Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Seahawks Take on the Labor Issues

by: Michael Steffes

With little else to talk about around the NFL, the pundits are beating the labor issues like a dead horse, despite the reality that the parties have two years to work things out. Anyway, it inspired me to at least take a look-see on how it could effect the Seahawks. Here is what I see...

The labor strife could actually end up benefiting the Seahawks, but also making it a touch difficult on them too. First off, the Seahawks have three guys who could be looking to strike it big in 2010, what would be the uncapped year. These three players are Chris Spencer, Rob Sims, and Darrell Tapp. Here is the problem. If 2010 is actually an uncapped year, none of those three players will actually be free agents. They will be restricted free agents. The Hawks could essentially control their destiny, which is probably good for the Hawks, especially if Sims and Spencer take off under coach Mike Solari.

Here is the part that could be difficult on the Hawks. There is also a rule to balance the loss of the salary cap that the final eight teams must lose free agents before they are allowed to sign free agents of equal value. As an example, if a free agent left and signed for 10 million, then the Hawks would be allowed to go spend 10 million. Well.... The Hawks have their key players locked up through 2010. With no notable free agents coming free, who would not be restricted,it is unlikely the Hawks would be allowed to open up Paul Allen's checkbook to improve the team. What is most likely is that the team opens up the vault to get Spencer, Sims and Tapp signed long term. Can you say front-loaded contracts?

Of course a lot could change between then and now. Most likely though, this is all for naught. All parties involved have every reason to get a deal done.