| It's starting. The annual complaint from pundits concerning the state of the NFL and its nefarious salary cap. Good players cut. Teams destroyed. Jettison the cap!
We say no way. No way in Daniel Snyder's personal wing of hell. The NFL's version of the salary cap, coupled with their Three Musketeers plan for revenue sharing, fosters the fairest competition and the healthiest league. We have to reinforce this annually, to remind fans that Kansas City, Buffalo and Jacksonville have had to cut players not because the system is unjust, but because their front office has sucked. Rob Johnson has sucked. Doug Flutie has sucked. Equal opportunity Suckdom. It ain't the system, folks.
Do you think the fans in St. Louis hate the salary cap? How about the fans of Baltimore? Tennessee? True, the Titans had to jettison several players to get under the cap, but worthless receivers like Carl Pickens and Yancey Thigpen, who between them earn two Carmen Electras and one Britney yet catch bupkus on the field, are not worth their dough. And that's the point.
Players get paid what they're worth. Every year. What a revolutionary concept. Just like you and we---in our pedestrian little jobs, no Carmens, no Britneys, maybe a Joan Cusack here , perhaps a Kimmi at holiday time---get paid what we're worth. Hasn't it been a decade since Patrick Ewing was paid what he was worth? Albert Belle breaks his hip smashing some dude's camera, but he'll still be cashing the big checks for years to come. The NFL's salary cap injects sanity to this millionaire kids' game.
And smart teams with good front offices benefit. The whole league surely benefits. We know Jerry Jones wants to win every year. He also wants to make a profit every year. We bet he sleeps well, in his snakeskin pajamas, despite Dallas' floundering. They, you see, have as good a chance as anybody does, of being next year's St. Louis or Baltimore. It probably won't happen for Dallas, but it will happen for somebody.
You just can't drastically overpay for free agents. Even your own. All that moolah thrown at Jason Sehorn will surely result in his early release one day, when his productivity falls below his Angie-Harmon-sized ego. Were we watching the same Super Bowl as the New York brass? Three times we saw a marginal wide receiver torch Sehorn. A competent quarterback would've racked up 21 points. As it was, even Trent Dilfer was good for 10.
And Dilfer's available. Super-Bowl-winning QB. You can have him for a bargain. Try that in baseball. The Ravens would've been stuck with him for another decade, right Livan Hernandez? As it stands, next year Dilfer'll make decent enough money and help another team the way they want him to, with reason. Just like in Baltimore.
God forbid: players actually making what they should make, and getting dumped when they're no longer close to worth it. The salary cap does this. All you cap-whining media types out there, ask yourselves one question: You want Patrick Ewing on your team?