Despite talk of artificial caps, some still expect big spending

With two weeks to go until the annual free-agency period opens, there’s a growing sense that teams won’t be spending as much money in the past, even though the salary cap is about to disappear.

The feeling has been fueled by talk of teams imposing their own salary caps, which ultimately could prompt the NFLPA to claim that the teams are colluding.

But some league insiders believe that, once the free-agency period launches, someone will start spending a lot of money — and other teams will follow suit.

That said, many will continue to adhere to their own salary cap/budget, searching instead for bargains, resorting to the cheaper approach of “building through the draft,” and signing up remaining free agents after the market softens in April, May, June, and beyond.

18 responses to “Despite talk of artificial caps, some still expect big spending

  1. Nothing else to post right now evidently. The mysterious group known as “some” in the headline isn’t even identified. Should have at least had some fun and attributed this random bit of nothing to Peter King, since all of his work is this vague anyway.

  2. This will ruin football. Look at baseball, you can always count on a handfull of teams in the playoffs almost every year due to big spending habits. Yea you have a few lower budget teams that make it in, but by and large the winning franchises are those that spend the money. Football playoffs are always changing, new teams almost every year. The cap makes for better football as coaches have to coach the player that fit in their cap system, teams like dallas and washington will just become the yankees and red sox of baseball. Lesser teams will lose their good players to the big spenders and become unwatchable, greed is a nasty thing, careful what you wish for. I support the owners if they are colluding to keep a secret cap, but I also think they should open their books and let the union see why a cap is the only way to keep teams afloat.

  3. So which is it? You write teams will not spend then you write they will. I guess either way you’ll end up being right. If you don’t think Snyder is going to try and take advantage of the situation you’re crazy. Remember the Cowboys doing just that before the last salary cap? They signed all their big stars to big long term deals that wouldn’t have been available under the cap.

  4. I dont get this post??? why post something like this there is exactly zero facts it should be filed under No S#*^

  5. Sounds like you have been talking to somebody at 1 Buc place. Please don’t give away our secret plan for rebuilding on a budget. Our Man U goalie needs a new contract!

  6. Dan Snyder spends money like he can’t help himself … and Jerry Jones isn’t going to want to be outdone …
    Julius Peppers will get a contract like Albert Haynesworth (+12% to +20%) …
    Small-market teams will spend small-market budgets …

  7. Umm, Dallas can’t bid on free agents. They’re in the Final Eight, which means that they can’t bid on a free agent until they lose one.
    But it will be a true test of the Redskins new GM and Coach to see if they can stop the Danny from overspending on Peppers and a bag of chips.

  8. Floria,
    Whether you believe this or not, the Redskins and Cowboys (maybe the Patriots) will not have to break the bank unless they’re fighting each other for the same player. Since most teams don’t have the capital or the bank accounts to dish out as much as the 2-5 heavy hitters, players not named Dansby and Peppers will see no more contractwise than what the lower teams want to offer him (if even that).
    With the chance of a lockout, all teams will be reluctant to give long-term deals with bonus money. One thing the Skins and Patriots will have at their disposal that the Cowgirls won’t (since they’re not part of the Final 8 Plan) is the ability to give a player a huge guaranteed one year salary followed up with a “roster bonus/signing bonus” with a new 5-6 yr deal. Those teams can protect themselves from a lockout (as well as the chance the player is a bust) while the player has a long-term contract as well as a big one-year payout.

  9. And what happens when, in the next year or two, a new CBA is agreed upon and a salary cap takes effect? Then the high spending teams are effed. Completely. Nice to buy a championship until you have to get rid of everybody (See Huizenga and the Marlins). The the franchise and the fans suffer. The bitter disappointment in that exceeds the dominance of the year before because everyone knows the team caliber was bought, not built. The view from the mountaintop is much sweeter if it is earned.

  10. Of course it would never happen (wink-wink), but if I were an owner I would have a gentleman’s agreement (nudge-nudge) betweenst myself and a few other others to sign one player to a big contract so as not to create the MLB case of colusion, and then I would stick it to the bottom 40 players (saynomore, saynomore). Bad time to be Joey Porter, good time to be Vince Wilfork.

  11. And so begins the day when the NFL became like the MLB.
    I don’t care how the “final eight” rules apply…or what restrictions are out there for how many people you can pay what amount of money.
    If there is no cap in place, some will spend more, some will spend less.
    Parity will fade in time, and some teams will begin to resemble the Pirates and Royals.
    After many years at the bottom, how hard is it for teams like the Royals to even sign decent players? Extremely difficult.
    I love the NFL and will always watch football on Sundays. I’ll watch if there is a lockout and we have “scrubs” like that terrible Keanu Reeves movie “the replacements” was all about.
    I’ll watch because I love the game. I’ll watch for the naturally gifted people who stand out and the less talented players that are full of desire.
    I’ll watch for spectacular plays and edge of your seat finishes. And year in and year out I’ll cheer on my team (Kansas City) in hopes that they’ll catch lightning in a bottle and I’ll get to see it.
    One thing I’ve always stood by…if we all liked the same team, it wouldn’t be near as fun.
    Oh yeah, Raiders suck.

  12. I WOULD pick Dallas and Washington, if it wasn’t for the restrictions on the Cowboys.
    The owners WON’T open their books up because then YOU would see what a bunch of liars they are and they’d lose all their fan support.

  13. The only reason I disagree somewhat is that as Florio and others have pointed out, there’s not many decent UFAs out there even for the Redskins.
    I do question those who think it would be the “ruin of the NFL” and similar predictions. I seem to recall that every year most folk say “you can’t buy championships”.
    Which is it? It can’t be both!

  14. Personally I think the uncapped year represents the rare opportunity for an underperforming big market team to stack its roster for the next 4 years or so and put itself back into the drivers seat. Correct me if I’m wrong but is it not possible for very heavily frontloaded contracts to be signed? Once a cap is reinstated the league will likely have to grandfather any agreements that were made prior to the reinstatement. So you could conceivably pay a premiere player loads of money up front and a minimal amount in subsequent years and stay very healthy capwise (should it return later). This means that big market teams are going to be winners of the uncapped year. It also means that there will be a significant internal division amongst owners as to whether or not they will support a more free-market type of system. The uncapped year will give the big spenders at least a year to see whether or not it’s worthwhile and sustainable. If they see the immediate return on their investments it’ll will have a definite impact on the progress of the CBA. That’s probably why you’re seeing the league do its best to put a scare into the PA and the public- they’d rather see the CBA resolution happen before the big market owners get used to the taste of success. And vice versa that’s probably why the PA is dragging its heels on a new CBA – they think it’s more profitable overall for a free-market system to exist than any other alternative. As I mentioned before it seems like the PA is only concerned about the interests of players who are making big coin. This would seem to support that contention.

  15. Mmmh, I think there won’t be big spending, not even from Dan Snyder.
    Why? Ongoing CBA negotiations. Owners (you know, the “single entity”) have to make the players aware that
    a) cap is good, no cap is no good
    b) the teams are short on cash (at least the owners want to make the world believe this)
    b) if the owners think that a cap is good, it will be in the next cba, which means the only way to spend big bucks is to frontload the contract and pay almost anything in 2010. Due to the lingering lockout and the uncertainty about a new cba (well owners will have some insider knowledge in this one …), that’s a high risk strategy. Sure, signing a first round draft pick is risky as well, but …
    c) new regime in Washington
    There might be some sort of going after the RFAs, including forking over draft choices since 1 and 3 for a capable WR is a gimme, but probably only from teams whose front offices are on the hot seat.

  16. VonClausewitz, I don’t buy it because I find it hard for the big spenders to stack their rosters with this group. There are some players of value on the list NOW but you can expect that their teams are going to wait until the last moment before they tag them so they can work out a better deal and there are lot more duds than studs. I do think that Washington will look at some of them to fill a few holes but I don’t see where they’ll put out a lot of money. They might be the most involved but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to go overboard.

  17. Any team that spends huge on FA better be signing short term, if and when a Cap goes back into place they will be paying for it…Better to moderate yourself and play within an artificial boundary.

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