salary cap would be $199 million. Spotrac’s calculation also included the $5.5 million left over from the 2019 season that the Falcons can use.

If the 2020 cap ends up being over the “roughly $200 million” or $199 million, then the Falcons will have even more in their benefit to spend on free agency.

Falcons’ Tight Cap Won’t Prevent Talent

The Falcons salary cap has been the center of discussion when talking free agency with it being very tight. However, Atlanta’s general manager Thomas Dimitroff isn’t afraid of the cap situation stopping the team from finding true talent.

“We have to look at where we are with the salary cap, and we have to make some difficult decisions,” Dimitroff told “In my mind, when we do decide on the decisions we’re going to make, I don’t think it’s going to leave our organization in a spot where we are devoid of talent.

“I feel like we have a really good setup and the situation on how we put it all together, and Dan [Quinn] and I communicate very, very closely on how we want our team to come together and the money that we’re going to put into the team. I think on the other side of this you’ll realize what I’m talking about.”

With the salary cap rise range, the Falcons don’t have a chance on re-signing tight end Austin Hooper, but they could use the extra money to find one to fill his shoes.

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The NFL salary cap sat at $188.2 million in 2019. The cap in the league has increased by at least $10 million each season for the last seven years.

Negotiations are ongoing, but the NFL and NFLPA are projecting a salary cap of roughly $200 million per club for 2020. If new CBA is ratified, revenue would increase from expanded playoffs, which could cause the cap to rise somewhat. Bigger jumps expected in 2021 and beyond.

The 2019 salary cap was $188.2 million, so another $10M+ jump. Whether, and how much more, the salary cap would rise in 2020 under a new CBA would depend on whether that additional revenue is counted towards salary cap or benefits.