NFL: Some effects of an uncapped season
Some effects of an uncapped NFL season in 2010:
— Players would need six years in the league before becoming unrestricted free agents rather than four. This includes plenty of stars among the 212 players who would be impacted, including Shawne Merriman, Miles Austin, Elvis Dumervil, Owen Daniels, Brandon Marshall and DeMeco Ryans. They will become restricted free agents, meaning their current club will have the right to match an offer or be compensated for losing them. Any player with three, four or five years in the league whose contract is up would become a restricted free agent.
— There would be no salary floor or salary ceiling. In 2009, the cap was $128 million and the floor was $111 million.
— Two players on each team, instead of one, would get a transition tag. A transition player must be offered at least the average of the top 10 salaries for his position during the previous season, or 120 percent of the player’s previous year’s salary, whichever is greater.
— The eight clubs that made the divisional round this year (New Orleans, Minnesota, Dallas, Arizona, Indianapolis, San Diego, Baltimore and the New York Jets) will have limits on signing unrestricted free agents. Called the Final Eight Plan, the number of players those teams lose to free agency will determine how many they can sign from other clubs. The Colts, Jets, Vikings and Saints will have other obstructions.
— A supplemental revenue-sharing plan will be scrapped by the league, which says about $100 million is involved; the union claims it’s closer to $200 million. That program involves the top 15 teams by revenue placing funds into a pool from which many of the lower income clubs can draw. It does not include television money or box office revenues. Nine franchises qualified to receive funds last year, although the league has not identified them.
— The 32 teams would be relieved of their obligation to fund numerous player benefit programs, including 401Ks, player annuity, severance pay, and tuition assistance. That would be a cost reduction of more than $7 million per club.