Goodell says uncapped year is "virtually certain"

With a March 5 deadline for getting a new labor agreement negotiated in order to avoid a season without a salary cap, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged on Sunday night the reality that the 17-year-old device for preventing the big market/small market disparity that has ruined baseball will be going away, at least for a year.

Goodell told NFL Network’s Rich Eisen that a year without a salary cap is “virtually certain.”

“The real core message here is that we all want to get a fair
agreement, for the players, for the owners, to allow the game to
continue to grow,” Goodell said.  “There are conversations going on,
that’s a positive step.  But we’re all frustrated there’s not more

There seems to be little frustration regarding the disappearance of the spending limit, and the corresponding evaporation of the spending minimum.  Other limitations will apply in order to prevent a Red Sox-Yankees domination of the player-acquisition market, such as six years of service to qualify for free agency and the “final eight plan,” which will limit the ability of the teams appearing in the divisional round to sign unrestricted free agents.

But there seems to be a consensus that the long-term interests of the league are best served by the presence of a salary cap.  In years past, the late Gene Upshaw, who rand the NFLPA for more than two decades, vowed that, if the cap went away, it would never return.  This time around, the union has not suggested a desire to operate without a cap — since to do so would mean the permanent absence of the spending floor.

And given that a spread of nearly $20 million exists between the minimum and the maximum, one prudent course of action for the union would be to tighten the gap, pushing the floor closer to the ceiling.  Such a move would pump more money into the system, for the benefit of all players.

Still, with no urgency to get a deal done before March 2010, the eleventh hour has now been shifted to early 2011.  Basically, then, we’ll see more preening and posturing until the moment that the two sides get serious about doing a deal — and that moment is still at least 12 months away.

13 responses to “Goodell says uncapped year is "virtually certain"

  1. Posted at 1:09 AM:
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  2. you know florio, after the first two times I was still a little uncertain about whether or not there would be an uncapped year. but let me tell you, that third time through really worked wonders. now i would have to agree that an uncapped year is virtually certain. you really made a believer out of me

  3. If either side thinks the fans are amused by this, they’re both WRONG !
    Get a damned deal done! This is one subject we don’t even want to hear about for the next month, let alone for the next year or so.
    Tell me it’s smart for either side to “push it” in these economic times-YOU CAN’T ! How smart would it be for either side to do irreparable harm to this game that is in it’s prime?
    Fans don’t forget. Look what happened to baseball. I used to be a fan of MLB until you-know-what and I still am not back. I’m not sure I ever will be. I’d HATE for the same thing to happen to The NFL. Is nothing sacred ?

  4. So if this year does inevitably go uncapped, and they manage to get a deal done, how will they determine the new cap floor and ceiling? Especially if a team like Washington goes on a spending spree (not entirely out of the question with Danny). Will the new cap be equal to the highest team’s payroll, or will they average it out? If they choose to average it out, what will happen to a team like Washington and their $200 million payroll when they set the cap at $150 million?
    I’m guessing this will be something for owners to keep in the back of their minds when considering throwing a 9 figure deal out to Julius Peppers. Any insight here Florio, or has this even been brought up yet?

  5. Need to clarify. If this year is uncapped, but they agree to a new deal next year, then what happens to the cap in my previous scenario?

  6. What a shame. the reason the NFL is the greatest sport to watch is the parity, which is in a large part due to the labor agreement. I’m sure the players’ union and owners understand this… they are seriously risking the long term value of the sport by messing around with this.
    Even if a 2011 agreement is made, what happens in the uncapped 2010? Wouldn’t they have to make a new agreement based on the 2010 team payrolls? This means inflated caps to the point that we’ll have at least a few years of big market teams or financially unsound organizations(Redskins) overloaded with talent.
    if this is true, teams that financed the last few years conservatively to leave themselves cap room moving forward have wasted their efforts. Teams that over budgeted their players’ salaries and particularly those who plan large payouts in the later years of a long term contract are being unfairly rewarded.

  7. The owners already have a silent agreement(actually not so silent) that any signings this year, will count once the new deal is made.
    There will be no signing sprees. Fans won’t notice a difference at all and they’ll make a deal eventually, which will finally include a rookie cap, which is LONG overdue.

  8. I don’t care about an uncapped year. The owners can sit down in a room and say they will not spend more than a certain amount in the room. The players will not benefit from it. Uncapped doesn’t mean spend all they want because at some point the cap is coming back. I hope Jeffrey Lurie is prepared to spend about a billion. Karlos Dansby, Julius Peppers…drafting Taylor Mays, a linebacker in round 2….I hope you read this Mr. Lurie…..the city of Philadelphia WANTS a championship……also if someone offers a 1st round pick for Dmac, trade him please….and also fire the weasel Joe Banner

  9. I think what he means by “uncapped” year, is the owners are “locking” the players out, until they get more of the pie.
    The only ones that are going to lose are the ones who got bad advice and were told not to declare this year, and the players attorneys who have nothing to lose if players sit out.
    The owners will not cave in, unless there is a rookie salary cap, which no existing player is going to vote against. The only other sticking point is going to be player revenue share, which the owners will not fold on. The attorneys will tell them to sit out, so in other words no games…..this also might be why a slew of coaches contracts all expire next year….lame duck season.

  10. How did it ruin baseball? Except for the Phillies Yankees Dodgers and Red Sox most of the teams competing in world series and playoffs as of late are smaller market teams.
    The DiamondBacks, The Rays, The Marlins, The Rockies, The Cardinals etc. have been among the best just to name a few.
    While some big market teams stink. The Athletics, The Cubs, The Astros etc.. Just because your in a big market means nothing. No matter how much money you spend you still have to play the game.
    It works fine if your team does it the right way. Build through the minors and the draft. The samething will work for football if the ownership of the small teams do it the right way. While on the other hand big market teams will fail if they dont .

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