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Final Eight Rules Wouldn't Affect The Packers

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Final Eight Rules Wouldn't Affect The Packers

I've maintained since the lockout began that the longer the work stoppage lasts the better it is for the Packers' chances of repeating.

Another example as to why comes from John Clayton over at ESPN.

If, and that's a big if, the league were to end up playing the 2011 season under the rules it played under in 2010 (known as the Final League Year in the previous CBA), the final eight teams alive in post-season play, known as the Final Eight, would be under severe restrictions whenever free agency finally occurs.

From Clayton:

If the league does impose the 2010 system, it will be interesting to see if it brings back the "Final Eight" plan. In an uncapped year, the top eight finishers from the previous season are handcuffed in free agency: The four teams that played in the title games can sign a free agent only if they lose a free agent, and the four teams that lost in the divisional round of the playoffs can sign a player at a modest cost, roughly $3.8 million in the first year.

The Final Eight rule was put in place for competitive reasons. If it does return, though, it will make it harder for final-eight teams in 2010 to make it to the final eight in 2011.

What I found incredibly interesting about Clayton's piece is that nowhere - not. once. - does he mention the reigning Super Bowl champs. And how could he? The idea of not being able to sign free agents, or "severe restrictions" upon his ability to do so must make Ted Thompson absolutely thrilled. No more having to explain that, yes, they looked at everybody but, no, they won't be signing anyone because, say it with me Packer fans, "We like our guys."

Clayton goes on to detail the some of the struggles that Final Eight teams from 2009 encountered and he pontificates on how it could possibly affect this years' group.

Thompson will just be doing business as usual, developing the guys he drafted, creating competition throughout the roster, and  watching as the rest of the league scrambles at cut-down time to pick up his discarded players - especially in an abbreviated offseason that will most likely feature an incredibly truncated version of free agency.

Yes, the league and the players need to get this thing done - but no matter when it ends, chances are the Packers will have a big leg up when teams start attempting to finalize their rosters for the 2011 season - mostly because the Packers' roster is already finalized.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (35) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Tarynfor 12's picture

We don't need no stinking player practices and we don't need no stinking FAs.

Now their all in TTs realm,ha ha ha!

PackerBacker's picture

Right now I'm still pissed at Clayton for blowing the power rankings for best owner. The Packers only got 3rd because, in the SOB's words:
"I couldn't vote for the Packers because it is a community ownership, not a normal ownership. It's not as though when one owner makes the decisions and has to stand up for the praise or criticism. Assigned the chance to vote for ownership, I felt more comfortable voting for individual owners or family owners."
I'm betting Mark Murphy as the "face" of Packers board might disagree with the praise and criticism comment. What a load of shit.

deelux523's picture

Community ownership is bad. Mmmm-kay?

FITZCORE1252's picture

JC is on an am sports talk radio show out here in Seattle about once a week, he lives here. I'm gonna have to place a strongly worded phone-in... "Did your ass length pony tail get wrapped around your neck and cut off the oxygen to your strange looking head..."...and I know he doesn't have a ponytail, but for the sake of my call... he does.


Cole's picture

So he's saying pack ownership isn't 'elite'? haha Clayton is a hack.

Neon2012's picture

Sorry to be that guy, but in the title Effect should be Affect.

PackerAaron's picture

Damnit! I knew it! (Or...I didn't, as the case may be) Thanks...

jay's picture

"...he pontificates on how it could possibly effect this years' group."

Here too. Love ya, Aaron! =)

FITZCORE1252's picture

Those still trip me up to this day.

sammer's picture

Although I'm not particularly fond of any of the NFL writers over at The Worldwide Leader, Clayton has to be the worst. Find me a column of his that contains an interesting insight. Or demonstrates anything beyond a rudimentary understanding of the game. He's the Brick Tamland of sports journalism.

ppabich's picture

even if the final 8 restrictions are in place it probably wouldn't affect the packers. Based on the article it would seem that if Jenkins leaves they would be able to find a replacement free agent. And that is predicated on the fact that TT even cares about free agents this off-season.

dullgeek's picture

The final 8 rule is something that the players should hate. It reduces the league wide demand for free agents by dramatically reducing 8 teams' ability to acquire them. That's 25% of the league! That means more free agents available to a smaller group demanding them. Higher supply + lower demand = smaller contracts.

So, of course, the owners will push for this to be included if it gets to this point and the players will push against it.

Agree that this would improve the Packers chance of a repeat.

jeremy's picture

Jerry Angelo has to be losing sleep over this one. If that rule stays in place he can't make offers to Carl Nicks, Cullen Jenkins or Sydney Rice.

June's picture

Yes, but I'm sure atleast one of their players would be leaving through free agency..

Bercovici's picture

Yeah, but what if they made a rule that the Final Eight teams couldn't do superior scouting and drafting, and sign talented UFAs that other teams had overlooked, and avoid squandering payroll on injury-prone older guys whose best days are behind them? Now THAT could really hurt us.

fryinginphx's picture

Being a part owner of the Packers I took offense to be called 3rd. I am number 1 becuase my Mother told me.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Your Mother fed you a load of number 2.

Oppy's picture


Oppy's picture


ZeroTolerance's picture

Charles Woodson was a GB UFA signing.

PackerAaron's picture

How many FAs since then? TT used FA w/Pickett, Woodson and others to fill immediate holes when he took over. How many did he sign last year? If the price is right, of course he'd sign someone. But he doesn't waste roster spots on FAs generally. He prefers to build from within.

ZeroTolerance's picture

I know what you are saying, I'm just saying if one were to fall into his lap, he might accept the gift.

MarkinMadison's picture

I agree with the general proposition - the longer the lock-out goes on, the better off the Packers are. I'm just not sure how the Final Eight rule fits in with that idea. It seems to me that the Final Eight rule is one of the things that the NFL is likely to dump as an easy target for a restraint on trade claim. It also does not follow to me that the longer this goes on, the more likely it is that the Final Eight rule will be put back in place. I think what we can say is that IF the Final Eight rule goes back into place then TT is better situated than most GM's to avoid any negative impact because of the way he has built this team.

One thing I am curious about - without a union, how do we ever get to a new agreement? Who are the owners bargaining with now? Do the parties to the anti-trust suit have class authority to settle for all current and prospective players? Who will agree to not sue to prevent the enforcement of the new system, whatever that may be?

Mel's picture

Pretty sure that the players will have to vote the union back into place. Just like you get a union in you work in the first place.. But thats just a guess. Also if the Players want this settled so bad why aren't they forcing the Union to come back and get back to the bargining table?? This crap is never going to be settled untill they both get back to the table. Goodell asked for the meetings take him up on it!!!!

DaveK's picture

Mark- the union is now a 'trade association'. The leaders of the trade association can negotiate with the NFL. Only purpose of decertifing was so they could file antitrust lawsuits and make life miserable for the owners who now will have to abide by anti-trust laws that make no sense for a professional sports league. The players will re-certify once they reach an agreement with the league.

MarkinMadison's picture

Trade associations can't negotiate a labor agreement. I believe that the players did not re-certify for about two years after the last time that this happened, in the late 80s. The parties to the lawsuit ultimately reached a settlement agreement. The union then reformed and adopted the settlement agreement.

From a technical standpoint, I'm wondering how you get from A to B. Maybe there just isn't a technical answer. But the owner's main contention to the courts right now is that decertification is a sham, and that makes things more complicated. As long as they continue litigating that theory it may be impossible for the two parties to negotiate a settlement - the union er NFLPA will not want to add a log to that fire by participating in settlement negotiations.

So in theory we're back down to the actual plaintiffs, and what authority (legal, real, actual or perceived) do they have to create a settlement.

MarkinMadison's picture

Best answers to my questions that I found.

Short story: class action. A little questionable now whether undrafted rookie FA's are covered by the class. Probably won't be an issue. Interesting that the NFLPA has been attending the bargaining -er- mediation sessions.

Ryan's picture

The final eight rule seems pretty strange to me...

Is there any evidence that big free agent signings actually strengthens a team in the long term? (In baseball, the book Moneyball would beg to differ)

I also don't see much evidence that playoff teams need to be handicapped the following season. If anything, don't those teams have a harder time keeping good players whose stock has risen and can demand even more money for their services?

frosty's picture

Maybe i'm missing something, but doesn't this mean Ted wouldn't be able to bring in his normal crop of undrafted guys? Maybe that (in combination with the current lockout) was why he went crazy with the trading down in the draft again.

MarkinMadison's picture


Big Mikey's picture

This is my question as well. What does this rule mean for undrafted players and street FAs during the season? It doesn't make sense to prohibit teams from grabbing FA during the season if injury or any such occurs.

frosty's picture

I think once the season starts it goes back to a free for all. These rules only apply during the offseason, though i'm not sure at what point they stop (preseason? start of the regular season?).

PkrNboro's picture

Today is the four month anniversary of the [email protected] divisional playoff game -- a wonderful on-the-road beat-down of the NFC top-seed.

35 unanswered points -- Sweet !

WoodyG's picture

The play of that game & maybe the season ...... Love watching it ..... over & over .......


redlights's picture

Ahhh. Pleasant thoughts; yes, think pleasant thoughts. That's right.

All that while rushing three. All the raving about our potent offense; but our defense routinely carried the water last year!

Now tell me how two sides can sit across from each other for days on end; show progress to satify a judge that "good-faith" bargaining is occuring; but not progress with an agreement?

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