Pryor can't go.
The NFL Uncapped Year & Donovan Warren
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.
for the reason you think. Sorry I had to go all MgoObes on you!
Very informative article, knew about the uncapped year but didn't know that it wouldn't have as much of an effect on current players as I originally thought.
Too bad you had to throw that Pryor comment in there, now everybody is just going to give you shit.
I really thought it was ridiculous whenever I saw Pryor's name in these mock drafts. I couldn't understand why anyone would think that he could go pro. I assumed these "experts" were delusional.
After learning the truth, I understand why he'd consider it. I'd be thrilled to see him go.
Pryor literally can't go pro. He's only two years removed from high school. He's required to wait another year.
So if the salary cap goes, then players who are being overpaid and are underproducing get reduced contracts or get cut? That doesn't sound like the worst thing in the world. I'd prefer a new CBA and have everything to continue as normal, but man if there's an uncapped year, things will get reeeeeally interesting.
Actually it kind of sounds like a free market and capitalism...
And continuing with this line of thought will get me neg-banged for bringing up politics.
God Bless America!
If you actually think the NFL is even close to a free market, you are delusional. Non-guaranteed "contracts", players controlled by owners until they reach "free agency" (hmmmm, sounds like they are really not "free" in other years), etc.
I think you have the poster's point backwards. IME he was saying the NFL is typically an incredible controlled market, but if the 2010 "uncapped" year happens it would be a transition to the best approximation of a free market the NFL has seen in decades.
But it won't really because most of the players will still be stuck in the contracts they have, franchised, or transitioned. Teams will be able to keep all of the players they want. The only "free agents" will be those players the original team didn't want back.
Excellent OP. Thanks for the information. Care to share where you got it?
I read a variety of articles on the web since I wanted to understand Donovan's options. I couldn't find any single source but by finding bits and pieces I was able to compose something relevant to us.
Pat Kirwin had a good summary on NFL.com at http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d808736ba&template=with-video&co...
I can understand why the uncapped year and CBA and everything affect the players at the top (Clausen comes to mind), but will there really be much difference for the players further down the draft board? It seems like the best projections for DW are 2nd-3rd round, and I'm guessing that there will not be as big a difference in salaries for players in that range. Maybe I'm completely wrong on this, though.
I think the possibility of a lockout is slim to none. There is no issue like in the NHL or NBA about whether to create a salary cap. The issues being discussed are relatively minor, and the lost revenues should be more than enough motivation for the sides to come to an agreement.
Lastly, assuming the free agent period changes from four to six years as you stated, will that affect everyone immediately, or will players be grandfathered in if their contracts started before the new agreement? If that's the case, then I can understand why the players would want to get their first contract signed now.
1 - I don't know if it really will effect players in the lower rounds, but I'm sure the agents will suggest that they can.
2 - I agree that the lockout is unlikely but the college players have no control of whether there will or won't so they may rather be safe than sorry. Also, it is likely that the next CBA will include slotted rookie salaries that will be lower than rookies are paid currently. For that reason, we should hope the deal is done before this draft, since the slotting might inspire Warren to come back.
3 - The six year free agent period is only effective for 2010. Players expecting to be free agents this year would have to live with their current contracts for two more years.
I would like to know how high Warren would need to be told he would be drafted in to feel that it is worth his while to declare this year.
A few projections:
CBS: first or second round, fourth at position
Randall Weida of fftoolbox: 18th pick
Walterfootball.com: second or third round, eighth at position
Draftnotebook.com: 23rd pick, St Louis
CDS draft.com: third round
I can't find much searching for this without some paywall blockage, but even this small sample is all over the place, from mid-first to third. And this does beg one question:
Would a third-rounder this year be better off than a first-rounder in 2011?
I ask this because Warren would return to a defense that "gets it" now, the same DC two years in a row for the first time since HS, and a better supporting cast which may result in his seeing more action come his way. Anyway, I hope he comes back; the growth may continue to be slow, but there is still the tantalizing possibility of a quantum leap next year.
CW caliber as a junior DB. No way. You can never have your senior year back. Go ask Henson. Keep thinking DW.
How can Pryor go pro ? Don't you have to be three years out of high school to go pro in football ?
Yes 3 years removed from high school. Pryor would have to be Jr. or a Redshirt Soph. which he is neither, so either the OP or the writhers of the article red was incorrect.
Good stuff. I liked the stuff about the potential ramifications of a lock-out, though I agree it is pretty unlikely.
I do wonder if part of the reason Warren is looking to leave is because he doesn't figure to get much "better" as a CB with another year in college. DBs seem to be more born than created - you either have elite speed, good instincts, and flexible hips, or you don't. Sure, the technique might improve somewhat, but most guys who succeed as DBs in the NFL do so because they just have "it." We saw that with Woodson and, to a lesser extent, Marlin Jackson. I see a bit of it with Warren, but right now he probably would be lucky to be Leon Hall in the NFL. I'm not sure another year with Barwis or GERG would really change that reality.
Is it possible as well that even if Donovan gets drafted low, as long as he makes a roster, he's in the NFLPA right? So if the lockout goes down as expected in 2011, do NFLPA players get union lock-out pay? Granted, it's not going to be as much as a full salary, but sure as hell more than a graduated senior who can't be drafted / signed b/c of a lockout....
When hockey went all mutually asured destruction during their lockout, I believe most of the college players who wanted to get drafted went and played AHL / ECHL until the NHL draft was greenlighted. NFL players don't have that option UNLESS....
The UFL is successful.
"And the first pick of the 2011 UFL draft, The California Redwoods select, Terell Pryor, Wide Receiver, the University of Ohio State"
(BTW- I tried to go to www.ufl.com and it directed me to the Univ of Florida's webpage... weird....)
and it's Terrelle, not Terell or Terrell
This is very interesting, and it will be interesting to see what happens as the we get closer to draft day. I think that, after what has happened with the NHL we will see a new contract before March, and hopefully that will bring DW back as well. I also believe that a rookie salary cap won't have as large of an effect as a change from a 3rd to 1st round pick will, so it may all come down to if DW thinks he will go in the first round or not.
Obviously, I pray that he comes back. If our defense can get our offense on the field I think Tate and D Rob can get it done.
Through my worklife I interact a bit with the NFLPA and in a recent conversation heard that the NFLPA doesn't expect to reach a deal before a lockout. The thinking is that most of the players are too young to really remember difficult CBA negotiations and there is a number of new owners since the last time as well. Both sides apparently have a curiosity about what they might be able to gain through protracted negotiations, though the owners definitely have the upper hand right now. They think the players aren't prepared for what a labor lockout actually looks like and the owners think they can make some serious gains through pushing the players that far. I'm no expert in the CBA or current negotiations, but thought the attitude of the NFLPA was striking. The members, though, are very much behind the new president and that may also push the issue into a lockout.
what would pryor play in the nfl? no way he plays qb with his slow release and poor accuracy/poor zone read skills