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 .