How much longer until March Madness?

If you haven't been paying much attention to the Bucs this offseason, don't worry, you haven't missed much. There have been so few Bucs stories in the papers, that reporters are stooping to writing entire articles about how the Bucs MIGHT draft a kicker. A kicker!

And who can blame them considering the biggest story this offseason has been the CBA negotiations, a subject so boring sheep count CBA cap figures to fall asleep. Although I will criticize the Times and Tribune for their poor job of covering the local angle on this story (but then again that may be because the Glazer family is in the witness protection program).

After the CBA negotiations, the second biggest story is the Simms/Griese negotiations which were a done deal before they started. The Bucs don't have the cap room to keep both players, and if one is going to be cut it will be the older of the two, Griese. The only question has been when and how Bruce Allen will resign Simms.

The St. Pete Times runs a story hinting at the fact that Simms wants a one year tender which will allows him to enter free agency next season. Normally a player in Simms situation demands a multiyear, expensive contract but, with the possibility of an uncapped season still on the table, every agent worth his salt (which Tom Condon certainly is) is doing everything they can to make their client a free agent next offseason.

Simms is taking a huge risk by asking for a one year tender. If Simms is seriously injured (knock on wood) then he will get nothing next offseason. On the other hand, if Simms stays healthy and continues his current level of play he is headed for a huge payday, whether or not a new CBA is negotiated.


Cutthroat Pirates said...

Ummm if there is no CBA then Simms belongs to the Bucs until 2009. He must have six years in the NFL if there is no CBA. If no CBA agreement is reached this year, players won't begin unrestricted free agency until after their sixth year. The Bucs attempt to sign Chris Simms to a long-term contract might be helped by the league's failure to reach a collective bargaining agreement.

If there is no extension to the CBA, Simms would not become an unrestricted free agent until 2009 after he completes six years in the league.

He does not want the Tender, he wants a big contract now from the Buccaneers over 20 million, the one year tender is the only way the Bucs can keep him and Griese. You see the a one-year, $2-million qualifying offer from the Bucs, that would enable Tampa Bay to receive a first- and third-round draft pick for Simms if they fail to match an offer from another team when he becomes a restricted free agent March 3.

Ski said...

yes and no, once again the devil is in the details with the CBA and Simms.

you're correct that the worst case scenario for simms is no extension of the CBA, but an uncapped 2007 would mean the Bucs could be unable to match offers from other teams for Simms. Sure a team might have to give up a draft pick or two for Simms but that hasn't stopped Dan Snyder before.

Anyway, I think the owners and players will negotiate a new CBA sooner than most people think (or at least an extension of the current one). All this gloom and doom you read about is a bunch of hype generated by the Player's Union to put pressure on the owners.

Simms will most likely get his payday, whether it's with the Bucs or with another team is yet to be determined.

Scott said...

Wait a second. If the CBA expires at the end of 2007, wouldn't everything kind of go back to the old system, where teams owned a player's rights until they were traded or released? Look at Doug Williams. He had to go play in an entirely different league because he wouldn't play for the Bucs, but they still owned his rights. It wasn't until they traded him to Washington that he was allowed to leave... and then only to Washington. I thought that if the CBA finally expires, Simms will never see free agency unless he is released.

Cutthroat Pirates said...

Scott you are some what right, but the NFL/NFLPA wrote clauses in the current CBA for the future of the NFL, if there is no CBA, this time a player can become a free agent after 6 years on a team.

But you are right, if there is no CBA and Simms does not get a contract long term this year, then next year he is the Bucs property until 2009

Scott said...

I am interested in the wording that affects a party after a contract has expired. Take a look here. The expiration of the agreement (Article LVIII) is pretty clear and the section governing what constitutes a free agent (Article XIX) doesn't mention any conditions that survive the CBA. In fact, there is no mention anywhere in the CBA of conditions that survive after it expires. Anywhere it states that a condition is "continued", it is always followed by "for the duration of this agreement". If you can find anything any different, please let me know where.

Assuming I am right (and, really, that doesn't happen all that often), once the CBA expires and the league has no agreement in place with the players union, wouldn't the league be allowed to make up its own rules (subject to legality, of course)? No free agency, no salary floor... and all the free-market pressures that go along with it.

Ski said...

scott, you raise an interesting point and one which I really hasn't been given much thought, either here or some of the other sites I visit. (and good find on the CBA by the way, you're like The Wolf from Pulp Fiction)

I read through some of the CBA and you seem to be correct (although I'm no lawyer and never will be so I most likely missed something). But if what you're saying is correct then the agents and the player's union would be much more willing to negotiate a new CBA.

Current Labor boss Gene Upshaw has threatened to let the CBA expire if a new deal is not struck soon and I imgaine such a threat would ring hollow if it meant free agency would be a thing of the past.

But then again, I've been known to be wrong too.

Oh yeah, Scott, are you GoTo11 on the Pewter Report message board?

Cutthroat Pirates said...

Ski, you said that nobody finds the CBA interesting? Well look now everyone is tuned into the drama. ESPN just broke a story that once again (today) talks fell through, which might be the end of the road.

More bad news= Another big problem facing this year CBA is the draft, there is even reports that if the CBA does not get reached by March 03, there may be no draft in 2006. Here is why: Signing draft choices will be more difficult because teams can prorate signing bonuses for only four seasons. Already, agents figure the most a top draft choice can make under that scenario is $15 million, a major reduction from recent years. That leads to long holdouts by draft choices. The real problem comes from the teams themselves, because all the caps hit this year due to the uncapped 2007 season many feel there will be no money to even sign a rookie this season. I also found out that in 2008 there will be no more NFL draft, which is part of a clause inserted in the current CBA. To get players out of college, it could be open negotiations. Minimum salaries for all players will be eliminated in 2007, so every contract, including those for rookies coming out of college, has to be negotiated individually and those players get what they can get.

The real bad news is that 2008 more then likely will be another NFL strike or owners will lock out the players. Which will piss off the networks, who invest over $100 million a year in rights fees.

Cutthroat Pirates said...

here is what ESPN is saying about free agency for 2007.
" Will free agency be different in 2007?
Yes, players hit restricted free agency after three years and unrestricted free agency after four years under the current rules. If no CBA agreement is reached this year, players won't begin unrestricted free agency until after their sixth year. Players whose contracts end after third, fourth and fifth seasons will be considered restricted free agents and subject to qualifying offers."

Scott said...

Again, how can the CBA dictate that there is no draft if thee is no CBA in force? The league absolutely eeds the draft to keep at least a semblance of parity, and if there is no CBA, the league can make their own rules regarding the draft, which would likely be exactly like it is now.

Gene Upshaw would have a perpetual erection of the draft was abolished because the fewer restrictions players have on them, the better it is for the union. But the league would crumble without a record-based college draft.

Cutthroat Pirates said...

Scott, I agree with you, but this is what the league has decided if there is no CBA. This stuff like free agency after 6 years no draft after 2008 was all in place by the league and owners. NFL Network even reported the same stuff, this is why Commissioner Paul Tagliabue is trying to get this worked out because he does not want to go down as the Commissioner that allowed this stuff to end.

You would think that with no CBA in place the league can do what they want, but as NFL Network reported this stuff was decided on long time ago. I am afraid the NFL as we know it might be over.

Scott said...

Ohhhhh. You mean that the league will allow free agency without a CBA after 2007? I understand what you're saying now.

I suppose with the free agency genie out of the bottle, there wouldn't be any way to go back to a system that didn't allow it. But jeez... unrestricted free agency + no salary cap = MLB. The league would be smart to come up with some sort of self-imposed (as opposed to CBA-imposed) salary cap to at least keep the likes of Dan Snyder and Bob McNair from outspending everyone else. The Glazers, with the debt incurred by the purchase of ManU, aren't all that liquid right now. They would be at a distinct disadvantage without a cap.

Don't the players know that without a CBA, their team can work them like mules? OTA limits, training camp rules, etc. are all governed by the CBA. Hey... why aren't I ranting about this on my own blog?

Cutthroat Pirates said...

Yes, the players do know and they want the CBA, but they want over 60% of the teams profits too, this is what the owners are fighting. Yes, Jerry Jones, Dan Snyder and Bob McNair will rule the NFL.

As for free agency, it will be on a small scale. Only a few big names after they finish their six year mark. That is why I said the NFL will suck, it will be like MLB. Plus the draft being gone and the possibilty of a strike.

I think the NFL we love might just be over. But there is the 11th hour, however it only takes eight owners to say no and there is no CBA.

Ski said...

scott, feel free to rant on this blog whenever you want.

the only fact which seems obvious to me, right now, is that no one has any idea what this means for the NFL. The NFL is truly in uncharted waters and teams with a lot of cap space (Arizona or San Francisco) could end up signing dozens of big name players who could be released. It appears the last two seasons under the current CBA would be a posion pill for both the owners and players.

As I posted on the front I have been hearing a good deal of chatter (just call me CTU) that the holdup is over a revenue sharing disagreement between the owners NOT the players union and the owners. For a number of reasons (which I would be willing to point out via email) this seems like the mostly likely reason for the lack of a new CBA.

Cutthroat Pirates said...

The lack if the CBA is the players want 60% + of the owners profit sharing you got to read it says that every where. Which yes, the owners are fighting it, because 60% for Dallas and Washington is not the same 60% for teams like Cinn. New Orleans. This is what it is all about.

Scott said...

You'd think these owners would understand that socialism works in the NFL.

I read that the difference in percentages works out to be about $300M, which is just over $9M per team per year. Sorry, but $9M per team isn't enough to ruin the NFL over. Give the union 59%, which would cost each team between $7M and $8M and fucking be done with it. The disparity between the haves and the "have-nots" (keep in mind we're talking about multi-millionaires) would be, what... $4M per year? So maybe Green Bay would pay about $6M and Dallas would pay $10M. It's nothing to them. How much is $4M? The Bucs paid Charlie Garner a $4M signing bonus.

It's getting late. The free agency market will run red with the blood of the released. Good players, too... not just veterans on the downslide. It's gonna be bad, boys.

Cutthroat Pirates said...

Scott, boy you said it. I don't know if you have gotten into fantasy football, but I have played for over six years and my league is sweating this free agency thing. I agree this year might be a bad year with the teams letting go of key players. Atlanta has already said they might have to release Warrick Dunn.