According to Rotoworld and The Washington Post, if the 2011 season is played it will be uncapped. Right now we are looking at some of the largest egos in professional sports battle for supremacy. Yes, this is largely about money, but it is also about power and respect. The owners want it all, and thought they had it. This was until Judge Doty ruled the 4 billion dollars in TV revenue was not accessible to the owners in the event of a lockout. For those that are unaware of the TV revenue situation, when the NFL renewed the deal with all of the stations and Direct TV, they had a clause added that stated in the event of a lockout they would still get paid. If the stations declined, they would take their business elsewhere. No TV station is going to stand up to the monster that has become the NFL. If they lost the NFL, then they might never get them back... a risk none of them could take. This was the owners sole bargaining chip, their ace in the hole going into negotiations. When this was stripped from them, they continued to throw out a sub par deal thinking the players have no other choice. The players union, seething and disrespected decided to push for terms that are seen as unrealistic and ego driven. Now both side are puffing out their chests waiting for the other to flex.
Let's face the reality, there is way to much to lose on both sides to let this continue and sacrifice all of the revenue that needs to be shared, as well as alienating a fan base that is already fed up with the current situation. As the last few days have gone by, I have kept my eyes glued to the TV and to various websites waiting for some type of information that could give me a positive perspective on this. There is an overwhelming general consensus that this will get done, and it will happen sooner rather than later.
Fans on every team SB Nation site are as pissed as we are here at Silver and Black Pride. Twitter is over run with angry fans that can't comprehend this situation. Sports bloggers are criticizing both sides, and ESPN announcers are baffled at the money being left on the table. In the end, the reality is, this ship cannot be allowed to sink.
So, the point I am getting at is, everything will work out. The latest reports from ESPN state that the $600 million gap decreased by half in the final hours, and the owners have given up on the 18 game schedule. They still want a clause in the contract that allows them to revisit the idea in two years, but at least there is some give from these guys. If everything gets worked out, the following things will happen:
1. The 2011 season will be uncapped
2. All franchise tags and RFA tenders issued before the deadline will be upheld.
3. The draft will happen as scheduled, but signings will have to wait until the CBA is agreed on
The first two things were agreed on by both sides, and look to be upheld. There should be a ruling on the injunction of the lockout in 3-4 weeks.
On another note, now we see why Al was not shy about spending cash. He knew exactly what was going on, and now I don't doubt that other key free agents will be signed. I wouldn't be surprised if we sign Nam to some crazy 4 year 60 million dollar contract. Then if a cap does get reinstated at some point, Al could trade some high priced guys for good draft picks. Without a cap, this team can be kept together, and can be VERY dangerous next year.
If any new information comes out I will add it as time goes on, or do me a favor and post it below.
Edit: The way things are looking, next years requirements for unrestricted free agents will be the same as the 2010 season. Players that are 6 years in can be unrestricted free agents, rather than 4 years. This changes a lot of things. Big names expected to hit the market will more than likely get the RFA tenders. Some of these players include corner backs Johnathan Joseph and Antonio Cromartie, and wide receivers Santonio Holmes and Sidney Rice, amongst many others.
The union is also trying to block the top college players from attending the NFL draft. Don't know where this is going, but it is a shot at the owners for sure.