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Understanding the CBA with Andrew Brandt

I'm currently away from the circus at Lucas Oil listening to Andrew Brandt, the President of the National Football Talk, speak. Brandt has done it all over his career from representing players (Ricky Williams), to General Manager of the Barcelona Dragons, and long-time VP of the Green Bay Packers.

Andrew has been sharing some good stories from his days at Green Bay since being the negotiator for the Packers.  In the 2005 draft, the Packers had a list of players they wanted in the first round. They really wanted and needed a defensive player; however, when their pick came, only one guy was left on that list. Aaron Rodgers. The thing is, they did not need a QB at all. Favre never got hurt and was in his prime. Brandt insisted the importance of trusting your scouting. The Packers drafted him and Brandt called Rodgers to tell him he was their guy. I think that worked out OK for the Packers.

Some detailed CBA and cap notes after the jump:


- Packers made $9 million profit this year. When Brandt was there it ranged from $15-30M.  The costs of new stadiums has been a huge cost.

- The NFL made a proposal for an extra $1B to be cut off the top, but that was rejected. The 18-game schedule offers a chance for more revenue with TV and sponsorships. However, it wouldn't work for the players as 2 extra paychecks. It would simply mean more cash in the pot for the salary cap.

- The money the NFL makes from fines goes to the concussion research. 

- Another thing in these negotiations is the Personal Conduct and failed Drug Test policies. Currently, players have to appeal to Goodell. In the new deal, players want an independent panel to decide.

- NFL is pushing hard for HGH testing. Pat and Kevin Williams' cases are evident of this.

- Rookie salary scale will be easy to fix. NFLPA wants the saved money to the "Legacy Fund" for retired players. 

CBA - Since 2006 CBA, NFL players received about $2.6B in salary and benefits, while owners profits went down $220M.

June 1st rule for old CBA, which did not apply in the 2010 uncapped year: 

- If a players was waived prior to June 1st, the unpaid signing bonus accelerates and counted against the team's cap that same year.
- If a player was waived after June 1, the remaining portion of his unpaid signing bonus was divided over the rest of the player's contract.

30% rule - In this uncapped year, players can only get a 30% increase from their 2009 salary and the rest has to be a bonus. We saw this affect Chris Johnson, DeSean Jackson, and DeAngelo Williams

- The key part of the salary cap is the floor not the ceiling. In 2009, the cap was $123M and the floor 108M. It's a soft cap for the ceiling though since signing bonuses are pro-rated. When Peyton Manning got his $34.5M bonus in 2004, the Colts paid way over the cap, but signing bonuses are pro-rated over the length of the contract ($10M bonus as part of a 5-year deal counts $2M against the cap).