The NFL is bracing for more seismic quarterback movement this offseason. A little more than half the league is solidified at the position, with either a cornerstone passer or a draft pick still developing into one. But more than a dozen teams at least have questions that must be answered between now and next August. From 2013 to 2020, the cap had been growing at a pace of $10.74 million a year, so the expected $208.2 million cap for 2022 is likely around where the 2021 cap would’ve landed if not for the pandemic. It also would mark the first time the cap has exceeded $200 million
Sources cautioned that unexpected stadium capacity limits due to a COVID spike or unlikely lockdown could still impact the 2022 cap number. But those are not considered likely scenarios. No NFL games have been canceled in 2021, stadiums have been mostly full, nearly all of local revenue has returned, new TV deals were finalized earlier this year in concert with the expansion to a 17-game regular season, expanded playoffs began last year and the NFL is increasingly flush with gambling money and other new revenue streams. You know the plan. Trade Matthew Stafford to the Rams, get two first-round picks and Jared Goff, who gets a one- or two-year trial to see if he can be the quarterback going forward. In the meantime, the Lions would use a high pick in 2021, or a really high pick in 2022, or the later Rams pick in 2022, to land their first franchise quarterback since they took Stafford No. 1 in 2009.