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Since we have enterred the dulldrums of the NFL year.....

I think it is only reasonable for us to discuss the off-season as a whole.

While we can get into what we want, how we would do it, what we like etc etc I have a fairly interesting idea. What parts of the contractual game do you like from each sport? How would you have a CBA designed if you were to create a new CBA for the NFL?

The way I see it there are three main phases to the "non-sports" part of the year: The Draft, Free Agency/Contracts, and Rookie Pay.

The Draft - MLB NHL and NFL all have seeding done based on standings, the NBA is the only league which uses a lottery system. What system would you prefer, a lottery or a standings based draft? I can see the good and bad with both side. A lottery can give a team that has been trying, and just unlucky, a very good pick (like the sixers this year), it can also mean no competing for that first overall pick. I think the lottery is a good idea in the NBA as there really are only 2 players per year worth drafting, thus making those two top spots of paramount importance, while in the NFL, there are 7 freaking rounds, and each pick is like gold to a a team. So which would you prefer for the NFL?

Free Agency/Contracts - The NBA and MLB both have guaranteed contracts, however the NBA has a "max contract" and a salary cap, while MLB is just all willy nilly do whatever you want. Both of these leagues have a system of restricted free agents (arbitration in MLB). We all know the NFL and its utterly complicated system, RFA's UFA's, Franchise Tags, Transitional Tags, ect.. So how would you work it? Should all contracts be guaranteed? Is it important in the NFL because of the short time life span of NFL careers to keep contracts as relatively un-guaranteed, except signing bonus of course?

Rookie Pay - How should rookies be paid? MLB pays their prospects peanuts (except the nationals), and also has a minor league system in place which could be done for the NFL. The NBA has a rookie wage scale as well as developmental leagues which keep players around longer. Only the NFL pays huge guaranteed money and long contracts to their first year players, does this hamstring owners into not being able to keep competitive for years if they make one bad pick?

So there are the different aspects to each sport as I see them, as far as contracts and off season are concerned. Let me know what you think.

Sure this time of year is boring, but lets play commissioner for a bit, and get into some intriguing discussion.

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