After months of speculation, the 2021 NFL salary cap has been set at $182.5 million.
The new number is down from $198.2 million in 2020 as the league deals with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFL had previously set the salary cap floor at $180 million.
Starting Monday, March 15, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2020 player contracts. They cannot sign until the start of the new league year at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 17.
On Tuesday, nine players were designated as non-exclusive franchise players around the league, including Giants defensive tackle Leonard Williams for the second consecutive year. One player – Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott – was designated as an exclusive franchise player. The signing period for franchise players begins at 4 p.m. on March 17 and ends on the Tuesday following the 10th week of the season.
View NFL.com's updated rankings of the top 101 free agents of 2021 ahead of the new league year, which begins March 17.
2021 Franchise Players:
- DT Leonard Williams (Giants)
- OL Taylor Moton (Panthers)
- WR Allen Robinson (Bears)
- QB Dak Prescott* (Cowboys)
- S Justin Simmons (Broncos)
- OL Cam Robinson (Jaguars)
- S Marcus Williams (Saints)
- S Marcus Maye (Jets)
- WR Chris Godwin (Buccaneers)
*Denotes "Exclusive" Franchise Player
View the players set to become free agents when the new league year begins March 17.