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RTD: Collective sigh of relief


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Collective sigh of relief Restructured deals for Brunell, Jansen void if new CBA is reached



The Washington Redskins' desperate sprint toward a 10 p.m. finish line came to a screeching halt yesterday when a bit of sanity returned to the NFL.

Teams were supposed to be at or under the mandatory $94.5 million salary cap for the 2006 season by 10 p.m. last night. A massive purge of players, some of them stars, was expected to take place from Miami to Seattle and New England to San Diego and all NFL points in between.

Instead, the league delayed the start of free agency and salary cap compliance for three days, until Monday at 12:01 a.m.

That does not solve the problems of teams, the Redskins being one of them, with payrolls for 2006 that are tens of millions of dollars over the salary cap.

But the deadline extension does give the players and owners three more days to negotiate an extension of the current collective bargaining agreement.

Yesterday, the owners met for 57 minutes, then announced that they were discontinuing their discussions with the NFLPA, the player's union.

The difference, ostensibly, is over 3.8 percent of the league's revenues. The players want 60 percent of the money to go toward their salary and benefits. The owners are offering 56.2 percent.

Underlying issues also exist, particularly concerning revenue sharing.

For now, though, everyone in the NFL is breathing a sigh of relief and hoping for the best.

If an extension of the collective bargaining agreement is reached, it is expected to add $10 million to $15 million to the 2006 salary cap.

The Redskins are thought to be $17 million to $20 million over the 2006 salary cap.

Several players already have agreed to restructure their contracts, contingent upon a CBA not being reached.

If no movement is made between now and Sunday night at midnight, agreements struck by Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell and offensive tackle Jon Jansen will go into effect. Those new deals will save the Redskins $5 million on the 2006 salary cap.

If an extension to the CBA is agreed upon, Brunell, Jansen and any other players who agreed to restructure their contracts will play and be paid under their existing contracts.

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Wow. Restructuring Brunell and Jansen's contracts saved $5 million towards the cap? We must be flying towards the cap number of $94.5 million after all of the other restructuring that was announced today. We're in pretty good shape regardless of the outcome of the CBA.

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