The NFL’s loss is the UFL’s gain

Joshua Lobdell - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 9:48 p.m. ET

All the NFL labor unrest is a very good thing for the upstart United Football League. They are the league that seems to be surer of playing a 2011 season at this point, and they may be able to do just that with a ton of NFL talent on their rosters. The NFL owners are playing hardball with the NFLPA, and it seems very likely that despite a 2010 NFL season with no cap, few NFL teams are going to be willing to spend big money on free agents, and may instead look to dump existing contracts with no salary cap penalty.

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The NFL has made it clear that any contracts signed in the uncapped NFL year, will not be grandfathered in should a new Collective Bargaining Agreement reinstates a NFL Salary cap. That means if a NFL team spends ridiculous money on a free agent in 2010, they could very well be out of cap space for 2011 and the future.

I can find no evidence of a 2010 free agent spending spree by any NFL team; in fact the opposite seems to be true. It seems NFL teams will cut costs wherever they can in preparation for a 2011 lockout. I would expect a lot of one year free agent deals, and a lot of contracts being dumped to save money.

If that is the case, than the UFL stands to have a ton of talent on their rosters, at a cheap cost, and they should be able to use that to further cement their place as a legitimate minor league to the NFL. In fact that very thing may be part of the NFL owner’s end game. Should they run afoul of the US Congress and the Sherman Anti Trust act the NFL, in this scenario, would be able to point to the fact that the UFL is a legitimate contender, and that they do not hold a monopoly over professional football in North America.

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