In these uncertain times, with bargained-for collusion regarding spending ceilings and floors evaporating soon, the disclosure of obvious business realities somehow has become news.
We’re not faulting those who are reporting it. Without a salary cap or a salary floor for the first time in 17 years, NFL teams have to be guided by something.
It’s called a budget. (Of course, the fact that the concept is news to newspaper people might help us understand why the newspaper industry is in so much trouble.)
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that the Dolphins will be applying an “internal budget” during the 2010 league year.
“I don’t think money buys victories,” Ross told Salguero at the Ritz-Carlton in Fort Lauderdale, where the owners are meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“I think we have the right personnel to make the right decisions. And
you do what you need to do. But you don’t throw money at things just to
buy victories. That doesn’t do it. It’s about your brains, not your
pocketbook that does it.”
He’s right. Even if a team splurges in 2010 free agency, there will be plenty of guys already under contract who will resent the guys who were at the right stages of their careers at the right time. The pill will be even harder to swallow for guys who would have been unrestricted free agents in any other year, and who are asked to roll out the welcome mat for a guy who came to the NFL one year sooner and thus was able to strike it rich.
Still, Ross told Salguero that the football people will be able to do what they think is necessary. And he’s right on that, too, given that V.P. of football operations still has the ability to walk away at any time, be paid the balance of his contract, and go to work for someone else.