To: George Littleton From: Excellence Ukomadu Date: September 24, 2009 Re: Proposal for Recommendation Report on 2010 NFL Salary Cap SUBJECT This report is concerning the NFL and what may cause them to lack a salary cap during the 2010 season. Unless an agreement between the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, the 2010 season will have no salary cap. The most important reason that a salary cap is needed is to keep the wealthy clubs from having all of the talent because they’re willing to pay the most for it. PURPOSE The purpose of this proposal is to assess the impact that an un-capped salary would have on the NFL. Also, the benefits that a cap has on an NFL team as well as the limitations it possesses. BACKGROUND OF THE SITUATION If the NFL is to become like MLB with the uncapped season, it will become much more difficult for teams in a low-market to become successful. Owners that are known to spend a lot of money on players such as Al Davis or Jerry Jones, would seem to have the advantage. Also, players may become attracted to teams that live in a high-market city where the ability to make money is easy for them. What would cause the 2010 season to become uncapped would be the fact that Roger Goodell and the players association are unable to complete negotiations towards a new collective bargaining agreement. The owners of the teams are interested in reaching an agreement before the start of next season, but many of them are realizing that an agreement may not be reached soon. Also, with that being said, many owners are planning for an uncapped season but still their goal is to reach an agreement. Goodell seems to think that the owners would lock out the players in the 2011 season. The two have until March to reach a new deal because the owners opted out of the current collective bargaining agreement. The owners are interested in having the costs for operating stadiums and constructing new ones be recognized by the athletes. Instituting a salary cap for rookies is also an important goal for the owners. Setting a limit to what rookies can be paid in their first contract would save NFL franchises a lot of money. Considering the fact that most rookies don’t even make it to a second contract after their initial one because of lack of performance, these players are often overpaid because of a franchise’s interest in their potential. The first pick of the 2009 NFL draft, quarterback Matt Stafford, signed a contract for six years for $72 million with $41.7 million being guaranteed. The first pick of the 2008 NFL draft, left tackle Jake Long, signed a contract for 5 years for $57.5 million with $30 million guaranteed. And lastly, the first pick of the 2007 NFL draft, quarterback JaMarcus Russell, signed a contract of six years for $61 million with $32 million guaranteed. JaMarcus Russell is completing only 39.8% of his passes which is a league low, also he is in his third year with the team and is yet to live up to what he was expected to be. If there were a limit to what rookies can be paid in their first contract, JaMarcus wouldn’t have been paid nearly what he is. The amount of money that the Raiders are paying Jamarcus puts a major limit on what they are able to do. With his salary being so high, even though they may not feel that he is the quarterback for them, they are basically stuck with him because they need to do whatever they can to make their investment pay off. Maybe they still feel that he is the quarterback for their franchise, but if they weren’t paying him so much they would probably be able to look in another direction for a quarterback. Owners have many other reasons that a limit on what rookies can be paid could be beneficial to them, but the most important reason would be that they have no idea how these players are going to perform at the professional level. They are put in a position where they have to pay these players a lot of money when they draft them high because these players are only trying to be paid what those drafted above and before them were. Players like James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who went undrafted in 2002 out of Kent State, are the epitome of how hard it is to predict how a player will perform once they are professional. James Harrison was named the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year while the first pick of the 2002 Draft, David Carr, is in a backup role as quarterback for the New York Giants. The amount of money that an owner pays a rookie is almost always more than the rookie ends up being worth. It’s obvious why the owners would want this rookie cap to be employed, and it is also obvious why the players feel that they should try and get as much as they can possibly earn. The importance of the pay for rookies goes along with some of the reasons that the league may end up having an uncapped season. The owners may have not opted out of the current collective bargaining agreement had they been spending less money on the potential of players. The MLB does things a lot differently than the NFL, they draft a player at around the age of 19 and they keep them in the minors as they prepare them for the professional stage. Once they are about 22 to 23 they step into the franchise with the team that drafted them. In the NFL, they draft players around the ages of 22 or 23 and develop them, by the time they usually are fully developed into quality players they become free agents. If there was no cap, a small market team probably wouldn’t be able to keep most of the players that they develop into quality players because of the money another team may be willing to spend. The sooner the two sides are able to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement, the better. There is no need to make the NFL suffer because of this, and most importantly they should do everything possible to keep from having a lockout of the players in 2011. Audience This report is meant to be read by the fans of the NFL as well as those of other major sports. This is also intended for DeMaurice Smith and the members of the NFL players association. All players employed by a franchise of the NFL should read this document as well. Plan of Action To correct this, the most important thing for the NFL is to have a collective bargaining agreement reached before March of 2010. Second, the players association as well as Roger Goodell and the owners should make compromises to make this agreement more suitable for both sides. Roger Goodell needs to make sure that the next collective bargaining agreement gives both sides leverage under the circumstance that they feel they are being unfairly negotiated with. Eliminate the possibility of an uncapped salary for the 2010. Negotiate an agreement with the owners that makes them unable to lock out the players in the 2011 season. Group Preferences With regard to the topic at hand, I would prefer for this assignment to be a solo project. I feel I am very educated and interested in this topic with it being about my favorite sport. Also, my ideas wouldn’t be influenced by another and I would be able to make my goal well known throughout the report. Time Table Week 8 (10/6-10/8) – Research of the current collective bargaining agreement and why it is no longer in use. Week 9 (10/13-10/15) – Research both sides of the agreement and what proposals of an agreement have been made. Week 10 (10/20-10/22) – Research past disagreements and what steps were taken towards reaching a new agreement. Find out when Roger Goodell thinks it is mandatory for negotiations to reopen. Week 11 (10/27-10/29) – Proofread first draft of report, find out exactly what agreement is the best for both sides and whether or not they will reach an agreement before the deadline. Week 12 (11/3-11/5) – Proofread second draft of report, find where there are any necessary changes to revise. Type the final draft of recommendation. Week 13 (11/10-11/12) – Reread final draft and submit it to be graded. Annotated Bibliography Bell, Jarrett . "Possibilities abound for uncapped NFL year." USA Today. 29 May. 2008. 24 Sep. 2009. <http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2008-05-20-owners-labor- deal_N.htm>. Kirwan, Pat . "An uncapped year odyssey." NFL. 12 Nov. 2008. 27 Sep. 2009. <http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d808736ba&template=with- video&confirm=true>. Leahy, Sean . "Goodell: NFL doesn't expect uncapped season in 2010." USA Today. 26 Mar. 2009. 24 Sep. 2009. <http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2009-03-23-goodell- conference_N.htm>. Whitesell, Kevin . "2010 NFL Season: Possibly Uncapped?." bleacher report. 25 Feb. 2009. 1 Sep. 2009. <http://bleacherreport.com/articles/129491-2010-nfl-season-possibly- uncapped/page/2>.
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