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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

Somehow the NFL owners have to come together and get a handle upon the loop holes within this league.  If a player decides that he wants out of a franchise all he has to do is enlist bad behavior and he is soon to either get traded, get his release or get thrown into the dog house.  None of these options are palatable.  Of greatest commonality & interest is when a player gets his outright release.  In the long run, the player that chooses bad behavior just might be shooting themselves in the foot  however if their desire to part ties becomes too great, and if that player has just cause ... it may be that players only trump card.  By the way, being on a winner at any cost or simply not caring is not just cause.  So how can each franchise properly handle it's players that has the thoughts of employing bad behavior.  The simple answer, which tends to be the best answer, lies within pluses & minuses.

Players want security.  They find that security in the form of guaranteed money.  The problem is that there are way too many franchises paying guaranteed money where that player is playing for another franchise.  Why?  Because by contract, it is guaranteed money that must be paid to that player?  We all realize that the team guaranteeing the money must take the hit on the cap, as it should be, however no one is keeping score when it comes to guaranteed money and what franchise is ultimately benefiting from that investment.  This loose-y goose-y stuff is a prime way to bypass the rules, opening Pandora's Box, and in my opinion is a loop hole of which too few (franchises) get to take advantage.  One could also argue that guaranteed money anchors a player to a franchise one year, where maybe in the future that player shouldn't be anchored to your franchise after all, where that player is a square peg made to fit into a round hole of some other system.  In other words, it could be argued that not enough players are given their outright release to the detriment of the league.  This new system just might free both the organization and the player into making a superior product.

The way to stem the tide of bad behavior and to ensure professionalism is to enlist a simple system that tracks the guaranteed money that is paid out to each franchise in any particular year.  Call it the Guaranteed Cap Number (GCN). 
From year to year, the GCN could also accumulate for a franchise.  Call this the Accumulated Guaranteed Cap Number (AGCN) .  
If the St. Louis Rams is paying part of a players contract in guaranteed money, say 3.2 million, so that this player can play in Minnesota, then the guaranteed portion of that money is posted to the Vikings account.  The Vikings GCN would be +3.2.  Here's the catch.  If the Vikings have a net positive AGCN, or in other words, if more GCN is being paid into the Vikings franchise than is paid out to other franchises, then they are not eligible to pick up another player with guaranteed money attached to his contract until the AGCN becomes a negative number.
If a highly paid player with tons of guaranteed money decided that they wanted out of Franchise A, and they chose the unprofessional way out by not honoring their contracts in good faith, the team could cut that player on the spot where Franchise A still pays that players guaranteed money per the terms of the contract.  If Franchise B picks up that player, and the guaranteed money paid to that player for that year is 7.6 million, Franchise B adds 7.6 million to the AGCN, where Franchise A deducts 7.6 million from their AGCN.  In other words Franchise A immediately recoups their loses in the form of an AGCN, where in effect it gives that franchise the ability to recoup the value paid for that player in another future player when he becomes available.  In this case players get the security in the form of guaranteed money where owners get a certified return on their investment.  Everybody wins except the franchises that are exploiting the system as it is now.  
It is paramount that the AGCN remains fluid.  Say you pick up a player with a GCN of 2.6 million in August and by the beginning of October he really isn't working out.  The franchise can cut that player where the net AGCN is zero.  That player still has the opportunity of playing on another team and the player wins because he doesn't have to sit in your dog house and affect his hall of fame status (playing time).  Once again, the catch is you cannot bring a player in until your net AGCN is a negative number, which might mean having to cut other core players from your squad if you covet a certain player.     

This system, at the very least, would ensure that all the available GCN would not end up with one particular franchise, or the best perceived franchises, year after year.  In short, if you're going to keep track of salary cap ... then you need to keep track of the entire salary cap.  As for the owners, maintaining value for your investments is paramount.

As for the present misbehavior, players that prefer a steady wholesome environment aren't going to risk their family life reaching for foolish aspirations.  They also tend to understand that the grass is not always greener on the other side.  For the ones that don't give a crap, they could be snapped up by six different franchises before they either get chucked out of the league or until they find the perfect place to hang their shingle.   They still get the pay but they don't get to play.  To play, or to get back into league to prove that they made a mistake and are worth the coin, they might have to agree to dump that old contracts guaranteed money.  Either way the +/- system will end the shenanigans.
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date:  August 12, 2011