With the COVID-19 pandemic drastically altering the 2020 NFL season, it was expected that the league’s salary cap – which rested at $198.2 million this past season – would be decreased for 2021 and force some teams into difficult personnel decisions. While the NFL and the NFLPA agreed to a salary cap of no lower than $175, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that it may not even drop that low.
Tampa Bay’s general manager Jason Licht and director of football administration Mike Greenberg, tasked with managing the team’s salary cap, did a great job of giving the Bucs some breathing room as their salary cap sat just above $188 million in 2020, per Spotrac.com, but that won’t leave them without some tough decisions of their own. Wide receivers Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown, linebackers Shaq Barrett and Lavonte David and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh are all set to become free agents this coming offseason and it will be interesting to see how the front office navigates the NFL’s changing financial landscape.
As for teams that will find themselves in the tightest monetary binds heading into next year, two of the Bucs’ divisional rivals in the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons made the list.