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NFL salary cap projected at $200 million, pending CBA negotiations

The 2020 NFL salary cap is in the process of being finalized. We break down the latest news, a little under three weeks from the start of free agency.

A sign in the south end zone reads “Please Stay Tommy” in reference to the impending free agency of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The New England Patriots host the Tennessee Titans in the Wild Card AFC Division game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA on Jan. 4, 2020. Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The NFL is currently negotiating with the NFL Players’ Association on a new collective bargaining agreement, but until that is sorted out, the two sides are also negotiating the salary cap for 2020. The cap is based off of television revenues and various bits of accounting that will eventually land on the number each team must stay under for the coming season.

NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero reported Friday that the two sides are projecting a salary cap of roughly $200 million per team. Negotiations are on-going, but once these reports come out, we can usually assume the final number will end up somewhere near the projection.

The negotiations are impacted by current CBA negotiations. The two sides are talking about an expanded playoff, which would result in an increase in the cap. There are talks of a 17-game regular season, but that will have no impact on the 2020 salary cap.

Last year, the salary cap was $188.2 million, which was an $11 million increase over 2018, when it was $117.2 million. Since a $10 million increase per team from 2013 to 2014, the cap has increased by at least $10 million each year.

The new league year is set to open on March 18th, at which point free agents are allowed to sign with new teams and trades can take place. The free agency negotiation period opens on March 16th, during which time players and teams can negotiate, but not sign contracts.

Based on current estimations at Over The Cap, the Miami Dolphins are on track to lead the league with a little over $88 million in cap space, followed by the Indianapolis Colts at just over $86.1 million, and then the Buffalo Bills at just under $82.3 million. The Minnesota Vikings are currently projected to have the least cap space at just under $1.4 million, followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers at just under $1.6 million.