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Patriots will have at least $63 million in spending room as NFL salary cap rises

Bill Belichick's Patriots are among the teams with the most room to maneuver entering the 2021 league year.
Bill Belichick's Patriots are among the teams with the most room to maneuver entering the 2021 league year.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

The NFL salary cap for the 2021 season will be no less than $180 million, league officials announced Thursday.

During negotiations last summer between the NFL and the NFL Players Association, the parties agreed that the cap would be no less than $175 million, a number that has now increased by $5 million. The final figure has not yet been determined.

The higher floor reinforces the Patriots’ advantageous position for the offseason. They are expected to have at least $63 million in cap room, which ranks among the most in the league. That projection includes $19.6 million in unused space from the previous season.

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Two upcoming key dates are Feb. 23 (next Tuesday), the first day clubs can apply the franchise tag to players, and March 17, when free agency begins at 4 p.m.


Nicole Yang can be reached at nicole.yang@globe.com.