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What Is the NFL Salary Cap and How Does It Function?

Published 08/22/2022, 12:00 PM EDT

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Like many other major leagues, the NFL also has a salary cap in place. It is set up to create a level playing field for all the 32 teams that are part of the National Football League. Without it, many teams could buy their way into a championship, and that wouldn’t be fair to others.

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Basically, the salary cap is the factor that enables teams to spend a certain amount of money in order to fill their roster. Crossing the salary cap that is set for that particular season might result in fines and other sanctions.


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It was first introduced in 1994. During that season, the cap was set at $34.6 million. The amount that the salary cap is set for every season is determined by the amount of revenue that the league is bringing in. Ahead of the 2022 NFL season, the salary cap is set at $208.2 million. This is because the league has been performing quite well over the years. The revenue is being generated, and the teams are given an opportunity to generate more funds to spend on players.

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The increment in the salary cap is a huge reason why players around the league are getting big contract extensions. According to a source, the NFL salary cap depends on the defined gross revenue or money earned from contracts with national television networks, ticket sales, and merchandise. However, this changed in 2006 and included things such as naming rights and local advertising.


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The NFL salary cap is bound to increase heavily in the future

The league is now performing well on a global level as well. Due to it, the salary cap is expected to take major hikes in the future. Players will get more money, and we are already seeing that in the current offseason.

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Players like Tyreek Hill, Kyler Murray, and Davante Adams have been offered lucrative deals. Heading into the next season, we might see Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert break the record once again. The players are one of the biggest reasons for the league’s popularity. As a result, they reap the rewards of bringing in revenue, which ultimately helps to increase the salary cap.

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Abhimanyu Chaudhary

531 articles

Abhimanyu Chaudhary is an NFL author at EssentiallySports. He has been a life-long fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Liverpool FC. But when it comes to the NFL, you can always see him rooting for his favorite superstar Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Edited By: Gurjyot Singh Dadial