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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Putting Peanut Butter On Salary

The NFL's recent problems concerning player salaries have started to bum me out. In the past, or at least in the last decade or so, when disagreements between the NFL and Player's Association or other troubles occurred, it seems at the last second, things were resolved.

In this particular instance though, that happy ending doesn't seem realistic. I really wish the NFL owners would look through the eyes of the people just once. With changes comes different forms of the game. So far even though the teams could basically operate without a salary cap, several spokesmen have come out and said their teams will operate as though one still exists. I respect this and believe it really could be the right choice when considering the future. Excessive spending now really could come back to bite teams in the backside.

The salary cap in my eyes, binds the league into an ultra-competitive force with beautiful rotations of parody. I have really come to admire and appreciate the roster wizardry of successful organizations like Bill Belichick's Patriots. Staying on top for a while in this kind of system requires basically perfection when it comes to making roster decisions.

Few teams have been considered long-time doormats in the league. Teams that struggle in my opinion generally draft poorly. The draft is setup to allow teams with bad records to increase their success rate by adding top collegiate players. The one hindrance in this system is rookie salaries, specifically in the first round. Coincidentally I think this is really the one change I wouldn't mind taking place.

Yes the first draft class to receive lower salaries will complain but they should realize their contracts are still worthwhile compared to past generations. Also the pressure to perform would be lessened because the financial implications would be lessened. The players can still earn top money if they play consistently through their initial contract. Situations where a player vastly under-performs but has an insane salary such as JaMarcus Russell would be far less likely to occur. Also because the teams will have to invest less money in one top-notch player, they can spread the money around and increase their talent level by adding several players. Thus the top draft choices are less-likely to play for bad teams.

I state my case as a traditionalist who simply appreciates watching football on Sundays in it's current state. The owners need to step up and represent the fans. The NFL has been running on all cylinders in recent years for a reason. Let's keep it that way.


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