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An Almost Free Market NFL (1 Viewer)


Assume that each NFL team had a cap to financially structure itself within whether it includes revenue sharing or not. However, outside of that there is no union and anyone can sign or play for whomever they want each and every year UNLESS they have signed a previous, guaranteed agreement with their current team for multiple years. The team has to honor long term contract agreements. But, they have more flexibility with players not signed to multi year deals. No minimum salary and obviously no maximum. Assume for the sake of this argument also that the players have the knowledge about their fair market value and the negotiating skills to go to the table without player agents or representatives.

How would this affect player salaries?

Wouldn't the players be better off? Wouldn't the owners be better off?

Excuse my naivety.

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Wouldn't the players be better off? Wouldn't the owners be better off?
SOME of the players would certainly be better off, ie the best ones.But how would the owners be better off? They'd be paying more $$$ in player salaries for the same product.
Let's assume that no matter what happens, teams are going to spend $3,200,000,000 on players (whether it's 32 teams and a $100,000 salary cap, or no revenue sharing and no salary cap). Now, no matter HOW you structure contracts, or HOW you set up the collective bargaining agreement... players will not be better off. No matter what, there will be 1696 players, and they'll make $3,200,000,000 dollars. Now, you could set up a system where the best players make the largest chunk of that, or you could set up a system where everyone makes exactly the same amount... but none of that changes the fact that, no matter HOW the contracts are set up, structured, prorated, amortized, negotiated, whatevered... there are 1696 players making a total of $3.2 billion.

The only thing about your hypothetical that makes the players better off is the assumption of no agents (and therefore no agent fees), which means more money is going directly to the players.

The only way to make players better off is to increase the amount of money going to them. The only way to make them worse off is to decrease the amount of money going to them. Any fancy way of setting up the league or the contracts or the salary cap or whatever really does nothing to improve the players situations. If you force teams to honor long term contracts... yes, that means players will no longer get cut... but those players getting cut are almost always players who have already gotten at least one big payday. If teams couldn't cut aging veterans to clear cap room, they could no longer afford to give bigger deals to the players who played well last season and who EARNED the money. Taking away a team's ability to cut players who are underperforming just ensures that a larger percentage of the money is going to players who are not performing well enough to earn it, and a smaller percentage of the money is going to the players who really deserve it.


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