Wlady — You make a good point, except that one reason people like Mike Anderson are being released now is specifically because the salary cap will NOT rise this year if the labor agreement isn’t reached — so for this year only, the failure hurts the players most directly. But in return, the players know that if there is no agreement, then the cap will disappear entirely next year, and they think they can rake in the dough then. As for the guaranteed contracts: Most contracts in the NFL are not guaranteed (because injuries take such a toll, etc.), but the signing bonuses ARE guaranteed. The players and their agents are smart enough to see that a guarantee in the form of a signing bonus is a pretty darn good deal in a game where wear and tear is so extensive.
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