1Chris OstrowSports Business JournalAuthor Liz Mullen Uncapped Year in the NFL The NFL Free Agent market is approaching its deadline of March 5, 2010. At this time ifno deal is in place the NFL will have a season without a salary cap. This would be first timesince 1993 that the NFL will have no salary cap. This will be the biggest restricted free agentclass in the history of the NFL. Last season the NFL restricted free agents class only was 80players. As this season approaches it will be as close as 300. Some believe that this may be a dead free agent class according to one agent. "The newrules have 2010 fourth and fifth year players, as restricted free agents those are usually the heartand soul of the free agent market." These players will be less likely to move because anotherclub who signs them will have to give up a first round draft pick or trade. ( Mullen, Liz, 2010Sports Business Journal ) This new agreement will largely affect our two New York teams. Teams that haveadvanced beyond the wild card round of the playoffs will face additional restrictions on signingplayers. The league set this up so that it could prevent all the free agents from signing with onlythe best teams. The Jets are one of those teams who surprised everyone and just missed out onthe first trip to the Super Bowl since 1969. They will only be allowed to sign a free agent ifsomeone that had played on their team the previous year signs with someone else. They also areonly allowed to sign players for the amount that the player they lost signed for. I think this is anunfair but I may be biased because Im a Jets fan.
2 The New York Giants who finished out of the top eight teams will be able to sign anyonethey want for whatever amount of money they choose. This is a big advantage to a small marketteam such as the Carolina Panthers who finished with a similar record. It will be interesting tosee the results of this Super Bowl. The Super Bowl that took place less than three weeks ago hadIndianapolis Colts face the New Orleans Saints. This would be the equivalent of the PittsburghPirates facing the Kansas City Royals in Major League Baseball. With no salary cap in placeteams such as the New England Patriots, New York Giants, Washington Redskins and the DallasCowboys should benefit highly from it. One unnamed agent doesn’t think all players are going to happy with the deal that is inplace. He was quoted as saying in the article “If a restricted player is not signed by thebeginning of the training camp he will not attend.” I expect a few things this summer BrettFavre to be on the fence about his retirement for the 100th time, and I also believe many playerswill hold out of their contract. We have already begun to see the affects of an uncapped yearwhich will leave teams no penalty from releasing players. Veteran players who have spentnearly a decade with the same team have been let go such as Ladanian Tomlinson and BrianWestbrook. These two players were elite less than two years ago now they are looking for work.( Mullen, Liz, 2010 Sports Business Journal ) The unnamed agent believes that this could be a record setting year for free agents thatare over their 6th season. The one premier free agent is Julius Peppers who may collect up to 20million dollars. This unnamed agent believes it will be difficult to most of these aging veteransto collect 20, 30, or 40 million dollar contracts.