What would you want the NFL to implement if you had the ability to draft the oncoming CBA? What would you leave out? Here’s what I think . . .
1. I would impose a rookie wage scale. Obvious, I know. The reduced spending on the top 10-15 rookies in the first round could be spent on the veterans who have actually proven themselves, rather than on a untested player. The concession would be shorter contract terms, but there would be some sort of ability to retain the players, such as restricted free agency or whatever, so that teams who have cultivated the young player into a talent have a way to recover the player’s value if said player leaves for another team in free agency.
2. I would get rid of the salary cap but keep a minimum spending cap. It wouldn’t be nearly as high as the purported talks are currently trying to have it, but it would be there. This would force some semblance of parity as teams would at least have to have some talent on their team.
3. I would raise the roster limits. Current numbers? 80 for training camp, 53 for regular season, 8 for practice squad, 45 for game day. Those are too small. If the cap is removed, spending by the big teams would grow and the smaller teams would have to find a way to keep up and that would involve developing more talent. I would allow for 90 during training camp, 58 during the season, 50 for game day and the practice squad size would be increased to 12. The practice squad would also get some sort of protection for some, if not all, of the players. The protection would be some sort of compensation, be in draft picks or monetary consideration. I don’t know if the money would work, but potentially, if a team (say, the Jaguars) is really good at finding and cultivating talent, then the “selling” of rights to the players to other teams could be an important income stream. Finally, the increased roster size would allow for easier continuity in terms of teams having to find and develop talent.
4. I would add a couple more rounds to the draft, say for a total of nine or ten rounds. Simple enough and wouldn’t be that hard to implement. The increased roster size would make the additional rounds more desirable, rather than the mad rush for UDFAs.
5. I would try to get a D-League created, kind of like what baseball has. The removal of the salary cap would place a greater burden on the poorer teams to find talent in less thought of places and a D-League would make that search easier. Maybe a partnership with the UFL could work.
- Jason Love