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View Full Version : Will an uncapped year hurt or help the Broncos?



MOtorboat
05-24-2008, 10:13 AM
I know I’m getting ahead of myself a little here, because the uncapped year would be in 2010, and we’ve still got two seasons to play before that, but I still ask the question: will an uncapped year hurt or help the Broncos?

Historically, Pat Bowlen has given President of Football Operations Mike Shanahan all of the resources needed to field a top-of-the-league caliber team. This, of course has included the money to sign a number of free agents every year. Though the signings have been less high profile than the 2007 offseason, the 2008 offseason has seen its fair share of offseason acquisitions.

It is my theory that you won’t see much stock piling this year, as far as escalating contracts, but next offseason could get interesting in the NFL. Clearly, if it gets in to May and June next season, teams will start looking ahead to an uncapped season in 2010.

I won’t go into the consequences of signing a number of large, escalating contracts on a capped season in 2011, but those certainly exist, and must be taken into consideration. Likewise, what we could see is a number of descending contracts signed in the 2009 and 2010 offseason, that would see players make the most money in the 2010 season in their contracts, rather than later in the contracts, as is the standard practice currently.

And so what does this mean for the Broncos? Well, for starters, you have to look at a number of young players who could be set to resign in 2009 or 2010.

Most interesting is the cornerback position. If Dominique Foxworth and Karl Paymah aren’t traded this season, they will both be free agents in 2009. Clearly, Foxworth is the most interesting, as he sees himself as a starter in this league, so he’s most likely to not want to sign with the Broncos again. However, in anticipation of a 2010 uncapped season, could the Broncos afford to resign Foxworth? It’s unlikely that he’ll want to be a nickelback his entire career, but for the right price, and with the fact that a number of the elite teams going with three-wide sets as their base set, it certainly could happen.

Many of the 2006 draft picks are also going to be affected by this uncapped season in 2010.

Elvis Dumervil will be entering his fifth season going into 2010, and will be looking at free agency. An uncapped year could mean a big contract for the young defensive end, if he continues to be the sack machine that he has become. Of course, a lot of his continued success depends on the success of the rest of the defensive line, but an uncapped season could mean a big payoff for him. So, can the Broncos afford to resign him, with the possibility of facing an uncapped season?

Bowlen has shown no remorse in handing out some big contracts, but at the same time, the Broncos have let some magnificent players get away in the past, thinking they were washed up, only to watch them play elsewhere.

Brandon Marshall is another Bronco who would be a free agent in 2010. Of course, his off-the-field issues are certainly something Denver has to assess, and there’s a lot of time before 2010. But, again, on the field, Marshall is proving that he’s a potentially star receiver in this league for many years to come. He’ll be demanding a lot of money in 2010. Will the Broncos pay it? Can they afford to pay the market price for Marshall?

The same goes for Tony Scheffler. Though the tight end has had some problems staying healthy, he’s clearly a favorite target of Cutler, and could be a steady player for this team heading into the future. I believe he’s a piece of the puzzle for the Broncos, and making sure that we can sign him in his free agent year, will guarantee that we won’t have a hole to fill at tight end.

Again, there are many, many players that could be affected by an uncapped season. It will be interesting to see how the owners react to the possibility, and if there is any panic around the league as the CBA deadline approaches in 2009.

They say there will be football for at least the next three seasons without a threat of a lockout or a strike. With the popularity of this game right now, it would behoove both the players and the owners to work this out.

Meanwhile, owners need to prepare for the possibility of an uncapped season in 2010. Historically, Bowlen hasn’t been afraid to hand out big contracts, but the Broncos have made some mistakes. Can they compete with the Jones’ and Snyders’ of the world when it comes to contracts?

Retired_Member_001
05-24-2008, 05:39 PM
We've got money and we won't be scared to flash it. Bowlen will be careful where the money goes, but he still won't be scared to flash it. I see us making a play on several big name players in 2010. We have got the ability to attract big name players, so we will.

As for the guys we will need to re-sign, rest assured, they WILL get payed.

An important thing to remember is that Shanahan may not be in charge of things
by 2010.

Very good and interesting article. Good subject choice.

:beer:

Watchthemiddle
05-24-2008, 05:45 PM
I think it all depends on how well we do with the current players we have at the time of a possibly un-capped season.

If the team is good enough to not going on a crazy spending spree then I don't see us going crazy.

That being said, Bowlen has shown that he is not afraid to spend money to put a winning team on the field, but I do think it all depends on our success leading up to that time if it happens.

Slick
05-24-2008, 06:11 PM
I think it all depends on how well we do with the current players we have at the time of a possibly un-capped season.

If the team is good enough to not going on a crazy spending spree then I don't see us going crazy.

That being said, Bowlen has shown that he is not afraid to spend money to put a winning team on the field, but I do think it all depends on our success leading up to that time if it happens.

I agree. Depends on the state of the team. Bowlen has shown that he's more than willing to spend money, and he wants to win as bad as any of us. If the team is on the cusp, it could help us.

If we're still a .500 ball club and there is an uncapped season, he might try to win at any costs. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Jaded
05-24-2008, 09:27 PM
Pat Bowlen said he needed a new stadium to remain competitive and we gave it to him, so if he becomes anything resembling the Monforts in the new era of the NFL, he can stick his ill-gotten Invesco Field at Mile High up his ass, far as I'm concerned......

Joel
05-25-2008, 05:34 AM
For the most part I'd expect it to be a wash; poor people don't own NFL teams, and revenue sharing ensures they'll pretty much always have the money to pay all the players they want (which is why the cap exists; like the draft it's as much to the benefit of wealthy owners as poor QUALITY teams. ) In the long run, however, it hurts everyone, players included, even if it's just for one year.

Imagine for a moment that there's a cap in '09 and '11 but not '10. What would you expect players and their agents to do in '10, the ONLY year the sky's the limit on contract negotiations? And after they secure their massive new contracts, how inclined do you think any of them will be to meekly surrender them in 2011...?

The net effect would be a MASSIVE inflation of the revived cap; it's the only way I can see to restore it without a revisit to '83 and '87 (already threatening or we wouldn't be having this discussion. ) And the really sad thing is, whether or not the cap is restored that inflation is going to happen; the only question is whether it's a one time event or an annual one. But either way the owners won't be footing the bill; revenue sharing will, and guess who pays for THAT....

People complain about NFL ticket and merchandise prices like they do in every sport, but it's still nothing like baseball or basketball because the salaries aren't. As it happens, I was just reading Wikipedias article on the Black Sox last night; tickets to that Series were $50 apiece. In 1919. Nowadays people complain about the falloff in baseball attendance compared to past decades, but I bet few who've priced season tickets do, because they know the cause. The NFL isn't like that, and I don't want it to be.

Just as importantly, I'd have to think long and hard before I could decide if a third Denver SB Trophy was worth having 32 NE Patriots running around the League.... :dead:

Hopefully all the catastrophes can still be averted, but we'll see. We've had problems before, hence URFAs and RFAs, but back then there were still plenty of players who remembered one or both of the last strikes, and what they remembered most was that NOBODY came out of them a winner. The fans were left feeling (for the most part rightly) that owners AND players were all greedy SOBs, and that they were perfectly willing to sacrifice OUR game for THEIR profit. I watched the scab games, but a lot of people didn't because "it's not REAL football. " Or as The Hidden Game of Football put it, "For the first time since 1948 fans wondered if a good college team could beat a good pro team and were pretty sure they knew the answer.... " Most of the players who learned the hard lessons of the strikes are gone now though, and we're left with guys who only see the dollar signs; a lot of them were barely walking in 1987.

omac
05-25-2008, 07:12 AM
I'm not sure if I fully understand the concept of an uncapped season; does that mean an owner can spend as much as he wants on players? If so, I'm thinking maybe that'll make the big market teams much stronger, and the small market teams much weaker, and that includes Denver. How will that affect the draft, though?

Keeping a healthy Marshall and Scheffler is key; I don't think we have to worry too much if we lose Foxworth.

Joel
05-25-2008, 07:20 AM
I'm not sure if I fully understand the concept of an uncapped season; does that mean an owner can spend as much as he wants on players? If so, I'm thinking maybe that'll make the big market teams much stronger, and the small market teams much weaker, and that includes Denver. How will that affect the draft, though?

Keeping a healthy Marshall and Scheffler is key; I don't think we have to worry too much if we lose Foxworth.
I dunno, I'd miss Foxworth a lot unless we got an awful lot for him. But don't forget revenue sharing; obviously NFL owners have other irons in the fire or they wouldn't be NFL owners in the first place (most of them anyway; the Packers owners get their money from revenue sharing and local taxation.... ) But bye and large they've got pretty comparable bankrolls, which is why we needed the cap to avoid a bidding war over 6th round draft picks once their first contract expires. But I still remember vividly the days when the '9ers and Cowboys got into annual bidding wars over Dieon, Charles Haley, Ken Norton Jr., you name it; winner gets (yet another) SB Trophy. Everyone else gets the shaft, and backup CBs and sophomore receivers were largely irrelevant. No thanks.

Long time, no see, omac; hope you and yours are well (maybe I should post more in the football forums, eh...? :redface: )

Ziggy
05-25-2008, 08:35 AM
IF we have an uncapped season in 2010, expect owners to write big checks for large contracts that have a ton of upfront money. For example, we could resign Cutler to a 7 year 100 million dollar deal. Instead of a signing bonus that gets spread out and counts against the cap evenly every year, he could get no signing bonus, but have his 2010 salary at 70 million. That leaves 30 million spread out over the other 6 years, only having him count 5 million per year against the cap after 2010. It's a crazy concept, but don't be surprised to see something like that happen somewhere in the NFL.

Joel
05-25-2008, 09:10 AM
That actually makes far too much sense to argue, but it makes me even more concerned about those inflated contracts, 'cos unless the players union is really deft, far sighted and unscrupulous, you can only do it once. And sooner or later those contracts will run out; how can you re-sign 20 guys who were all making $5 million+/year for the last five seasons...?

omac
05-25-2008, 10:49 AM
I dunno, I'd miss Foxworth a lot unless we got an awful lot for him. But don't forget revenue sharing; obviously NFL owners have other irons in the fire or they wouldn't be NFL owners in the first place (most of them anyway; the Packers owners get their money from revenue sharing and local taxation.... ) But bye and large they've got pretty comparable bankrolls, which is why we needed the cap to avoid a bidding war over 6th round draft picks once their first contract expires. But I still remember vividly the days when the '9ers and Cowboys got into annual bidding wars over Dieon, Charles Haley, Ken Norton Jr., you name it; winner gets (yet another) SB Trophy. Everyone else gets the shaft, and backup CBs and sophomore receivers were largely irrelevant. No thanks.

Long time, no see, omac; hope you and yours are well (maybe I should post more in the football forums, eh...? :redface: )

Good seeing you too, man. :cheers: Been posting mostly in the football forums, but not that much anymore since I've discovered golf. :D

No way can the Broncos win in a bidding war. The owners might band together, though, and intentionally lowball the players, agreeing between themselves to a fixed upper price. The owners have to make money too, so they could protect each other.

MOtorboat
05-25-2008, 11:12 AM
Good seeing you too, man. :cheers: Been posting mostly in the football forums, but not that much anymore since I've discovered golf. :D

No way can the Broncos win in a bidding war. The owners might band together, though, and intentionally lowball the players, agreeing between themselves to a fixed upper price. The owners have to make money too, so they could protect each other.

Isn't that what they call collusion. :wave:

Retired_Member_001
05-25-2008, 12:47 PM
I'm not sure if I fully understand the concept of an uncapped season; does that mean an owner can spend as much as he wants on players? If so, I'm thinking maybe that'll make the big market teams much stronger, and the small market teams much weaker, and that includes Denver. How will that affect the draft, though?

Keeping a healthy Marshall and Scheffler is key; I don't think we have to worry too much if we lose Foxworth.

I'd say it would effect the Draft immensely. If you think about it, teams will not be so worried about the draft because they will be picking Superstar players up from elsewhere. Superstars on not so good teams will demand trades to bigger teams because they know the bigger teams will pay the money. You'll probably see teams trading alot of their draft picks for big name players as well.

In the year 2010, the Madden trading system may actually seem quite accurate.

MOtorboat
05-25-2008, 12:49 PM
I'd say it would effect the Draft immensely. If you think about it, teams will not be so worried about the draft because they will be picking Superstar players up from elsewhere. Superstars on not so good teams will demand trades to bigger teams because they know the bigger teams will pay the money. You'll probably see teams trading alot of their draft picks for big name players as well.

In the year 2010, the Madden trading system may actually seem quite accurate.

I don't think it's going to be a complete free-for-all. Baseball isn't, and it doesn't have a cap. However, one distinct difference is that you can't trade draft picks in the MLB.

Retired_Member_001
05-25-2008, 12:52 PM
I don't think it's going to be a complete free-for-all. Baseball isn't, and it doesn't have a cap. However, one distinct difference is that you can't trade draft picks in the MLB.

Yeah and that's a pretty distinct difference.

You also have to remember that NFL Teams are not used to having no caps, which means they will see it as a massive opportunity to pick up players.

Tned
05-25-2008, 02:00 PM
Nice article, MB. I have been giving a lot of thought to the uncapped year, now that the owners have opted out.

I don't think it will be good for the Broncos. It might not be bad, but I don't think the Broncos will benefit to the degree of some other teams.

Big money teams like the Cowboys will throw big money at both players they want to resign and free agents. Take the Marion Barber contract the Cowboys just signed him to. I was told, haven't read anything myself, that it was 7 years, $45 million, something like $16 mill guaranteed.

In they had signed Barber in an uncapped year, Jerry Jones would have the option to do something wacky like zero signing bonus, first year guaranteed salary of $39 million (2010) and then $1 million a year salary for the remaining 6 years of his contract.

Obviously, there are downsides like whether or not Barber would play hard for 7 years, when he basically was pre-paid for the contract. However, when it comes to cap management, teams that have 'cash' and aren't afraid to throw it around, could use the uncapped year to sign free agents (their own or other teams and renegotiate players contracts in such a way that the team would then be way, way under the salary cap limit for 5+ years following the uncapped year. Possibly as much as 50-70% below the cap, which then gives them complete freedom to make more free agent signings and contract extensions as needed in 2011-2016 or so.

Will some teams take that agressive approach to the uncapped year? Only time will tell, but I think some variation of above will happen with teams like the Cowboys and other 'rich' teams.

As to the Broncos. If the rumors of financial problems are true. If the fact that a dozen plus management/staff of the team were let go as cost cutting measures are true, then the Broncos might not have the 'cash' position to take advantage of an uncapped year the way teams like the Cowboys likely will.

Jaded
05-26-2008, 03:55 PM
I can't imagine a time where the NFL is like MLB (Could be headed in that direction) and College Football is riddled with nothing but Arena Football League offenses (Almost there).

That's when I'm no longer a football fan......

Dean
05-29-2008, 07:41 AM
I think people overlook some of the restrictions that are in place for 2010.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2008-05-20-owners-labor-deal_N.htm

It is difficult to tell exactly how it would all work out but the restrictions particularly on the top 8 teams should keep it from becoming a complete free-for-all.

MOtorboat
05-29-2008, 07:44 AM
I tjink people overlook some of the restrictions that are in place fpr 2010.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2008-05-20-owners-labor-deal_N.htm

Thanx.

MOtorboat
05-29-2008, 08:24 AM
I think people overlook some of the restrictions that are in place for 2010.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2008-05-20-owners-labor-deal_N.htm

It is difficult to tell exactly how it would all work out but the restrictions particularly on the top 8 teams should keep it from becoming a complete free-for-all.


• The top eight playoff finishers from the previous season would be allowed to sign free agents only at the rate at which they lose them.

• Players would need six NFL seasons to be eligible for free agency, rather than four.

• Each team would be allowed to restrict two eligible free agents with "franchise" or "transition" player tags, rather than one.

OK...didn't elaborate on this, this morning, because I was trying to wake up.

• Those are interesting restrictions...why are only the playoff contenders sanctioned as to the number of players they can sign, meanwhile, non-playoff teams can just sign at will? I'm guessing there's a lot more to that regulation.

• Another interesting question to those restrictions. I would need to see how these young players for the Broncos - Marshall, Scheffler, Dumervil - are effected in 2010. If they have four year contracts, but aren't eligible for free agency for six years in 2010, can they only negotiate with the Broncos? Must the Broncos pay them the average salary that they paid them in the last four years? I'm guessing there's some sort of grandfather clause with their original contracts that will still allow them to be free agents.

However, whom that does affect is this year's draft class, I would imagine...they would have to sign six year contracts, although, I'm not sure how they can enforce that now, without knowing whether a CBA will be agreed upon, then these players who should be eligible for free agency in 2012, won't be eligible until 2014. That restriction is quite confusing on the surface to me.

• The "franchise" tag is the only one that is cut and dry in my eyes.

Dean
05-29-2008, 08:58 AM
The post definitely does not answer all the questions over what will occur during the 2010 season. However it IMO does impose restrictions and they appear that, other than Washington, they will limit the teams with more cash from going wild in free agency. It also gives a greater ability for teams to retain their own quality players.

MOtorboat
05-29-2008, 09:07 AM
The post definitely does not answer all the questions over what will occur during the 2010 season. However it IMO does impose restrictions and they appear that, other than Washington, they will limit the teams with more cash from going wild in free agency. It also gives a greater ability for teams to retain their own quality players.

I like the franchise tag idea. I just don't see how exactly they are going to implement the other two.

Davii
05-29-2008, 09:46 AM
Wow. I feel like an idiot. I didn't know 2010 was going to be uncapped. :tsk:

MOtorboat
05-29-2008, 09:50 AM
Wow. I feel like an idiot. I didn't know 2010 was going to be uncapped. :tsk:

It most likely won't be Davii, so don't worry about it too much.

Davii
05-29-2008, 09:55 AM
It most likely won't be Davii, so don't worry about it too much.

Thread forgotten. :pound:

Dean
05-29-2008, 10:34 PM
According to John Clayton the Broncos are one of the least prepared teams in the event of an uncapped year.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist_john&id=3415387

I addition to that, with the exception of Cutler, the rest of that class will be free agents at the end of this year. It sounds like the front office better start locking players up with contracts.

Jaded
05-29-2008, 10:59 PM
According to John Clayton the Broncos are one of the least prepared teams in the event of an uncapped year.

http;??sports.espn.go.com/nfl/column/story?columnist_john&id=3415387

I addition to that, with the exception of Cutler, the rest of that class will be free agents at the end of this year. It sounds like the front office better start locking players up with contracts.

I don't know the contract situations of Scheffler and Dumervil, but Brandon Marshall is under contract through the 2009 season (Hopefully/Maybe JR can find the link for me again :salute:).

Also, the owners threw the CBA out the window, and in the uncapped year, the threshold for achieving unrestricted free agency moves from four years to six.

I don't think Marshall will be an unrestricted free agent until 2011. He’ll be a restricted free agent after his rookie contract expires, and he’ll be in line for a salary in the neighborhood of $3 million for the 2010 season, assuming that the Broncos use the high tender.

This is all information I pulled from articles (Which I can't find at the moment either) about Aaron Rogers' and Devin Hester's contract situation (Hester's contract situation is almost identically to Marshall's). So take it for what it's worth......

Timmy!
05-30-2008, 06:28 AM
Ugghhh. Like ticket prices need to be any higher.....

rcsodak
07-06-2008, 01:10 AM
Players will have to wait an additional 2yrs before hitting the 'free' market, and giving the teams extra time to 'tag' them.

All in all, I think an uncapped year is a wash.

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