Even with long-term tv contracts on the horizon, even if an owner was inclined to want to bargain shop in 2021 and string out the market, there are considerable reasons (excuses?) Uncertainty about the degree of fans in the stands in 2021, after using nearly none in 2020, also having a limit stagnant at best and with all the last details of this cap probably not being finalized until shortly before free agency starts next year creates a potential climate for owners to settle back and waitrather than rushing in with both hands, throwing around contracts to fill as many roll holes as possible a month from today.
One year ago, just half of the teams in the NFL really spent up to the salary cap; is there reason, under these circumstances, to project even that number repeating, let alone a spike? Can we not think there would be fiscal motivation to attempt and bide one's time in the hopes that an entire class of players that might normally make $3M-$5M can be had for close to $1M? There will be a rash of gamers stuck waiting on the very best one-year, prove-it bargain they can muster, I would contend, and some may start grabbing the modest bird in hand earlier instead of later. Listen below and register to the Pick Six podcast for a daily dose of everything that you want to follow pro football.
The group of teams who appear to be clear spenders is not all that long. The Eagles and Saints have fueled that fire in the past few years, but both are dealing with significant cap difficulties and won't be able to push the market anything close to what we have observed previously. The Patriots have as much cover distance and roster flexibility as anyone, but do we actually think Bill Belichick is going to go hog wild throwing around best-of-breed money and resetting the market at multiple places? The Falcons and Rams -- also never averse to creating new norms in spending at particular positions -- have more or less made their beds for 2021. The Cowboys may be hamstrung by a quarterback on another franchise label counting near $40M from their cap via most, if not all, of their offseason.
That's suboptimal from a spending standpoint.
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