ESPN - Clayton : Next CBA will alter rookie landscape

One of many experimental iterations ...


The Starter
Jul 15, 2009
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Reston, VA; Sect 141

By John Clayton

When the next collective bargaining agreement finally comes to fruition, don't expect to see dramatic changes to how free agency is structured.

The rookie pool is a different story.

Sources say the four-year wait for free agency will remain. Owners are willing to change the mandatory floor of the salary cap to 90 percent, and it's not out of the question for that percentage to grow a percent or two to get the deal done. Thus, if the 2011 salary cap is $120 million, the floor would be $108 million. The cap would be about $7 million less than 2009.

Sure, there is going to be resistance from some owners, but that is only natural. High- and low-revenue owners aren't going to agree on most things because of the economic impacts on their bottom lines. Low-revenue teams have tougher bottom lines when it comes to handling those salary floors. Commissioner Roger Goodell just has to make sure three-quarters of the owners or more are ready to move forward and get this deal done for the good of the game in the next two to three weeks.

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