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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

NFL CBA

That's Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for those of you who don't know. And it's in the news today because at the NFL Owners Meetings the owners voted 32-0 to end the NFL's CBA after the 2010 season. What does this mean for the NFL and your favorite team?

Well, it depends who you talk to. First, let me explain that i don't believe the Owners or the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) will allow this to expire before getting a new deal in place. That said, it brings up some interesting scenarios that could play out.

This upcoming season, 2008, and next season, 2009, will remain the same. In 2010, if there is indeed no new CBA in place, the season will have no salary cap. Which means watch out for big market teams, such as Dallas, New England, and New York. Gene Upshaw, the man in charge of the NFLPA, has claimed that if there is ever an uncapped season, the players will never again go back to a salary cap.

(On a side note, this vastly affects my favorite team, the Minnesota Vikings, in a number of reasons. First off, they have the best cap man in the league in Rob Brzezinski. They consistently have the most money to spend in the offseason the last few years, which has resulted in their ability to bring in big-time free agents such as Jared Allen. With no cap, Minnesota is considered to be a small-market franchise, and as a result will not have the money to contend with the aforementioned big-market teams.

The Vikings have a terrible stadium situation at the moment, to the point where they are making almost zero money from the Metrodome. After repeated attempts to get a new stadium financed by the people in the state of Minnesota have failed, it appears to be a stale-mate. In a League with no cap, where money is everything, the Vikings will flounder, paving the way for them to look at a move to Los Angeles. They would have a state of the art stadium, plus the luxury of the second largest market in the League with no other NFL team there. Needless to say, i'm a bit apprehensive about this CBA situation.)

But i digress. Looking at the overall impact, after a 2010 season with no salary cap, there is a very high chance that in 2011 the players would strike. I don't know about you, but that would be very, very bad, as the NFL is a) the most popular League in the US, b) The best-run League in the US, and c) My favorite League to watch.

The silver lining in all of this is that, as i stated above, i think it is unlikely the situation ever gets that far. The Owners and the NFLPA have two years to get a new cap in place, where i think there will only be two main sticking points (Revenue sharing between Owners and how big a chunk of the money the Players get. Currently it's more than 50%). That said, it's a situation all NFL fans should be keeping an eye on in the next two years.

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