By Bill Smith The NCAA
changed the red shirt rule that allowed players to be in the college system for
5 years instead of 4. Prior to the
change, a player could only be granted an extra year of eligibility if he was
injured. As a result, in 1983, many of
the quality players that would have been available in 82 were red-shirted and
thus available in 83.
be a year very much like 1983 depending on what happens in negotiations between
the NFL and the NFL Players Association.
As things stand now, there will be a draft in 2010 but that will be an
uncapped year. Without an extension of
the current agreement, or a new one, there will be no limit on what any team
can spend for a player.
salaries have skyrocketed over the last few years (Jake Long got 30 million
guaranteed in a 5 year 57 million dollar deal) despite a cap on both the total
a team could pay its rookie class and a cap on the salaries of the top 51
veterans on the roster. Last year the
team salary cap was over 107 million dollars.
With no cap of any kind in 2010, the rookies drafted in that year will
have a great deal of negotiating power.
The odds of
that being the situation in 2010 depend on how negotiations go between the
league and the union. At this point,
both sides are talking tough but that means very little. Gene Upshaw, Executive Director of the union,
has been under fire from some members.
He has negotiated the largest percentage increase of total revenues
dedicated to the players than any professional league in history. The players currently get around 65 percent
of the total revenue (minus some small exemptions) coming into the league. Even so, the players want more.
on the other hand, are not satisfied with the deal they agreed to either. One thing that management wants is a slotted
salary for draft choices similar to the one in the NBA. It may well lead to a lockout by the league
and the dissolution of the NFLPA by the players in an attempt to strike a new
split of revenues. If a lockout occurs,
it will likely be in 2011.
juniors that go back to school in 2009 run a risk. If after the declaration date for the 2009
draft the league comes to agreement that the 2010 draft will include a slotted
salary, the juniors that stayed will have lost a year of pay and the chance for
what are now very large guaranteed dollars.
If there is no agreement, the league may lockout the players in
2010. Again, if that happened, the 2010
rookies would lose. If the situation
does not change, the 2010 rookies will be for a windfall unlike any year in NFL
Life is a
risk. We all have to make life changing
decisions but for potential NFL players these choices may be very profitable or
Bill Smith is a
former coach of several semi-pro teams and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for
http://BrutusReport.com. He has also published
several novels on http://ebooks-library.com/index.cfm and