February 26, 2002

Slash and burn baby!: It's time for NFL teams to get under that cap. Chris Chandler's looking for work, so is Tom Tupa and a couple other Jets. Jessie Armstead is furiously filling out those change of address forms and Elvis may leave the building (PSINet Stadium that is). Here's who may be on the chopping block. Is the carnage worth it to preserve parity?

posted by owillis to football at 01:37 AM - 9 comments

Heck yes. The carnage stinks, but if the choices are between having the Yankees and the Ravens, Rams, Patriots, and all the other craziness of the NFL, the choice is really easy. This is doubly so when you consider that in the non-capped sport, all but a dozen or so teams suffer all the team-destroying effects of the cap (losing veterans and good players because they can't afford them) without any of the benefits of parity.

posted by tieguy at 02:07 AM on February 26, 2002

For a couple of good articles regarding salary caps in sports (specifically baseball): Part One Part Two Derek does a good job of explaining all the reasons why I hate the salary caps in the NBA/NFL.

posted by grum@work at 07:45 AM on February 26, 2002

The problem with Derek's analysis is that he basically completely ignores the parity argument. The baseball owners have spent a lot of time saying a salary cap would make tickets cheaper and reduce movement, but the baseball owners are stupid. The NBA, NFL, and NHL have trumpeted (first and foremost) the parity effects, and except in the NBA (the only example Derek uses) it works.* There is no parity in MLB, and there is in the NFL and the NHL. When Derek writes part III and tells me how the Yankees will still dominate the league and crush the hopes of 80% of the league in March when there is a salary cap, let me know.
*Note: it fails in the NBA because it has the smallest rosters and hence is the most susceptible to poor planning. The larger the roster, the more flexibility one has under a salary cap.

posted by tieguy at 09:12 AM on February 26, 2002

This is what professional sports has come too. The athletes must also take some responsibility in this. They wanted big money. Now they got it. But it comes at a price. There is no loyalty anymore. The almight buck rules. Just one man's opinion. Thank you.

posted by 1976NinersFan at 10:07 AM on February 26, 2002

The almighty buck has always ruled professional sports. The only difference today is that the owners aren't hogging all of it. The salary cap has been terrible for the quality of play in the NFL. It was good for the league to have a few great teams that stayed that way over a 3-5 year period. Now that's impossible, because each team is only one or two star player injuries -- or salary cap roster dumps -- away from mediocrity. Other than the St. Louis Rams, two-thirds of the league is hovering around .500 and just as likely to make the conference championship game as to miss the playoffs entirely. And when a team is in salary cap hell, as the Jaguars are in today, fans know the teams are going to be terrible for years until they dig themselves out. How's that good for the league? I asked this question in an earlier thread: Does anyone believe with any conviction that the Patriots or Steelers will be the No. 1 and 2 seeds in the AFC next year? Or could it just as likely be the Titans and Seahawks, two teams that missed the playoffs this year?

posted by rcade at 10:50 AM on February 26, 2002

I think if the alternative is baseball, where it's Yankees/Braves/etc. year in and out with nary a chance for your team to make the playoffs unless they empty their pockets (except the Orioles, they're screwed no matter what) or the NFL where at least 70% of the league has a shot - I'd take the latter. My opinion on this would probably be way different if the Redskins didn't have the half-wit of a coach Norv Turner in charge making 7 years of my life football-worthless.

posted by owillis at 11:26 AM on February 26, 2002

rcade - Just because a team is in "salary cap hell" does not mean that it will be "terrible for years". Take a look at the 49ers of 1998-2000. True, they were bad in 1999, but got somewhat back on track in 2000 and have gotten back to being a playoff caliber squad. Yes, the salary cap causes many hard choices to be made. My Jags, for example, have had to release some key players, including at least one future HOFer, to fix the problem. What is needed is sound drafting (which, unfortunately, my Jags have not been known for) and finding those second and third-level free agents that can contribute to the team effort. The breakdown from last season was 11 teams finishing with double digit wins, 10 with records betweens 9-7 and 7-9 and 10 with 6 wins or fewer. Pretty even distribution I'd say. Product of the salary cap? Not necessarily, but the cap does give fans hope that their team can become the NE Patriots/Baltimore Ravens/StL Rams of 2002.

posted by bcb2k2 at 12:12 PM on February 26, 2002

The Niners got better by cheating, didn't they? It is frustrating to see players go (I miss Bruce Smith)but it is a truism in sport that it is better to let a player go two years too early than to keep him one year too long. The NFL does a favor to both its fans and the teams with its coompetative ballence. For the most part, games during the season really count-- unlike the situation in hockey-- so there is a greater incentive to go to games-- even in Buffalo, even in December. The funny part is that the NFL owners-- those fine gentlemen-- are able to operate on the basis of a "greater fool" economy. Daniel Snyder, the Bucs-- there is always somebody out there to sucker.

posted by outside counsel at 01:16 PM on February 26, 2002

*hmmm, Mike Anderson, Olandis Gary, hmmm* Step right up, Terrell Davis, goin' cheap ... (actually it would break my heart). The point of the cap is depth. If you can build it with inexpensive youth (Green Bay Packers) then you have a shot. I just think that the salary cap needs a little breathing room for the fans. There are players we like to see with a particular team, especially our team. The rape and pillage mentality hurts the sensibilities of those of us who follow players, as well as teams. I really wish I had a suggestion other than cap exclusion for a franchise guy, 2 offensive and 2 defensive players (wink wink nudge nudge), but I don't. Alas.

posted by Wulfgar! at 06:35 PM on February 26, 2002

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.