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Thread: Steelers insider: NFL feeling effects of owners’ labor win

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    Hall of Famer SteelCrazy's Avatar
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    Steelers insider: NFL feeling effects of owners’ labor win

    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/...#ixzz2P7oTjA9X

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    Hall of Famer Mister Pittsburgh's Avatar
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    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.
    @_Hellgrammite

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    Hall of Famer ikestops85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh View Post
    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.
    <a href=http://seahawknationblog.com/files/2011/02/roger-goodell.jpg target=_blank>http://seahawknationblog.com/files/2...er-goodell.jpg</a>

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    Hall of Famer Mister Pittsburgh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ikestops85 View Post
    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.
    @_Hellgrammite

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh View Post
    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.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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    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.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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    Legend papillon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh View Post
    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


    1.15) Ryan Shazier - ILB/OLB
    2.46) Stephon Tuitt - DE
    3.97) Dri Archer - RB
    4.118 ) Martavis Bryant - WR
    5.157) Shaquille Richardson - CB
    6.173) Wesley Johnson - OT
    6.192) Jordan Zumwalt - ILB
    7.215) Daniel McCullers - DT
    7.230) Rob Blanchflower - TE

    "Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll

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    Hall of Famer ikestops85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh View Post
    Oh good. Thanks for setting me straight. I won't question anything they ever do again.
    No problem. I'm happy to help out
    <a href=http://seahawknationblog.com/files/2011/02/roger-goodell.jpg target=_blank>http://seahawknationblog.com/files/2...er-goodell.jpg</a>

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    Quote Originally Posted by ikestops85 View Post
    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?

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    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siggy00 View Post
    This team wasn't founded in 1972.

    How was their "method" during their first 40 YEARS?
    obviously all Art II's fault...

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