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Uncertainty Looming in Pending Free Agency

Posted by in NFL General on March 4th, 2010 | Comment »

The only certainty heading into the 2010 NFL free agency period is the looming uncertainty leading in to opening day.

Without a new collective bargaining agreement in place by Friday, 2010 will be the league’s first uncapped season since 1993. The NFL and NFLPA have exchanged jabs at one another behind the scenes and in the media, but are no closer to a new CBA than they were leading up to last year’s signing period. The current CBA expires in March 2011, and if the two sides are unable to establish terms the owners will lock out their players until a deal is reached.

That is a likely possibility considering the lack of open dialogue between the two sides.

With so much unknown for the future, it is difficult to project the direction franchises move in when free agency opens. With no salary cap in place, owners with championship aspirations and the necessary funds can potentially break the bank by pursuing a couple of notable free agents that they feel will put their team in sports betting position to compete for the Vince Lombardi trophy. Then again owners may choose to keep their wallets in their pockets and spend well below what they did a season ago, since there is no longer a minimum payroll teams must stay above.

If the big name players that have been released in the weeks leading up to March 5 are any indication, it appears that the owners may trend towards the latter.

Only days after the Chargers released former league MVP LaDanian Tomlinson and the Eagles dropped two-time Pro Bowler Brian Westbrook, Carolina added five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers to the list of sportsbook reviews free agents that will be available to the highest bidder in free agency. The Panthers’ franchise career sacks leader and member of the NFL’s All-Decade team, Peppers was deemed expendable after two straight seasonsas the team’s franchise player. San Diego surprised again when it was announced running back Darren Sproles would follow Tomlinson to the open market.

Miami will not resign defensive stars Joey Porter and Jason Taylor. Green Bay released former Pro Bowl lineman Aaron Kampman, and the Oakland Raiders have not resigned Richard Seymour.

Even the New Orleans Saints have failed to reach a contract extension with safety Darren Sharper, a key piece to the defensive turnaround that helped the Saints win the Super Bowl.

With so much unknown regarding the state of the NFL picks and a potential CBA beyond 2010, owners have been hesitant to sign marquee players to long-term big-money contracts extending beyond the upcoming season.

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