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Best Payroll System? NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL?


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#1 of 22 Hunter P

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Posted March 02 2006 - 08:37 AM

The recent NFL negitiations had me thinking which of the four major sports has the best payroll system? Cap or no cap? Guaranteed contracts or none? Signing bonus? Larry Bird rule? Revenue sharing (I don't think any of the four do this but it's always on the table)?

What do you guys think is the best system currently? And if you were to build a perfect system out of elements from these four, plus other ideas, then what would it be? Remember you need to have something that keeps the atheletes, owners and fans happy for a long time.

I'm gonna give this more thought before I give my own answer.
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#2 of 22 Scott Merryfield

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Posted March 02 2006 - 09:55 AM

Per the discussion going on in the NFL thread, I believe the current NFL system is the best. Their combination of revenue sharing and a fixed salary cap based on revenue have allowed every franchise the ability to be competitive based on its ability to hire the right front office personnel and evaluate and acquire the proper talent. Also, every team has been able to turn a profit under the current system.

The NBA would be a close second, but I'll admit that I do not completely understand all the salary cap exceptions.

It's too early to tell if the NHL got things right, since this is the first year of their new structure. Considering it looks a lot like the NFL's current system, though, I have hope that the league will not turn into MLB, which is where it was headed before the cancellation of last season.

Meanwhile, MLB has setup a system where the best teams are determined by the amount of money spent on salaries, and where franchises in smaller markets have no hope of being competitive on even a semi-regular basis. If a team has enough money, it is not punished for poor player evaluations and wasting money on bad free agent signings. The attitude is simply "oh, well, we'll just go out and overspend on another player and eat this mistake".

#3 of 22 Casey Trowbridg

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Posted March 02 2006 - 10:00 AM

Scott pretty much summed up my thoughts, football is the best, and don't think its being more popular than any other sport is not in part connected to the pay structure and the fact that A Pittsburgh Steeler fan has hope every year, a Pittsburgh Pirate fan does not.

There is a lot to like about the NBA as well...in that you are able to keep your players on your team because you can offer them more money. I think that the NFL should allow for something like this for at least one player per team per season...just a thought would have to work on it.

The gap in the MLB grows as time goes by and things just get worse and worse.

#4 of 22 Blu

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Posted March 02 2006 - 12:28 PM

The NFL witout a doubt has the best system that allows any team to be able to compete.

Now there are always teams like the Cardinals that will not spend any money on their team which is a shame. I am sure that before long this type of problem will be addressed and hopefully the NFL will not go the way of the MLB.

If it does, well I'm not sure what would happen other than there would be a dominate 4-5 teams and a buch of teams that have no chance.

You could probably expect teams like the Cowboys of the 90's, the Niners of the 80's playing against teams like the Bucs of the....well pretty much any year they sucked.

#5 of 22 Shane Martin

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Posted March 02 2006 - 01:01 PM

I would agree with the NFL though I feel they should at some point adopt the rookie cap that the NBA did where you have your value for the first few years. This would lessen the chance of getting burned by an NFL bust which happens alot in the first 8-10 picks. Right now the 1st pick in the draft and everyone past him just expects a 10-15% raise over the last years price and I don't feel that is fair. They've only earned the money on their potential. The NBA is much different in that regards.

The NBA's biggest problem is that thier contracts are guaranteed which means teams are paying Penny Hardaway who is 1/100th the guy he was $15million for this season.

#6 of 22 Blu

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Posted March 02 2006 - 01:07 PM

I agree with the rookie cap. How many times have you seen a rookie get top dollar and be out of the NFL in two years?

I have a feeling that the players association are posturing right now. The CBA doesn't run out for two years I believe so there is no danger of a NHL/MLB scenario happening any time soon.

If the NFL loses its cap though it would be a nightmare for any fan.

#7 of 22 Brian Perry

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Posted March 02 2006 - 01:54 PM

I think all of these sports should have a portion of salries determined by the team's success. Amazingly, the Collective Bargaining Agreements actually forbid this! In other words, it is against the rules for the Cubs to offer players a $1 million bonus if they win the World Series.

#8 of 22 Joseph S

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Posted March 02 2006 - 02:52 PM

MLB is by far the sweeter deal to be a part of for the players. No salary cap and no franchsing. Plus the incentives are almost always easily attainable.

#9 of 22 Yee-Ming

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Posted March 02 2006 - 03:05 PM

Being a follower of English football, I've often wondered about how US pro sports organise themselves. Ironically, in European football it's pretty much a near-purely capitalist system, with each club earning whatever it can, paying whatever it thinks it can afford to players, and so on. Hence the recent aberrations when Chelsea were bought by Roman Abramovich (Russian oil billionaire) and went on a major spending spree, and practically "bought" the English league title.

One difficulty I've always had with US pro sports is that at the top level, it is a "closed" league, i.e. no relegation of the worst team(s) into a lower level. One appeal of the English "pyramid" system has always been that theoretically, any club can start at the very bottom in amateur leagues, and work its way right up to the top, most famously by Wimbledon FC, and more recently Wigan Athletic. In contrast, in US sports, there is no penalty for failure, save presumably embarrassment, whereas in any ladder system, if you finish bottom, you drop down a division/league. And ironically, the concept of sharing revenue amongst all teams is rather, shall we say, communist...

Having said that, I recognise that this makes for a more competitive competition, where within a few years any team could conceivably get its act together and go on to win the title. I actually remember the days, pre-Jordan, when the Bulls were quite useless, then the Jordan years when they were completely dominant, and now they're (more-or-less) back at the bottom again. Most European football leagues are dominated by a handful of clubs each, with the rest simply trying to survive in the top level, and/or providing cannon fodder.

Which is better? A culturally-charged question, I think: "This is how we've always done it, so it's the best way -- for us."

#10 of 22 Casey Trowbridg

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Posted March 02 2006 - 04:20 PM

Quote:
One difficulty I've always had with US pro sports is that at the top level, it is a "closed" league, i.e. no relegation of the worst team(s) into a lower
level. One appeal of the English "pyramid" system has always been that theoretically, any club can start at the very bottom in amateur leagues, and work
its way right up to the top, most famously by Wimbledon FC, and more recently Wigan Athletic. In contrast, in US sports, there is no penalty for failure,
save presumably embarrassment, whereas in any ladder system, if you finish bottom, you drop down a division/league. And ironically, the concept of sharing
revenue amongst all teams is rather, shall we say, communist...

When I first heard of this system in High School, I thought this was the greatest idea in the world. This could really only work in baseball in the States though because you can't exactly send the Arizona Cardinals to college football if they finish in last place, and there's no real minor leagues that plays by the exact same rules as the NFL, and if you sent the Cardinals to the arena league, they'd slaughter the competion and be right back in the big show the next year, largely because the Arena team that replaced them would be on the wrong end of a lot of ass whoopings.

Sending the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to AAA ball would be an interesting idea though. Although given the fact AAA teams are offiliated with major league teams save for some independants, you might have an odd scenario wherein if the Richmond Braves were the best team, they moved up to the majors and played the Atlanta Braves, so you'd have the Braves playing Braves prospects.

#11 of 22 Blu

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Posted March 02 2006 - 04:40 PM

Well in the MLB they do kind of use the relegation system. Instead of entire teams they send players up and down depending on their performances.

That system would never fly in the NFL as Casey pointed out there is no minor league.

The league that could best support such a system would probably be the NBA with the small roster sizes and the ability to be able to have a minor league such as the USBL be officially a relegation league.

#12 of 22 Yee-Ming

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Posted March 02 2006 - 05:27 PM

Casey, in some respects this already happens in England, with the wide gulf between the Premiership and what is now called "the Championship": in most seasons, of the three promoted from the second level at least two go straight back down. In the 12 or 13 years since the Premiership was established, there has only been a single season when all three "newbies" survived. Curiously, the reverse doesn't regularly happen, i.e. the former Premiership team comes straight back up, although there are a few teams which now seem to be perennial "yo-yo" teams.

As for reserve teams, it doesn't happen in England (the reserve teams play in their own reserve leagues, organised geographically rather than in alignment with the main pro league and I'm not sure if there's promotion/relegation with the reserves either), but I understand it does happen in Spain. There is, however, an express prohibition against both the main team and the reserves playing in the same division. If the reserves earn promotion I guess they forfeit the right to move up, but I wonder what happens if the main team must go down?

Given the rather large number of pro (or semi-pro) teams needed to maintain a significant pyramid, it's always a wonder how the "lesser" clubs survive. One element of the "romance" of the FA Cup (a straight knock-out competition, with no seeding, although higher division clubs get byes to later rounds) is when a small division four club (or worse, "non-league") gets drawn against one of the big boys. Just to earn a draw (and the re-play) is a huge achievement. And I must respect the fans of these small clubs, no real chance at winning anything significant, no stars to watch, skill level isn't the highest so games aren't the most entertaining, yet week-in-week out, season after season, they're there on cold, wet Friday nights supporting their club.

#13 of 22 Lew Crippen

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Posted March 03 2006 - 01:17 AM

Quote:
What do you guys think is the best system currently?
It depends. Posted Image

Best for whom? The fans? The players? Rich owners? Less rich owners? Small market teams? Big market teams? And on and on …

Probably the NFL is the worst for players, as not much of their contracts are guaranteed. Baseball is good for players as their money is guaranteed and very good for established players with their form of free agency. Baseball is also good for big market teams and for very rich owners who will spend money.

And on and on.
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#14 of 22 Hunter P

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Posted March 03 2006 - 04:56 AM

Best for whom?
You forgot to add my other question:
And if you were to build a perfect system out of elements from these four, plus other ideas, then what would it be? Remember you need to have something that keeps the atheletes, owners and fans happy for a long time.


I think you guys are right about the NFL. The proof is there with all the parity that goes on. Every city's team has a chance every year to make the playoffs, and even win the championship.

I like parity but I also enjoy dynasties. I'm no Bulls fan but I was rooting for them in 1996 to win 72 games and dominate the playoffs yet again. I love rooting against the "Evil Empire."

On the flip side, even as a fan, I don't like that contracts are not guaranteed. I think they should guarantee a portion of it like the first year. I think it's unreasonable for teams to insist that players act loyal to the team but at the same time they show no loyalty to the players.

I like spending caps on players based on years like they have in the NBA. Rookies overall shouldnt make more than vets overall. Plus if there is a bidding war, it doesn't come down to who has the deepest pocketbook.

Incentives is something that I wish they could find a way to use in systems that have salary caps and guaranteed contracts. Every year in the NBA, a free-agent-to-be will have the best year of his career, sign a big contract, then go right back to sucking. I guess something of a limited guarantee would be nice. You are guaranteed most of the contract but you're still going to have to work your butt off to get the rest of it.
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#15 of 22 Scott Merryfield

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Posted March 03 2006 - 06:37 AM

Quote:
On the flip side, even as a fan, I don't like that contracts are not guaranteed. I think they should guarantee a portion of it like the first year.

You are forgetting the signing bonus, which in the NFL is effectively the "guaranteed" portion of the contract. In this case, though, the player gets that money up front, even though for salary cap purposes the cost of the bonus is spread over the life of the contract.

#16 of 22 Casey Trowbridg

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Posted March 03 2006 - 08:37 AM

Quote:
On the flip side, even as a fan, I don't like that contracts are not guaranteed. I think they should guarantee a portion of it like the first year. I think
it's unreasonable for teams to insist that players act loyal to the team but at the same time they show no loyalty to the players.

Also, if you are on the active roster of 53 for week 1 of the regular season, that season's salary is guaranteed, no matter if you play the whole year or get cut/hurt after the first game.

#17 of 22 Shane Martin

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Posted March 07 2006 - 07:07 AM

Quote:
I also have to diagree that any one system would work for any league
The NFL system for sure would not work for other leagues because other leagues have their own regional sports networks which tend to cloudy things up even more. The NFL has a handful of networks and no regional networks to deal with and on top of that a seemingly workable solution for their blackout rules. OTOH, Baseball and the rest have a pitiful solution for blackout rules all because of the regional sports networks.

#18 of 22 Lew Crippen

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Posted March 08 2006 - 01:26 AM

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The NFL system for sure would not work for other leagues
One could argue that NFL system is not working very well for the NFL. Posted Image
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#19 of 22 Shane Martin

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Posted March 08 2006 - 02:50 AM

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One could argue that NFL system is not working very well for the NFL
It is unless you are Jerry Jones or Daniel Snyder Posted Image

#20 of 22 Jed M

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Posted March 08 2006 - 03:37 AM

Quote:
you can't exactly send the Arizona Cardinals to college football
Not if they wanted to compete. It would have to be much lower than that, like pee wee league.

Like most have said, I think the NFL and NBA are the two best. It would be nice to see the NFL adopt some type of Larry Bird rule. It helps the players, fans, and owners.
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