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In uncapped year, Steelers plan to apply their own cap

The salary cap disappears on March 5.  When it goes, the Steelers plan to replace it with one of their own.

According to the Associated Press, the Steelers will restrict their spending as if a salary cap still existed.

“We will operate as we always have.  We will operate as if we have a
cap,” Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert recently said.  “You don’t know what you’re going to be
dealing with.  First of all, no one’s been in an uncapped year since
1993, so it’s a whole different era and no one knows how this will play
out.  We don’t know, if there is a new [labor] deal at any point, what
the new rules are going to be.”

Other clubs would be wise to do the same thing.  Then again, each one will.  It’s called in other businesses a “budget.”

At a certain point, however, the approach could fuel a collusion claim, especially if the union believes that teams generally aren’t spending in free agency as much as they have in past years.

In other words, even though the labor deal doesn’t expire for another year, the chess match between the NFL and the union could have a real impact on the 2010 season — and the fans should be prepared to make their displeasure known if teams aren’t trying to get better by spending money.

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40 Responses to “In uncapped year, Steelers plan to apply their own cap”
  1. reo says: Feb 15, 2010 12:31 PM

    Titans said months ago that this is what they’ll be doing as well.

  2. BaltimoreSports says: Feb 15, 2010 12:32 PM

    Good news for the Ravens. Steve Bisciotti is rich.

  3. COONSQUALLER says: Feb 15, 2010 12:40 PM

    They still will suck and lose to teams like the Browns, Chiefs, and Raiders…..Go Holmgren!!

  4. darrius_heyward-bey-butterfingers says: Feb 15, 2010 12:40 PM

    So, the teams that spend like it’s an uncapped wild west, they will be signing players to huge one year deals?

  5. KingJoe! says: Feb 15, 2010 12:42 PM

    Oh good, thanks for clarifying that you have a solid business plan based on “You don’t know what you’re going to be dealing with. First of all, no one’s been in an uncapped year since 1993, so it’s a whole different era and no one knows how this will play out …”

  6. _ROCKSTAR_ says: Feb 15, 2010 12:54 PM

    Well it makes a lot of sense to impose one of their own that is reasonable. Once an agreement is set clubs will have to fight to get under it if they don’t manage it wisely.

  7. topcide says: Feb 15, 2010 12:56 PM

    Collusion is such garbage.
    Why the hell shouldn’t a bunch of owners be able to have an agreement with what they will spend?
    The model of not having a cap or an agreement on spending, like in baseball, makes it virutally impossible for some teams to compete. We will see how much players like being stuck on a team that will never be able to win since their owners just don’t have the capital to outspend some of the other owners.
    If the union doesn’t like the concept of a cap,or a spending agreement between owners, the NFLPA members can try and submit resume’s and get interviews like the rest of us.I’m sure the job market is just busting at the seams for some of the borderline illiterate millionairs that can’t speak in complete sentences that ,unforuantly , populate the nfl in great numbers.

  8. Caldon says: Feb 15, 2010 12:58 PM

    and the fans should be prepared to make their displeasure known if teams aren’t trying to get better by spending money.
    Wrong. I will be upset if my team acts like there isn’t a cap in place. This is a one time get out of jail free card where all teams can clear all the dead weight they want from their books for their past mistakes and start over fresh.

  9. JoeyJoeJoeJr.Shabadoooo says: Feb 15, 2010 1:01 PM

    steelers plan to apply their own cap, unless they don’t. right?

  10. Treima says: Feb 15, 2010 1:05 PM

    Are the Steelers trying to earn brownie points by appearing principled? “LOOK AT THAT FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY! THAT’S SOME BLUE-COLLAR FRUGALITY RIGHT THERE! THEY’RE SO PITTSBURGHIAN!”
    /looking forward to another 9-7 finish for the bumblebees

  11. saturn111 says: Feb 15, 2010 1:08 PM

    If the Eagles were to announce their intentions to do something like this, their fans would try to put run Joe Banner’s shorts up a flag pole topped with his head.
    and by “their fans” I mean the same fans who routinely wish out loud for their FO to be more like the Steelers FO.

  12. MkePackFan says: Feb 15, 2010 1:10 PM

    I think a majority of teams will set an internal cap similar to what it may have been for the upcoming season…other teams might cut spending drastically (probably the same teams that were well below their cap this year) and maybe a few teams will spend above what the cap may have been for this upcoming season.

  13. MkePackFan says: Feb 15, 2010 1:12 PM

    At a certain point, however, the approach could fuel a collusion claim, especially if the union believes that teams generally aren’t spending in free agency as much as they have in past years.
    The only problem with claiming collusion is it is really hard to prove…and with the state of the economy as it is, cost cutting measures based on future economic uncertainty is a sound, and reasonable, business decision.

  14. saturn111 says: Feb 15, 2010 1:14 PM

    And by the way, this looks an awful lot like collusion by the owners to me:
    At the very least, it answers the question of how to stave off the potential “seller’s market” engendered by an uncapped year.
    Taking one of the most successful franchises of the decade, and having *them* announce that they’re going to operate as if there’s a cap anyway gives every other team in the league “permission” of sorts to say “Well, we’re going to follow suit.”
    Of course, not every owner will follow suit: Al Davis anyone?

  15. braindead says: Feb 15, 2010 1:19 PM

    If some of the owners spend money like drunken sailors on players, and then a new labor deal comes out at some point, complete with a cap, and those “drunken sailor” owners are way, way, over that cap, what happens?

  16. scrapdawg12 says: Feb 15, 2010 1:20 PM

    Did Dan Snyder get this memo? I think all the owners should get together and make a contract saying they will not spend more than a certain number. Maybe the same as last years cap number. Players however will not like this since they want to maximize what they will get. I don’t think any player is worth what they get but football is not as bad as basketball or baseball. Salaries should be no more than 5 million. But i’m not running things so I guess what I say don’t matter.

  17. hank moody says: Feb 15, 2010 1:20 PM

    What a shocker! Pittsburg has always been a thrifty team and will continue to be that way! Rooney is a tightwad!

  18. Citizen Strange says: Feb 15, 2010 1:22 PM

    The Steelers are bluffing BIG TIME. From what I hear they plan to pring in Vick, T.O and Pac Man Jones.

  19. Route36West says: Feb 15, 2010 1:28 PM

    Ya I guess this story needed to be pointed out to people that dont understand how sports work but for the most part I think people already knew this. Its really just common sense. Obviously owners are going to have a limit of how much money they are going to spend.
    I mean its like having $500 and going shopping and saying your only going to spend $100 b/c you need the rest for rent even though your allowed to spend more money your not going to be dumb and spend it all then not be able to afford a place to sleep.
    Like in MLB even though there is no cap limit every team has a limit on how much their willing to spend. The Yankees can afford to spend $200+ million b/c they easily can make that much back in sales. The next teir of teams like the Phillies can spend only around $140 million b/c they dont make the same profits as the Yankees. While teams like the Marlins spend around $50 million. The Marlins owner could go out and spend $200 million per year but would be broke in 10 years.

  20. longrodvanhungendong says: Feb 15, 2010 1:37 PM

    I can’t imagine why any team would spend over the current salary cap. After 2010 season, if your over whatever the new cap they install, your screwed. Unless you go out a bsically buy a 2010 Super Bowel Championship team (that actually wins the SB), then its all good.

  21. this class sucks says: Feb 15, 2010 1:47 PM

    Epic win for the Steelers. Steeler fans don’t complain about us not spending as much money as other teams, we still have the most Super Bowls and I think we can still win another in the reasonably near future with a salary cap even if we are the only team that has one. Why? Because what makes the Steelers good is their depth, their seemingly endless supply of players that can step up to replace old, injured or ineffective players. That is why when we have a 9-7 season it is considered a failure, that is why we replaced Joey Porter with the defensive player of the year, and that is why we have 6 Super Bowls. When we win another Super Bowl people can’t say “well they just bought a ring” like people will probably if the Cowboys, Patriots or Redskins win.

  22. steeelfann says: Feb 15, 2010 2:04 PM

    Yea, and then beat teams like the Vikings, the Packers, the Ravens, and the Chargers. Yea, they will suck, right.

  23. What you said? says: Feb 15, 2010 2:10 PM

    “I can’t imagine why any team would spend over the current salary cap. After 2010 season, if your over whatever the new cap they install, your screwed. Unless you go out a bsically buy a 2010 Super Bowel Championship team (that actually wins the SB), then its all good.”
    Teams can spend freely with an uncapped year without it affecting their cap in future years… All they need to do is pay 90% of the players salary in the uncapped year… Example: 6 years at 100m can be paid with 90m in year 1 (extreme I know, but) and the last 10m paid out over the next 5 years of the deal… Owners with DEEP pockets will be doing this!

  24. steeelfann says: Feb 15, 2010 2:11 PM

    Collusion claims are a joke. In a competitive environment, who is to say who wants to save up for the following year, or as Colbert mentioned, they have no idea what will happen. What number does a team HAVE to spend? Who can make the judgement. And, BTW, the players don’t even want to abide by their own agreements, whining when the Franchise Tag is applied.
    They should have a rookie salary cap. Stupid to pay JaMarcus Russell all that money (stupid to pay him any money).
    They should slide some over to the retired guys.
    They could have a retro pay for rookies who play great and those that don’t get no bonues. Similar to what they give to players who have great years on minimum contracts.
    Tons of things, but the agents are the enemies. Remember that.

  25. netdawg says: Feb 15, 2010 2:11 PM

    Florio you Stooler cronie!!!
    Leave it to you to make it news that the Yinzers know they can only spend $2 if they have $2. I know Stooler nation has a collective IQ of 9 but even they aren’t stupid enough to spend more than they should on players.
    …Tomlin might want to, but the box under the Rooney’s matress only hold what it holds

  26. Stillerz says: Feb 15, 2010 2:12 PM

    This is gonna be great…
    Skins/Boys buy all these huge long term guaranteed contacts, fail miserably next year, pay guarenteed money during a lock-out then have to cut superstars with guarenteed salaries when the cap is back in place.

  27. Al_Davis_needs_a_dirtnap says: Feb 15, 2010 2:21 PM

    Steelers matto.Why pay a player six million a year?pay player 3 million and the other 3 million to the refs.

  28. Reasonable says: Feb 15, 2010 2:24 PM

    The biggest reason the teams will not be in a spending frenzey is there isn’t really very many players to throw money at. With 200+ players getting two years added onto their contracts (4year deals turning into 6 year contracts.) add in the Franchise and Transistion tags and that leaves just a handful of free agents. And very few of those players are worth throwing a pile of cash at.

  29. superfan99 says: Feb 15, 2010 2:27 PM

    The entire article states that the Steelers will work on what they project the cap would have been under the old season, which is about $132 million.
    So they still plan on spending more money than they did in 2009. If you read between the lines, Colbert’s statement doesn’t mean much of anything. They are going to work under the same strategy of building through the draft that they have used for the last 15 years.
    Throwing a ton of money at Free Agents will never work the way it does in baseball.

  30. slipkid says: Feb 15, 2010 2:27 PM

    that’s nice but snyder and jones dont have budgets.

  31. Katmanduu says: Feb 15, 2010 2:40 PM

    This, Ladies & Gents, is why the Steelers are the NFL’s premiere franchise….like it or not.
    I kinda like it myself…..

  32. TryTheVeal says: Feb 15, 2010 3:06 PM

    Will Hines Ward call Big Ben a Big pussy again next year?

  33. steeltownpride says: Feb 15, 2010 4:08 PM

    Haterade . 6 trophies .

  34. Deb says: Feb 15, 2010 5:09 PM

    I love how every Steelers story brings out predictions of failure from rival fans. But Pittsburgh remains the model franchise for creating on-field success through sound business practices. I never doubted the Rooneys would operate as though a cap were still in place–and the good news for lesser players is they’ll also act as though a floor is still in place. They won’t overpay the big names while undercutting everyone else.
    While some owners may try to buy a championship by throwing mega bucks at superstars (something that hasn’t worked well for the Redskins), others may slash payroll knowing they can still reap the rewards of their television contracts. Then, if a cap is reinstated, what happens to the mega-buck players? They suddenly become liabilities. And even if the floor is reinstated, the players whose salaries were slashed for a year can never recoup their losses. This uncapped year will not be a win for most players.
    The Steelers, meanwhile, will be just fine–and their players will fare better than most.

  35. AmishCowboy says: Feb 15, 2010 5:44 PM

    The Cowboys can one sign one big name FA because they we’re a final 8 team, The team that might spend is Washington, they need so much help. No Big news on the Steeler front they never we’re big spenders and I’m sure every team has a budget, this isn’t going to turn into the Yanks/Red Sox. There will be a cap somewhere down the road again.

  36. .VoxVeritas says: Feb 15, 2010 6:08 PM

    “This, Ladies & Gents, is why the Steelers are the NFL’s premiere franchise….like it or not.”
    Sorry, but getting busted cheating the salary cap precludes that distinction forever.

  37. KRC says: Feb 15, 2010 11:29 PM

    @looking forward to another 9-7 finish for the bumblebees
    We’ve got SIX loudmouth. Count’em. SIX. Shut your face until you’re in our neighborhood.

  38. Vox's Mommy says: Feb 16, 2010 4:13 PM

    Vox….are we just jealous again b/c we all know that the Cowboys aren’t “America’s Team”?? BTW…great job by your QB this year…AGAIN! Go fap to your Romo fathead again sonny.

  39. Deb says: Feb 16, 2010 7:11 PM

    .VoxVeritas …
    Now isn’t that a silly thing to say? More than a decade ago when everyone was trying to figure out how the cap works, we had a player with a clause in his contract that he’d get more money if he switched from tackle to guard or vice versa, and the mix-up over his contract took us a smidge over the cap. So we got penalized and sorted it out. Talk about trying to construct a mountain from a molehill. Good grief.

  40. EVH12345 says: Feb 18, 2010 12:00 PM

    Are total salary numbers really going to climb that much in an uncapped year? Remember there will not be a salary floor either. While some big name players will get big front-loaded contracts the majority of NFL players could be forced to see a pay cut. Owners got to be/stay owners by being smart businessmen. I don’t expect that to change.

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