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WHEN IS A CAP NOT A CAP? NFL'S SALARY STRUCTURE EXAMINED
Published March 6, 1995
The legitimacy of the NFL's salary cap is examined by the BOSTON GLOBE's Will McDonough. The league does have a cap, "but, in reality, in name only." Bills Owner Ralph Wilson said the cap "is becoming a joke, and it's the owners fault. No one else's. Don't blame the players. Don't blame the agents. Blame us. We're the ones ruining the system." McDonough writes that teams are sitting down with agents and working out ways to beat the cap through loopholes. Last year, the cap was put at $34.6M per team, but the NFLPA reports an average payroll of $39M per club. According to NFLPA "accounting, 17 teams were over the cap in 1994." McDonough notes two problems that could occur from teams subverting the cap: Smaller-market clubs won't have the financial resources to compete with teams with great stadium deals, and possible "outrageous deals" when the current CBA expires in '99. A complete list of team payrolls is listed for 1994, according to the NFLPA. In addition to these totals, each team had to pay $4.4M in player benefits (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/5):
THE MAN FROM TROY: Cowboys QB Troy Aikman, growing upset about the loss of some teammates to free agency, said the salary cap is the reason why the team isn't staying together. Aikman said Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones "is doing everything he can to keep this going. ... Jerry would have kept the players that gave us the best shot at winning, if it wasn't for the cap." Aikman also "took a poke" at the NFLPA, "saying most players are probably making the same salaries they would be making under a non-cap system" (Mike Fisher, FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/6). RUN THAT AGAIN: NFL owners will consider two versions of the instant replay system at their winter meetings in March. One idea is to use the same system that was rejected in '92, but only in the playoffs. The other proposal is an adaptation of the USFL rules, with each team having three "challenges for each half" (Gordon Forbes, USA TODAY, 3/6).