In 2013, the free-agent market went flat, with left tackles and pass rushers and cornerbacks getting paid a lot less than they’ve gotten in the past. That dynamic could soon echo into September.
Plenty of teams have plenty of veterans under contracts signed when the open market led to higher salaries. Now that the market has dipped, teams will be tempted to squeeze some veterans to take less money.
In some cases, the squeezing already has happened, from Panthers linebacker Jon Beason to Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams.
With players having four or more years of service essentially guaranteed their full 2013 base salaries if they have a spot on a Week One roster, the time to act is coming. Teams hoping to do their players a favor will make the move sooner rather than later. Teams that want to keep the player at a reduced rate will wait until next week, when it’s too late to find a better offer with a new team.
It happens every year, but it could happen more frequently in 2013, now that the free-agency market has made plenty of deals that were reasonable when signed look unreasonable now.