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NFL’s salary cap skyrockets to $255.4 million, up a record $30.6 million

FILE - The NFL logo is shown on the field before an NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. The NFL’s salary cap for 2024 will be $255.4 million, up a record $30.6 million from last year.(AP Photo/Matt Patterson, File)

FILE - The NFL logo is shown on the field before an NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. The NFL’s salary cap for 2024 will be $255.4 million, up a record $30.6 million from last year.(AP Photo/Matt Patterson, File)

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NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL’s salary cap for 2024 will be $255.4 million, up a record $30.6 million from last year.

The cap number has gone from $198.2 million in 2020 to $182.5 million in 2021 following the COVID-19 pandemic. It increased to $208.2 million in 2022 and $224.8 million last year.

“The unprecedented $30 million increase per club in this year’s salary cap is the result of the full repayment of all amounts advanced by the clubs and deferred by the players during the Covid pandemic as well as an extraordinary increase in media revenue for the 2024 season,” the league said in a statement.

Teams are heading into next week’s NFL combine and preparing for the free agency period to open March 13 with an opportunity to spend more freely.

The increased cap total could impact how teams use the franchise tag. The 15-day window to apply the tag to impending free agents began on Feb. 20.

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AP NFL: /hub/nfl