The NBA has done a pretty good job of making a mockery of its sport. LeBron James' idea that stars should team up instead of square off has infected all of sports and spread like a disease.
Prior to the 2011 NFL Draft, Von Miller, Aldon Smith and Marcell Dareus talked about teaming up down the line, according to Lindsay Jones of USA Today. I’m assuming Dareus is Chris Bosh, since he is both bigger and has considerably less star power than Miller and Smith.
It’s just a harmless idea until someone acts on it. For the sake of football, we can only hope that the players will never act on the idea and the NFL has created conditions that will never allow such a ridiculous idea to come to fruition.
Sadly, it doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch for Roger Goodell to turn into David Stern.
If Goodell can botch the bounty investigation, he can veto a trade that would send Calvin Johnson to the New England Patriots.
Is this where all sports are headed? Are we all big enough suckers to funnel our hard-earned money into the pockets of billionaires so we can watch only a handful of teams get all the good players?
A Ridiculous Idea
Could Smith and Miller be on the same team at some point? It seems possible, but highly improbable for many reasons.
The first reason is cost; teams only want to spend so much money on one particular area. The salary cap in the NFL has to account for 53 players, with enough flexibility to make in-season roster moves.
While the Heat were able to pair James, Bosh and Dwyane Wade on one team while surrounding them with a few cheap players, the same feat will be much harder in the NFL. So don’t get your hopes up that the Denver Broncos could land Smith and Dareus when they become free agents in a few years.
There’s also something called the franchise tag in the NFL, which would limit a player like Smith or Miller from leaving the team that drafted them. It would be very cost-prohibitive and irresponsible of a team to spend so much money on three guys in one offseason.
There’s also the question of impact.
The 49ers have Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman and Smith whereas the Broncos have Elvis Dumervil, Champ Bailey and Miller. Three defensive stars make for a very good defense, but it hardly guarantees a championship in the NFL.
The NBA has an active roster size of 13 players compared to 53 in the NFL. To have the same impact as James and Bosh did when they signed in Miami, eight star players would have to agree to sign with the same team that already has four of them under contract.
Perhaps Miller should have recruited J.J. Watt, Nick Fairley, A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Colin Kaepernick and a few others to join his super group.
The top players in the NFL make about $15 million per year on average. Assuming that all 12 players will sign below-market deals for $10 million, no NFL team would be able to slip under a salary cap that is expected to remain flat at about $121 million next season (per NFL.com).
Endorsements and championships wouldn’t be nearly as likely as they would be in the NBA and players certainly aren’t going to leave $5 million per year on the table just to play with their buddies.
The Washington Redskins tried to buy wins in the NFL in the 1990s and failed miserably. The whole idea of Miller, Smith and Dareus teaming up is far-fetched and wouldn’t yield the same results as it did for the Miami Heat.
So while Miller, Smith and Dareus have contemplated teaming up down the line, they are naïve if they think it will have the same impact as the trio on Miami had in the NBA.
They are very different leagues with very different finances.