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phillyesq
02-25-2009, 03:42 PM
New CBA realities take hold in talks
Getting Harrison signed is tricky task
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Steelers and James Harrison want the same thing, to have the NFL defensive player of the year sign a long-term contract. Negotiations have been cordial as the sides try to work out an extension beyond the 2009 season, the linebacker's last under contract.

But more than the usual impediments to getting a deal completed are present -- things such as the give-and-take of negotiations and salary-cap issues. The new concern is one in which every contract across the league must pass muster -- the fresh rules regarding the lack of a collective bargaining agreement beyond 2010.

Because the owners opted out of the CBA, 2010 will be an uncapped year and with it come new regulations. The main ones causing problems for the Steelers and other NFL teams limit contract salaries to increases of 30 percent each year from their base of 2009 and to lengths no longer than five years.

As an example, the $102 million contract Ben Roethlisberger signed last year would not work because it lasts six years and salaries range from $2 million to $14 million. It means that to get a player such as Harrison under contract, the Steelers must give him an extraordinarily large signing bonus or a cap-damaging high base salary this year.

"We're trying to work through some numbers; it's so difficult without this collective bargaining agreement because the rules are much, much, much different," said Bill Parise, Harrison's Pittsburgh agent. "We're trying to accomplish something here and we have a very restrictive environment to work in. ... We're not adversaries; we're trying to work to get this thing resolved."

But the new CBA rules crack back on creative contracts, too. For example, well-crafted incentives for 2009 that might be achieved and pushed into 2010 now go immediately against the team's salary cap if they are reached, which could cause big problems for teams operating close to their cap.

The main problem, though, is the 30 percent rule. For example, if a player earns $1 million in 2009 in a new four-year contract, his salaries for the following years cannot exceed $1.3 million, $1.6 million and $1.9 million. A higher signing bonus can avoid that, but it, too, can be prorated for only five years -- a $10 million five-year contract, for example, would count $2 million a year against the cap.

"It's very hard," Parise said. "We're trying to do stuff and working hard at it. We're going to get it done but have to be really smart guys."
Ed Bouchette can be reached at ebouchette@post-gazette.com.

This sounds positive -- very encouraging. It could just be spin from an agent, but it sounds very encouraging.

Iron Shiek
02-25-2009, 03:58 PM
I'm glad its something like this and not that they are extremely far apart...assuming what we are hearing is the truth.

So that 30% rule is interesting. What is Dan Snyder going to do when he can't go back to Chris Samuels and renegotiate his contract every 6 months to get cap room for other guys. He did it again yesterday. I think he's restructured 3 years in a row...

Oviedo
02-25-2009, 04:02 PM
The expiring CBA couldbe a curse or a blessing. It may screw us up with Harrison and Heath Miller but help us with Lamar Woodley.

MeetJoeGreene
02-25-2009, 04:05 PM
I would assume that this same issue will present itself in any Starks contract as well.

Ozey74
02-25-2009, 04:33 PM
The expiring CBA and no cap confuses me. Would the NFL end up being like baseball where there would be a league full of "haves & have nots"?? Would the contracts be guaranteed like they are in the MLB? Currently, when I think of no cap, I think of MLB and that scares me because I don't want to see the Steelers success diminish since they are in a small market.

What would be the similarities/differences between the NFL/MLB no cap system??


:tt2

Oviedo
02-25-2009, 04:55 PM
The expiring CBA and no cap confuses me. Would the NFL end up being like baseball where there would be a league full of "haves & have nots"?? Would the contracts be guaranteed like they are in the MLB? Currently, when I think of no cap, I think of MLB and that scares me because I don't want to see the Steelers success diminish since they are in a small market.

What would be the similarities/differences between the NFL/MLB no cap system??


:tt2

Not sure of the exact differences but it would very much become a have/have not system with owners who have billions of outside sources of revenue buying FA and traditional ownership like the Rooneys not. A big part of this is how sweet the stadium deals are that the different teams have and how much revenue they can generate that way. This is a big disadvanatge for the Rooneys who are located in a city where every successful business is just a target for taxation by the local polical hacks. Why do you think businesses don't come to Pittsburgh anymore?

RuthlessBurgher
02-25-2009, 04:56 PM
This report sounds worse:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3934229


Issue is over money, not length

By James Walker
ESPN.com

When you pit the reigning Super Bowl champions against the league's defensive MVP in contract negotiations, there are bound to be rough patches.

For the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison, this is one of those times, as the sides remain far apart in negotiations, Harrison's agent, Bill Parise, told ESPN.com Wednesday.

"We're talking and meeting pretty regularly, almost daily, but we're having a difficult time getting to where we need to be," Parise said. "I would say talks are progressing but not necessarily yielding the results that we would expect."

Barring something unforeseen, the Steelers are not expected to have a deal in place with Harrison before the start of free agency on Friday.

Length is not the primary issue. Both sides have discussed a deal in the range of five to six years. But the two sides are far apart monetarily and how it would be distributed over the length of the contract. The uncertainty with the collective bargaining agreement, with talks possibly starting this spring, also is something both sides have to work through.

Harrison, 30, is not due to become a free agent until 2010.

"I think the Steelers are trying to get a deal done, too," Parise said. "It's just right now we're not close."

Harrison, a two-time Pro Bowler, registered 101 tackles, 16 sacks and seven forced fumbles for Pittsburgh last season. He also had the longest interception return in Super Bowl history of 100 yards in the win over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.

James Walker covers the AFC North for ESPN.com.

phillyesq
02-25-2009, 06:00 PM
Hmm... that second article certainly looks much worse.

The thing that confuses me about all of this is why James Harrison bothers with an agent. I would think that the most effective way for him to negotiate a contract would be to sit across the table and glare until he heard a number that he liked. :lol:

ramblinjim
02-25-2009, 06:23 PM
Hmm... that second article certainly looks much worse.

The thing that confuses me about all of this is why James Harrison bothers with an agent. I would think that the most effective way for him to negotiate a contract would be to sit across the table and glare until he heard a number that he liked. :lol:


Yeah, I'm guessing that the James Harrison vs. Omar Khan duel to the death isn't very fair.

RuthlessBurgher
02-25-2009, 07:25 PM
Hmm... that second article certainly looks much worse.

The thing that confuses me about all of this is why James Harrison bothers with an agent. I would think that the most effective way for him to negotiate a contract would be to sit across the table and glare until he heard a number that he liked. :lol:


Yeah, I'm guessing that the James Harrison vs. Omar Khan duel to the death isn't very fair.

Silverback would get a record signing bonus...and Omar's lunch money to boot. :lol:

steelblood
02-25-2009, 08:35 PM
I'm not in a hurry to resign Harrison. If a new collective bargaining agreement gets some headway at the league meeting next week, it might things. Otherwise he can play this year and then we can franchise him for the 2010 season. That gets us to 2011 (he'll be 32 at the start of that season). And, the way he plays, he may losing a step by then.

aggiebones
02-26-2009, 01:57 PM
Wow, my first thought was also of the Redskins. This seems almost written to stop them from randomly trying to dismantle teams. Like when the Jets had a nice season and they ransacked them. It screwed both the Jets and the Skins who have no idea what they are doing. I live in DC and it is funny sportstalk radio in the mornings. I think they could have GM for a day give aways and actually do better.

RuthlessBurgher
02-26-2009, 02:44 PM
Wow, my first thought was also of the Redskins. This seems almost written to stop them from randomly trying to dismantle teams. Like when the Jets had a nice season and they ransacked them. It screwed both the Jets and the Skins who have no idea what they are doing. I live in DC and it is funny sportstalk radio in the mornings. I think they could have GM for a day give aways and actually do better.

Yeah...looks like Danny Boy could give huge money to Haynesworth. Albert will then turn into Dana Stubblefield 2.0 for them.