According to reports, the NFL Players Association plans to have a discussion with the league’s owners on Saturday in South Florida. They will be attempting to reconcile their differences in order to establish a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The NFLPA requested that this meeting occur. I believe they made this move because of the urgency for players–the younger ones in particular–to have a CBA in place. The average NFL career is 3.5 years, so having to wait four years to be an unrestricted free agent is already risky.
Adding two years of restricted free agency, in addition to no salary cap discouraging teams from franchising guys, would put more than one hundred would be unrestricted free agents at risk of ending their careers with little to no guaranteed money.
Hopefully, an agreement is made before March 5, 2010. Not just for the players, but the owners and fans also. The sooner a CBA is in place, the sooner the threat of a lockout goes away.
Having said all of this, an uncapped 2010 NFL season is still very possible. Instead of approximately 50 restricted free agents, there would be over 200. With no salary cap, the majority of these players (if not all) will probably receive a high tender. Being that most teams don’t want to give up draft picks, these players likely will remain with their respective organizations.
This leaves teams with a very small amount of unrestricted free agents available. On top of that, the majority of UFAs will likely be labeled as “has beens." Nevertheless, if put in the right situation,
even a “has been” can rejuvenate his career and help his new team.
One positive thing the Philadelphia Eagles got out of losing their Wild Card game to the Dallas Cowboys is the fact that there are no limitations in signing free agents. If they made it to the Divisional Round, they could only sign a free agent if they lost one.
With the current likelihood of no CBA in place for 2010, it would be wise to key an eye on the guys who will be unrestricted free agents no matter what. Here are 10 scheduled UFAs to keep an eye on in Philly.