Posted by Andy Benoit
At some point in the near future, the NFL is going to establish some rules for doing business in 2011. That point could be fairly soon if the injunction request issued by players in their antitrust lawsuit is granted.
In that case, league-wide business would resume (not quite business as usual, but business nonetheless). Most importantly, free agency would begin.
Mark Maske of the Washington Post writes, “Sources from throughout the sport on both sides of the dispute said over the weekend that the system the league would enact at that point would be very likely to be the same system that was in effect last season, when there was no salary cap in the final year of the just-expired labor agreement between the NFL and the players’ union.”
The 2010 uncapped rules would mean no salary floor, as well. Players with expired contracts would need six years of NFL service in order to reach unrestricted free agency, which means a significantly dwindled free agent class. Each team would also have an extra transition tag (in addition to the one franchise tag and transition tag) and teams that reached the divisional round of the 2010 postseason would have limitation places on their ability to sign free agents.
Maske writes, “The reason that system would be used, sources said, is that it might have a better chance of withstanding an antitrust challenge by the players, given that the union previously agreed to those rules for an uncapped year in collective bargaining.”
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