The NFL, NFLPA, and an 18 game season.

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“We’re ready for round 5 in the Goodall vs. Smith fight.”

While almost every NFL analysts was projecting a massive spending spree by the league in an uncapped year, nearly 2 years ago I told you that the NFLPA would be crying for the reinstatement of the salary cap floor because teams would use the uncapped year to dump expensive players and save money. That is exactly what happened.

More than a year ago on this site, I proposed a solution to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that involved the 18 game season. The proposal was that the current players would get paid 18/16ths of their current contracts which would increase their gross by 12.5%. It should allow the NFLPA and NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith to give back 8% of the player‘s cut of the total income from around 60% down to around 52%. If that proposal included an increase in the rosters from 53 to 60 and a rookie salary cap (to cut the amount of the pie that went to newbies and increase the pool available for the Vets) with the reinstatement of the NFL Salary cap, I believed that the NFLPA would accept it in order to prevent a strike/lockout. There were still going to be a few other issues but those were inconsequential next to the money.

Three things were true then that are not true now. First, the NFL looked like it was going to win the American Needle vs. NFL law suit that involved the league’s anti-trust status. That would have strengthened the league’s position and in the opinion of some might have allowed it to impose an agreement that the union would have almost been forced to accept.

Second, at the time I wrote that, it also looked like the NFL and the drug enforcement program would prevail in the Williams’ vs. NFL in Minnesota state court. Instead the court has failed to give the league a win and has stopped the league from enforcing the suspension of the Vikes’ DTs.

Third and most important, the proposal was not submitted quietly so that the union could digest it as part of the overall proposal. The stick only works if there is a carrot at the end of it. Recently, the NFL came to the same conclusion about the 18 game season and are expected to approve it at the next league meeting.

That is a really stupid move.

What the league had done is take the one carrot they had and stuff it down the disposal rather than adding it to a balanced dinner salad of a solution to the labor issue. The owners got greedy and gave the key to an agreement away and now they have nothing with which to bargain.

This almost guarantees that there will be a work stoppage because the league will have very little to offer the union that could encourage them to give back some of the money they got in the last agreement.

I wish I had better news but I try to give you the best forecast I can of what will happen.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFLPA,DeMaurice Smith,Goodell,Collective Bargainning Agreement,CBA,Lockout,salary cap,rookie salary cap,18 game season

Sports Buffet for 08/10/10

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Football

The NFL negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the owners and the NFLPA are not going well. The NFL has proposed an 18 game season but the injuries to players this preseason are hurting the chances of the Union accepting the deal.

The list of players already on the IR seems to be a lot longer than usual. The list already includes Raven DBs Walt Harris and Domonique Foxworth, Ram DL Chris Hovan, and others. Bronco LB Elvis Dumervil could be the next one on that list depending on how the operation to fix his torn muscle goes.

FPS will be reporting on preseason games and let you know which teams are looking solid and which are looking like pretenders.

Baseball

The Reds face a tough series this week against the Cardinals. The Reds lost game 1 and as of last night had their lead cut to 1 game. The Cardinals are one of the teams that have had a lot of injuries but are still very talented.

The division races have all tightened over the last couple of weeks except for the AL West where the Rangers are running away from the rest of the division. The rest of the races are within a game and a half or less.

The Orioles are showing signs of life with their new manager Buck Showalter. The team has won 6 of the last 7 under Uncle Buck.

The Columbus Clippers are in 1st place despite a sweep by Buffalo this last weekend. The Clippers are 68-50 for a .576 winning percentage. Maybe the Indians should call up the Clippers and send the Indians down to Columbus.

NBA

The Cavs lost C Shaquille O’Neal to the Celtics. O’Neal wants to win another championship and it is very clear to everyone but Cavs owner Dan Gilbert that will not happen any time soon in Cleveland. The Cavs also lost C Zydrunas Ilgauskas a couple of weeks ago when he followed LeBron to Miami.

LeBron is finding that more people than just the fans in Cleveland are upset with him for his “Hour of Betrayal” program on ESPN. The City of Cleveland refused to pay for the police protection of LeBron’s bike fund raiser this past weekend. Always before, the City covered the overtime. In addition some advertisers have reportedly dropped interest in him as a spokesman.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,DeMaurice Smith,NFLPA,Collective Bargaining Agreement,IR list,Ravens,Rams,Broncos,MLB,Reds,Cardinals,Rangers,Orioles,Showalter,Cavs,NBA,O’Neal,Celtics,Indians,Clippers

Sports Buffet for 06/15/10

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SptsBuf

NFL

The lower round rookies are beginning to sign. The deals are too scattered to give you a good analysis but look for the top picks to have some extended holdouts. The league ownership is in a penny pinching mood. The best indication of that is the fact that none of the usual sources have the financial data on the rookie deals. Given the concern over what the next CBA might look like and the economy still being in the tank, owners won’t quickly let the agents talk them into big increases over last year.

The RFAs are also signing. Today, the teams have the option of lowering any unsigned RFA to 110 percent of the salary the player made last year. In most cases the teams will do this for those players that they consider reserves or not critical to their long term plans.

NBA

The Celtics lead in the finals now 3-2. It is hard to get a handle on this series because each team looks unbeatable in one game but then lays an egg in the next one. While some of the differences in the games is due to injuries and foul trouble. But that can not explain it all.

I wonder if Boston has one more effort like Game 2 in them. If they lose tonight, they will not win the series.

MLB

The Yankees have clawed their way back into a tie for the lead in the AL East. They were helped by the Rays going 5-5 over the last 10 games. Boston has started to play a little better and is only 4 games behind.

Texas is hanging in the lead in the AL Weak. The Angels are just one game behind. Neither of them are playing well enough to worry any of the AL East teams come playoff time.

Atlanta had a 4.5 game lead last week but went 5-5 in the last 10 to allow the Mets to sneak back to just a game and a half back. The Phillies are still not playing well and have to face the Yankees this week in inter-league games.

Cincy and St. Louis are still in a tight race for 1st in the NL Central. The Padres, Dodgers and Giants are grouped together like peas in a pod in the NL West.

College football

For a while the Big 12-2 was on life support. But the keystone team–Texas–decided to stay and that kept the league together despite losing Nebraska to the Big 10+2 and Colorado to the Pac10+1. They key was MONEY!! Imagine that! The Big 12-2 promised Texas that they could have their own network deal and that saved the conference. There is a good chance that both the Big 12-2 and the Pac10+1 will add teams in the near future. Look for TCU and 1 other team (possibly Houston or Tulsa) to get an invitation to the Big 12 and Utah to get a ticket to play in the Pac 10.

The bottom line here is that college football has not changed all that much. I predicted that Texas would not join another conference months ago when the Big 10 was romancing it.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Draft,RFA,CBA,Collective Bargaining agreement,Celtics,NBA FInals,Lakers,MLB,NBA,College Football,Big 12,Big 10,Pac 10,Yankees,Red Sox,Rays,Rangers,Angels,AL East,AL West,AL Central,NL East,NL Central,NL West,Braves,Mets,Phillies,Reds,Cardinals

Unexpected consequences of the uncapped 2010.

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There are many things that will happen in the 2009-2010 off season that are directly resulting from the inability of the NFL owners and NFLPA to come to a Collective Bargaining Agreement before Mr. 5.

Without a cap, poor teams will dump high cost players.

Teams that are in financial trouble will be able to dump high cost players and replace they with minimum salary guys. Teams like Buffalo and Jacksonville have been losing with their current players so there is no reason to keep them. The end of the cap means there is no longer a minimum amount that teams must spend. Look for a number of bottom end teams to dump expensive players.

High price players in the last few years of their contract can be dropped without penalty.

Even middle of the road teams and upper level teams will drop some high priced players that they do not intend to resign when their contracts expire. Rumors have the Panthers cutting DE Peppers; the Cards cutting S Rolle; the Packers cutting OL Colledge; the Jets cutting OG Faneca and OB Gholston; the Raiders finally cutting QB Russell. Those are just a few of the name players that will be cut due to the end of the cap.

The rich (in both money and talent) will get richer.

According to the latest news about the CBA last year rules, the teams that were not in the final 8 in the playoffs can sign as many high priced FA as they want. Teams in the final 8 can sign players as long as they lose or cut an equal number of starter salary level players as well. The league has long prospered based on a competitive balance between the top of the league and the bottom. This season there were the haves and have nots but very few teams in the middle.

The non-TV revenue sharing that was part of the CBA is gone.

The NFL already announced that it will cut 100 million from the revenue sharing program. There will be more cuts leaving the bottom feeders like Buffalo, Cincinnati, and Jacksonville with even less of a chance to survive.

Restricted Free Agents will not get contracts approaching Unrestricted FA.

The best group of players that would have been free agents is the 4 years of service class. There are 212 players that under the CBA would have been unrestricted FAs that in the final year will be only Restricted Free Agents. Under the RFA status, the current team has the first right of refusal to match any certified offer the player gets from another team. These guys are irate and understandably so. They will have very little leverage to get a UFA type contract from their current teams. They will also not get the kind of poison pill contract offers from other teams. A poison pill is a very expensive bonus or other payment that the current team is unlikely to match to keep the player. With quality players being cut, there will be a few buyers for a large supply of players. The players in that environment will get lower contract offers.

The UFL will pick up some of the RFA players.

The UFL started with a hope that 1) the NFL would go on strike in 2011 and 2) that they could get some name players from the NFL that were cut or unwilling to accept the money offered by the NFL. Given the group of RFA players that have been denied UFA status by the opt out of the CBA. The combination of their frustration with the NFL for being RFAs and the near certainty of no play in 2011, some of these players will jump to the UFL.

For those of you that are old like me and remember the USFL, it will be interesting to see if the UFL makes the same mistake. The USFL folded in part because they tried to outbid the NFL for key players like Hershal Walker. The UFL won’t have to get into a bidding war. The players will want to play and the UFL probably will not have any competition in 2011.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday morning at 11. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: nfl,Collective Barganing Agreement,NFLPA,Free Agents,free agency,Restricted Free Agent,UFL,nfl draft,2010 NFL DRAFT,2010 season,2011 season

February 28th a giant date for the NFL.

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Fryingpan Sports

February 28th a giant date for the NFL.

By Bill Smith

In one of his first public statements, the newly elected Executive Director of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) DeMorris Smith gave hope to millions of NFL fans. Smith said that he wanted to get started on negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) as soon as possible. While no one should hold his breath, there is a chance that the NFLPA and the owners can come up with a system that is going to acceptable to everyone involved.

February 28th is a key date in both 2010 and 2011. If the two sides can come to agreement and the players ratify it before 2/28/10, the uncapped year could be avoided. There is enough money for everybody. The cap for 2009 was originally estimated to be around 105 million, due to the TV contracts and other increases in revenue, the new cap is now over 116 million per team. That also raises the minimum salary to nearly 99.5 million which is the amount every NFL team must spend on salaries and player bonuses.

There are a number of poison pills placed in the last year of the contract by agreement of the two sides in the last negotiations in an attempt to facilitate a new deal. As things stand now, in 2010 there is no salary cap and no minimum. A team could conceivably cut all their NFL players and hire a semi-pro team at 100K each. That would save over 94 million dollars. There is also a change in free agency. Players with 6 seasons of service by the end of the 09 season under the old agreement would have been unrestricted free agents. Since the owners opted out of the agreement, those players can not get free agency until they reach 8 seasons of service. That will cost many players millions of dollars in free agent contracts.

The owners get some poison as well. The playoff teams can only replace players lost in free agency despite the uncapped year. And even a single uncapped year could drastically change the balance of power in the league for years to come. If a small market team takes advantage of the elimination of the minimum salary, it could poison the fan base and make a move necessary.

The second February 28th that is critical is in 2011. Unless the parties get a deal before that date, there will be a lockout for sure. Let’s hope things don’t get to that point.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: nfl,lockout,pro football,NFL Players association,Owners,free agency,free agent,collective bargaining agreement,salary cap

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