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Salary cap is expected to be at least $178 million, could exceed $179 million

5 Million Dollars In Cash Displayed At Seminole Hard Rock Casino

HOLLYWOOD, FL - MARCH 18: Stacks of money are seen in what is being called a first-of-its-kind exhibit of five million dollars in cash at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on March 18, 2009 in Hollywood, Florida. The display consists of $100 bills encased in a 1,300-pound, custom-made $90,000 bullet-resistant Lexan showcase. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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With the new league year approaching, the NFL and NFL Players Association soon will be finalizing the salary cap number for 2018. In December, the NFL projected a range of $174.2 million to $178.1 million for the cap.

As often is the case, the actual salary cap likely will exceed those projections.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the cap will at least be $178 million. It also could exceed $179 million.

The specific number, generally driven by revenues in the prior years, ultimately becomes the product of negotiation between the NFL and NFLPA. Last year, the parties set the cap at $168 million.

The cap has been experiencing significant growth in recent years, even with a decline in TV ratings. With the Thursday night broadcast package spiking from $450 million to at least $550 million annually as of 2018, the increases likely will continue.