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NFL Salary Cap History Throughout the Years



The NFL salary cap has restricted player salaries and guided roster-building for three decades. Let’s look through the year-by-year history of the salary cap before answering a few pressing questions about how the cap works.

NFL Salary Cap History

  • 2023: $224,800,000 ($16,600,000 increase)
  • 2022: $208,2000,000 ($25,700,000 increase)
  • 2021: $182,500,000 ($15,700,000 decrease)
  • 2020: $198,200,000 ($10,000,000 increase)
  • 2019: $188,200,000 ($11,000,000 increase)
  • 2018: $177,200,000 ($10,200,000 increase)
  • 2017: $167,000,000 ($11,730,000 increase)
  • 2016: $155,270,000 ($11,990,000 increase)
  • 2015: $143,280,000 ($10,280,000 increase)
  • 2014: $133,000,000 ($9,400,000 increase)
  • 2013: $123,600,000 ($3,000,000 increase)
  • 2012: $120,600,000 ($225,000 increase)
  • 2011: $120,375,000
  • 2010: Uncapped
  • 2009: $123,000,000 ($7,000,000 increase)
  • 2008: $116,000,000 ($7,000,000 increase)
  • 2007: $109,000,000 ($7,000,000 increase)
  • 2006: $102,000,000 ($16,500,000 increase)
  • 2005: $85,500,000 ($4,918,000 increase)
  • 2004: $80,582,000 ($5,575,000 increase)
  • 2003: $75,007,000 ($3,906,000 increase)
  • 2002: $71,101,000 ($3,696,000 increase)
  • 2001: $67,405,000 ($5,233,000 increase)
  • 2000: $62,172,000 ($4,884,000 increase)
  • 1999: $57,288,000 ($4,900,000 increase)
  • 1998: $52,388,000 ($10,934,000 increase)
  • 1997: $41,454,000 ($701,000 increase)
  • 1996: $40,753,000 ($3,653,000 increase)
  • 1995: $37,100,000 ($2,492,000 increase)
  • 1994: $34,608,000

NFL Salary Cap FAQ

When Did the NFL Salary Cap Start?

The NFL salary cap came to fruition in tandem with the beginning of NFL free agency. In 1992, the NFL was determined to have violated antitrust rules by refusing to grant players the opportunity to become free agents.

MORE: 2023 NFL Salary Cap Space by Team

The NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) eventually agreed to begin free agency in 1993. The salary cap would take effect for the 1994 season. That year, the salary cap was supposed to be $32 million per team. But after the league sold expensive television rights to networks, the inaugural cap was set at $34.608 million.

Why Was There No Salary Cap in 2010?

In 2008, NFL owners voted to opt out of their collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the NFLPA. The CBA has historically called for an uncapped year the season before the agreement is set to expire. With owners deciding to exit the CBA in March 2011, the 2010 season had no salary cap.

The uncapped year was supposed to entice both sides to agree to a new CBA before the current agreement expired. That strategy had largely worked, as the NFL had never had an uncapped season until 2010.

Although there was no salary cap that year, most NFL teams still spent as if a cap was in place. Washington and the Dallas Cowboys spent heavily and frontloaded contracts in 2010, but the NFL eventually docked $36 million and $10 million, respectively, from their 2012 salary caps.

What is the Most Dead Cap in NFL History?

“Dead money” refers to cap charges for players no longer on a team’s roster. When a club releases or trades a player, any future guaranteed money or prorated bonus money will immediately accelerate onto the team’s salary cap. It’s an accounting mechanism that ensures NFL teams can’t overly manipulate the cap.

The Atlanta Falcons absorbed the largest single dead cap hit in history — $40.3 million — when they traded quarterback Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts in 2022. Ryan signed a five-year, $150 million extension with the Falcons in 2018, and the deal had been restructured so many times that ample dead money remained when Atlanta traded him.

In 2023, the Philadelphia Eagles are projected to lead the NFL with $54.7 million in dead cap. Expiring contracts for players such as Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Isaac Seumalo, and James Bradberry will all leave dead money on the Eagles’ cap next season.

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Fantasy Outlook, Value, Projections, and Rankings




As we close in toward the new season, the ever-changing NFL landscape has player fantasy values constantly on the move, with key events like free agency continuing to roll on and the 2023 NFL Draft still to come.

Whether you’re used to the dynasty platform or are still learning the dynasty rules, let’s dive into the latest fantasy football value of San Francisco 49ers WR Deebo Samuel.

Deebo Samuel’s Dynasty Outlook and Value

Deebo Samuel slightly concerned me coming into last year simply due to the expectations which were placed upon him by the dynasty and redraft fantasy communities. In 2021, not only did he catch 77 of his 121 targets for 1,405 yards with six touchdowns, but Samuel also ran for 365 yards on 59 attempts with a staggering, record-setting eight touchdowns.

I view that as his ceiling, as the touchdown efficiency was off the charts. Samuel himself was saying he wanted to be used like a traditional wide receiver rather than the “wide back” position he was holding in San Francisco. Yet after he re-signed, he was okay with the offensive direction on which the team pitched him. And fantasy managers were still expecting the heavy rushing upside to continue.

Unfortunately, that set many up for disappointment in 2022. Finishing as the WR35 in PPR formats, Samuel played in 14 games, catching 56 of his 94 targets for 632 yards with two touchdowns and rushing 42 times for 232 yards and three more scores.

MORE: 100% Free Mock Draft Simulator.

He also dealt with injuries that didn’t help matters. Samuel missed Week 8 due to a hamstring injury and then missed Weeks 15 through 17 due to an MCL sprain and ankle injury. It’s also fair to throw Week 18 in as a missed game, as Samuel was only out there to get some preparation in for a looming playoff run.

But there’s a disturbing pattern for those holding on to Samuel in the Christian McCaffrey era. While sharing the field with McCaffrey in Weeks 10-14, he averaged 7.4 targets, 3.8 rushing attempts, 63 total yards, and 13.2 PPR points, largely thanks to a 22.4 PPR game against the Arizona Cardinals. He was a WR3 or worse in three of those five games, with two in the single digits.

The greatness of the 49ers’ offense is both a blessing and a curse in fantasy. If someone wants to take away Samuel, that’s fine because San Fran has Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle. There is an answer for everything, and with the defenses generally placing more attention on Samuel, he’s the first player that will be impacted from a dynasty perspective by that trend.

Deebo Samuel Fantasy Ranking

I don’t see a No. 2-overall finish in Samuel’s range of outcomes again, but I also expect better than WR35. The truth is likely somewhere in the middle, with Samuel as a mid-WR2. Unfortunately, for those who acquired him last season, you’ve taken a hit in value. I certainly prefer the price he is at now.

Currently, Samuel is ranked as the WR17 in PPR formats. In Superflex leagues, where quarterbacks see an increase in value due to positional scarcity, Samuel is the No. 43-overall player.

MORE: Wide Receiver Dynasty Rankings 2023

I’d be looking to sell Samuel for a solid return, as investing in the 49ers’ receivers will likely cause quite a few headaches with McCaffrey on their roster, given that any week, someone could be written out of the game plan.

I wouldn’t sell low by any means, as his name alone carries value. But I would entertain some offers for Samuel as he enters his age-27 season. Watching him turn into more of a WR3 has me very concerned, even if there will be good games mixed in.

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Fantasy Outlook, Value, Projections, and Rankings




As we inch toward the new season, the ever-changing NFL landscape has player fantasy values constantly on the move. Whether you’re used to the dynasty platform or are still learning the dynasty rules, let’s dive into the latest dynasty value of Tre’ McKitty.

Tre’ McKitty’s Dynasty Outlook and Value

During the 2021 NFL Draft, the Chargers took a shot on another tight end in Round 3: Tre’ McKitty.

MORE: FREE Mock Draft Simulator with Trades

McKitty is far less athletic than Gerald Everett and Donald Parham and profiles as more of a blocking tight end. The Chargers seem to agree, as he averaged just 11.8 routes run per game last season.

Tre’ McKitty’s Fantasy Ranking

At just 24 years old, there’s plenty of time for McKitty to improve as a pass catcher and possibly emerge into a fantasy TE2. But right now, he doesn’t need to be on rosters in any league, regardless of size or format.

We have McKitty at TE61 (No. 374 overall) in our dynasty Superflex rankings. He’s well off the radar in dynasty startup drafts.

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Is There Football Monday? TV Schedule, Start Times, and Game Analysis




While the XFL has been scratching the itch of football fans far and wide, we have not seen any Monday Night Football in the season so far. However, that looks set to change today as the XFL takes a shot at Monday Night primetime football. Here’s everything you need to know about the Week 6 XFL game today, including start time, channel, live stream option, and game analysis.

XFL Games Today: Is There Football on Monday Night?

We are now officially more than halfway through the 2023 XFL regular season. And perhaps no game this season has bigger championship implications than tonight’s long-awaited battle between the DC Defenders and Houston Roughnecks.

Here’s where you can watch Monday night’s action, as well as some insights on what we might expect from each team.

DC Defenders (5-0) vs. Houston Roughnecks (4-1)

  • Date: Monday, March 27
  • Start Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel & Live Stream Options: ESPN2 and ESPN+

Some of you reading this might be relatively new to the XFL. Others have been following this season closely. Regardless, if you were going to watch one game through the first six weeks of the season, this would be it.

The Defenders are the last remaining undefeated team. They’re second in points scored and in point differential, as well as against the run. Meanwhile, DC is No. 1 in rushing yards per game.

But the Defenders are not perfect. Far from it. They’ve simply (and beautifully) crafted a roster that aligns seamlessly with its weekly game plan. Their strong offensive line and superior running game make them nearly unstoppable. A highly mobile QB (and a similarly mobile backup QB) create even more confusion for all but the best opposing defenses.

MORE: 100% Free Mock Draft Simulator

One of my favorite Defenders stats — something that captures why they’ve been so successful — is their sack differential. DC’s quarterbacks have absorbed five sacks for 12 lost yards. Their defense, on the other hand, has sacked opposing QBs 16 times for 76 lost yards.

As I say every week, the key to beating DC is to force them to pass. But with their elite backfield, offensive line, and run defense, this is far easier said than done.

As for Houston, they’re coming off their first defeat of the year. While a postseason berth still seems like a foregone conclusion, the Roughnecks are only one game up on the Arlington Renegades for the division lead. Home-field advantage in the playoffs still matters, even in the XFL.

Unfortunately for the Roughnecks, they’re facing DC at the worst possible time. The formerly dominant Max Borghi missed Week 4 with an injury and looked a bit rusty in Week 5. While Brycen Alleyne picked up the backfield slack, Houston needs Borghi to play big.

This situation is even more pressing with Jontre Kirklin reportedly expected to miss the rest of the season with a chest injury. A healthy Kirklin might have helped propel Houston to victory last week. His absence is huge. Deontay Burnett will need to be a more consistent No. 1, and/or Travell Harris and Cedric Byrd will need to step up.

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