There has been much talk recently of an uncapped year for the NFL in the 2010 season. This means there will probably no salary cap during the 2010 season. The salary cap helps set up parity by having a similar payroll for each NFL team. This prevents a team from pulling a New York Yankees type of deal and buying (or trying to) a championship.
Due to the collective bargaining agreement there is both free agency and a salary cap. The agreement is about to end and needs to be renegotiated. It is very possible that there will be a strike by NFL players in 2011, or maybe a force out (less likely) by NFL owners.
Let’s examine why the players and NFL owners should do everything possible to avoid a work stoppage. First the economy probably will be worse in 2011 and not many fans will be willing to pay the high ticket prices for pro football games anyway. If the perception of the fans is a bunch of greedy rich men are holding out, the game will suffer.
In today’s society there are too many things for people to do for amusement. The NFL could very well lose many casual fans like Baseball did after their strikes. Now your hard core pro football fan will (like me) will always watch the game. Right now the NFL is the big dog in sports in the United States, and can’t let a strike change that.
But I digress, so now we go back to the ramifications of an uncapped year in the National Football League. Some rich owners will probably try to buy a super team in an uncapped year. The Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys come to mind, but remember this, the Seahawks may have some cash to play with as well. Their owner Paul Allen has more money than most if not all NFL team owners.
However there will also be no bottom to the NFL salary cap. Right now there is both a maximum and minimum salary number. Notoriously cheap teams like the Cincinnati Bengals may field a team of scabs to save money. Small market teams like the Jaguars may also get their payroll way down as well.
The NFL may put a stop to teams stockpiling superstar players during the uncapped year in 2010. According to this USA Today article the top 8 playoff teams would only be able to add free agents as they lose one. Click the link above to that article to see the other things put in place to prevent teams from loading up on talent.
Teams like the Redskins and Cowboys will find a way to get the talent they want in an uncapped season. And the elite NFL free agents will cash in, but the middle to lower players will be making league minimum in many cases.