What does Uncapped really mean for next year draft?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by carolinatony, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. carolinatony

    carolinatony In the Starting Line-Up

    I have not followed this and not sure what it means.
    Is the players contract up and the Jerrry Jones want to pay rookies whatever they want squeezing out the smaller markers teams?
    I image the Players are all for it.

    Somehow it doesn't seem right that a unproven rookie who may be out of the league in 3/4 yrs can make more than all-pro player under contract.
  2. The Intimidator

    The Intimidator On the Game Day Roster

    If a new CBA isn't in place and 2010 is uncapped, the 2010 draft class will be extremely deep due to the fact that the new CBA will likely have a rookie salary cap. Many underclassmen will most likely enter the 2010 draft in hopes of landing decent sized contracts.
  3. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #3 Jersey

    But that's the thing: the only picks that are going to be seriously affected are the top 20 or so picks, if even that.

    I can't see them making drastic cuts to the second- or third-round picks, and the net result of so many players coming out would be that players that might normally go in the second round won't go until the third or fourth, which would negate (at best) the point of coming out anyways. . . .
  4. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #3 Jersey

    Actually, you've got it backwards:

    The owners (A) feel they gave up too much to the players, and (B) have issues with the revenue-sharing agreements amongst themselves.

    The players realize that an uncapped year is not a panacea: most importantly, without a salary cap, there's also no salary floor, either. Plus they may lose a lot of the benefits they've gotten in the past (e.g., pension contributions).
  5. BillBelichickFan79

    BillBelichickFan79 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    If we don't address getting a premiere pass rusher through the draft, it means we can hopefully throw as much money as we want at a Peppers or Merriman. I would love to add either Peppers or Merriman, but I highly doubt BB is going to want to pay top dollar for either of those guys after seeing the AD contract sort of backfire on him. Other teams are much more likely to throw big contracts at those guys IMO.
  6. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    This is a very complicated issue. Let me take a pass at it.

    Labor Law, Unions, and Collective Bargaining Agreements

    The NFL currently operates as a virtual monopoly on professional football in the U.S. It would normally be subject to extremely stringent U.S. antitrust laws, but is exempt because it is protected by a labor contract agreed to by the NFL Player's Association. The government essentially allows the NFL to run a monopoly so long as it benefits the players as well as the owners. As such, this agreement is subject to federal labor law regulations. These regulations came out of late 19th/early 20th century industrial disputes between corporations and workers and are embodied in U.S. labor law, particularly the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. Because the U.S. government does not want to micromanage private industries, as long as their is a valid agreement between the employer (the NFL and the franchises) and the workers (the players and the NFLPA) all is well. However, given the history of U.S. labor law, the fact that the NFL has a virtual monopoly on professional football, and the visibility of the sport, this is a touchy subject and one that will get intense government scrutiny if things get acrimonius.

    The NFL and the CBA

    The NFL has traditionally been dominated by strong owners and weak player repesentation. Prior to 1956 there was no NFL Player's Association (NFLPA) representing the players, and it wasn't until 1968 that the NFLPA won recognition from the owner's and the first Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was put into place. A CBA is the standard tool under labor law spelling out the agreements between an employer or group of employers in an industry and one or more worker's unions, regulating things such as pay, benefits, hours, representation, right to strike, etc.

    In 1982 the NFLPA striked for 57 days over the percentage of gross revenues that would be allocated to the players. That strike resulted in the 1982 season being reduced to 9 games. Another strike in 1987 led to the brief use of replacement players by the NFL, the dissolution of the NFLPA as a union and of the CBA, and an antitrust suit filed against the NFL. That litigation was eventually settled in 1993 with an agreement that permitted free agency, and the NFLPA was re-constituted as a union. The 1993 agreement has been extended 5 times, most recently in 1996 when it was extended through 2011.

    The Owner's Decision to Opt Out

    In May 2008 the NFL owner's opted 32-0 not to renew the current CBA, believing that it was not working adequately. At the crux of this decision was the belief that the agreement under the old CBA to allocate 60% of all NFL gross revenues to player salaries was not economically equitable.

    Unless a new CBA is put into place, after the 2010 season ends (February 2011) there will essentially be no labor agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA. That could result in a strike, cancellation of the season, antitrust suits, and other such measures.

    What This Means for 2010 and the Draft

    The current CBA covers rules for salaries, free agency and the draft, including things such as the salary cap, how one qualifies as a free agent, the franchise and transition tags, and the NFL draft. The CBA also included provisions for a transitional period if it should not be extended, which change some of those rules in anticipation of a period of uncertainty before a new CBA is put into place.

    If no new CBA is agreed upon before the current season expires in February, then free agency will be governed by those transitional rules, and there will be no actual salary cap. If a new CBA is agreed upon, it will presumably have explicit rules addressing free agency, and probably some kind of cap or similar structure.

    What this means is that the rules we are used to won't necessarily hold. Specifically, it may take longer to qualify for free agency, and for restricted vs. unrestricted free agency. For example, under the old rules Logan Mankins would be a UFA in Febuary 2010 when his 5 year contract expires; under the transition rules he would only be an RFA, because 6 years rather than 5 would be required to qualify for UFA status.

    This means that the number of truly available FAs may be significantly reduced if no new CBA is put into place by February 2010. The transitional rules also have some limitations on signing external FAs, particularly rules that prohibit the top 8 playoff teams from signing external FAs other than to "replace" FAs that they lose. This would prohibit the Pats, for example, from simply going out and signing someone like Julius Peppers if he became a FA, unless the Pats lost a similar caliber player (such as Vince Wilfork). I don't understand much about these rules, but as I understand it their purpose was to promote stability in the transition period until a new CBA was reached, and prevent certain teams from simply spending uncontrollably and being able to do the kind of things that the New York Yankees have done in baseball.

    The other major implication is the prediction that a new CBA will include a rookie salary scale (such as that used by the NBA), so that unproven rookies drafted at the top of the draft won't be making more than established veterans, and so that teams drafting at the top of the draft won't be essentially penalized by the huge salaries they have to pay to unproven players. Because of this likelihood, it is anticipated that a huge number of eligible juniors may declare for the draft in 2010, rather than wait for 2011 when they may get lesser salaries under a salary scale.

    The general feeling for a long time has been that we won't have a CBA in place by the time the 2009 season ends, and that we will be operating under transitional rules. A lot of teams (including the Pats) have been operating under this assumption. This affects things such as the need to re-sign players who may be eligible for free agency, and a lot of other areas.

    Hope that covers it. That's a brief overview, and it's much more complicated than that.
  7. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

  8. capetide

    capetide Practice Squad Player

    So you'd throw all that money for 2 name players who are having subpar/inconsistent years?
  9. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #3 Jersey

    Thanks, Mayo. A couple of points worth noting, though:

    Actually, that's not quite correct: the owners decided to end the CBA prematurely. (The players, BTW, also had the right to do so if they so chose.)

    Or lockout.

    That said, if things get that far, I doubt a lockout or strike won't happen right away, as whichever side takes action first will probably lose the PR war (striking millionaires/a lockout by billionaires).

    As I noted above, though, this seems nonsensical. The more players leave early, the less any of them (except for the top few) are likely to make. The rookie wage scale isn't needed or particularly useful beyond, at most, pick 50 or so; all the gripes are about the first few picks in the draft.

    Also, the CBA mandates a draft in the calendar year that it expires (in this case 2011).
  10. BillBelichickFan79

    BillBelichickFan79 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    If you want the reward you have to be willing to take the risk. Both Peppers and Merriman are elite talents. I think Merriman is eventually going to get back to close to what he was before, but others may not feel that way.

    Peppers on the other hand, how is he having a subpar year? He had like 7 sacks in the first 8 games. He reportedly broke his hand but refused to admit it and continued to play through it. When I was at the Jets game, he wasn't playing as much on defense due to the hand problem, but last week he wasn't on the injury report and had a sack vs Tampa. He has 8.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and 1 INT which was a pick 6, while playing a few games with a broken hand. That doesn't seem too subpar to me.

    Look at the Adalius Thomas signing. He was coming off the best year of his career, having double digit sacks for the first time ever. He was considered one of the top free agents of the 2007 pool, and everyone was ecstatic that we signed him. Looking back on the signing now, everything pointed to him coming in and being a beast for us, but he just hasn't lived up to what he thought he would be.
  11. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    I agree with all that you have you have said other than the assumption that there will be no new CBA. I think that, as almost always, the players will blink.

    Waiting a year to negoatiate a new agreement will hurt the players alot and the rich powerful opwners not at all. Of course the owners of the revenue-poor teams and their players will be hurt most of all. In 2010, it is unlikely that these teams will not be meeting the team minimums in place for 2009.

    So, lots of players will not get their UFA status and lots others will get less money. And sure, there will be a couple of owners who burn cash because there is no cap. More likely teams will ditch veteran players with big contracts and have no cap consequence (guys like AD).

    In the end, there will be a new CBA agreement. The question is whether that will happen before the 2010 season, or whether the 2010 season will be played under the transitional rules of the current contract. People seem to believe that the CBA contract is over after this year. It isn't. The no-cap clause is a provision of the current contract.

  12. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Thanks for the corrections.
  13. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    I didn't mean to imply that I think there will not be a new CBA. But I think that from everything I hear both sides are in no rush at the moment, and it is very unlikely that a new CBA will be agreed on in time for the 2010 year, so we will play under the transitional rules of the current contract. Like you, I think the likelihood is that the players will blink first and that a new CBA will be put in place for 2011.
  14. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    I must say that I am rooting for an uncapped year.
    Wilfork would be franchised if we couldn't sign him.
    We would pay the RFA's enough to keep them for a year.
    We would of course keep our ERFA's.
    AD and Burgess would be dumped with no adverse cap or financial consequence.
  15. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #3 Jersey

    Burgess is only signed for this year, so it doesn't make a difference. Being able to dump Thomas' albatross, though, is huge.
  16. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #3 Jersey

    I'm not convinced that the NFLPA will "fold" that way, since, after all, the NFL is going to be asking them to make concessions (presumably, a rookie wage scale, and a lower percentage of the revenue pie), so they should be able to get quite a bit (perhaps the franchise tag might go the way of the dodo, or its draft-pick value might be lowered).

    Also don't forget that the owners have to agree on revenue-sharing procedures. That nearly derailed the last CBA, and that's why I doubt there's going to be a new CBA in time to keep 2010 from being uncapped.
  17. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    I feel like we're talking at cross purposes.

    Under labor law, there has to be a new CBA at some point, or else more extreme measures will be taken - a lockout, antitrust litigation, etc. There will be a new CBA - the question is when.

    As I said before, and as you say, I very much doubt that there will be a new CBA in time to keep 2010 from being uncapped. That's not essential at this point, and I think the issues are way too big to be resolved in the next 2 months. I think an uncapped year for 2010 is pretty much a given at this time. I think 2011 is up in the air right now, but I expect that neither side wants it to get to a lockout, or worse.
  18. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #3 Jersey

    Yeah, I think we agree on all the key points (no new CBA in 2010, very high likelihood of a new CBA in 2011, b/c neither side really wants a strike/lockout).

    BTW—what's the deadline for juniors to withdraw from the draft (if they don't hire an agent)?
  19. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    I don't know the precise date, but in the past there's been something like a 72 hour "grace period" after the January 15 deadline to declare for juniors who had declared to withdraw. Hiring an agent wouldn't affect this window, but it would make them inelibible to play under NCAA rules, so presumably they wouldn't withdraw if they've already burned that bridge.
  20. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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