Once upon a time, the NFLPA couldn’t wait for the salary cap to go away. Since then, however, the union apparently has become acquainted with some of the niceties of the labor deal regarding the consequences of the evaporation of the per-team spending limit.
For starters, no cap means no floor. Then there’s the increase in years of service for unrestricted free agency from four to six, and that pesky “Final Eight Plan,” which makes it very hard for the last eight teams standing to participate in the market — and damn near impossible for the final four to sign unrestricted free agents.
So now the union is desperate to keep the cap. Albert Breer of the Boston Globe reports that the union made one last pitch to extend the rules that have applied from 2006 through 2009 into 2010. Per Breer, the league rejected the proposal on Thursday.
As a result, the first uncapped year since 1993 will begin next Friday at midnight.
It’s not known what the union offered in exchange for the continuation of the salary cap. But it means that there’s still a chance — slim as it might be — that the two sides will get a deal done before the clock strikes twelve on March 5, since the union could decide to take the best deal that’s on the table in order to keep a cap — and a floor — in place.