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The New CBA and how it affects FA

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  • The New CBA and how it affects FA

    Great article here from Pat Kirwan. One of the Only National media types who writes relevant stuff IMHO.

    Here are the relevant parts:

    Here's what's on my mind as I pull into the Ritz Carlton hotel with owners, club executives and head coaches in the lobby.

    1. One-year deals: It sure looks like most NFL executives have moved toward one-year deals for many players. As of now, there are close to 75 veterans signing one-year deals and I would venture to say most remaining free agents will sign one-year deals if they are lucky.

    What it means: The clubs aren't taking financial risks like they used to, and well over 150 veterans will re-enter free agency next year. The annual pool of veterans once again will reach close to 500 players; that will make it a buyer's market once again. It feels like all the veterans who were overpaid years ago have come back to haunt many of the present and future free agents.

    Next year, we mostly likely will see Darren McFadden, Jeremy Maclin, Hakeem Nicks, Henry Melton, B.J. Raji, Brandon Spikes, Louis Delmas and Stevie Brown -- among others -- a year older and back in the pool with all the younger players entering free agency for the first time.

    2. Salary-cap space update: By my last count, there was about $377 million of salary-cap space, or close to an average of $12 million per team. Plenty of room to do business in theory, but of course it is not evenly distributed. Most capologists know their clubs need a few million dollars for the draft. If the owners vote to increase the size of the practice squads from eight to 10 players, then add another $1 million for that project.

    On top of those forces is the reality that 53 players will count in September -- not the 51 presently accounted for, and that should mean a salary-cap hit of at least $1 million. Of course, players will go on injured reserve and free agents will have to be signed to remain competitive. For example: Last year, the Cowboys had nine players on IR. A safe amount of space for this could be close to $3 million. Put it all together, and an operating cap budget from this point should be $7 million to $8 million -- and that's if a team is done in free agency or doesn't have more players to cut. About a dozen teams aren't at that point right now, and I will be looking for more cap maneuvers from Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, New England, New Orleans, the New York Giants, Pittsburgh, San Diego and San Francisco, among other teams.