NBA Free Agency Begins With Money Flying Steelers Exploring '23 Super Bowl Bid Redskins DC Stadium Could Hinge On Name Change Top Rank Files Suit Against Al Haymon NHRA Leadership Undergoing Changes IndyCar's Miles Fires Back At Critics Of Race Conditions CVC Capital's Mackenzie: Make F1 More Exciting Chargers, Raiders Meet With L.A. Officials Daytona Int'l Speedway Holding Flag Exchange MLS Expected To Add "Core Player" Roster Spot
SBD/March 18, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies
NFL Likely To Expand Playoffs For '15, Could Experiment With Extra Point In '14 Preseason
Published March 18, 2014
CAPPING IT OFF: USA TODAY's Tom Pelissero notes NFL teams in the first week of free agency "had handed out" nearly $700M in guaranteed contract money as of yesterday morning. That is "thanks in part" to a salary cap that increased to $133M. But NFLPA President Domonique Foxworth and "other union leaders have remained cautious about altering the message they have used all along." NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith said, "When we saw the growth in the cap, were we happy for our players? Yes. But we didn't restructure a salary cap deal. We structured a collective bargaining agreement that addresses wages, benefits and working conditions." Pelissero notes the CBA includes "minimum cash spending limits, which kicked in on a team-by-team basis over a four-year rolling average of 89% last year." That might "help explain why the second wave of free agency seemed to come more quickly ... than a year ago, when the cap rose less than 2%" to $123M and "criticism intensified of players' take from the NFL's record revenue" (USA TODAY, 3/18). THE MMQB's King wrote after three years of a "stalled market, free agency finally works." One team exec said that the "real win for the players in the 2011 CBA won’t be the increase in the cap over the next few years ... but rather the minimum spending rules." In past years, owners "had a salary cap, but many didn’t spend anywhere near it. Now they have to" (MMQB.SI.com, 3/17).