Patriots owner Robert Kraft made headlines earlier this week when he said that there would not be a major jump in the salary cap when the league’s new television contracts take effect in 2014.
Kraft explained that there would be “smooth growth” as opposed to the sharp spike we saw in 2006 when the last round of TV contracts kicked in. That would seem to run counter to the way player salaries are tied to league revenues in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, but Kraft was a major player in putting the CBA together so his caution is something to be taken seriously.
Not everyone who was involved with those negotiations agrees with Kraft’s assessment, though. According to reports from NESN.com and Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe, the NFLPA doesn’t share Kraft’s outlook for what will happen in 2014.
Per the report, the NFLPA is telling players and agents that there will be “significant growth” in the cap in 2014 and beyond. That advice would seem to have an impact on how they approach contract negotiations over the next couple of years since a big jump in 2014 would obviously be advantageous for players signing new deals and they wouldn’t want to leave any money on the table.
Kraft’s cautionary words could be designed as a way to keep teams from back-loading deals with a 2014 jump in mind, but the mixed messages could make for some contentious contract discussions until we know what will really happen in two years.