nfl salary cap
(Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

Amid a weird and unusual offseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL has finally set the salary cap for the 2021 league year.

As of Wednesday morning, we finally have a number

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports the NFL has notified teams of the 2021 salary cap, which is to be $182.5 million. Last month, the NFL announced the cap floor (the minimum) would be $180 million.

This is a massive decrease from last year, a league year that encompassed a salary cap of $198.2 million. But of course, the NFL didn’t lose a significant amount of revenue during the 2019 season because of a worldwide pandemic.

Given we’re aware of the cap number, we now finally know the respective franchise tag values for each position. The franchise tag deadline was this past Tuesday and nine players around the league received the tag, including Leonard Williams of the Giants and Marcus Maye of the Jets.

Maye’s franchise tag value won’t change considering the above amount is the value for safeties around the league. Williams’ value could change depending on the franchise tag-related grievance he filed last year, which may increase his 2020 salary from $16.1 million to $17.8 million. His franchise tag value will either be 120% of the former price ($19.4 million) or 120% of the latter price ($21.4 million).

At this moment in time, the Giants and Jets are in very different situations in regard to the cap, with Big Blue currently $8 million over the cap and Gang Green carrying nearly $70 million in space.

The Jets could look to utilize said cap space to acquire offensive weapons to assist whomever they choose to be their starting quarterback — Sam Darnold or Zach Wilson will be two of the options.

The Giants, on the other hand, need offensive weapons, an edge rusher, and a cornerback, but the main priorities will be to retain Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson. Despite the fact the organization tagged Williams, either side will still work to get a long-term deal done. If all goes well, the franchise tag will have just been used as a placeholder.

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