The great experiment is on. The NFL collective bargaining agreement doesn’t show any signs of being settled and a new era of free agency is upon us. Most teams will act to keep their free agents by using a tender offer, giving them draft picks should a player decide to move on.
Others will allow their stars to move on. The San Diego Chargers parted ways with LaDanian Tomlinson. The Carolina Panthers say goodbye to Julius Peppers, a player who’s probably seen his better days. For the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints, safety Darren Sharper is the biggest name. Tendered but not signed, the Saints will have to make a decision whether keeping Sharper is in the best long term interests of the team.
Whatever the glory or the nostalgia surrounding a team and player, the reality of the NFL is now going to hit home. Football is a business and as such, tough money decisions have to be made. As always, some good decisions will be made. Other teams will face tough losses due to financial constraints. Whoever does the best juggling act will be looking ath playoffs and a Super Bowl next season.