Bengals 101 eagerly awaits word from federal authorities as to when NFL owners will be charged with either the kidnapping or extortion of Bengals owner Mike Brown. How else to explain one of the more interesting aspects of the new collective bargaining agreement expected to be ratified today and announced at tomorrow's owners meeting?
ESPN's John Clayton is reporting that one of the major concessions made by the owners is the raising of the "hard floor" with player salaries. This means that NFL teams will be obligated to spend a greater percentage of the overall salary cap. Some owners like Mike Brown have been notoriously "frugal" over the years, not even coming close to the cap ceiling in total salaries. These owners simply pocketed the difference. In the case of the Bengals, Clayton reports that figure was $35.9 million last season.
Under the new agreement, Brown and other owners will have until January 3, 2012 to spend a set percentage (at least 90%, probably higher) of the salary cap on existing salaries, draft choices, or free agents. Any money not spent at that time will be pooled and distributed pro rata among players on the roster at that time. In other words, Mike Brown MUST spend money. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall in the conference room when that was discussed.
How Brown will spend this money is anyone's guess. With the new rookie salary schedule, Brown's annual struggle with draft choices and their agents should be a thing of the past. That leaves money to spend on free agents or to renegotiate with other players currently under contract to restructure those deals.
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