Yes, my friends and fellow Redskins fans, the bomb dropped. The best of all bombs. The short-sighted, stupendously dumb for small market teams, blockbuster bomb was dropped. What am I talking about? I’m talking about how the cheapskate owners ditched the CBA today. Barring a new agreement, and let’s face it, there is no incentive for players or about half the owners to come to one, the 2010 season will be played with no salary cap.
Essentially that means the Redskins, Cowboys, Patriots, and Seahawks (if Paul Allen and his massive amount of wealth feels like playing at a loss) will be the overwhelming class of the league. There is no denying that this is a major benefit to the teams who know how to keep their business in order. Snyder, king of the $75 parking, has a track record of dropping cash in bundles and the difference here is that if he screws up with some of them, it won’t hurt anymore since he has more money to make up for it.
The funniest thing about all of this is that it is the small market teams and selfish larger market teams driving this. It was well publicized that Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft, and Dan Snyder led the negotiations to start sharing more of their revenue to make the agreement work in 2006. Now the smaller teams are whining again when profit margins are slipping due to greater expenses and what they describe as the “economic downturn.” Well, first off, said economic downturn really wasn’t in force in most parts of the country when the season started last year. Second, it is a well known fact that sports are one of the last businesses to suffer during a recession because people need the diversion. To see that, one only needs to see that baseball is yet again going to break its attendence record this year despite still being mired in steroids and a recession. Last, the Pats are a clear indication that if you run your business well, put a good team on the field, you become a “high revenue team.” In other words, Mike Brown of Cincy and Ralph Wilson of Buffalo, you’re full of crap. Wilson famously admitted he didn’t even understand the CBA and now he wants to abolish it. Apparently, he’s had two years to digest it.
At any rate, if I were Snyder, Kraft, Jones, or any other big revenue owner, the last thing I’d do now is worry about another deal until 2011. Why compete against 32 teams when you can compete against 5-10. I know that is a slight exaggeration. It is clear from baseball that the biggest spending teams don’t always win (see Orioles, Baltimore), but given this argument is about money, don’t expect Ralph Wilson to open his wallet in 2010. If multiple seasons go by with no cap, then you can expect more small market teams to adjust.
Though just for fun, consider this. If no agreement is made in 2011, there is no draft anymore either. It is highly unlikely that this will happen. It is in the owner’s best interest to make sure there is a draft and they put this “poison pill” in the agreement to make sure they’d have one. But for fun, imagine that every new player coming into the league is a free agent. It would be like the Redskins and Cowboys get 5-10 first rounders every year because we can afford to outbid people. This could get real, real fun.
Anyway, I’m ready for the bomb to drop. I’m sure those in Green Bay, Buffalo, and even Indy are cringing right now. Best case scenario here for them is that they play a season under a handicap in 2010. The worst case scenario is that this thing really implodes, there is no cap, and after years of futility, we have the Las Angeles Packers, Las Vegas Bills, and the San Antonio Colts. Bring it on, and hail Skins!