NFL LOOKS TO CRACK DOWN ON CREATIVE CAP-ONOMICS
On ESPN's "NFL Prime Monday," Chris Mortenson said the NFL
will be watching for teams abusing salary cap rules. Mortenson:
"They are trying to have a crack-down right now. It's called
their 'Whistle-Blower Campaign,' and they are getting the word
out among players, agents, executives that there is in fact a $1
million reward for a tip that exposes a team that circumvents the
salary cap. That $1 million will come out of the $2 million fine
and they are looking hard at teams like the Cowboys and any other
team that may try to circumvent the cap" ("NFL Prime Monday,"
DOES THAT INCLUDE STOCK BUYS? Dolphins QB Dan Marino's
recent purchase of Republic Waste Industries stock on the advice
of Dolphins Owner H. Wayne Huizenga "has the NFL concerned about
a salary cap violation," according to the Ft. Lauderdale SUN-
SENTINEL. In May, Marino was one of 150 Huizenga "associates"
who took advantage of an offer to purchase Republic stock at
$4.50 a share in advance of Huizenga's announcement of his
intention to buy the company. The stock is now trading at
$22.25. Marino's net gain is estimated at more than $1.5M. NFL
Dir of Communications Greg Aiello: "The league's management
council is now aware of this and they will be looking into it.
Anything that raises the issue of the integrity of the salary cap
has to be looked into." Marino: "What, are they going to tell
me where I can invest my money?" NFLPA VP Trace Armstrong did
not think it was a violation because of the "element of risk"
(Jason Cole, Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 8/29).
SILVER STAR, BLACK HAT: Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones appeared
on "Prime Monday" and was asked if he was concerned about a
backlash from other owners over his recent business deals.
Jones: "I want the other owners to join me. I'm only dealing
with about 5% of the revenues in the NFL. If we did what I want
to do, the other 90% plus another five would be shared as we've
always shared them, but this is an opportunity to provide
incentive for the different clubs. This is a way for us to build
the NFL." Jones noted the owners coming into the league now who
are committing "hundreds of millions of dollars. ... The future
in the NFL are with people that have that kind of investment, my
plan would attract those people" (ESPN, 8/28).
"LEAGUE-THINK": NFL Manager of Corporate Commun. Brian
McCarthy disagrees and noted Jones's bid last year to separately
market his special star jersey. McCarthy: "We have a philosophy
we call 'league-think,' meaning the whole is greater than the sum
of all its parts. Sure, some teams sell more product than
others. But if there were no league to begin with, there
wouldn't be any teams or merchandise to sell" (ORANGE COUNTY
LOOMING CAP CASE STUDY? As Jones works this week to
restructure several of his players' contracts to secure enough
money under the cap to sign Deion Sanders, Ed Werder of the
DALLAS MORNING NEWS writes that Jones is underscoring the
potential endorsement possibilities for Sanders if he signs with
Dallas (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/29). In Houston, Bill Sullivan
writes that a Deion signing could be tied in with Jones' Pepsi
deal (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/29).