With Donovan Warren’s announcement that he was leaning toward entering the NFL Draft, I thought I would try to understand a major variable I’m sure he’s considering when making his decision, the Uncapped Year.
The potential of a 2010 uncapped year in the NFL will have many college underclassmen considering the draft this year. I’ve seen several mock drafts that include names like Ryan Mallett, Jevan Snead, and Terrell Pryor just because of the possible payday.
There are two big reasons that underclass players, even those mentioned above, would be wise to consider the draft this season:
First, it may be hard to believe when Matt Stafford gets $72 million before he throws a pass, but the NFL currently has a rookie salary cap as a result of the 2006 CBA. The league-wide salary cap rises each year as league revenues increase, when this happens, the Rookie Cap rises too. However, if 2010 is an uncapped year then the rookies won’t be subject to a cap either, so regardless of where a player is selected he can try to break the bank.
Second, and more motivating than no cap in 2010, is the possible lockout in 2011. If the NFL can’t agree to extend the collective bargaining before 2011 then the owners will lock out the players. This would mean incoming rookies wouldn’t get paid anything until the league settles on a new system. Any new system would likely include a rookie salary slotting system similar to the NBA, which would limit rookie pay in their first contract. A smart player would want to get under contract now to not only avoid the slotting system but also to begin earning time toward free agency.
If you are interested in the business of sports, the issues surrounding the NFL’s cap future can be fascinating. You would assume that an uncapped year would appeal to the players, since they would be able to command high salaries. The truth is the league has put restrictions in the contract to prevent a free agent period of drunken spending.
1) In 2010, free agency will require six years of service instead of four years, so many of the players who could take advantage of the uncapped year will be stuck in their original contracts.
2) Teams will have three tags to use to restrict free agents. Currently, a team can use either a franchise tag (average of the top five salaries at a position) or a transition tag (average of the top ten salaries at a position) on any one player on the club to protect the team from losing the unrestricted free agent. If the NFL has an uncapped year in 2010, teams will have use of one franchise tag and two transition tags. So the top three players who are eligible for free agency on a roster can be protected.
3) Teams that go deep in the playoffs will have free agent signing restrictions. According to Article XIX of the CBA titled "The Final Eight Plan", The four teams that make the league championship games can't sign an unrestricted free agent unless and until they lose one of equal or more value; the four losing teams in the divisional round can sign only one high-priced unrestricted free agent without having to lose one of their own. Once that maximum exception is burned, they are restricted like the top four teams. But they can sign as many mid-level free agents as they want.
As you can see, it is unlikely that an uncapped year will lead to a spending spree since few of the best players will be available, and 25% of the teams in the league will be limited if they pursue top free agents. Chances are the free agent pool will be filled with over-rated castoffs and over-the-hill stars; not the kind of players you can build a championship team with. Especially if they may not even play in 2011.
In reality, the NFL Players Association is trying hardest to negotiate a new contract before the March deadline because they’re afraid of the ramifications.
The NFLPA believes that the owners are going to use the uncapped year to clean up their books. With no salary cap, there will also be no minimum salary. Right now, teams are forced to spend at least 85% of the salary cap. With no cap teams could cut players with bad contracts without a cap hit and without a minimum team salary requirement owners could keep salaries low for the season to build up cash reserves in anticipation of the 2011 lockout.
It looks like the owners have created a great deal of leverage to negotiate the next new contract. They will use the uncapped year to get out of bad contracts and save money, while locking in their best players. Then they will threaten the lockout to get the NFLPA to sign a new deal for 2011.
As Michigan fans, we should hope that a new long-term agreement is reached before the draft. We should also hope that it includes salary slotting so that Donovan will be motivated to return to improve his draft stock.
As NFL fans, we should root for a strong, capped league without a lockout.
Ok, so the original plan didn't work out so well. I thought e-mailing the votes would be the best way to avoid giving away the results before they're finalized and the best way to handle write in votes. However, very few people wanted to e-mail the votes in. So we're trying a new way, with online polls. There is a poll created for each category, and a link to the each poll after each category heading. If you want to submit a write in vote, please do so in the comment section (either here or on the pollcode website, I'll check both)
I apologize for this not being formatted well. I'm doing this at work, thus don't have the time to really make it pretty.
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Misopogon – A Countenance More in Sorrow Than in Anger
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- Texas overtakes TCU
- Oregon and Georgia Tech swap
- LSU jumps 7 spots after a similar fall last week.
- USC jumps 7 spots after beating UCLA
- BYU is up 10 spots after knocking off Utah
- Pittsburgh drops 10 spots after losing to West Virginia
Interestingly, I don't think there's any way Florida or Alabama falls further than 4th; and they end up with the top 2 SOS rankings by a significant margin (the SEC takes 6 of the top 7 spots here). EDIT: If all the underdogs win this week, Alabama and Florida end up 1 and 2, respectively.
This week's top 20:
|Team||Pvs||+/-||Rank||KRACH||RRWP||Record Rank||W||L||T||Win %||SOS Rank||SOS|
Why? Because it's the World Cup. Leave me alone.
The World Cup draw is Friday, and FIFA has finally ditched its really unbelievably complicated seeding scheme for straight FIFA rankings, which screw you Sepp Blatter. In 2006 the USA would have received a seed if they'd gone with that.
Anyway, here's a hypothetically totally fair draw with each team given a seed corresponding to its FIFA ranking, with the team's Soccer Power Index (a Nate Silver joint) in parens afterwards:
|Seed||Team A||SPI||Seed||Team B||SPI||Seed||Team C||SPI||Seed||Team D||SPI||Avg|
|3||Holland||4||14||Ivory Coast||9||19||Australia||22||30||New Zealand||91||38.5|
The USA is in the second-worst group but even that group seems far more doable and balanced than what they got in '06 and what they're staring down on Friday. The Silver average reveals everyone's main desire: get drawn in the same group as South Africa, New Zealand, and/or North Korea. Those teams are all horrendous relative to the field.
Unfortunately, That's not happening unless the USA pulls the 1-in-8 longshot and slips into the South Africa group:
Pot 1 will consist of the eight seeded teams and will be drawn into groups at the outset of the Friday's event.
Pot 2 consists of CONCACAF, Asia and Oceania and will be drawn, next with no restrictions as to where those eight teams can be drawn.
The USA cannot draw in with Australia, North Korea, New Zealand, or South Korea, the #19, 28, 29, 30, and 31 teams in the tournament according to FIFA. Nor can they get in with #27 Honduras, but we knew that already. In sum: YAY. There is one team in its pot that the US wouldn't want to get drawn with: Mexico. The other six teams are the weakest in the field with the exception of Australia. The CONCACAF powers are worse off than any other team with a chance of advancing to the second round.
Why don't the World Cup doyens do it like this anyway? There's only one group that has an overload of one federation—Group 8 has three UEFA teams—and that can be fixed by flipping Ghana and Slovakia. If you want to separate Chile and Brazil you can just flip Chile with the Ivory Coast. You get geographical dispersion, seriously reduced chances at Groups of Death, and a fairer tournament all around.
Total Committed Players: 22 (21 Verbal Commits + Adrian Whitty)
Heavy Michigan Leans / Possible Silent Commits: 3
Tony Grimes CB Rivals 3* Scout 4*
Clarence Murphy DE Rivals 3* Scout 3*
Josh Furman LB Rivals 3* Scout 4*
If all of those guys Go Blue that is 25 total recruits...we'll see what happens.
Upcoming Official Visits
Jonathan Hankins DT Rivals 3* Scout 3*
Torrian Wilson OL Rivals 4* Scout 3*
Rashad Knight CB Rivals 4* Scout 3*
Who knows if any of these guys commit.
- Jonathan Hankins was rumored to heavily favor Michigan and finally got the offer. Definitely a position of need.
- Torrian Wilson is still committed to Stanford and you know Harbaugh is telling him Michgan doesn't stack up academically.
- Rashad Knight missed his previously scheduled official visit. We have several DB verbal commits but the team could still use more.
D.J. Williamson Rivals 3* Scout 2*
Tony Drake Rivals 3* Scout 3*
Drew Dileo Rivals 3* Scout 3*
- Michigan identified Dileo early and seemed to really want him from the press that came out about his commitment.
- Drake comes from a team stacked with D-1 prospects and has played well this season.
- Don't know much about Williamson...might switch to Safety which is still a position of need.
Obviously there are a lot of rumors and speculation behind this information. Anything can happen between now and the first Wednesday in February.
Recent blogpost: NCAA Tourney Preview
I'm not one for rehashing press releases, but this information is timely and would be lost in a second on the board. Per mgoblue:
Positioned in the Stanford regional, the Wolverines (24-9 overall) will face Niagara in first-round action on Friday (Dec. 4) at 7:30 p.m.[…]
The U-M/NU winner will face the winner of the OU/UND match in second-round action Saturday (Dec. 5) at 7:30 p.m.
Volleyball season ticket holders can purchase tickets beginning Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 8:30 a.m. by calling the U-M Ticket Office. Tickets will be available to the public by phone, internet and in person at the U-M Ticket Office beginning Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 1 p.m. Seating is general admission. All tickets will be held at will call. Advanced sales are all-session tickets only. Single-Session tickets must be purchased at the door. Doors open one hour prior to the event.
Everyone (except children under two) must have a ticket. The first 500 U-M students with a valid Mcard will be admitted free and must pick up a ticket at the arena by 7:30 p.m. Faculty and staff are NOT admitted free with Mcards for postseason events.
All-Session tickets are priced at $10 for an adult, $6 for seniors and students, and $4 for children 3-12 (children two years and under free with paid adult). Single-Session tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and $4 for children 3-12 (children two years and under free with paid adult).
Emphasis mine. There is a good chance that all the full session seats will sell out in the first few hours.
Notre Dame will play Ohio at 5:30pm on Friday, and their game should end before Michigan takes the court. I've got an email into the volleyball SID to ask about how many single session tickets will be reserved and if they (single session tickets for Michigan/Niagara) will be available an hour before the ND/Ohio game or an hour before our game, and I'll update here when I hear back.
As for you students, there's a good chance the 500 may go quickly. I suggest getting there a little early if you want to get in for free.