Here are 4 big implications for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the CBA proposal that is now on the table for the players. While the players have not ratified this agreement yet, these four points are unlikely to change in the final CBA, whenever it is accepted.
1. The salary cap will be set at $120.375 million, and teams will be forced to spend 99% of that cap in cash in 2011 and 2012.
After 2012, the cash minimum for the teams will be set at 89%, with the league-wide minimum set at 95%. For the Bucs in 2011, this means they will have to spend. Now, I wrote an article recently on how they could do so without bringing in outside free agents, but that was assuming the cash minimum would be set at 90% of the salary cap. They still could get there by re-signing Davin Joseph, Barrett Ruud, Cadillac Williams and Quincy Black and frontloading a number of those deals. But it's starting to look more and more likely that the Bucs will have to go out and at least sign a second-tier free agent.
2. The NFL will continue to enforce the Personal Conduct Policy for incidents occurring during the lockouts
This will mostly affect Aqib Talib, though it could also affect Alex Magee who was cited for marijuana possession. Aqib Talib's legal issues have been well-documented, and they won't be resolved until after the season. This could hold off Roger Goodell, who likes to wait for the process to play out before making a decision. However, this does give him the ability to suspend Talib immediately.
3. Four years are needed for unrestricted free agency
As it used to be in the past, players will become unrestricted free agents after four years of accrued service. This means that Davin Joseph, Quincy Black, Barrett Ruud, Cadillac Williams, Jeremy Trueblood and many other Buccaneers will be free agents.
4. 4-year deals for rookies, with a fifth-year option for first-rounders, as well as a strict rookie cap.
This will not have a big impact now, though it will force Adrian Clayborn's money down a little. It will be interesting to see whether there will be a rookie re-signing push each year, as rookies will now have their contract expire all at the same time.