Quarterback Exemption for NFL Salary Cap?

McKnowledge

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Watching NFL Live on ESPN the other day (May, 10, 2018), I was interested in something Field Yates and Dan Graziano were talking about with the escalating QB contracts of Jimmy Garrapolo, Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan. Obviously, Aaron Rodgers is next up and he wants to get a new deal done this year as opposed to next year (2019). Are large contracts for QBs negatively affecting team building? Two years from now (2020) comes a new collective bargaining agreement, which could become the start of new era of the NFL. Could there actually be an exemption just for QBs independent of a teams salary cap?

It would make a lot of sense. The QB position is the most important in all of sports, and without an elite QB or elite QB play, the chances of success measured by winning the Super Bowl remains slim. I found an article form 4 years ago that touched on this...

https://www.thestreet.com/story/12735141/1/the-nfl-salary-cap-needs-a-quarterback-exemption.html

Signing a Franchise HOF QB like Aaron Rodgers to a contract that would appease him and not affect the other players' salaries on the roster would literally change the game as we all know it. While the mechanisms and ramifications of this kind of salary structure are unknown; we could all discuss and debate. What do you think?
 

7thFloorRA

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I think their should be a huge discount for re-signing players....kinda like the NBA has. I would never give qb's no cap hit because then it would just be a bidding war. I like the whole....build a team and throw a qb out there that doesnt turn it over vs franchise qb and all the pieces behind him chess match.
 

ARPackFan

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Exempting a QBs salary from the cap does not align with the concept of parity and I would bet the NFL would fight against such a move. A team with a crappy QB would have the same amount of money to spend on the remaining players as a team with a true franchise QB.
 

RRyder

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I think their should be a huge discount for re-signing players....kinda like the NBA has. I would never give qb's no cap hit because then it would just be a bidding war. I like the whole....build a team and throw a qb out there that doesnt turn it over vs franchise qb and all the pieces behind him chess match.

There is no "discount" in the NBA. The Bird rule only allows them to go over the cap when resigning their own players. Which in turn limits teams ability to sign FA. The salary still counts exactly the same against the cap. Going to a soft cap like the NBA would probably end up pretty disastrous given roster sizes. Even the NBA has realized that soft caps aren't the best idea. It's why they created the luxury tax which for the most part works as their hard cap

Also in the NBA there's no such thing as bidding war for the top players.
 
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Pokerbrat2000

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The Cap is what keeps small market teams like the Packers competitive. Take that away and watch what happens to the quality of football you see coming out of Green Bay, this includes the QB. Exempt QB's from the cap and the only shot the Packers will have at having a quality QB is during their rookie contract.

While this idea might sound great to Packer fans that are thinking short term or in a bubble, what happens in the event that the Jets offer Rodgers $400M or when Rodgers career is done?

Bad Bad Bad idea......IMO of course.
 

Heyjoe4

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Watching NFL Live on ESPN the other day (May, 10, 2018), I was interested in something Field Yates and Dan Graziano were talking about with the escalating QB contracts of Jimmy Garrapolo, Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan. Obviously, Aaron Rodgers is next up and he wants to get a new deal done this year as opposed to next year (2019). Are large contracts for QBs negatively affecting team building? Two years from now (2020) comes a new collective bargaining agreement, which could become the start of new era of the NFL. Could there actually be an exemption just for QBs independent of a teams salary cap?

It would make a lot of sense. The QB position is the most important in all of sports, and without an elite QB or elite QB play, the chances of success measured by winning the Super Bowl remains slim. I found an article form 4 years ago that touched on this...

https://www.thestreet.com/story/12735141/1/the-nfl-salary-cap-needs-a-quarterback-exemption.html

Signing a Franchise HOF QB like Aaron Rodgers to a contract that would appease him and not affect the other players' salaries on the roster would literally change the game as we all know it. While the mechanisms and ramifications of this kind of salary structure are unknown; we could all discuss and debate. What do you think?
I can see the logic. One position (QB) commands a significantly higher salary than the next highest paid player, almost double. My concern is with parity. Now the wealthiest teams could simply outbid other teams for top QB talent. Unless you put a separate cap on the QB position, which I think defeats the purpose. But it’s worth talking about, given the outrageous salaries premier QBs are getting. It’s still a team game, and one person, even ARod or Brady, can’t win a SB all by themselves. Another idea I’ve heard is to limit the % of the cap allocated to the QB. With the complicated way the cap is calculated, I don’t know if that would work either. But unlike any other sport, the NFL is dominated by the play of the QB, so something should be done from a salary perspective to reflect that.
 

easyk83

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I think their should be a huge discount for re-signing players....kinda like the NBA has. I would never give qb's no cap hit because then it would just be a bidding war. I like the whole....build a team and throw a qb out there that doesnt turn it over vs franchise qb and all the pieces behind him chess match.

Yeah the front man centric approach just seems to make it too hard to surround him with talent.
 

Heyjoe4

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The Cap is what keeps small market teams like the Packers competitive. Take that away and watch what happens to the quality of football you see coming out of Green Bay, this includes the QB. Exempt QB's from the cap and the only shot the Packers will have at having a quality QB is during their rookie contract.

While this idea might sound great to Packer fans that are thinking short term or in a bubble, what happens in the event that the Jets offer Rodgers $400M or when Rodgers career is done?

Bad Bad Bad idea......IMO of course.
No PokerBrat, you describe the consequences well. It would take us back to the days when teams like the Yankees could simply buy the best players. Small markets like Milwaukee were shut out, and Green Bay would literally disappear. For it’s faults, the parity/cap system established by, I think, Rozelle, has worked to make every season interesting. Messing with the cap position just for the QB would ruin that, IMHO. I suppose they could assign a max % of the cap that goes to the QB, but intuitively, I don’t think that would work either.
 

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Don’t want to approach the idea where the NFL could go back to the days where the cowgirls could spend as much as they want.
 

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I would not watch NFL football if the sport didn't have a pretty hard cap as it does. Take NBA for example. I would totally watch basketball if I thought that any teams I like actually had a shot at a championship. As it stands, zero interest in watching NBA or MLB.
 

Heyjoe4

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Yeah the front man centric approach just seems to make it too hard to surround him with talent.
This has been one of the unintended casualties of the cap/parity system, as much as I like the system This can be controlled only by putting limits on total cap space, and with the immense revenue the NFL generates, the players will never agree to that. They ARE the product after all. Right now, it’s a dance between paying big bucks to skilled players with 4 years plus in the league with the rookie salary caps. This rewards the teams that do the best drafting (or just get lucky), and those who do best in FA. It also rewards teams like the Packers who seem to have a knack for identifying pretty good UDFAs. If I had a better idea I’d share it. I don’t.
 

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I would not watch NFL football if the sport didn't have a pretty hard cap as it does. Take NBA for example. I would totally watch basketball if I thought that any teams I like actually had a shot at a championship. As it stands, zero interest in watching NBA or MLB.
I agree with you. The wealthiest teams in the NBA and MLB can simply outbid less-wealthy, meaning smaller cities. I’m amazed at what the Bucks have accomplished lately, but the system relies too much on dumb luck. That’s why the Milwaukee Bucks last title was in 1972, and while the Brewers are still looking for their first World Series win. I agree with you, why bother watching the games? Parity/cap is the best thing the NFL did to make the sport so popular. And it’s not like the players are starving from the salary cap.....
 

Heyjoe4

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The Cap is what keeps small market teams like the Packers competitive. Take that away and watch what happens to the quality of football you see coming out of Green Bay, this includes the QB. Exempt QB's from the cap and the only shot the Packers will have at having a quality QB is during their rookie contract.

While this idea might sound great to Packer fans that are thinking short term or in a bubble, what happens in the event that the Jets offer Rodgers $400M or when Rodgers career is done?

Bad Bad Bad idea......IMO of course.
Exactly. And what are the chances that a HOF QB reaches full potential in 4 years? Pretty low.
 

Pokerbrat2000

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There are many ways to build a Super Bowl winning team, ask the Eagles and all the other teams that did it without a top QB. For those thinking that spending a disproportionate amount on a QB somehow unfairly handcuffs the team from being good at the other 21 positions, here is a novel thought, don't spend a ton of your cap on a QB.
 

Pokerbrat2000

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I agree with you. The wealthiest teams in the NBA and MLB can simply outbid less-wealthy, meaning smaller cities. I’m amazed at what the Bucks have accomplished lately, but the system relies too much on dumb luck. That’s why the Milwaukee Bucks last title was in 1972, and while the Brewers are still looking for their first World Series win. I agree with you, why bother watching the games? Parity/cap is the best thing the NFL did to make the sport so popular. And it’s not like the players are starving from the salary cap.....

It's not really luck. Small market teams in those sports sometimes get a small window of opportunity for success, only because they did a good job with drafting and developing. However, once those great players contracts are up, the house of cards falls, because they can't afford to pay them all. Both the Brewers and the Bucks are "this close" to getting over the top, but I have a feeling not having the money the big market teams have, makes that short lived dream very difficult to achieve. I thought I remember reading one year recently, either the Dodgers or Yankees starting rotation of pitchers were making more money cumulatively than the entire Brewer roster. That is hard to compete with.
 

easyk83

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It's not really luck. Small market teams in those sports sometimes get a small window of opportunity for success, only because they did a good job with drafting and developing. However, once those great players contracts are up, the house of cards falls, because they can't afford to pay them all. Both the Brewers and the Bucks are "this close" to getting over the top, but I have a feeling not having the money the big market teams have, makes that short lived dream very difficult to achieve. I thought I remember reading one year recently, either the Dodgers or Yankees starting rotation of pitchers were making more money cumulatively than the entire Brewer roster. That is hard to compete with.

MLB is one sport where a hyper conservative Ted Thompson approach would probably work, for smaller markets. Just keep your farm stocked and look for undervalued contributors in the scrap heap. Maybe one year you get lucky.
 

Pokerbrat2000

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I'm not a racing fan but this would be like saying "Look we have 5 sets of THE BEST tires up for auction, these tires can run the entire race without having to be changed. They are only available to the 5 highest bidders, the rest of you will have to run on the standard tires that will need to be changed out 2-3 times during a race. Let the bidding commence".
 

Pokerbrat2000

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MLB is one sport where a hyper conservative Ted Thompson approach would probably work, for smaller markets. Just keep your farm stocked and look for undervalued contributors in the scrap heap. Maybe one year you get lucky.
Yup and yet over the last 20 years, the smallest market franchise in the NFL has been one of the most successful ones. Why? An even playing field.
 
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McKnowledge

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I can see the logic. One position (QB) commands a significantly higher salary than the next highest paid player, almost double. My concern is with parity. Now the wealthiest teams could simply outbid other teams for top QB talent. Unless you put a separate cap on the QB position, which I think defeats the purpose. But it’s worth talking about, given the outrageous salaries premier QBs are getting. It’s still a team game, and one person, even ARod or Brady, can’t win a SB all by themselves. Another idea I’ve heard is to limit the % of the cap allocated to the QB. With the complicated way the cap is calculated, I don’t know if that would work either. But unlike any other sport, the NFL is dominated by the play of the QB, so something should be done from a salary perspective to reflect that.

I think watching that NFL Live episode, they were discussing having an entirely separate cap for QBs, specifically Franchise QBs. While there could indeed be a lot of bidding for the services of the top tier QBs, it would also allow for other players (Le'Veon Bell) to get the money they've earned without affecting the Franchise QB's (Big Ben) money. The conversation on the show oscillated between the words exemption and separate when discussing the QBs, but its a really interesting theory. There could be bidding wars, but much like today, a team must still hit in the draft and in free agency. Also, the NFL cannot say they don't have the money to make it happen, if this theory ever came to fruition.
 
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McKnowledge

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There are many ways to build a Super Bowl winning team, ask the Eagles and all the other teams that did it without a top QB. For those thinking that spending a disproportionate amount on a QB somehow unfairly handcuffs the team from being good at the other 21 positions, here is a novel thought, don't spend a ton of your cap on a QB.

The Eagles won the Super Bowl, because the moves they made turned out to be the right ones. Also, Carson Wentz (a top 10 QB) is still on his rookie deal, and the Eagles were able to field a balanced quality team, with experienced depth (Nick Foles); plus their draft picks (Derek Barnett) were heavy contributors. The Eagles winning the Super Bowl was the Perfect Storm. Eventually, it is imperative to pay top dollar for the QB, because there is no guarantee that you can replicate what he brings to the table. @Pokerbrat2000 Would you spend a nice chunk of the cap on Aaron Rodgers?
 

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There are many ways to build a Super Bowl winning team, ask the Eagles and all the other teams that did it without a top QB. For those thinking that spending a disproportionate amount on a QB somehow unfairly handcuffs the team from being good at the other 21 positions, here is a novel thought, don't spend a ton of your cap on a QB.
Good point and I’ve been convinced over the years that while a great offense is necessary to get a team into the playoffs, a great D generally rules the day. I think of how Denver crushed Seattle a few years ago. Yes there are exceptions, but even under current cap rules, overspending on a QB to the detriment of the D will not take a team far. The Packers are, unfortunately, a good example.
 

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