I survey the rosters and look towards the competitive balance, one major
stumbling block is apparent.
That of course is that most of the poorer teams that have changed hands
recently are saddled with inherited ridiculous contracts.
In order to maintain a sensible competitive balance a very small rule
change would allow for the gap to be in effect greatly shortened.
This rule change would be essentially simple, but would have incredible
ramifications over leveling the playing field.
With this as an introduction I’d like to take a few minutes to explain
my rationale in why I believe that each franchise should have the right to
sacrifice it’s first round pick so as to rid itself of a troublesome contract.
put, each season a team would be able to declare one contract void and place
that player back into the free agent, at the very steep cost of it’s first
round draft pick.
As the costs of players continue to spiral, our budget stays the same,
the problem is that mismanaged teams are constantly trading moderately
productive players or picks to be rid of these undesirable contracts.
These moves have separated the league into haves and have-nots.
Is it no wonder that the stable franchises are the ones with the owners
with the most tenure.
The simple fact is that as others teams have changed hands that the new
owners are forced to play with the hand that they were dealt by their
This obviously is the nature of the beast, but the competitive spirit and
balance can be enhanced through this minor change.
dynamics would be simple, as each team owning its own first round pick would
have the option of surrendering the pick for the removal of the player.
The move would be made prior to free agency, but the money would be
available after free agency.
Two important factors would be that each team would only be able to do
this with their own pick, where ever it may fall in the first round, this would
eliminate the likelihood of a clever GM, buying the higher pick, trading his
lower pick and then having the other GM surrender a lesser pick. Also, a team
would be unable to resign the dropped player in the free agency period.
Obviously this would benefit all the teams to some extent, but it would
greatly help handy me down teams that are saddled with outrageous contracts on
Finally, NT penalties would still apply where applicable.
this idea will meet with a great deal of debate, as many owners will feel that
this would somehow do the reverse and throw off the competitive balance. Also,
many may feel that these contracts are just a part of doing business and that no
escape plug should be put into effect.
But in reality, the notion places a very high price on the removal of the
contract, but at the same time it allow for the resurrection of some of these
I do not wish to utilize examples form our league as I do not wish to
embarrass anybody, but I’d only ask that if you scan rosters you would see
which teams are projected well over budget and not surprisingly most of these
are the ones that become available.
A four-year contract at 4.25 million could very easily mean a team may be
able to make budget and rebuild without a fire sale that inevitably weakens the
balance of power.
These 17 million dollars would be available after free agency, at a
premium cost of a first round pick.
I’d welcome ideas to better enhance the dynamics of this idea, especially if
it would help encourage sponsors and eventual passing.
I’d also welcome criticism and look forward to your response.