What Is The Point In Having An NFL Salary Cap Anymore? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
The NFL is still abuzz after the Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott came to a four-year $160 Million deal Monday, putting the quarterback behind only Patrick Mahomes on the payroll tote board. The deal has so many interesting clauses and payout dates that the one thing I learned from this agreement is that the NFL salary cap is outdated and nearly pointless. Thus, begging the questions, why does the NFL still have it or need it?
In the fantasy world known as the NFL salary cap, Dak Prescott will make $40 Million in 2021, one quarter of the $160 Million deal he signed that covers the next four seasons. From his banker’s point of view, Prescott made $66 Million as soon as the ink was dry on his new contract, and by the end of the 2021 regular season, the Cowboys quarterback will have made $75 Million, nearly half his contract’s worth.
What is the point of having any kind of salary cap if a player’s contract makes it simple to adjust how much they are being paid by $35 Million in less than ten months?
The NFL salary cap is one of the many things the league tries to do to create competitive balance across the league. The theory being that most teams draw the majority of their revenue from the same source, the national television contracts, making it unlikely that some teams will have more cash on hands to buy free agents that others cannot afford.
The reality is that a contract like the one Dak Prescott signed is not one that most NFL teams could or even would want to sign any player to since they just wouldn’t have the ability to do so financially.
The Cowboys, under the leadership of Jerry Jones, however, have maximized their revenue in ways other teams can only dream about, making them one of the most valuable franchises in all of sports and likely one of the most cash rich teams in the league.
Another element that gave birth to the salary cap was the bidding wars that transpired in years past, with players across the league benefitting from every new, huge deal signed by a peer at the same position they played, which served to increase their value in their next contract negotiation. In short, owners couldn’t be trusted to keep each position on the field “slotted” in their payroll with other teams, throwing the whole system out of sorts, thus leading to owners who didn’t trust each other and who would spend like drunken sailors if not put under control.
Thus the salary cap was born.
The Dallas Cowboys are the king when it comes to NFL teams. They are richer than any other team in the league, putting their financial planning in a different league than most other teams. That means that the Cowboys can sign any of their own players or any other team’s free agents anytime they want, because their war chest is bigger than anyone else’s. This, simply put, makes the NFL salary cap irrelevant since there are so many ways to write a contract to get around how many players are paid when compared to what their “salary cap” number is.
The people who created the salary cap also wrote clauses to get around it, which is why these rules will never go away; but also why the cap itself won’t leave us either. Because the system the NFL wants is as plain as day: When owners want to spend, they can; and when they don’t, the have the cap to blame. Further proof the NFL salary cap isn’t worth the spreadsheet it’s printed on.
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What Is The Point In Having An NFL Salary Cap Anymore? | TooAthletic.com
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