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It’s always a change when you don’t have your starters

3 years 4 months ago #20542 by zhangzk
Should Jon Allen be a free agent right now?"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Looks Like Someone Has A Sixpack Of The MondaysDaily SlopRedskins RecapsEDTShareTweetShareShareThe upcoming CBA could change the value of rookie contractsJerome Miron-USA TODAY SportsBack in July Womens Dwayne Haskins Jersey , I wrote an article aimed at giving a bit of a ‘heads up’ about the upcoming expiration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NFL and the player’s association (NFLPA).I thought it might provide a kind of reference point for later articles about the CBA, which took effect in 2011, but only has a 10-year life, meaning that there are only two seasons remaining before the league and the fans may have to face up to new work stoppages, changes to contract rules, and another re-grading of the terrain that affects draft, free agency, salary cap, roster construction and control, and myriad associated issues.As a result of the current CBA, we have seen teams incentivized to optimize roster construction by loading about half the roster with players on ‘rookie contracts’, with salaries that are relatively low in comparison to the salary cap, and then filling the top-10 or 12 salary cap spots with high-dollar free agents who are expected to be franchise cornerstones.Here’s part of what I wrote in the July article:It seems obvious that the current system is limiting the opportunities of star players to maximize their career earning potential by giving the teams a 4-year contract window where those players are on team-friendly contract values.This issue probably affects running backs, as a group, the most dramatically.Teams have drafted players locked up for 4 years, but for many running backs, that’s an entire career.It seems to me that the NFLPA should be seeking a number of changes in the CBA; I mentioned three possibilities in the quoted material above — higher rookie wages, shorter rookie contracts, and elimination of the 5th year option.I don’t expect the NFLPA to fight for the first of those; after all, giving more money to rookies means taking money away from veterans, and the NFLPA membership comprises current NFL players (that is, veteran players) who aren’t likely to push for changes that take money out of their pockets.The second item on that list — shorter rookie contracts — is one of the key places that I think the NFLPA should ‘plant its flag’ in the upcoming CBA negotiations.After all, by the time a player gets to the end of his rookie contract, he’s now a veteran, and the union should be all about creating more opportunities for veterans.If the length of rookie contracts is shortened to 2 or 3 years, then the current “5th year option” becomes much less of an issue, as it would now become a 3rd or 4th year option.The ideal scenario in the (hopefully) 2021 CBA would be to keep the ‘slotted’ rookie wage scale (with a couple of tweaks), but shorten the length of rookie contracts to just 2 years on the slotted system, supplemented by expensive 3rd year and 4th year options that allow the team to keep control of the player for 4 years... if they are willing to pay the expensive option price.While this is a relatively small change in the structure of the CBA, it would likely have a huge impact on the way teams manage roster construction and manage the salary cap.The last CBA was a reaction to the inability of teams to sign 1st round draft picks to moderate contracts, so the ‘slotting’ system was created.In effect, teams get a player on ‘slave wages’ for 4 years, and because it was collectively bargained, the players can’t really do much about it.I don’t think owners want to undo the slotting system unless they can replace it with something that largely accomplishes the same thing, but I think the NFLPA is going to have to step up and represent their future members by trying to get drafted players through their rookie contracts more quickly, giving them a shot to hit the free agency market sooner in their careers. This would also mean that more players would get a second (or even third) crack at free agency before hitting 30 years old.This might make it seem as if I’m offering up a harebrained scheme that is unrealistic, but I don’t think so.To prove that I’m not alone in my thinking, I’ll let Jason Fitzgerald and Vijay Natarajan, who recently authored a series of articles related to the upcoming CBA negotiation, make the arguments for me.If the new CBA shortens rookie contracts from the current four years to, say, two years, that will dramatically shift the value proposition of rookie contracts, making them less beneficial to teams.In my mind, it would be analogous to removing a government subsidy to an industry like dairy or petroleum, and allowing the open market to set prices.Rookies would be on fixed salaries for only half as long Dwayne Haskins Jersey White , and then they would be free agents.If this were to happen, then roster building strategies would be affected.A sudden switch from 4 years to 2 years might be more shock to the system than the NFL could bear.We’ve seen from the league that they often like to tread lightly with changes, going in steps or half-measures.I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a compromise set with a change to 3-year contracts, which is what I have long thought would be the outcome.There will be changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement when the next iteration replaces the current one, set to expire at the end of the 2020 season.Right now, we can only speculate what changes might be coming, but I think one of the most likely will involve shortening the length of rookie contracts under the CBA without dramatically altering the ‘slotting’ system.If that happens, then the current salary cap advantages that come with drafted rookies would be greatly diminished.Draft resources would become relatively less important than they are today, and the ability to value the worth of veteran free agents would become more critical.The net effect would likely be to spread the available salary cap dollars a bit more evenly (and in my view, more equitably), and to give star players the opportunity for another ‘bite at the apple’ of free agency, meaning a greater chance to maximize career earnings.Remember - this change wouldn’t cost teams any more money; it would simply move around the money that is spent on players’ salaries.Also, given the structure of the draft, the salary cap, roster limits and so on, no single team gains an advantage over the others in the ability to keep talented players on the roster.This change would give players the chance to get their ‘piece of the pie’ a bit earlier; otherwise, we’re talking about the same number of jobs, the same sized salary cap ‘pie’, and an even playing field.It simply creates a different dynamic for roster construction.Under a 2-year rookie deal, Ezekiel Elliott would have been a free agent this off-season, able to command a hefty salary in the open market of free agency, rather than being tied to a miserable franchise like the Cowboys for two more years of wear and tear on his body.Of course, Jonathan Allen and Chase Roullier would have been able to test the free agency waters this offseason as well.Every team in the NFL would be forced to pay their young stars by Year 3 or risk losing them to another team that opens the purse strings.We could see a complete re-shaping of the NFL landscape in 2021.Shorter rookie contracts — a single change with a lot of benefits for players — would dramatically change how teams value rookie contracts and how free agents are used to complete NFL rosters from year to year.This is only one small potential change.The end result of multiple changes to the CBA could have Seismic results, and the front offices that are able to best anticipate the changes and adapt most quickly will have an advantage over others. ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Trent Williams wasn’t worried as he climbed into an ambulance to be evaluated at a Dallas hospital.The Washington Redskins‘ starting left tackle was hit in the chest and felt lightheaded, so the concern was a possible liver injury. Williams checked out just fine and was back at practice Monday.“It didn’t hurt that much,” Williams said. “They wanted to be safe than sorry.”That’s a prudent approach for a team that’s down to its backup quarterback, missing two starting offensive linemen and its top receiver for the rest of the season and could be without a handful of other key players for a big game next Monday night at the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. Playing with a skeleton crew of starters has become the new normal for the Redskins.“I looked at the group that we had out there when everybody was healthy and I was just like, ‘Man, they won’t be able to stop this crew,'” third-down back Chris Thompson said. “There were a lot of plans that we had for this team going into the 16-game stretch, but we just had to make a few changes because injuries happen.”A lot of injuries have happened.Quarterback Alex Smith, receiver Paul Richardson and starting guards Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao are out for the season. Thompson hopes to play after missing so many games he can’t count with broken ribs — six, in total — and it would be a major boost if receiver Jamison Crowder can return after missing almost two months with an injured right ankle.The Redskins have lost three of four since starting 5-2 and yet are still tied with Dallas at 6-5 atop the NFC East. Beating Philadelphia on the road Monday night in Colt McCoy ‘s second start at quarterback would go a long way toward winning the mediocre division, especially if the Cowboys lose at New Orleans on Thursday.Thompson has felt noticeable improvement from a fractured rib on each side of his rib cage and is optimistic he’ll be strong enough to play within a week. The situation is a bit murkier for Crowder and cornerback Quinton Dunbar, who were among a host of players who didn’t take part in a bonus day of practice Monday that followed a long weekend off.Because of the extra time before facing the Eagles, coach Jay Gruden and his staff can take a cautious approach with “sore” tight end Jordan Reed; right tackle Morgan Moses, who’s dealing with ankle irritation; and defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis, who was held out with a calf injury.Like last season, when injuries derailed the Redskins’ playoff hopes long before the stretch run, it has been that kind of year with players going down left and right.“” Williams said. “Those are the guys that primarily you work with throughout the whole offseason and (organized team activities) to get on the same page. But that’s why you stress that every guy has to be ready.”Thompson is more than ready. The broken ribs have bothered Thompson when trying to sleep or when laughing or coughing, but the pain of watching his teammates lose without him has him eager to get back on the field.“I just want to be back out there and be able to help my guys out,” Thompson said. “I really believe that I can go in and make an impact.”

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