New NFL calendar would create enhanced opportunity for collusion

On the surface, the NFL’s proposed shift in the offseason calendar makes sense.  To fully capitalize on the ever-intensifying interest in free agency and the draft, the NFL would stagger the major events, with the Scouting Combine in early March, free agency in early April, and the draft in May (presumably during the all-important “sweeps” period).

According to Albert Breer of NFL Network, the league and the NFLPA are “continuing dialogue” regarding the potential shift.  The players are hesitant because it delays the opportunities of players to find new teams — and to get the bonus checks that often go along with them.

But there’s another potential problem with delaying the start of free agency.  With the annual league meetings occurring during the second half of March, the teams would have one last concentrated opportunity to compare notes on the desire market at the various positions.

Collusion can occur in many forms.  Generally speaking, any collaboration among NFL franchises regarding player compensation is prohibited.  This year, there has been plenty of suspicion that teams knew what other teams would be willing to pay to free agents.  Delaying the start of free agency until after all owners, General Managers, and coaches are in the same place for several days will give them even more time to ensure that general parameters are in place for the money to be paid at the various positions.

Theoretically, of course.

Still, not delaying the start of free agency will block the teams from having a final opportunity to get their ducks, and dollars, in a row.

20 responses to “New NFL calendar would create enhanced opportunity for collusion

  1. Ownership already has way too much leverage on its side. I don’t see how delaying FA has any benefit for the players? It would only extend the uncertainty of where they will end up. Also thats more interest earned in the teams coffers vs the player’s bank accounts. The players would be really dumb to approve the change.

  2. Not to mention what such a shift might do to the mini-camp and other practices schedules. At this rate, training camps will open in July, allowing two weeks to get it all done before the pre-season games start.


  3. Will you quit whining about collusion. It’s called not wanting to give up draft picks and big money for guys.

  4. Something like that.

    Basically Rooney, Mara and Kraft run this league. Goodell is their puppet.

    The other 29 teams follow the lead or they are clipped- cap space can be terminated, tuck rules are called.

  5. Great point Mike!! One of these days if these owners learn about the telephone or even God forbid, email, they could really conspire and screw it to the players.

  6. Squared80 hit it right in the baby makers. The fans should not be exposed to internal matters. It’s annoying even in the off season.

    How about autograph signings as part of every contract. Why not work on something fan oriented. You don’t see McDonald’s airing out territory squabbles between franchises in the media.

    Hockey lame

  7. Collusion? If you only had evidence that owners of a major American sports league would engage in such reprehensible, illegal conduct. Oh right, MLB.

  8. I heard there’s this new-fangled techno gizmo out there called ‘the internet’ which means that you no longer have to be in the same room in order to communicate with other people, even 31 other people concurrently any more.


  9. Great post. All bets are off when it comes to labor vs. management. Unrelated…It would be cool to see all posts by a user by clicking their handle. Some trolls are getting nuts in here. Could the be a troll penalty? Logicalvoices want to know.

  10. What would be the point of collusion? They already have a salary cap. And they can’t get on the phone now and call other owners?

  11. Not sure I follow this logic. The salary cap ensures that every team will be guaranteed a certain salary expense each year. The fact that only 1 team can hold the Super Bowl trophy discourages teams to collude on the allocation of this expense.

  12. Since there is now a minimum level all teams must spend they should do away with the collusion rule by agreement. First, I don’t think you could get the owners to stay in line but so what if they agree that QB’s are getting too much money or that we shouldn’t guarantee contracts. Whatever is not paid to some player as a result of the collusion goes to another player.

    Getting rid of guaranteed contracts and signing bonuses would be a nice change. Then all the money required to be paid out would go to the players playing that year, not some guy sitting in the whirlpool with imaginary back spasms.

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