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Will 2010 be an uncapped year?

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With the NFL Annual meetings starting today, the most important topic for discussion will be the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

I’m interested to hear if anyone feels there is a real possibility that the 2010 season will be uncapped resulting in the Salary Cap most probably disappearing for good.

Personally, I think there is no way the owners & ultimately the players want to remove the single most unique selling point of the NFL, its competitiveness. In what other major sport can you go “from the out-house to the penthouse” in such a short space of time.

Without a Salary Cap, we would see a similar situation to Baseball where the big market teams are able to out spend the rest, removing the level playing field which we currently enjoy.

Like CSI:SCOTLAND who also posted his first thread recently, I’m also a Falcons fan from the UK (Residing in London) & being from the UK I’m also a huge soccer fan. However at the start of every season in the Premiership, I know only 3 or 4 teams ever have a chance to win the title.

I wonder if the NFL would be as popular if at the beginning of every season, we the fans knew that the Superbowl would always be contested by only a small number of teams, especially if say the Falcons were never able to compete financially with the likes of Dallas, Washington, New England & the New York teams.

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I don't know why everyone thinks that going uncapped means paying players more. The owners unanimously decided not to extend the CBA because they want to pay less. The cap forces them to pay as well as caps the total dollar. Ticket prices are already high and while most owners are still turning a decent profit it is not as deep of a well as basball because there are only 16 regular season games.

What you really don't get is that 2010 is not the beginning of a new era it is considered the last league year. So without a new agreement owners can lock out the players or players go on strike but it won't be pretty.

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Uncapped year actually works against the players as with an uncapped year players who signed in 2005 to a 5 year contract and 2006 to a four year contract aren't eligble for free agency, but become restrictive free agents instead. Also teams would be given up to 3 franchise tags to retain UFA's.

Also the teams will not want an uncapped year unless they were a bottom tier team. The top 8 or final 8 teams will be faced with a real UFA signing delimma.

"The rule will restrict the final eight teams in the playoffs from signing free agents. The final four teams shall not be permitted to negotiate and sign any unrestricted free agent to a player contract except for players who acquired their status by being cut or were on the final four team when their contract expired. Playoff teams five thru eight get a break to sign one player with a salary of $4,925,000 or more and any number of players with a first-year salary of no more than $3,275,000 and an annual increase of no more than 30 percent in the following years."

So an uncapped year does not work out for the individual player nor does it work out for top tier teams in either conference which would not sit well with most owners. I don't forsee an uncapped year, but hopefully I don't have to see a lock-out or strike year either. :o


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