If the rumored Peppers to Pats deal is true, there are fines subtle points that should be made. The deal pretty clearly can't be a sign-the-tender, trade, and new deal signing. That would require the Pats to have $17 million in cap space, except for the one day exception, that would nullify that restriction. There is another fine point however. The Pats would MUCH RATHER have the deal consist of a draft(s) picks, for "future considerations" and Carolina withdrawing the tender. And to INCLUDE a direct cut of Peppers. Where upon the Pats announce a signed offer sheet is in existence for Peppers as a waived/cut player. Why? Because, if 2010 is an Uncapped year, the Pats would be unable, as a probable playoff team, to sign a FA without losing a player first. That might make the loss of a Seymour, a Wilfork or a Mankins, almost mandatory, as a playoff team would be unable to sign a FA until they had lost as many FAs equal to anyone singed in 2009 or 2010 that qualifies as a FA signing, from another team. They can resign as many of their own FA as they wish, after that restriction is recognized for signing other team's FA players. So far there are ZERO in that category. I expect the Pats will be minimally active in FA ,other than for their own in 2010. Instead, the Pats appear to be carefully signing only players who carry no FA signing restriction with them. IOW, they wait until the players, Galloway, Springs, Bodden, Johnson, Baker, Taylor, etc, have been cut or waived, depending on the player's years of service, to be certain that they will incur no penalty in 2010 free agency. In reviewing their actions I think that this is NOT an accident. The Pats appear to be clearly deciding and acting as if 2010 will be an Uncapped year. They have not re-signed their stars. They appear to be prepared to wait until 2010. Then will offer their primary stars a typical deal in 2010, but the amortizable/depreciable "Signing Bonus" term in their new contracts will be converted to the term "Option Bonus" or "Roster Bonus" and thereby apply all in 2010 accounting-wise. So that the CAP consequences in future years is minimal to non-existent when/if a new CBA is signed. They will be unconstrained from using their three tags in 2010 if needed; nor prevented from signing their own FA players; nor constrained by a limited CAP to sign all their good stars. The Pats would not have to chose between them, they could sign them all. For the players, they get the same money up front, but it is just called something different. There are just more players participating in their individual good fortunes. The Peppers deal should be structured no different. It doesn't change a thing, except paper wise, but it might be worthwhile enough for the Pats, for them to sweeten the pot to Carolina, (extra pick?), for doing it that way.