By Sean Haugh.
This is going to be a very unusual offseason. With the lack of an agreement between the owners and the players, next season will be played without a salary cap.
However, one of the rules of this uncapped year limits any player with less than six years of service to restricted free agency.
A whole lot of players who will be at the end of their rookie contracts will most likely have to defer the big payday they have earned. Teams will have an incentive to place high tenders on anybody worth keeping. That leads to very unexciting prospects for those who thrive on offseason action.
An uncapped year does not necessarily mean spending will go through the roof.
There are a couple of teams, most notably Washington and Dallas, who are always itching to bust through the cap.
However, there are also several teams, particularly the ones in smaller markets, that will probably want to go under what appears to be the minimum salary floor.
In any case, all teams will have to plan as if there will be a new salary cap in 2011, which may temper even Daniel Snyder’s urges to collect big name players.
This analysis will not consider any of the fourth- and fifth-year restricted free agents, at least not until there’s hope of a new agreement.
I’ll cover the bigger names who just might change uniforms next season, then list the players who I believe will re-sign with their current teams but are still worth watching...
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