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SteelCrazy
03-31-2013, 11:17 AM
Penny wise and football foolish?

Two years since the NFL was in labor limbo, shut down by an impasse that ended just in time to send teams to training camp, the economic landscape of the game is becoming apparent. The owners look to be winning, and big, and a number of quality, proven players are losing — money off their contracts, years off their careers.

For sure, franchise-type quarterbacks — Joe Flacco and Tony Romo recently, Aaron Rodgers soon to come — are getting paid more than ever. Former Steelers receiver Mike Wallace landed a $60 million deal with the Dolphins. But with the salary cap stuck at about $123 million and not likely to rise soon, it's creating a trickle-down effect on players with years of meritorious service who are signing contracts they wouldn't have considered two years ago or aren't signing at all.

Only a year after the Bills locked up pass rusher Mario Williams with a $100 million contract that guarantees him $50 million, no non-quarterback is landing a deal anywhere near that.

Just look at the players available: James Harrison, Dwight Freeney, Karlos Dansby, Andre Smith, John Abraham, Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Lloyd, Bryant McKinney, Richard Seymour, Nnamdi Asomugha. With so many teams struggling to find cap space, some quality players — Steelers receiver Plaxico Burress, for one — will play for the league minimum next season, and some are happy to get that.

Steven Jackson, a nine-time 1,000-yard rusher, landed only a $12 million deal with $4 million guaranteed from Atlanta; in recent years, he would have received that in a signing bonus alone. Wes Welker jumped from the Patriots to the Broncos — or perhaps was pushed — for $12 million over two years.

Owners such as the Rooneys will say everyone won in the 2010 labor talks, the first conducted by NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith, who replaced the late Gene Upshaw. If the NFL is healthy economically, they'll say, then everyone in the league is healthy.

Ralph Cindrich, the Pittsburgh-based sports agent and former NFL linebacker, disagrees with such talk. He blames the inflexible salary cap and one-sided labor agreement for creating unfavorable conditions that he believes will adversely affect the quality of the game, as teams are forced to constantly rebuild from season to season — shedding veteran players along the way — merely to stay below the cap.

As a result, multiple teams have a few, high-priced players who command premium cap space but a ton of minimum-wage players at the bottom.

“The cap is just horrendous, and it's not going to get any better, and there's no question in my mind it affects the quality of the game. It's a direct result of the owners' win at the bargaining table,” Cindrich said. “It was very apparent and obvious right at the that time (that the owners won), and it will become more pronounced, more obvious.”

Cindrich added, “Every owner is tight with a buck, but they just gave the commissioner (Roger Goodell) a $20 million raise. That (2010 labor agreement) was a home run, and they all view it as a home run. They listened to the hawks this time around, (the Cowboys') Jerry Jones and (the Patriots') Robert Kraft; they did a great service to their fellow owners.”

But, as least in Cindrich's opinion, a disservice to the sport.

“The quality of the game has gone down, in my opinion, and with the rule changes (designed to make the game safer) you're going into ground you don't know,” Cindrich said. “It's like you're so strong now, you think you're impervious to everything, but Rome started falling in a short period of time.”

SALARY CAP HELP

With cap specialists so prized by the teams, the Steelers recently added a second in Samir Suleiman, a former James Madison receiver who spent nine years with the Rams, most recently as director of football operations.

His title with the Steelers is football administration coordinator, a role that will allow him to assist director of football and business administration Omar Khan with salary cap management.

Khan has interviewed for multiple NFL general managers' jobs, so having Suleiman will help protect the Steelers should Khan leave.

A LOOK AHEAD

The Steelers' offseason program will begin April 15 and include organized team activities from May 21-23, May 28-30 and June 3-6, plus a three-day minicamp June 11-13. The players will be off after that until the start of training camp.

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/3731628-74/cap-million-nfl#ixzz2P7oTjA9X

Mister Pittsburgh
03-31-2013, 11:33 AM
A key to consistent winning will be getting players producing very early in there careers and not sitting for three years prior to playing, performing well in their fourth year, then demanding a big contract after that one year.

ikestops85
04-01-2013, 03:37 PM
A key to consistent winning will be getting players producing very early in there careers and not sitting for three years prior to playing, performing well in their fourth year, then demanding a big contract after that one year.

Interesting that you said that since I think the Steelers have had the best record in the NFL since 1972 onward. I would call that consistent winning and proof that whatever method they use works.

Mister Pittsburgh
04-01-2013, 04:16 PM
Interesting that you said that since I think the Steelers have had the best record in the NFL since 1972 onward. I would call that consistent winning and proof that whatever method they use works.

Oh good. Thanks for setting me straight. I won't question anything they ever do again.

Oviedo
04-01-2013, 04:21 PM
A key to consistent winning will be getting players producing very early in there careers and not sitting for three years prior to playing, performing well in their fourth year, then demanding a big contract after that one year.

Amen. Until we fix that we will have cap problems. I've been saying that for years.

You have to be structured to enbale players to come in as rookies and be comfortable with where you play them and what you have them doing so you can get them on the field. I'm not saying they have to be starters but they need significant time on the field so you can evaluate what you have and what you don't have instead of waiting two years while they learn an unnecessarily complex system. That is the only way the cap will work when you have a few players who are consuming 60-70% of the cap.

Oviedo
04-01-2013, 04:26 PM
Only the most delirious pro-union fan ever thought for a minute that the owners weren't going to win. That is why they are owners.

As I said back during all the BS that was going on it was only about the clown DeMaurice Smith trying to establish his labor leader rep. He accomlished nothing and IMO probably cost the players because of trying to play hardball.

papillon
04-01-2013, 05:56 PM
A key to consistent winning will be getting players producing very early in there careers and not sitting for three years prior to playing, performing well in their fourth year, then demanding a big contract after that one year.

And that's why the quality of play will begin to decline like Cindrich alluded to. Players big payday will be their initial contract and not their second or their second may be the biggest, but it won't be nearly as big as they are now. Players will retire earlier and I guess that's a good thing, because we all know how much roger Goodell is worried about their health. Right?

Pappy

ikestops85
04-01-2013, 06:15 PM
Oh good. Thanks for setting me straight. I won't question anything they ever do again.

No problem. I'm happy to help out :rolleyes:

Siggy00
04-01-2013, 07:31 PM
Interesting that you said that since I think the Steelers have had the best record in the NFL since 1972 onward. I would call that consistent winning and proof that whatever method they use works.

This team wasn't founded in 1972.

How was their "method" during their first 40 YEARS?

hawaiiansteel
04-01-2013, 07:43 PM
This team wasn't founded in 1972.

How was their "method" during their first 40 YEARS?

obviously all Art II's fault...

Siggy00
04-01-2013, 07:46 PM
obviously all Art II's fault...

No, because he wasn't born until 1952 and the team began play in 1933.

Way to avoid the point though.

Still won't change the facts.

hawaiiansteel
04-01-2013, 07:48 PM
No, because he wasn't born until 1952 and the team began play in 1933.

Way to avoid the point though.

Still won't change the facts.

that little detail shouldn't stop you from blaming our two-bit meddlesome owner...

Siggy00
04-01-2013, 07:51 PM
that little detail shouldn't stop you from blaming our two-bit meddlesome owner...

Yep. And when Tomlin gets fed up and walks because of him? Maybe you'll realize how bad it really is.

Art already cost them one season. What he should have done after it was publicly apologize in the press to his HOF quarterback.

The same way he insulted him after 2011.

Mister Pittsburgh
04-01-2013, 08:05 PM
And that's why the quality of play will begin to decline like Cindrich alluded to. Players big payday will be their initial contract and not their second or their second may be the biggest, but it won't be nearly as big as they are now. Players will retire earlier and I guess that's a good thing, because we all know how much roger Goodell is worried about their health. Right?

Pappy

Not true at all. Just need to implement a defensive system where players can succeed simply by winning one on one battles rather than relying on trickery. Also, offensive players start year one all the time, even for us. Load up the offense if you have a top 5 QB. Give him a steady OL that doesn't fall apart every season within 4 games due to injury and a RB that isn't out of shape and requesting to come off the field every other play, or one that isn't a walking injury.

NorthCoast
04-01-2013, 09:30 PM
Cindrich is wrong. Easy to complain about the system today, but the bottom line is no one is offering a reasonable alternative to the team salary cap. How do you propose you prevent the haves and have nots without such an arrangement? To me, the cap is the best solution because it offers teams the ultimate in flexibility to sign players based on their needs and systems. If a team chooses not to sign a $100M QB, they have flexibility to sign a $65M CB and a $35M LB for example. So no system is perfect, but the cap is actually useful in keeping teams as equal as possible from a financial standpoint.

Oviedo
04-02-2013, 07:55 AM
Not true at all. Just need to implement a defensive system where players can succeed simply by winning one on one battles rather than relying on trickery. Also, offensive players start year one all the time, even for us. Load up the offense if you have a top 5 QB. Give him a steady OL that doesn't fall apart every season within 4 games due to injury and a RB that isn't out of shape and requesting to come off the field every other play, or one that isn't a walking injury.

I completely agree with what you said on both sides of the ball. The only people we fool anymore with our defensive "trickery" is ourselves as our decreasing sacks and INTs clearly show.

Oviedo
04-02-2013, 07:57 AM
Cindrich is wrong. Easy to complain about the system today, but the bottom line is no one is offering a reasonable alternative to the team salary cap. How do you propose you prevent the haves and have nots without such an arrangement? To me, the cap is the best solution because it offers teams the ultimate in flexibility to sign players based on their needs and systems. If a team chooses not to sign a $100M QB, they have flexibility to sign a $65M CB and a $35M LB for example. So no system is perfect, but the cap is actually useful in keeping teams as equal as possible from a financial standpoint.

I agree, but I would modify the salary cap to allow one "veteran exemption" where you can exempt all or part of the salary of a player who has been on the roster for 5 years from the cap. The reality is that teams with a franchise QB are effectively punished at a disprpotionate level because of the salary of these players.

Ghost
04-02-2013, 09:33 AM
Cindrich is wrong. Easy to complain about the system today, but the bottom line is no one is offering a reasonable alternative to the team salary cap. How do you propose you prevent the haves and have nots without such an arrangement? To me, the cap is the best solution because it offers teams the ultimate in flexibility to sign players based on their needs and systems. If a team chooses not to sign a $100M QB, they have flexibility to sign a $65M CB and a $35M LB for example. So no system is perfect, but the cap is actually useful in keeping teams as equal as possible from a financial standpoint.

Cindrich is in no way stating there should not be a salary cap. What he's saying is the cap isn't raising as it should to be in line with the ever increasing revenues. He's saying players are getting squeezed out because the cap is stagnate.

The NFL revenues have gone from $8.5 Billion in 2009 to $9.7 Billion in 2012 and with new TV deals coming in 2104, that number will only continue to rise. But the cap is not getting any real benefit from this increase.
Cap:
2009 - $123M
2010 - uncapped (working out CB deal - Dallas and Washington lost many millions for being shady with front loaded deals this season)
2011 - $120.3
2012 - $120.6
2013 - $123.9

There's no reason the cap couldn't be $130 this year. Or even $135. Teams are cutting veterans based on a cap that's not raising as it should. There's PLENTY of $$ for everyone.

Mister Pittsburgh
04-02-2013, 10:55 AM
don't the players get a percentage of the revenue, not a set number? If so, how can the cap remain stagnant? Is the league revenue stagnant?

Oviedo
04-02-2013, 11:29 AM
Cindrich is in no way stating there should not be a salary cap. What he's saying is the cap isn't raising as it should to be in line with the ever increasing revenues. He's saying players are getting squeezed out because the cap is stagnate.

The NFL revenues have gone from $8.5 Billion in 2009 to $9.7 Billion in 2012 and with new TV deals coming in 2104, that number will only continue to rise. But the cap is not getting any real benefit from this increase.
Cap:
2009 - $123M
2010 - uncapped (working out CB deal - Dallas and Washington lost many millions for being shady with front loaded deals this season)
2011 - $120.3
2012 - $120.6
2013 - $123.9

There's no reason the cap couldn't be $130 this year. Or even $135. Teams are cutting veterans based on a cap that's not raising as it should. There's PLENTY of $$ for everyone.

The new and increased TV revenue doesn't kick in until 2014. So from a TV revenue perspective revenue is flat. Plus the owners are surely building their war chest of funds to deal with ex-players making their money grab over injuries and concussions that they were seemingly totally unaware could happen playing football.

feltdizz
04-02-2013, 11:58 AM
I agree, but I would modify the salary cap to allow one "veteran exemption" where you can exempt all or part of the salary of a player who has been on the roster for 5 years from the cap. The reality is that teams with a franchise QB are effectively punished at a disprpotionate level because of the salary of these players.

Teams aren't punished for having a franchise QB...... LOL.

NorthCoast
04-02-2013, 08:17 PM
Cindrich is in no way stating there should not be a salary cap. What he's saying is the cap isn't raising as it should to be in line with the ever increasing revenues. He's saying players are getting squeezed out because the cap is stagnate.

The NFL revenues have gone from $8.5 Billion in 2009 to $9.7 Billion in 2012 and with new TV deals coming in 2104, that number will only continue to rise. But the cap is not getting any real benefit from this increase.
Cap:
2009 - $123M
2010 - uncapped (working out CB deal - Dallas and Washington lost many millions for being shady with front loaded deals this season)
2011 - $120.3
2012 - $120.6
2013 - $123.9

There's no reason the cap couldn't be $130 this year. Or even $135. Teams are cutting veterans based on a cap that's not raising as it should. There's PLENTY of $$ for everyone.

Maybe true, but the NFL isn't some isolated, monopolistic, hoarder. This is no different than many Fortune 100 companies that are overflowing with cash while employees are barely staying even with inflation. Is it right? maybe not, but the oft heard cliche 'the door is always open for exit' applies equally in the NFL as it does elsewhere.
I actually believe the massive lawsuits the NFL is dealing with has been weighing on their business decisions. They could potentially be paying out $100Ms for players that are not even playing the game today! If I owned a business, I certainly would be worried.