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Agenda items: 'Skins-Cowboys mess, FA flood coming, Flynn's call

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With NFL news moving fast and furious, I want to react to a few of the biggest stories.

1. NFL Punishment of the Cowboys, Redskins: The NFL has a checks and balance system when NFL contracts are sent to the league office for approval. Many times deals are rejected or have to be modified. Clubs and agents have to rework the language for league approval. In the end every NFL contract has the commissioner's name on it when approved.

No one could argue over the past 10 years the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins have been willing to spend cash over the cap to get players signed.

Agents look forward to working with either team and hope they are chasing one of their clients. The Cowboys will close deals with signing bonuses and the Redskins have a long history of chasing veteran talent with cash. For the Competition Committee to cite "competitive balance" as a reason to punish these two teams and restrict their use of salary cap space seems counterproductive.

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As one prominent agent said, "the Redskins and Cowboys are market setting teams that drive salaries up. It will cost players money."

A club executive said "to give any of the Redskins' or Cowboys' cap space to teams like Cincinnati doesn't make sense."

For the record, on the 2012 salary cap report the Cowboys have $35,085,440 in prorated signing bonus money while a team like Cincinnati has $18,658,318 so who really suffers? Ultimately the players suffer of course. So, I ask this: How is "dumping" a contract like Albert Haynesworth's by a Redskins front office that inherited his deal bad for competitive balance in the NFL?

Bottom line: the Executive Committee of the NFL Management Council stuck its nose in team business where it didn't belong. It's a dangerous and slippery slope when league officials start managing the business of teams in order to create competitive balance.

What about the teams that never spent to the floor of the old salary cap in the uncapped year because they didn't have to?

2. More free agents flooding the market: 2012 already was scheduled to be the largest free agent class. That makes it a buyer's market to say the least. Granted more players than ever were franchise tagged but in the end it was a small portion of the population.

In the coming days we will see a second wave players released into free agency as teams conform to the small salary cap and attempt to fit new high-priced acquisitions under it. It is conceivable that after the first 50 players are signed in free agency the pool of players available will be larger than the original pool.

Six-hundred-plus free agents looking for work means there will be plenty of low-priced bargain veterans in a few weeks and even a lower drop in price after the draft. It is going to be a great year to build up the back end of a roster with experienced veterans.

3. What about Matt Flynn? There is speculation that Matt Flynn will wait until Peyton Manning decides where he is going before he makes up his mind.

If I were with a club that already knows Peyton Manning isn't joining our team (Seattle, Cleveland) and I wasn't banking on Kevin Kolb becoming free because Manning was headed to Arizona, it might be time to push the envelope with Flynn.

Only one team gets his services and if you believe he's worth it then put a big offer on the table now with a time constraint.

Wow Flynn before Miami or any other team gets involved. If Flynn still decides to wait, then it it's time to start looking closer at Ryan Tannehill.


Pat Kirwan has been around the league since 1972, serving in a variety of roles. He was a scout for the Cardinals and Buccaneers, a coach for the Jets as well as the team's Director of Player Administration where he negotiated contracts and managed the team's salary cap. He is the author of Take Your Eye Off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look, and the host of Sirius NFL Radio's Moving the Chains.
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