March 3, 2011

Some NFL questions that need answering

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

With the NFL’s CBA deadline happening today and a lockout more than eminent, I’ve got a few questions that need answering. So, I’ll try to solve these queries to the best of my ability. Like…
 
Q: With all the talk about the NFLPA decertifying the union, what the heck does that even mean?
A: To tell you the truth, even after researching this, I can’t tell. I originally thought it would mean breaking up the union, but that doesn’t make sense. This NYTimes.com piece helped a little bit, but still no concrete answer. So, the best I can tell is that it means the union would be acting as a trade association if they decertify, and then I’m still puzzled.
 
Q: The players won some court ruling this week, what was that about?
A: Do you remember hearing how the owners would be getting money from the TV networks even if there’s no season played this fall? Well, not anymore. The judge ruled that to throw that into the last TV negotiations violated their agreement with the players. So, now, if there is a lockout and games are missed, no one would be getting paid.
 
Q: So with the lockout pretty much assure to happen midnight Thursday, what’s going to happen then?
A: Anybody associated with teams will not be allowed to contact or work with players, camps and practices are out the window and forget about any sort of contract negotiations. In other words, everyone’s going to be sitting around twiddling their fingers, shut off from each other while this mess is worked out.
 
Q: The NFL’s draft is coming up, how is that going to be affected?
A: First of all, it will still happen, no matter what. But, with the high likelihood of a rookie salary structure in place, teams might be more willing to take risks near the top of the draft (Hello, Cam Newton!) because it won’t cost as much in the end. Also, higher picks will also become more valuable in trades because of this fact.
 
Q: So since the draft’s still going, can and will teams make trades?
A: This is a very interesting question to me. How can you deal a player when you’re not allowed to even make contact with him? Would you trade for a player when you can’t talk about a deal? This casts a stormy cloud over those who love to deal on draft day, when teams are seemingly most willing to talk trade.
 
Q: So will there be a season?
A: Of course there will, there is simply too much on the line. Money, fans, TV deals, you name it. How could either side not want to work this out in a fast, fair manner?
 
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