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The salary cap has declined in 2021 because NFL revenues were down in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bill General Manager Brandon Beane says uncertainty about whether stadiums will be full in 2021 affects his team’s planning for 2022 and beyond.
Beane said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he’s hoping full stadiums bring ticket revenues back up to where the salary cap will be at least as high in 2022 as it was in 2020.
“This next year is still an unknown,” Beane said. “There’s some numbers if stadiums are full, but if they’re not full, the cap this year is 182 [million dollars]. Last year it was 198, so that was a huge drop. We’re kind of projecting 195 to 200 [for the 2022 salary cap]. I’m hoping closer to 200, just to be able to fit as many guys as we can.”
Beane chose to pick up the fifth-year options on quarterback Josh Allen and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, which means both players now have their 2022 salaries guaranteed, with Allen’s at $23.106 million and Edmunds’ at $12.716 million. Beane said those two salaries would be awfully hard to fit under a lowered salary cap.
“The cap was supposed to be around 220 by now,” he said. “If we don’t get an extension for either one before next year we have to hold $36 million just to pay for these two guys, and there’s no way to restructure that deal without doing an extension. . . . Hopefully it will be full stadiums this year which will help us slide them in the budget and not have to get too creative with our cap.”
The Bills are near the bottom of the league in projected cap space for 2022, but that’s in part because they have a lot of their key players signed through 2022. Beane is hoping full stadiums help the Bills keep all those players.