In what is now the 4th part in a series of posts on the NFL this week, I’d like to add on to the post from earlier today by Dr. Humphreys about the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. Earlier today I was reading on espn.com this report about 212 players in the league who will lose their unrestricted free agent status for the next season if there is no agreement in place before the season starts. Rules stipulate in any uncapped year in the NFL, that players must have played for six years to be an unrestricted free agent, not four. This means there are 212 players who will be losing their ability to be unrestricted free agents, and thus be able to hopefully net their truth worth through contract negotiations. Under restricted free agency, players can not leave their teams easily, as team that players belong to are allowed to make bids for the player for a single season. How much the team offers also determines what round draft pick in compensation they receive if the player chooses to leave. Additionally, a player under restricted free agency may have any offer for them matched by the team they have played for, and thus kept from moving to another team.
A few people on the list of people moving from potential unrestricted to restricted free agents: Kyle Orton, Shawne Merriman, Ronnie Brown, Miles Austin, and Brandon Marshall to name a few.
Another thing which would emerge in the uncapped year is the addition of an extra “transition player”. A player with this tag gets whichever is larger of: 120% of the player’s salary from the previous season, or the minimum of the average of the top 10 salaries for the player’s position in the previous season. It looks like there will be a large number of free agents who may lose out because of no CBA, however, as there will be no salary cap and the addition of an extra transition player, there should be quite a few players who will be able to bring in contracts with higher values.