Originally Posted by Rob0729
Third, we don't know if the TV money is going to explode. We think it will in 2015, but there is no guarantee. The cap will go up in 2015, but Bob Kraft has been saying that it will not be the explosion people expect. People (including the NFLPA) laughed at Kraft when he said in 2011 that the cap would stay flat for years, but he was right. He is on the television committee and he might have inside info that the new TV deals won't be the major increases that people expect.
^^^This is the crux of the issue, imo.
The pedestrian deals that a lot of the current FA's are getting are a result of (most of) the owners understanding what Kraft understands.
If the revenue/cap were certain to jump significantly in 2015, then teams would/could spend that money now and offer larger multi-year deals. Contracts can be, and usually are, structured so that the initial year or two are cap-friendly. So a flat cap in 2013 and 2014 doesn't mean that long term deals signed in those years have to be small, only that the initial years' cap hits have to be small, which doesn't preclude much, if anything.
It is that the oft-mentioned "spike in salary cap after the next TV deal" is not in any way guaranteed that is making the smarter teams reluctant to sign long-term, large deals.
A lot of the larger contracts that people are using as comparisons (in judging that current deals are low) were offered and structured with the assumption that the cap would consistently rise in future years. Now that this assumption is risky to unwise, such contracts will be fewer and farther between. Or at minimum, teams will pause and see how things shake out before proceeding as before.
Obviously there are other factors affecting the current FA market as well. Such as the Skins and Boys, notorious market drivers, being effectively sidelined due to their penalties (which the NFLPA signed off on, btw), a rapidly increasing QB market, and maybe even a growing concern over signing older players due to concussion-related risks.