As I understand it, the NFL Owners opted out of the CBA last May, which means if a new agreement is not reached by March 2010, the 2010 season will play out as an uncapped year. Roger Goodell has stated his intention and belief that a new agreement will be in place prior to March 2010, although insiders believe it will come down to the 11th hour. The major points the owners want addressed include:
1. Owners want players to assume more of their risk. Goodell said player costs increased by $500 million over 2008 and 2009. "The risk falls entirely on the clubs here," Goodell said. "We have to make sure we address that issue in a responsible fashion, including our partners." There is increased costs for new stadiums, and less advertising dollars available in a generally bad economy.
2. Players paid signing bonuses who subsequently refuse to play, don't currently have to give back any of the bonus. Unacceptable.
3. Owners want a rookie cap that would slot salaries and end out-of-whack guarantees that enable high draft picks to make more than some Pro Bowlers.
How will a new agreement affect the 2010 draft, and will the anticipation of such an agreement affect the 2009 draft? If Detroit takes Stafford or Sanchez with the first pick, they are on the hook for a huge amount of money. High risk, but potentially high reward. Jake Long got a 5 year $57.5 million deal from Miami with the #1 overall pick last year. Matt Ryan, drafted #3 overall got 6 years $72 million, including $34 million guaranteed. QB's get paid more, even when drafted lower.
Will the opportunity to select a QB high in next years draft (from what looks like a better QB draft class) for less money, and therefore less risk, cause Detroit to pass on Stafford and Sanchez at #1 in the 2009 draft? Moreover, will it cause both QB's to drop in Round 1?