Early this afternoon, it appeared that football - as we know it - was gone. The players union and the owners couldn't agree on a contract. That meant that the NFL would work under a salary cap that was slightly higher than last year in 2006 and have an uncapped year in 2007. What might follow would be chaos. The player's association made it clear that they will not negotiate a new salary cap should this one expire. So, big market teams would spend. And small market teams would suffer. You'd never, ever, see the Panthers, Jaguars, or Bengals in Superbowl again.
Of course, the NFL would object and would certainly lockout the players in 2008. The union would do everything in its power to object to that move, and could dissolve, which would leave the NFL open to anti-trust suits. And even if neither event happened, the result would not be the high quality product we see today.
Thankfully, they showed some sense - however little - and extended the deadline for free agency by 3 days. In the hopes that they might still strike a deal. Yeah, its unlikely, but what alternative did they have?
As I stated in an earlier post to this blog, the problem is an unwillingness by the owners to part with money. Big market teams want bigger money. They don't want to share. And that leaves less for the union.
We'll see how this plays out this weekend.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
The Dolphins started working to get under the cap -whatever it might be- this week by releasing 4 players: Damion McIntosh, Sam Madison, Reggie Howard, and Tebucky Jones.
Of them, only Madison may return to the team under a restructured deal.
Depending on who you talk to, the Dolphins are either at a cap number of $95 million or $85 million. The discrepancy is because of the way a couple of contracts were structured last year with bonuses.
As for the cap, if the owners come to some sort of consensus today, then it might be $111 million in 2006, but if they don't, it will likely be $92 million.
And as for my two cents, the issue has little to do with the players union arguing with the owners. Yes, ostensibly it seems that they can't agree on how much they each will get in the revenue stream. But, the real problem is that the owners can't agree among themselves how the profits need to be shared among themselves. Rich teams in big markets think they deserve a bigger cut, plus the ability to keep revenue they generate in their stadiums. Small teams disagree and like the current model of complete sharing, because it keeps the league competitive. The outcome of that will drive what they offer the players union.
...photos linked from BestSportsPhotos.com, Scout.com, and OnlineSports.com