On Tuesday there were several reports circulating from the NFL owner’s meeting that in the proposed collective bargaining agreement a player will become an unrestricted free agent after four years of credited service. This is a change from last year where the length of service was 5 years, and will make Santonio Holmes, Brad Smith, and Antonio Cromartie all unrestricted free agents. (Note: Braylon Edwards would have been FA regardless with his 6 years of service)
This proposed change to the collective bargaining agreement will put the New York Jets in a tough spot as Holmes, Edwards, and Cromartie will all command big money in the open market. Gang Green’s inability to tender any of these players will take away any leverage in their negotiations and the team will now have to compete with the rest of the league for the player’s services.
Now before you go pressing the panic button, take a deep breath as nothing has been finalized as of yet. Just keep an eye on the following topics as the reports come out from the owner’s meetings:
1) Use of the franchise tag- Will the teams be able to use a franchise tag for the 2011 season? As of now the Jets have franchised linebacker David Harris.
2) Salary Cap Limits- What will the salary cap number be for the 2011 season? The Jets could potentially have up to 18 free agents, therefore this number will play a huge role in the team’s ability to re-sign players.
3) Free Agency Terms- How many years of credited service before a player can become a free agent? For the Jets the ideal number would be 5.
4) Tenders or Tags? Will the teams be able to use any type of restricted tenders or transition tags for the 2011 season?