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Holiday weekend closing with no first-round deals, yet

Despite a vague sense that the first first-round deal of the 2010 rookie class could come during the Fourth of July weekend, it’s looking less and less likely that something will happen before reality returns on Tuesday.

It’s not a surprise; many teams have shut it down, and with coaches and key personnel on vacation it’s unlikely that business will be done.  Still, in past years, contracts have been negotiated regardless of whether the calendar suggests that we should be observing a holiday.

The question of whether the contracts at the top of the draft will come slowly this year remains a subject of debate.  Some league insiders think that teams will get players signed in the hopes of not giving the union any more evidence that could bolster a collusion case.

Albert Breer of the Boston Globe recently pointed to the other side of the coin.

As Breer explains, one point of contention will be the second-year option bonus.  If the owners lock out the players before the date on which the second-year balloon payment comes due, the payment will at best be delayed.  Potentially, the payment will be completely denied, if there’s no football in 2011.

We find that latter point hard to fathom.  If the 2011 season is wiped away by a work stoppage, the individual player contracts most likely will toll for a full year.  So the option bonuses would be paid in 2012.

Even if the contracts don’t toll, it will be easy for the agents to include a clause ensuring that the money will be paid whenever football returns.

Breer also mentions another key piece of leverage teams will have this year.  Any player who holds out for the entire season could be missing two full years of football, if there’s no football in 2011.

And here’s another twist to the bargaining power.  Even if there’s no work stoppage next year, a near-certain rookie wage scale will strip away the windfall contained in the top 10 or 15 contracts.  So, basically, players can either take the lowball offer that a team makes now, or they can risk getting far less in the same draft slot later.

That said, some of the folks in the know have yet to sound alarm.  Maybe they’re simply viewing the glass at ten-percent full.

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5 Responses to “Holiday weekend closing with no first-round deals, yet”
  1. dafish says: Jul 5, 2010 3:05 PM

    Way I see it is why give a kid the millions now when you don’t have to?

  2. wxwax says: Jul 5, 2010 3:09 PM

    Will there be any deals in the next 8 hours and fifty minutes?
    Time will tell.

  3. dafish says: Jul 5, 2010 4:08 PM

    wxwax says:
    July 5, 2010 3:09 PM
    Will there be any deals in the next 8 hours and fifty minutes?
    Time will tell.
    ————————————–
    hilarious.

  4. Alex A says: Jul 5, 2010 5:24 PM

    For months now it seems you’ve struggled to find not-so-clever ways to peddle your collusion theories within a shocking and annoying amount of your articles. You’re a conspiracy theorist, we get it. You’re obsessed with collusion, we get it. But don’t you think if a major case were to be filed and won that you’ve already written enough on it by now, that you would have already earned your much sought after “I told you so” ? It’s not news now. It’s not new.
    And for the record, I just never could understand how it is that you don’t understand why teams don’t use poison pills anymore. You must have loudly and not-so-subtly implied collusion like 100 times. Do you understand the term “gun shy”? You are aware, I’m sure, that last time the poison pill was used the team who used it was retaliated against, right? You understand that the action and reaction in that last case caused bad feelings, enemies if you will, that still exist today, right?
    Why can’t you understand that if the Broncos, for example, had poached and inserted a poison pill into an offer sheet for Miles Austin, the Cowboys would have sought immediate retribution, perhaps by going after Dumervil or further putting Denver’s interior line in disarray by taking Kuper. You don’t really think Jerry Jones would have just shrugged his shoulders in defeat do you? In any such case like this, whether this specific example or one of your choosing, do you think these teams would ever then be trading partners (or allies in any way) within the next five years, or so?
    Owners aren’t in a back room giving a secret handshake relating to not poaching and poisoning RFA’s. The pill has been tried. It’s simply not an effective tool. It opens your team up to war, retribution, and long-term dislike and distrust. Hopefully someday you will understand that. Hopefully until then you can stop clinging to your collusion theories idea like an ill-advised Captain not-so-valiantly going down with the ship.
    Just to underline the point for this email – to not get too caught up in one specific example of your many collusion theories – league owners likely do talk to each-other. Perhaps a group of them do make joint plans on how to deal with certain other situations. But again, who cares? You do… we get. You warned us… we get it. Now until a case actually happens, it’s not news. Talking as much as you do about it is just embarrassing, really.
    ~Alex Adams.
    Burley, Idaho

  5. Nobi says: Jul 5, 2010 6:40 PM

    Alex Adams, no one gives a shit what you have to say. Get off your high horse and try to send your shitty freelance rebuttal-journalism to someone that feels like reading your shit.

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