NFL Sets 2021 Salary Cap; What It Means For Patriots’ Offseason Spending

The Patriots have over $60 million in cap space

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March 10, 2021

The NFL has informed teams the 2021 salary cap will be set at $182.5 million, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday.

That leaves the Patriots with $68.64 million in cap space, according to NFL Players Association records, per The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin. New England has the third-most cap space in the NFL, per OverTheCap.com. That $68.64 million figure does not account for Tuesday’s acquisition of offensive tackle Trent Brown, who reportedly agreed to a contract worth up to $11 million. Brown’s new deal likely includes per-game roster bonuses and other incentives, so it’s unlikely his cap figure will be $11 million.

The Patriots should have somewhere around $60 million to spend this offseason. They have needs at quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, defensive line and linebacker. Their top free agents include left guard Joe Thuney, running back James White, center David Andrews, defensive tackle Lawrence Guy and cornerback J.C. Jackson, who is a restricted free agent. Thuney is not expected to return after the Patriots acquired Brown via trade.

The 2020 NFL salary cap was $198.2 million. It was lowered by $15.7 million due to a loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The salary cap should continue to rise as normal in the upcoming years as long as league revenue is not further impacted in the future.

New England Patriots offensive tackle Trent Brown
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