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Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz last night [October 2009 thread]

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by robertweathers, Oct 29, 2009.

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  1. robertweathers

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    Not sure how many of you heard the fairly animated exchange b/t/w Felger and Jonathan Kraft last night but I thought it was pretty entertaining. A couple of points that I thought were interesting in terms of ownership's take on player management, etc.

    -Felger argued that the Pats have outstanding talent in the FO and all the financial resources to dominate every single year, but don't spend as much as other teams (like Dallas, NYG) in terms of FAs and locking up top-tier talent like Wilfork, etc. Kraft went down the road of maintaining a balance of having flexibility and running a business that is sustainable through the good years and the bad years.

    -Felger contends that the Pats should have locked up Asante after the 05 season and accused the Pats of being a penny-wise and a pound foolish, Jonathan totally left his guard down and said (paraphrasing), "We made a personnel decision on Asante...I mean...look at his last game with us (SB 42)......" he then stopped short and started to speak in glowing terms of Asante. From an ownership's perspective, I thought that was a really, really interesting window into what he really thinks.

    A noticeable trait that Jonathan has that his father does not is that Jonathan will mix it up, argue a point and battle where as Kraft-Sr. will take the high road and keep the conversation on an even keel.

    From a reliable source, I heard that BB and Jonathan wern't on good terms mid-way to late during the 2002 season. BB felt that he needed to go out and upgrade the talent via FA (IE spend money) and Jonathan challenged Bill and basically held the position of, "You built a SB from street-FAs, why can't you do that now?" . Thankfully, Kraft Sr. stepped in and gave BB the green light to go off and get Colvin, Poole, etc. I had heard that JK really pissed off Parcells to no end when Tuna ran things.

    All in all, I think Jonathan is a bit more of a fiery personality than Kraft Sr. which can rub people the wrong way sometimes. I know people who can vouch for his business acumen and he is as smart as a whip so from a financial standpoint. IMO the team is in great hands when Kraft-Sr decides to take a step back.

    Looking forward to other thoughts from Patriot Nation...
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
  2. BelichickFan

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    I generally agree with that although what you said earlier :


    Has me a little concerned. It's great that Belichick has won with street FA but he obviously can't do that consistently. Hopefully Jonathan has leaned his lesson in this because Belichick will be in a position that he can just walk away any time he wants if ownership becomes too much of a burden. In the end "you are who you are" and hopefully that's not the Jonathan Kraft who will emerge when his dad is no longer around.
  3. Sean Pa Patriot

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    If the case is that JK and BB were at odds on FA... JK can bring up we broke the bank on Adalius Thomas and look what kind of production that led.. I doubt that there was that much tension, because BB prob would have bolted a while back.. ala parcells.. So if there was it was quickly resolved...
  4. robertweathers

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    Another point- from the same source, it was actually Jonathan who lobbied Robert for BB to be hired. Apparantly, Jonathan and BB hit it off very well when he was here in 96.

    In the case of the spending, word on the street was that BB was POs thatthat Jonathan was, in Bills assesement, "telling him to shop at Building 19".
  5. BelichickFan

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    That's fairly well known, Belichick spent a lot of time with Jonathan talking about his thinking on FA, spending money and NFL economics in the new era; in fact Jonathan largely wanted to have Belichick replace Parcells but it was decided they needed a cleaner break from Parcells.
  6. Patjew

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    Jonathan is a very sharp guy in his own right and is very defensive about people thinking that he just rides his dad's coat tails.
  7. maverick4

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    Kraft senior is a rare owner, as good at what he does as Belichick is at coaching.

    His son, Junior Kraft, is a lot more like other owners in the league. Less objective, more emotional, less tactful, and apparently got on the wrong side of both Parcells and Belichick (not a good sign).

    I hope Bob senior lives until he's 150.
  8. upstater1

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    If there's an implication that Jonathan and Robert aren't on the same page, though, it has to be wrong. The head guy is always the politician, but the next in command is the one who is the mouthpiece. If Jonathan said those things to BB, I'm sure BB knew that Robert was thinking them too.

    With a salary cap, I don't understand Felger's argument. Then again, I don't understand NFL finances well, so who knows? I do think owners who look at the NFL as a business are losers--from a fan's eyes. Ralph Wilson made $800 million in 40 years, or 100,000% of his initial money.

    The guy should do something for the fans that support that franchise, like sell to Jim Kelly's guys for $150 million less than the franchise worth of $800 million. Kelly's guys think they can sustain the franchise in Buffalo if the debt ceiling is no more than $650 million minus the cash they want to put down.

    As a fan, I say Wilson should do it, because after capital gains and estate taxes, that $150 million extra will shrink. Is it really worth depriVing Buffalo of a franchise for $60 million when you made that much $$$?
  9. Pats726

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    I heard a bit of that and Felger was going down the path of spending..and being his always smarmy self...Mazz was on the sideline..clueless...BUT Felger was using I believe the US Today numbers calling it cash spent and pushing his point..without listening at all as to what Kraft was saying.
    Frankly, Felger is Tomase with a pretty boy face..and twice as smug..To me he did not listen at all and showed MORE how he really does not undesrtand the facts than anything else..NO surprise to me.
    I think he's rude and about as unlikable as anyone in the media..taking jock sniffing to a new high..as he couldn't organize a pee wee team much less anything close to the NFL.
    What I thought was funny was that after all this hubub Kraft asked Mazz if sometmie they could talk about baseball and the Sox.
  10. robertweathers

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night


    No...no implication. IMO it is ownership's job to question management's spending. Not taking BBs side at all. My guess is that it may have gotten a bit more heated than it should have. maybe the Krafts were all worried after laying out the cash for a new stadium and the team being sub-par that year were a bit on-edge. I wish I knew the actual words or context that triggered their animosity.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
  11. MoLewisrocks

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    Felger got taken under someone's wing back in 2001 because he was perceived as fair to the team amidst a sea of pond scumers... I believe that someone was Jonathan, although BB reportedly gave him the time of day as well. You heard Kraft intimate they'd been through this all before, cash over cap and all. Felger is either a moron or so twisted after he toppled into the abyss following the release of Patriots Reign that he simply refuses to acknowledge simple logic nowadays because it doesn't drive ratings.
  12. PatsWickedPissah

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    Felger is smug. I've heard him brashly tout that he doesn't understand the salary cap and "doesn't care". To me this is inexcusable. Opining about what the franchise should or should not do while willfully ignoring the elephant in the room (the cap) makes anything pretty boy Felgie says along these lines as total rubbish.

    Great Bye week thread 5 stars
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
  13. robertweathers

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    That was funny about the Sox comment.

    It aggrevated me that Felger kept interrupting Jonathan and didn't let him finish this thoughts. God sakes.

    It was funny when Jonathan said, "I'm sure your listeners don't want to hear about all the ins and outs of the salary cap". WRONG!
  14. PatsFanSince74

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    Thoughts above in Bold. Thanks for a very interesting post and thread!
  15. KontradictioN

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    As do I. As do I. Best owner in the NFL.
  16. Pats171

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    JK is not a train wreck like Jerry Jones or Dan Snyder, but he's a little nebbish who's always done what parents and teachers have told him. Not sure he's one to continue to family tradition like the Rooneys have.
  17. patfanken

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    I used to be a fan of Felger, though he sometimes pissed me off with some of his rants. I thought of him as refreshing and a little against the grain. Now that "against the grain" attitude has become the stark shriek of a nail across a blackboard. What is so troubling is his attempt to play the rebel on every subject even when he is confronted with FACTS that belie his position. His refusal to LISTEN to opposing points and continue to argue a point that has already been answered keeps me from listening to his show or respecting what he says. Its almost like D&C all over again, without the right wing politics, but the same bullying personna.

    Too bad.
  18. Deus Irae

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    Felger's of the opinion that the Patriots are trying to keep the actual payroll a lot lower than it appears on the cap, and that the team is looking to spend only about $100 million dollars on player salaries. He's able to pull up some data to make his point seem plausible.

    Kraft and company can deny that all they want, or they can explain it a way in whatever manner suits them, but the actual dollars spent in recent years has not been "to the cap", which is what Felger is calling them out on. I'm not saying that they should be spending each and every dollar up to the cap, because I don't think it's wise to do so every season, but Felger's argument does have at least a grain of truth in it.
  19. NE39

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    Felger's argument that the cap isn't an issue for teams anymore is off-base. The cap hasn't been an issue in recent years because of big growth in the salary cap, but that doesn't mean the cap will keep growing each season.

    Felger would like the Pats to go for broke and try to stock up for the present. Jonathan's argues there is uncertainty right now and that strategy could backfire. If there is a cap next year, then the Pats could be screwed if they acted like there would be no cap. Also, it isn't just about spending money, it is about spending it on the right players. You just don't go spending it because you have it.

    You can say what you want about cash-vs-cap, but the fact is the Pats have not let any cap room go unused. At the end of the year they have carried over any unused room into the following year via the use of the incentive loophole, after incentives are taken into account.

    It isn't like cap room is going unused. Last year 3 teams did that, with the Bills, Bengals and Chiefs letting cap space get lost forever by not carrying it over via the incentive adjustment. The Pats haven't done that. However, they have made concessions to the long-term.

    About the only thing I got out of Felger's blather is that he doesn't know enough to speak on the subject.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
  20. Pats726

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    Arguing about the cap is one thing...but Felger was talking about cash outlay...and again..these are more another view of financial things..the salary cap is what the league uses, but it is NOT cash spent for that year at all...so Felger was using some other view..saying it was low and really not connecting the two..Kraft was arguing that Felger's numbers were I believe "committed cash"...and Felger didn't wish to hear anything, even if that was more in defining certain terms...HE was ramming his viewpoint howver dumb down anyone's throat. I think someone with REAL knowledge of things could have made a monkey out of him and should have, for it was more like a kindergarten student trying to explain things on a high school level and being entirely wrong and rude.
    To be honest..I am not sure what cash spent has to do with anything...some years it will be higher than others and really depends on details of how contracts are..bonuses spread over a number of years and other things...and really more of concern to only a nitpicker who is grasping for straws to attack a team than anything really relevent. If it was about the cap THAT is what the league goes by and thus important...but it was another view of financials.
    Kraft also made a point about efficiency in spending talking about how the Yankees have been spending a lot with little results (until this year..)
    Felger is just looking for an argument and someone paying attention to him. ANd for that reason alone..I listen to him only in small buckets with a Felger rule..turn the station when he is totally wrong about something factually, making a point by stretching the truth to it's false or other remark...THEN I go back to other sports shows. As someone said it is like chalk on a blackboard. After awhile VERY annoying.
    But let's get this in perspective..and take it back to Felger's area...Green Bay. Can one imagine a writer from that area taking on Green Bay management in the 60s when the team was on top and complaining about how bad it was?? How silly would that have been?? That is basically what this cheesehead transplant is doing. He should be looked at in that light..and ONLY in that hypocritical way.
  21. NE39

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    The fact is the Pats have spent all their cap room under the Krafts. They may not have leveraged the future as heavily as they may have, but no cap room went unused. That is a fact which is not disputable.
  22. Deus Irae

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    This is not true. They have deliberately manipulated the cap to push money into later years. That's not spending all the cap room. I'm not complaining about the maneuver, but it does need to be pointed out in response to posts such as yours. The Patriots have used gimmicks like the LBTE to play games with the so-called hard cap.

    Look, Felger overlooks the notion that big numbers in actual salary paid out in one year due to bonuses and the like can mean much smaller actual salary payouts in other seasons. Having said that, his point about what the Patriots have actually spent in the past couple of years does have some merit when one takes a cursory look. I don't view it as a problem, because I don't think that a lack of spent cash is the reason that the Patriots lost the Super Bowl in 2007 or failed to make a run at it in 2008, but actual outlay vs. cap number differences is what happens when you play games, and pay players, with a 'hard' cap that can be circumvented by pro-rated bonuses, LBTEs and the like.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
  23. Pats726

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    Felger is in no position to be commenting on that really. The league goes by the cap THOSE are the numbers that the league go by..now he's trying to be a business authority. THAt is stretching it far far too much. His kowledge is poor and taking an article in teh US today and running with it like it's gold is silly. Yes he pulled up some data..but that is like taking numbers from a financial and not knowing all else about those numbers. He would not even let Kraft explain what those numbers were! That is not only rude, but shows how little Felger REALLY wanted to know..He had those numbers and he was going to shove them down Kraft's throat even though he really could NEVER explain them. Take the numbers and
    run..forget about the explanation.
    Numbers are always lower than the cap..I think all know they are not related. Felger is really trying to tell the Kraft's HOW to run their business...and really, THAT is out of line, especially when Felger KNOWS NOTHING about it. What is infuriating is that it wasn't even a REAL discusssion where there was knowledge gained..as Felger was cutting him off left and right. THAT I found totally offensive. Hey if you want to learn what numbers are, why they are what they are, what is included and why on a blanace sheet then STFU!!! I would enjoy learning about teh financials of a team, but THAT was not what Felger was about..it was about taking numbers that he doesn't understand and hitting him over the head with it.
    Frankly, I think all fans should call Felger out on everything he says..as I said Tomase with a pretty boy face. Felger has no argument at all..and when he continually cuts one off for explaining when he knows nothing and shows no interest in REALLY undesrtanding.
    I would like to understand how financials and the cap number relate and how, why there are differences..and other real in depth economics of a football team..I THINK that discussion would be quite interesting. But Fleger's lame attempt is HARDLY anything close to that.
  24. robertweathers

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    This is what Felger doesn't get or doesn't want to understand.

    The NFL?s Smartest Business Team | BNET

    For any of use who are managers, directors, VPs, etc, force ranking your employees is what you do. It's what you do when thinking about come budget time, when promoting, firing or laying people off.

    The Pats follow this corporate philosophy to a "T" and never deviate from it.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
  25. Pats726

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    Thanks...a great article..I think with Felger it's the latter...a REAl discussion on the economics of a football team would be boring to many..but to some who wish to undesrtand how it all is put together with the cap and other financials REALLY interesting from many view points. I now myself, I would never venture into commenting on that because I don't understand the details. Felger wishes NOT to understand, but rather throw a grenade and then filibuster and cut off, afraid to really have anyone explain anything. How cowardly is that?
  26. Deus Irae

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    Nothing there precludes the team from spending more in actual dollars if it so chooses. In fact, the claim of a 'maximized' revenue stream gives more credence to Felger's assertion that the team should be spending more money. A more effective rebuttal would be to point out the debt service on the stadium, as one example, rather than pointing out how good the team is about bringing in money to fill its pockets above and beyond the salary cap.
  27. robertweathers

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    There is no way on gods green earth that the Krafts would ever come out and say, "We can't afford to pay X." Not when the team just shelled out $350m for Patriot Place and in 2008, the team had a $39.2 million in operating income on revenues of $282 million last year.

    JK said the right thing. He talked about cap and said cash outlay was a by-product of contract structure. As an example, the Pats like to spread out bonus payments- see Brady's deal at the end of 06. They like to conserve cash and only dole it out when it's absolutely necessary.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
  28. NE39

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    It absolutely is true that they have spent all their cap room. Each year is not an individual entity, over the long haul all cap room is spent. If not, where did it go? The cap is a finite number each year. You can spend over it some years and under it in others, but in the long haul it comes out even as long as you carry over it isn't lost. That is an undeniable fact.

    You can use signing bonus and guarantees to spend future earnings in the present (like a credit card) or save some for the future. As long as you don't let it expire, you are spending it all. The Patriots haven't, so they have been spending to the cap every year.

    No cap room is lost if not used, it is carried over. There is no "trick" to that. That is a decision on how to manage it. Given their record of winning over the long-term, I would argue they are managing it well.
  29. TruthSeeker

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    That's rather ridiculous since, except for the minor vet exclusion (which leads to actual cash spending greater than the cap), all cash paid to players in the form of salary/bonus/whatever counts against cap and the cap only covers player salary/bonus/whatever. In other words, it's essentially a 1 for 1 deal. If you pay it to the players, it counts against the cap. If you don't, it doesn't. It's silly and wrong to argue otherwise when the cap rules are pretty straigtforward in this regard. (Imagine, Felger being silly and wrong. :eek: )

    Of course, you can make any (next to useless) argument you want about an individual year. That's clearly what Felger must have done. It's also next to irrelevant from my point of view and very irrelevant from a long-term perspective. It's well known that the Patriots use 99% of their cap space every year which always, ultimately, translates into dollars into players pockets.



    It has no grain of truth over the long-term. It does have a grain of (useless) truth over the short-term which should quickly devolve into the real question of what is the best way to spend cap dollars over time as opposed to whether or not the Patriots do spend the actual dollars (which is the errorneous point Felger was apparently pushing and which he has pushed in the past).
  30. NE39

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    Re: Jonathan Kraft On Felger and Mazz Last Night

    The cap is the same for all teams. You can spend more actual dollars, but what you are doing is spending future cap money. At some point, that will have to be accounted for.

    If you spend like crazy now, you are hoping for one of two things:

    1) The cap will continue to rise indefinitely by a large amount
    2) The cap will disappear

    However, there is no certainty either of those will happen.
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