The NFL Money $eason begins!

FitzbeatsquareMarch 10 starts another season for the National Football League, and with the salary cap rising another modest $10 million times 32 teams, it’s only going to make it harder to win. Now, that’s a good thing because the teams and owners who are not in this to win are exposed.

Last season was one of the most competitive seasons on record. 2015 promises more of the same.

When superstars change teams, it’s like a swinging gate — the market value of players goes sky high. Leaving Detroit, Ndamukong Sue has blown the doors off with his six-year $114 million deal in Miami.

It’s always about the guaranteed money, and Sue getting $60 million guaranteed sets the standard. It’s just the beginning, so it’s an exciting time.

Things would be different had the NFL players not given in during the last lockout when the owners were able to slash by 50 percent the value of guaranteed money on incoming rookie contracts. This allowed the owners to secure the upper hand even more so.

When a superstar like Adrian Peterson is in potential limbo, that works to his advantage should he not work things out with the Vikings while having three years left on his contract.
His base contract numbers are not likely to go down. He would be in position to get more guaranteed money with his new team.

With 32 teams, it only takes one team to take the lid off. Teams use franchise tags to keep superstars in the short term, but eventually the gig is up and the player gets his max value deal.

That pie which is the salary cap each season now stands at $143.28 million per team, which has to be sliced up carefully in matching talent, potential and value. For the second year in a row, each team’s cap has gone up by $10 million, and the teams have to spend it because it’s TV money.

It’s a wonderful thing how the system works. It works for both the players and the owners. It’s a wonderful thing, and it’s the primary reason why the NFL game is the professional sports league runaway leader of the pack. Because of ratings and record revenues and popularity even with controversy and off-the-field issues, it still works for the NFL.

Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to, or visit