The CBA Is The Root Of The Problem

July 5th, 2010

Joe has mentioned this several times before and he is all but shouted down by Bucs fans:

Until a CBA is agreed upon with the NFLPA, don’t expect the Bucs to sign many free agents.

Jamie Dukes, of the NFL Network, seems to channel frustrated Bucs fans in a recent NFL.com chat when he claims Team Glazer has no cash.

Matt, NJ

This is the second time I am writing this Dukes! I have submitted this question every week since the draft!!! What’s up with Tampa Bay? The only offensive threat they have is Winslow, and no other help for Freeman. Why don’t they persue T.O. or another free agent?

Jamie Dukes, NFL Network

Money…

Well, it’s not quite that simple. If that were the case, this would be a major surprise to people like Mike Nugent, Luke McCown and Kellen Winslow. But why rely on Joe when you can read the words of NFL.com columnist Vic Carucci, who spelled out the financial issues of various NFL teams in an NFL.com chat over the weekend.

Shane, Los Angeles, CA

VC: Why arent more teams taking advantage of the uncapped year? Teams could take their franchise players and negotiate long term deals for the better management of future salary caps. As an example, the Cards could take Dockett, resign him to a 5-yr deal, give him 50% up front, 30% in base salary (over the remaining 5 years) and use the remaining 20% on incentives. I know there is risk, but for every Haynesworth there are ten Mannings or this league wouldnt work.

Vic Carucci, Senior Columnist, NFL.com

You make good points, but I think the biggest risk that is being considered is the uncertain labor situation. Teams are reluctant to lay out a lot of cash for players knowing that if there is no football for part or all of 2011, they won’t have any income. Another factor is the economy, which has hit NFL club owners as hard as it has hit so many other parts of corporate America. It has had a real impact on cash flow, another reason for a more cautious approach at least for the time being.

In short, as Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert said months ago on Sirius NFL Radio, how can teams responsibly throw money at players when they do not know what the salary cap will be two years from now, thus painting themselves, potentially, into salary cap hell?

27 Responses to “The CBA Is The Root Of The Problem”

  1. JimBuc Says:

    Get ready to get shouted down again Joe. People will not stand for this CBA talk! Most even ignore Donald Penn, who pointed to the CBA as the reason he is in his situation.

  2. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    JimBuc – Don’t confuse Joe talking about the CBA with what Joe thinks Team Glazer would do if there were no CBA issues at this moment. Joe would be stunned if Team Glazer was much beyond the new salary floor.

  3. JimBuc Says:

    Joe — you are probably right about that, but if there was a new CBA right now, do they sign Penn and Ruud etc.? Or, do they just let them walk as many suggest.

  4. eric Says:

    When an excuse for sucking applies across the board, it ceases to be an excuse.

    Like rain on Derby day.

  5. CalicoJack Says:

    First of all to Carucci’s point, the owners have a tv contract that assures them of incoming money for 2011 regardless of any lockout/strike. The player’s union filed to have that guaranteed money put into escrow, but that hasn’t happened and most likely won’t.

    Next, to the steelers exec’s point about the future salary cap, why are they worried about a salary cap two years from now when no salary cap exists now? Two years, in terms of how long a free agent has left to contribute, is a very long time. Most NFL players don’t even last for more than four years.

  6. BamBamBuc Says:

    NO, NO, NO…. the CBA ONLY affects the other 31 teams. With the Bucs, it’s the Glazers are CHEAP!!!

  7. Mauha Deeb Says:

    Very good piece, Joe. Thanks for bring this up. I honestly did not think of it in that manner. It answers a lot of questions I had, not just about the Bucs but many other teams in the NFL.

  8. thomas Says:

    Teams that are already competitive, like the Pats, Chargers, Cowboys etc have a reason not to make major $ commitments now waiting to see what the new cap will be.

    Teams that are not competitive need to upgrade their talent, need to prudently utilize all forms of acquiring talent – even if that means making a hypothesis about the next CBA. Everyone knows what the players want and what the owners want – pick a conservative point and hypothesize that the next CBA will be there – sign players accordingly.

    The Bears, Dolphins, Falcons, Jets and others have operated this way and improved their teams weaknesses dramatically this way – but again – these franchises desire to win in 2010. Our franchise desires to be fiscally safe, tight, cheap, until the CBA and there cash issues related to MANU sort out.

    As a business, this I admit makes some sense, as far as trying to be as good as you can from the perspective of a fan – this Stinks b/c we will not have a chance for the playoffs until 2012.

    That is what makes many of angry!

  9. JimBuc Says:

    Thomas — let me give you a simple question: Why would team owners who want a new deal from players (200+ of which are on RFA tenders) extend contracts to those very same players?? Isn’t that counter to the owners’ interests? Why would players with new long-term deals (as oppsed to giuys with no contracts) fear a lockout?

    Just because a few teams have signed players (i.e. the Bears had no picks so they had not choice, especiially since everyone job is on the line) does not mean that the league as a whole does not have a strategy. Signing players now would be counter to that strategy right? The owners would be undercutting themselves, right?

    By the way, every other tema in the league besides the three or four you mentioned are doing the same thing as the Bucs. In fact, most have multiple players on tenders

  10. JimBuc Says:

    Why do so many seem to think the Bucs actions are unique to the Bucs? 30 seconds and an Internet connection is all it take to know that the Bucs are not unique. My goodness, even Penn has acknowledged that his situation is a league situation (i.e. the CBA) as opposed to a Bucs situation.

  11. Capt.Tim Says:

    Thomas and Eric, way to ignore the facts, when they are in black and white, in favor of your own twisted reality. Just go stare at your Gruden poster some more, would ya!

  12. CalicoJack Says:

    JimBuc,

    The Bucs have been at it for some time. In fact, they started being miserly before the now defunct CBA.

  13. thomas Says:

    Nobody says that the bucs are the only team not spending, if you read my earlier post it addressed this weak and general argument,

    Of course good teams in 09 dont need to spend and can afford to wait. Few teams are in such a pathetic talent situation as the Bucs – in that situation you need to get better quick or you alienate the fan base.

    Your point was that other teams arent spending. Answer this question: How many ownership groups are dead last in spening on players in the NFL since post-2003? One your beloved Bucs. You cant attribute that to the CBA. This CBA argument conveniently came along for the Bucs when they have been spending this way since MANU buddy.

    In spite of this, except for the Gradkowski year (where the team lost its first two qbs) and maybe one other – the bucs were playoff caliber every year!

    If this team was decent last year – we would maybe understand being safe economically, they werent they are HORRIBLE, and through the draft only they are NO better. This is unacceptable.

    Your point about signing players being counter-productive to their positions exposes your wacky thought-process solely defensive of this org.

    I DONT CARE IF IT SUPPORTS THE PLAYERS, I WANT A ROSTER WITH THE BEST 53 ON IT, I AM A FAN, NOT A SHAREHOLDER. There are more than 10 teams who have signed players to long-term big money deals b/c those teams are prioritizing getting better. Many of the others have teams that they believe can compete for a super-bowl now.

  14. Tom Says:

    Way to go Joe, if this isn’t the 100th time you’d have made your feelings known about this topic…

    BTW everyone in the NBA seems certain there will be a player lockout next year. Hasn’t kept the powerhouse Atlanta Hawks from putting down 119 million on a guy no one has ever paid the price of admission to see (Joe Johnson). While one of the biggest busts in NBA history just got himself a 20 million dollar deal from the big-spending Minnesota Timberwolves. But the NBA is different I guess…I mean they don’t play football, so clearly the situations are nothing alike, right ;-)

    P.S. Can someone tell me if there was a team that signed fewer free agents or spent less money this offseason? Thank you.

  15. sensiblefan Says:

    @Tom

    “But the NBA is different I guess…I mean they don’t play football, so clearly the situations are nothing alike, right”

    You’re spot on. Individual player salaries as well as team salary caps are structured differently between the two leagues.

    1) NBA has a Soft cap meaning owners may choose to exceed the cap if they so choose. NFL has a Hard cap meaning, if you’re over the cap, you have to cut players until you get under it.
    2) The contracts these NBA players are getting right now is monopoly money. It’s my understanding that under the new CBA the league can retroactively reduce contracts based on the new cap number.

    Bottom line: It’s an apples to oranges comparison.

  16. BamBamBuc Says:

    thomas

    Dead last in spending post-2003? Really?

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=2004973
    Shows as of Sept 2005, we had the 2nd highest payroll in the NFL. Only $672k under the limit.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2349505
    Basically states that the Bucs, in March 2006 were the 4th highest spending team with only $5.1M under the cap.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=2758756
    Basically shows we’re no where near the bottom in Feb 2007 with $15M under the cap. Teams below us? Arizona, Buffalo, Chicago, Cinci, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, GB, Houston, Jax, N.E., N.O., NY Jets, St Louis, SD, SF, Seattle, and Tennessee.

    Funny thing is that in 2004, we had $25.9M under the cap. That year we signed multiple free agents. We got Derrick Deese, Charlie Garner, Jeff Gooch, Todd Steussie, Ian Gold, Josh Bidwell, and several other lesser known guys. They also signed Tim Brown in August. Oh yeah, they also had to cut John Lynch.

    I guess what I’m getting at is that you can only sign good free agent players when you actually have room under the cap, which we didn’t have much of in 05, 06 or 07. And in 04, we lost Lynch and gained a bunch of guys that were out of the league long before Lynch’s career was over (other than Bidwell).

  17. sensiblefan Says:

    @ Thomas

    First, let me say that in a perfect world all of our young cornerstones (Penn, Ruud, T Jax, etc.) should be under long-term lock and key. The only way for us to make it to the next level as a team is re-sign the few proven young veterans we have.

    I also agree that the Glazer spending habits since the Super Bowl have been questionable when reviewed in a vacuum.

    However, when I hear, “The Glazers have spent the least money since ’03″ I think about the free agent market, the unrestricted free agent market, and re-signing our own players.

    When you look at free & restricted free agency, spending any significant money or draft picks in these areas for anything less than a run to the Super Bowl (see this year’s Ravens acquired Boldin) is a recipe for disaster. The Washington Redskins have proven that time and time again building your team through free agency is a losing proposition for the short and long term viability of your franchise. Further I ask, what young free agents were out there this year and previous years were you willing to overpay for? Everyone was screaming for Haynesworth and look at him now. Most of the time FAs fail on their new teams because very few players can excel in multiple schemes and under different coaching regimes and the players that can are usually swiped back up by their original teams…which brings me to my next point:

    Next, the next part of the “cheap franchise” equation is that we don’t spend money on our own guys. The thing is, we haven’t NEED to expend much money. When you don’t draft well you don’t have anybody to re-sign to an exorbitant deal. Since Sapp, Lynch and Brooks we haven’t developed our drafted talent to the level of a periennial All-Pro that would command a large cap swallowing contract. Talib is close…maybe Freeman will be someday but nobody else is. Look at the Pats: outside of Asante Samuel all of their major money players are homegrown. We don’t have anybody who deserves that kind of money, thus, we’re not in the top of the league in spending.

    That’s why this rebuilding/focus on the draft phase doesnt bother me. Spending, free agency and the draft all goes hand in hand. Once, we get better homegrown talent, our spending will be in line w/spending around the league.

  18. JimBuc Says:

    My favorite Thomas line of all time:

    “Your point about signing players being counter-productive to their positions exposes your wacky thought-process solely defensive of this orgnaization.”

    Translation: You don’t understand what I was talking about. LOL.

    Go back to your Flat Earth Society meeting

  19. good brian Says:

    I think this article is a slap in the face to the common working man and woman who are really hurting with these trying times. The owners are feeling the pinch, but they should not be put in the same class as the hard working americans who don’t know where the next check might come from.

  20. Tom Says:

    @sensiblefan

    It is most certainly NOT apples and oranges. There is a soft cap yes, but the only way to exceed the cap from a free agent signing is to resign your own player who has ‘Bird Rights’ or to use the midlevel (5 million) or veteran exception. This means that an owner or a team can not just ‘sign’ a player because it’s their free will to do so. Teams have to cut their salary well below the cap if they want to go after a top tier free agent on another team and it just so happens that every team that is below the cap is aggressively going after the top free agents (including the Clippers and Nets).

    Furthermore the concept played here is: Due to concerns about Labor unrest and a possible lost year teams are not willing to risk signing players to contracts because of the potential for a lost year. YET the NBA is in the very same predicament, yet even the lowest earning and fan supported teams (Atlanta, Minnesota) are wasting million signing mediocre free agents. While there is no shortage of suitors willing to give out top dollar for the top players.

    Yet this is the excuse for the Bucs in the NFL?

    The new CBA? You’re talking about the potential for a future CBA which would allow the owners to tear up the terms of their previous agreements? You really think that’s going to happen?

    Again, I ask, was there a team in the NFL who signed fewer free agents (2) or spent less money on free agents and overall payroll than your Tampa Bay Buccaneers? If there isn’t then wouldn’t comparing this teams strategy to every other team which has spent more on their product under the same circumstances be comparing apples to oranges?

  21. Tom Says:

    I actually missed the opportunity to point out that as of this year, neither the NFL or the NBA has a hard cap. The NFL actually has no cap at all right now.

  22. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    good Brian – This is no slap in the face to the common man who is struggling in these hard times. It’s an article about what some experts employed by the NFL had to say about the Bucs and free agency.

  23. BigMacAttack Says:

    Dominick needs to sign LeBron James. He should be able to play at least 3 different positions at the same time, and go both ways. Hail to the King.

  24. sensiblefan Says:

    @ Tom

    Difference #1
    “There is a soft cap yes, but the only way to exceed the cap from a free agent signing is to resign your own player who has ‘Bird Rights’ or to use the midlevel (5 million) or veteran exception.”

    There are nine exceptions to the cap including 3 exceptions for new free agents (MLE, Bi-annual, and Minimum salary) for the owners to play with in exceeding the salary cap. While owners don’t technically have free reign to sign whoever they want, they may do so only under the constraints of the CBA and their own fiscal responsibility. The NFL is not structured as such. There is no way to circumvent the Cap if you exceed it.

    Difference #2
    “Due to concerns about Labor unrest and a possible lost year teams are not willing to risk signing players to contracts because of the potential for a lost year…Yet this is the excuse for the Bucs in the NFL?…Again, I ask, was there a team in the NFL who signed fewer free agents (2) or spent less money on free agents and overall payroll than your Tampa Bay Buccaneers? If there isn’t then wouldn’t comparing this teams strategy to every other team which has spent more on their product under the same circumstances be comparing apples to oranges?”

    This is absolutely an excuse for the Bucs for two reasons.

    1) The CBA unrest affects re-signing our restricted FAs. There’s no incentive for the Bucs to offer anything more than a normal tender to our RFAs. In fact there’s a disincentive to sign them to anything long term because we don’t know what the cap will be (discussed more below).

    2) Unless we are a playoff team, the free agent market is a waste of time. Look at my post to Thomas above and ask yourself this question: Who was out there that you were willing to overpay to get?

    Difference #3
    “I actually missed the opportunity to point out that as of this year, neither the NFL or the NBA has a hard cap. The NFL actually has no cap at all right now.”

    You speak of this year being uncapped. That would be great if players would happily sign one-year deals but that’s not the case. To land someone like Dunta Robinson for example, a team has to offer multiple years, a double digit signing bonus and competitive base. Who knows how much that will count against the cap in 2011? If it’s decreased from its current level the Falcons will have to cut players to balance out the cap, right? On the other hand, if the Falcons were an NBA team under a Soft Cap they could keep their roster as it is and simply pay luxury tax. Furthermore, NBA ownership is actually banking on a shortened season so they don’t have to pay players as much,

    “And don’t think the lockout isn’t playing into teams’ signing off on some of these outlandish contracts already proposed. The $119 million offered to Joe Johnson by the Atlanta Hawks really won’t be $119 million if, say, $5 million of it is lost while play and pay are suspended during the lockout. I first heard that theory during summer league last year and it makes more sense now when you take a look at what’s being spent on the likes of Darko Milicic and Amir Johnson.” – J.A. Adande

  25. JimBuc Says:

    Joe, why don’t you write a story about how Bruce Allen is taking the same “old” approach with the Skins?

  26. eric Says:

    The Saints took an old approach and won the Super Bowl.

  27. JimBuc Says:

    Eric — look a little closer. Not really true

 
 

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