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Post-salary cap, teams will proceed at their own peril

We’ve received several questions over the past few weeks regarding the operation of player contracts after the evaporation of the salary cap.

And the answer to all questions is simple — once the cap goes away, any further rules relating to the operation of the salary cap will hinge upon the collective bargaining process.

As NFL spokesman Greg Aiello explains it, there will be no “transition rules” unless and until the league and the NFLPA agree to such measures via collective bargaining.  Thus, any team that decides to sign players to big-money deals will be assuming that risk that, eventually, they’ll have to scramble for cap space, if/when a cap is reapplied.

This reality could cause some teams to be even more cautious when it comes to spending money in 2010.

Meanwhile, existing contracts can be dumped by trading or cutting players with no cap consequences in 2010.  Presumably, there would be no lingering ramifications in future years covered by the deals, subject again to the collective bargaining process.

So, basically, the removal of the salary cap will plunge the entire player payroll system into uncertainty, and there will be no clear answers until the league and the union reach an accord regarding the next compensation scheme.

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27 Responses to “Post-salary cap, teams will proceed at their own peril”
  1. wwwmattcom says: Feb 1, 2010 11:06 PM

    BOO NFL.

  2. 34_Fan_4_Life says: Feb 1, 2010 11:13 PM

    “””So, basically, the removal of the salary cap will plunge the entire player payroll system into uncertainty, and there will be no clear answers until the league and the union reach an accord regarding the next compensation scheme.”””
    Doesn’t this give them all extra incentive to get a deal done ??

  3. 4fraud says: Feb 1, 2010 11:19 PM

    So a team could potentially clean out several older vets with bad contracts?
    This could be good. Lots of vets who can still help a team..just not at 6.5 mil a year. Might be better off picking up two or 3 of these guys at 2-3 mil per than going after Peppers.

  4. cunn9305 says: Feb 1, 2010 11:21 PM

    Wow … uncertainty, chaos and anarchy. Welcome to the real world.

  5. SmackMyVickUp.com says: Feb 1, 2010 11:30 PM

    DeSmith scares me. A man with his level of intelligence should not be put in a position of power.
    Train wreck waiting to happen.

  6. .VoxVeritas says: Feb 1, 2010 11:32 PM

    The owners know what they will settle for, just like the NFLPA knows. Each side will give on some issues but not too much for any single issue. The root is revenue sharing. They know that the players won’t give an inch when it comes to percentage of revenue. And revenue will continue to increase. As will player salaries. There is massive pressure to expand and that is why the NFL is looking to gain a foothold in Europe. There’s no way that the owners will continue on as they have with the richer owners subsidizing the not-as-rich-but-still-really-rich owners as they sit on their hands and wait for the monthly special funds check. They’re weak links that weaken the entire chain and every owner in the NFL knows this just as any future owner will. They’ll have to adapt or they’ll be left by the wayside, unable to compete. Forced to actually work for their bread or made to get the hell out of the way so that real businessmen that can fully exploit a billion-dollar brand can take over. I don’t like it. I think that the days of salary caps may be over. Our beloved game has become too big to be just ours anymore. I really want to be wrong about that.

  7. j-wil says: Feb 1, 2010 11:34 PM

    interesting, look for a lot of underperforming turds with big checks to be cut by teams………see ya Portis

  8. scrapdawg12 says: Feb 1, 2010 11:36 PM

    Dump bad contracts….they should allow that every couple of years……..I just hope we dont see a payroll go bananas like the Skins plan on doing….I know they got something up their sleeve…or a 20 million dollar player…nobody is worth that much…it will ruin the game

  9. JoeFlaccosUniBrow says: Feb 1, 2010 11:38 PM

    Does this mean any player not living up to their contract will be shown the door?
    There are going to be FA’s as far as the eye can see. I would love to see a team sign a ton of UFL players and pay them minimums. Then the team pockets all the money.
    Just don’t do it in Baltimore ;)

  10. shaggeez says: Feb 2, 2010 12:35 AM

    i heard an uncapped year is “virtually certain”.

  11. Mark0226 says: Feb 2, 2010 12:42 AM

    This means teams will be reluctant to go over the current cap or expected new cap, but there will be no such reluctance to go below the old salary floor. In the end, this will be bad for players all around, except for a very small few.

  12. West TX says: Feb 2, 2010 1:11 AM

    Now to the really interesting stuff — the cap Super Bowl that is only played once a decade or so. To figure this all out, you have to understand markets (or basically when motivation and value intersect). Essentially, you have 32 rich firms that understand the concept of erosion over time. Then you have the groups’ employees who have special talents and the power of consolidation. If this story were only about 3-4 rich firms, wouldn’t it remind us of the US Auto Industry about 35-40 years ago (when it failed to slow its downfall)?
    As the firms tow the line, the government will become involved. There will be anti-trust challenges if there is no stay via an updated CBA. That will be the sporting equivalent of Hiroshima. If calmer heads do not prevail and if common sense is not injected on both sides, there will be no return to normal. All other battles before this one were about working conditions, benefits and items the public could appreciate. Now, however, the argument involves billionaire owners and millionaire players, focuses on slivers of the massive pie and shuns the consumer who ultimately pays for the party.
    Right now there is a national addiction to the NFL. Once a week for almost half the year now the masses are glued to the stadiums and televisions to lose themselves from the real world. When this fantasy finally becomes just another real world mess, how many will smell the coffee?

  13. mr_snrub says: Feb 2, 2010 2:04 AM

    So won’t teams just make the bulk of annual salary, bonuses, and option payments credited towards 2010? That would provide some security if a cap is reinstated, which it seems is unlikely.
    The owners don’t seem too concerned anymore with having a salary cap and floor.
    Tagliabue was a dupe and fell for Upshaw’s threats. Goodell is no such dummy.

  14. tatum32 says: Feb 2, 2010 4:09 AM

    DeSmith scares me. A man with his level of intelligence should not be put in a position of power.
    Train wreck waiting to happen.
    Translation; a BAD DEAL for the players and the owners taking MORE revenue money because DeSmith couldnt get a deal done.

  15. dklein82 says: Feb 2, 2010 5:04 AM

    hmm… and here i was thinking that i was the only person in the world working for a company that is ‘reactive’ and not ‘proactive’… its really too bad that the fans are the one’s who get the worst of this if a new deal is not reached.

  16. HAILSKINS says: Feb 2, 2010 5:09 AM

    Well I am hoping the Skins take advantage and dump no loads like Portis and Randle El. Hell dump Haynesworth while you are at it.

  17. Shackman v2.0 says: Feb 2, 2010 5:10 AM

    @j-wil
    Not so fast on Portis. Regardless of whether or not he’s cut, he’s still guaranteed somewhere in the neighborhood of $6.5 mil next season. So it looks more likely than not he’ll be sticking around for one more year.

  18. PinesRob says: Feb 2, 2010 5:55 AM

    My dream of Roy Williams being cut will not happen…DOWNER!!!!!!

  19. last starfighter says: Feb 2, 2010 6:51 AM

    Thanks Cooper.
    Makes you wonder why Florio has a job

  20. Floyd the Barber says: Feb 2, 2010 7:22 AM

    Couldn’t a team bent on spening big bucks with no cap, simply give the player most of the money in bonus form.
    Up till now, teams have been ALLOWED to pro rate bonuses. What would prevent them from paying all $10, $20, $30 million of a bonus in 2010?

  21. Terry says: Feb 2, 2010 7:26 AM

    The League’s position, that a signing while there was “No Cap” will have “dire consequences” when the cap is re-instituted, strongly suggests a league wide conspiracy to violate the anti trust laws as it clearly restraints trade.

  22. MistrezzRachael says: Feb 2, 2010 7:28 AM

    That means guys like Porter get let go because their numbers guaranteed no longer count as dead money.
    Teams will purge non performers like Gholston, A Thomas, Portis etc…without penalty.
    Teams will save Millions this way…is almost like starting their rosters over.

  23. bobinpuertorico says: Feb 2, 2010 8:05 AM

    Many of the fans of the top revenue producing teams seem to think that revenue sharing hurts their teams. It would be great if the NFL could split into two separate leagues, one with the top money producing teams and one with the others.
    In September 2008, Forbes listed revenues for each team, with the Redskins #1 with $ 327 M, Minnesota #32 with $ 195 M and the average was $ 221.6 M. The six teams with $ 232 M or more were Washington, New England, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia and Miami. These teams could become the “Super Football League” and the other 26 teams with $ 195 M to $ 226 M each could be the NFL. Then the top teams would no longer subsidize the lower teams. Of course these teams will lose far more in television revenues, because there will not be much interest in a six team league.

  24. willmose says: Feb 2, 2010 8:08 AM

    The lockout in 2011 will plunge the NFL into uncertainity. After the lockout, there will be no CBA because the union will disappear. That is NOT a good thing for NFL owners as it will cost the owners billions.

  25. GoBrowns19 says: Feb 2, 2010 8:31 AM

    If they would just sit down for a few hours and really concentrate on coming up with a deal this whole mess could be avoided. Instead, they are all going to wait until the last second, if at all, and this will ruin the 2010 season. Nobody will know if there’s going to be football in 2011 so there will be alot of apathy out there….and right here.

  26. radioboy20010 says: Feb 2, 2010 8:49 AM

    To all the fantasy football folks: 2010 is going to be your nightmare. Here’s why: the plan is to cut costs, then knuckle the players to eventually cave to much lower labor costs. The era of high-priced free agents is going to come to a screeching halt(this year). Then when the new CBA is agreed to sometime around November of 2011(too late for football), there likely will be no salary cap. Many have said once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Then Katy-Bar-The-Door. Sounds like collusion to me, but then again the NFL maintains they are exempt from anti-Trust laws every other mom and pop company has to follow. Also, keep an eye on the Supreme Court case with American Needle. Depending on how the court rules, it will have an impact on player negotiations. It all ties together.
    What is happening is the era of “one for all and all for one” is being replaced by “haven’t the Packers moved to Los Angeles yet?”

  27. kellyb9 says: Feb 2, 2010 9:57 AM

    I see a bunch of teams signing stars to huge one year contracts. The cap may be gone, but I have a feeling it will be back. This offseason should be interesting.

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