Unexpected consequences of the uncapped 2010.

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nfl

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

Analysis: The UFL stakes everything on an NFL lockout.

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UFL

It was no accident that the UFL formed after the NFL owners officially pulled out of the existing collective bargaining agreement. The UFL owners saw an opening and wanted to take advantage of it. That is why they had to begin playing in 09. It is also why they cut back from a projected 8 teams to just 4 but will stage games in 7 cities. They want to be around in 2010 and 2011 just in case there is a strike.

Right now, things don’t look all that good for the fans of the NFL. There are several indicators pointing toward a strike/lockout. First, the NFLPA has a new Executive Director. DeMaurice Smith is new. He beat out a couple of former players that publicly took hard line stances against the NFL but he is going to have to prove that he is tough enough to keep the job. The NFLPA members have heard from other candidates that the new agreement will eliminate the salary cap, increase the percentage of total revenue that the players get and increase benefits. All this in the face of the toughest economy since the depression.

When Smith took his office, he said that he would begin discussions with the league soon. There have been reports of some meetings but there are no indications of any serious discussions. The only meeting made public was described as an informal meet and greet.

Meanwhile, the NFL owners are intent on reducing the total take of the players and insist that the salary cap is non-negotiable. That is the stuff of a long and painful strike.

The UFL is starting out signing a few former NFL players that are known and plans to fill the rest of the teams with young players with potential. The official league tag line is “Where young stars come to play.” The league has signed experienced and well known NFL coaches including Dennis Green, Jim Haselet, Jim Fassel and Ted Cottrell to give the league some legitimacy. They will play on Thursday and Friday to avoid the NFL and major college football games. They are going to pay a lot less to their players. That should help them survive for a year or two.

The league has changed some of the less fan friendly rules from the NFL including allowing each team to get the ball once in overtime and eliminating the tuck rule. The greatest fan friendly rule will eliminate the NFL ban on touchdown end zone celebrations. The league has even announced that it will welcome players that have been suspended from the NFL including Mike Vick.

There is a better than even chance that the UFL will play some interesting and watchable football. The teams should be evenly matched. There are always good athletes that are not quite ready for the NFL that can profit from a developmental league. And you can bet the UFL will try to play wide open football.

The previous attempts to establish a rival football league have failed. But the previous attempts including the USFL and the XFL never had the stage all to themselves. If the NFL goes on strike even for a few games, the UFL will get a foothold. Whether or not they can survive long enough to take advantage of a work stoppage is a question. But the bigger question is whether the UFL can survive after the strike. The answer to that will only be known when the time comes.

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,STRIKE,UFL,NFLPA,COLLEGE FOOTBALL,VICK,suspension,Smith,salary cap,revenue

Saturday Niblets from around the net for 03/28/09

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Fryingpan Sports

Saturday Niblets from around the net for 03/28/09

nib

By Bill Smith

Best comment of the last 2 weeks:

Acai Burn’s comment on Don’t get too excited about a 3 team deal involving Jay Cutler and the Browns.

The Browns have two serviceable quarterbacks on the team at this time and to make a move at the qb position when they have other needs is a waste.

The problem is that in a three way deal, there is no way to compensate the Browns for the loss of Quinn. The Broncos will demand more than Quinn in return for Cutler. The question I posed boils down to where will the draft choice(s) for the Browns come from to compensate them for giving up Quinn?

Updates on previous columns:

Thoughts about the first 2 rounds of the NCAA Tournament. – CBS has done a little better job limiting the switches in games. The officials must be reading my site. There have been very few visits to the scoring table replay TV since I commented on the issue. The top seeded teams are still in control of the bracket although Xavier gave Pittsburgh a tough game on Thursday night. In my opinion a 3 winning over a 2 is not an upset. The quality of play was still way below average even in the games between 2nd and 3rd seeds. The experience of Missouri was too much for 2nd seed Memphis. The Missouri pressure cause both forced and unforced turnovers by the younger Memphis players. Shot selection is a totally unknown concept in college basketball today.

Owens going to Buffalo says most about the BillsOur favorite drama queen Terrell Owens did not report to the voluntary workouts in Buffalo. That is an indication that he is not overjoyed at being forced to sign with the NFL equivalent of Siberia. Supposedly, Coach Dick Jauron told TO it was alright to miss the workouts. However, TO has to earn the support of the Bills’ locker room. Avoiding workouts with the team is not the way to do that. The Bills’ organization is going to have to put TO on a VERY short leash.

Fresh Niblets:

The NFL is considering a developmental league. Given the current economic downturn, that would not be on the radar without the United Football League starting play in 09. Keep checking this site for updates on the UFL.

Curt Schilling retires. Schilling is a shoe and a bloody sock in for the Hall of Fame. While his regular season numbers are good, his performances in the playoffs and the World Series puts him in. The very best players want the ball when the season is on the line. He wanted it and was at his best in the biggest games.

Patrick White West Virginia QB refused to do WR drills at his pro day. The NFL scouts wanted to see White catch the ball and demonstrate his abilities at WR. White wants to play QB and given the number of teams in desperate need of a QB, I think he has a chance. He will probably be as good a wildcat formation QB as any in the league. But he has the chance to develop into a Mike Vick type QB without the dog fighting baggage.

The NCAA is investigating possible recruiting violations at Univ. of Connecticut. Coach Jim Calhoun was under fire for his reaction to questions by a reporter about his salary. This should add to the heat considerably. Although the player in question never played for UConn, the best way to defuse the issue is to win the championship.

Miguel Tejada sentenced for lying to Congress about steroids – Since it can’t seem to convict the users, the US Congress is going after those that refused to name names. Now, if we could just get those in Congress to admit their guilt for the housing and economic crisis, …

Cowboys’ Jerry Jones lifted the gag order on HC Wade Phillips for the owners meetings—Opps! – Phillips said it takes 4 years to tell if a HC can do the job. No Wade, we knew you were a dolt by the third game in your first HC job. You have been fired twice since then and should have been let go after last years disaster.

People wonder why Jones keeps Phillips as HC. Admittedly, trying to coach the Cowboys is like trying to herd cats—it just is not possible. It is not that Jones can’t see Phillips’ short comings. Phillips keeps his job by letting Jones call all the shots. The reason that Jimmy Jones and Bill Parcells are no longer in Dallas is they would not put up with Jones’ constant interference.

The Blue Jackets look like they are going to make the playoffs for the first time. It seems silly to play 82 game to find out which half of the league is not going to the playoffs. Even so, the CBJ have never made the post season. For fans of Columbus, all I can say is IT’S ABOUT TIME!

The Browns signed UFA alleged OT John St. Clair to a 3 year 9 mill contract. YUCK! St. Clair is a turnstile at tackle. If they play him at guard, he might be an adequate reserve. But at tackle, St. Clair has left more broken QB’s on the ground behind him than Mean Joe Greene.

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: Browns,Quinn,Cutler,Broncos. NFL,Draft,NFL Draft,UFL,United Football League,White,West Virginia,College football,QB,WR,Connecticut,Tejada,Steroids,Congress,Economic crisis,CBS,Officials,Phillips,Jones,Parcells,Blue Jackets,NHL,PLAYOFFS,St. Clair,Bills,Owens,TO,NCAA Tournament,College Basketball

Saturday's Niblets from around the net for 02/28/09

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Fryingpan Sports

Saturday’s Niblets from around the net.

nib

By Bill Smith

Best comment of the week:

By 2009 Taxes on “My impressions of the first 2 days of the NFL Combine.”

It’s good to see Robiskie do well at the combine. He came to Ohio State as a 2 or 3 star recruit out of high school and took over the starting role after Ginn and Holmes left. He’s been underestimated at every stage.

That is an excellent point. Many other great receivers have been overlooked because they didn’t have “elite” speed. Robo will become a top receiver and whatever team gets him will be able to move the chains just as OSU did. He will become indispensable on 3rd down and in the red zone.

Updates on previous articles:

Introducing the United Football League:

The UFL has raised another 30 million in seed money to go with the first 20 mil put in by the primary investors. The group now includes a familiar name Paul Pelosi—husband of the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

My Advice: That should give the league enough money to get started. But to field 6 teams, they will need another 50-60 million. The league should keep politics out of their way. I will try to keep you up to date on the league.

Will Vince Young ever be an NFL quality QB?

Evidently, the Titans believe that Young is not an NFL starting QB yet because they announced yesterday that they had resigned Kerry Collins to a 2 year deal. He wasn’t signed to be a backup. He had said that he would retire unless he was given assurances that he would be the starter.

My Advice: Give Young some wild cat work to get him involved in the O. That will help you find out for sure if he will ever be capable of taking over the position.

Niblets fresh off the cob:

Jerry Jones implements a gag order on the Cowboys.

Don’t think he did that to prevent leaks about the team. Don’t expect the Boys to be the HBO Hard Knocks subject this year. But don’t worry. Jones says everything in Cowboy land is just peachy.

My Advice: Jer, gag orders don’t work on teams in the 7-9 year old league, so don’t think for a minute they will work for the Boys. You lose in December because your team is a soap opera titled “As the Stomach Churns.” You don’t think that team chemistry is important and every year it blows up in your face.

NT Shaun Rogers wants out of Cleveland

According to several sources, Cleveland Browns DL Shaun Rogers has had his feelings hurt. He is so hurt that he wants the Browns not to pick up the $6 million option-bonus payment due to him next month. Rogers is owed $15 million more in guaranteed money.

He is hurt because new head coach Mangini ignored Rogers twice at the Browns practice facility in Berea. The Browns have no intention of releasing Rogers due to the hit they would take against their salary cap of more than 9.7 million.

My advice to Mangini: You need to stop the Belichick act. You haven’t won anything yet. When you have a collection of Super Bowl rings, you can snub your best players. Until then, the only thing you have in common with Belichick is that you were both fired from your first head coaching job.

My advice to Rogers: You played like a pro bowler last year and led by example. Having skin this thin below you. Forget about Mangini, the Browns fans love you and respect how hard you played last year.

Tiger Woods drops his second match.

Tiger is coming back from a really tough surgery and a 8 month break. It could be that it will take him some time to get his stamina and touch back.

My advice: Fear not Tiger fans, he will be a force come Masters time.

The Patriots are still shopping for talent at the dollar store.

The Pats added more leadership to their team (as if they needed it) by signing former Jag RB Fred Taylor. Given the injury history of Laurence Maroney this was a great move at a usual great value for the Pats. The rich get richer.

The Redskins sign Haynesworth to a 100 million dollar deal—kind of.

DT Albert Haynesworth got a 7 year 100 million deal from Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to start the free agency period off with a bang. Snyder’s record with high dollar free agents has been more thuds than bangs.

My analysis: This is not going to be typical of the deals made in the free agency period. It is a giant risk with very little up side and a huge downside. Snyder wanted to make a splash and he did. Only time will tell if his bet will pay off or if it will not.

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 Combine,NFL,UFL,Robiskie,Ginn,Holmes,Ohio State,college football,Young,Collins,Jones,gag order,HBO,Rogers,Mangini,Belichick,Woods,Tiger,Masters,Patriots,Maroney,Taylor,Haynesworth,Snyder,Redskins,free agency

Introducing the United Football League

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Fryingpan Sports

Introducing the United Football League

UFL

By Bill Smith

No professional football in Los Angeles? There will be soon—maybe. The United Professional Football league may be coming to a town near you. Right now there are franchises being organized in LA and Los Vegas with other promised soon.

Commissioner Michael Huyghue has NFL experience when he served as the Vice-President for personnel for the Jacksonville. He has been joined by former USFL Oakland Invaders minority partner William Hambrecht, a Wall Street investor. Tim Armstrong, a senior executive at Google is also reportedly involved.

The league plans to play on Thursday and Friday nights in late summer and fall with a championship game in late November. UFLAccess contributor Fran Stuchbury reported that Jim Fassel will be the first coach of the Las Vegas entry into the United Football League. Fassel, the former New York Giants head coach, lends credibility to the new league which is something that any new effort needs.

The league is looking to start small with only 6 franchises in its first season. Among the cities under consideration are Hartford (CT), Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Monterrey (Mexico), New York, Orlando, Salt Lake City and San Francisco according to OurSportsCentral.com. The league expects to announce the final list of teams next month.

According to an interview with Commissioner Huyghue on UFLAccess.com the league is expecting to have a television network deal and has lined up investors for the six planned franchises. The current plan is to price tickets at less than half of an NFL one. They are planning on using existing stadiums and Huyghue also said he has identified a pool of 300 players.

I think the UFL would be good for pro football. There are a lot of players that have potential but are not ready for the NFL. With NFL Europe folding there is a need for a developmental league. The USFL proved that football can be successful in smaller markets like Birmingham and Orlando. Where the USFL went wrong was to try to outspend the NFL for top talent. There was insufficient revenue to support that level of salary expense.

It looks like the UFL is starting small which is smart. There is a market. There are players that come from small colleges, Arena Football, or were never able to become eligible for college. The key is local support in paid attendance and a decent national TV contract. If Huyghue can pull those rabbits out of his UFL helmet, he has a chance. I know I will watch if it is on Dish Network.

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

Technorati Tags: Los Angeles,United Professional Football league,UFL,Huyghue,Commissioner,USFL,Oakland,Invaders,Hambrecht,Jacksonville,Armstrong,Google,UFLAccess,Fassel,Giants,New York,Las Vegas,Hartford,Monterrey,Orlando,Salt Lake City,San Francisco,OurSportsCentral.com,NFL Europe,Birmingham,Dish Network

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]

Nibblets from around the Net

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Fryingpan Sports

Nibblets from around the Net

By Bill Smith

Update: Has Kurt Warner punched his HOF ticket?

Warner in his 3rd Super Bowl threw for 300+ yards for a third time. In his 3 appearances, he has thrown for more yards than Joe Montana did in 4 starts, and John Elway in his 5 starts. Does anyone question the credentials of Montana or Elway for the Hall—no. So what is the problem now with Warner?

Well, the critics say—he only won 1 of the three games. Yea, and does anyone think that if Matt Lienart was the QB for the Cards they would have even made it to the Super Bowl, let alone be leading with 2 minutes to go? No. Remember that Warner took 2 teams from the outhouse to…well you know the saying. If he comes back in 09 he has a good chance to get to the playoffs again out of the weak NFC West. My advice: The Cards should beg him to come back for at least one more year.

Update: The NFL needs to take out the clowns wearing the stripes.

The Super Bowl officiating crew did not improve the overall rating of their peers in 2008. They missed not one but two blocks in the back on the 99 yard pass interception return, missed a couple of calls that replay corrected, and let the Steelers pound on the the Cards in a way that is unacceptable. My advice: Get some guts and when a player slugs an opponent that is down, throw the bum out! If that crew is the best of the best as the NFL claims, they really need to upgrade. Maybe the NFL can steal some refs from the UFL or the Area League.

End zone celebrations in the NFL—No Fun League

NFL officials are struggling hard just to call the action on the field. I want to make it a little easier for the blind and physically infirmed. Wipe the end zone celebration penalties off the books that do not involve taunting an opponent directly. We are going through a lot economically. The government is giving our money away so fast that a drunken sailor would be embarrass and our 401K accounts have gone down so far that they are now 201b instead. My advice: Let the guys have a little fun after they score and let us enjoy it. It will make the game a little more entertaining. A lot of teams are so bad that end zone celebrations may be the only thing worth buying a ticket to see.

Manny Ramírez:

Manny has manny manny dollars and its a good thing because he can’t seem to find a contract that he likes. He was very productive last season for the Dodgers and had the all time best slugging percentage in the playoffs ever. Now, Manny wants a multi-year multi-million dollar contract.

The problem is that too many people saw him dog it in Boston at the end of his last multi-year agreement. He will also turn 37 early in the 09 season. He will not get a 3 or 4 year deal and it is his own fault. My advice: Manny, the Dodgers offered you a 2 year deal and you turned it down. Then they offered a 1 year 25 million dollar contract offer. Nobody else wants you. Take the 1 year deal and play well. You will get another contract for 2010.

Citibank and the Mets:

Citibank is being pressured by the government, stock holders, and the public to pull out of the reportedly 400 million dollar naming deal for the Mets new stadium. The problem is that they got a several billion dollars of tax payer money to bail them out. Now, they can either take the heat and maybe not get any more honey out of the public pot, or back out of the deal and face a cancellation charge. Neither choice is popular. The bank may face as much as 100 million dollar charge to withdraw their name. The stockholders were not happy about the deal in the first place and management could face their wrath at the next board meeting. My advice: dump the deal and let management pay for the cancellation fee out of their own pockets—but don’t hold your breath for that to happen.

The Raiders make it official:

Despite calling reports from ESPN and others inaccurate, the Raiders held a press conference on Wednesday that announced Tom Cable is their new head coach. Cable turned the team around and had a 4-8 record after taking over. My advice: Lock Al Davis in a closet and let Cable do his job. He is a good coach and the only one willing to work for you.

National Signing Day:

It is great that some kids get a chance to go to college to play football. However, WAY too much attention is paid to who goes where. The perennial bottom feeders of the NFL know that draft rankings of college players is at best a difficult art. Gaging high school players is 100 times more difficult. According to many “high school scouting experts” Notre Dame has had one of the top recruiting classes almost every year for the last decade. If that is the case why have they done so poorly? Some claim that ND for a high school All American is just like witness protection. No one knows you are there and no one will notice when you leave.

There is another more serious problem—filling the heads of high school athletes with delusions of grandeur. It puts a lot of pressure on them and also feeds their already overgrown ego. It contributes to their feeling that they are above the rules and the law. Being a BMOC (big man on campus) is enough of a head sweller. My advice: Forget 10 hours of play by play coverage of NSD on ESPN next year. Put the names in the paper and on Sporting News and let it go at that. Maybe the players will take their lives and college a little more seriously. Then they won’t have to be tasered when they get drunk and resist arrest like OT Alex Boone (Ohio State) did.

Soccer(?):

Yes, Soccer. David Beckham has told the L.A. Galaxy he does want to play for them anymore.

My advice: David, we couldn’t care less where you play. It doesn’t matter and you don’t either.

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

My email is [email protected]

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,College Football,NFL Draft,Warner,Cardinals,NFL Hall of Fame,Montana,Elway,Officials,replay,UFL,Arena League,Ramírez,NY Mets,Citibank,Davis,Raiders,Cable,National Signing Day,High School Football,ESPN,SPORTING NEWS

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