02.24.06

A Crucial Moment In NFL History

Posted in Gridiron at 6:49 pm by

Earlier today, the 49′ers won the coin flip to determine who would make the 6th selection in the upcoming 2006 draft.

San Francisco finished the season at 4-12, tied with Oakland.

Years from now, people will ask where you were, what were you doing and how did it feel…when you learned the Niners had the 6th pick.

For me, it ranked right up there with the Apollo moon landing, Nixon’s resignation and the breakup of the Test Icicles, not necessarily in that order.

If, as expected by many (including NFLPA head Gene Upshaw, shown above), a new collective bargaining agreement cannot be reached between the league and players’ union by March 3, the 2006 campaign would proceed without a salary cap. From The Sporting News :

If that happens, new deals could be prorated only over four years rather than seven and salaries could only increase by 30 percent per season. Players also face the loss of benefits, if there is no accord.

Upshaw has insisted the biggest obstacle to a deal is discord among the owners, not NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Owners have not been able to reach consensus on a new revenue sharing plan, something that the union contends must be resolved before any new collective bargaining agreement could be signed.

Upshaw also has said he would decertify the union and suggested if the deal runs out, he did not believe players would agree to a salary cap in the future once there is an uncapped season.

The uncertainty has forced team officials to devise contingency plans for offseason moves. Even as workouts were beginning, many team officials were projecting two different scenarios: doing new contracts with a new labor agreement or proceeding without one.

I hate to admit this, but I’m almost rooting for a work stoppage in 2007, if only to monitor the psychic toll it will take on Joe Benigno.

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