MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – As the court system continues to grind ahead in the lawsuit between the players and the owners, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell took to the Wall Street Journal to issue a stark warning about what could happen if no agreement is put together.
Goodell’s worst case scenario could be a benefit to some teams and a disaster for others. Essentially, the NFL would be governed in salary rules the same way baseball is, except the draft would be ended.
For a team like the Dolphins, it would come down to just how much money the owner has in his back pocket, and how much he’s willing to spend to get the best players here.
For example, Goodell said that every player would enter the league as an unrestricted free agent. So, if Cam Newton, Von Miller, and Patrick Peterson wanted to bring their talents to South Beach; the only question would be could Dolphins owner Stephen Ross afford it?
Goodell said that teams would no longer have a minimum payroll and there would be no minimum salary. Plus, Goodell claims there would be no limits on free agency.
On the last point, Goodell is essentially saying that players and their agents could theoretically send their client to the team that can pay the most and create a “super” team, for lack of better terms.
So, you could see Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson on the same team, along with other elite players. Teams like the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins would benefit the most from this as both have plenty of revenue to sign anyone they want.
But for teams like the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, and others would struggle to compete in the market. Even a team with a storied history like the Dolphins would find it hard to compete unless Ross put a blank check in front of his office.
Goodell’s worst case scenario he offered in the Wall Street Journal’s op-ed page is not likely to happen. Both sides have said they like the current system, which has vaulted the NFL to the top of the sports world. But, both sides are also dominated by greed and will sacrifice the game in order to secure the “victory” for their respective group.
In the meantime, Goodell has not shown himself to be an effective leader in getting both sides to the negotiating table. He owes his position to the owners who put him there; and so far, he’s not shown the ability to reign in the owners to a negotiating point where a deal can be done.
On the other hand, NFL Players Association director DeMaurice Smith hasn’t been able to bring his side to the table in a manner that would solve the problem as well.
But, Goodell has given his view of what he believes would be football Armageddon if the two sides can’t make a deal. Smith has blamed the NFL for the current labor strife. All the while, fans are left wondering what will happen to the game they love.