The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.
The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.
How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will there be a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in place in time for the start of the new league year in March?
We have been hearing reports about the status of the pending CBA negotiations for over a year already. In a sense, the deadline is now fast approaching, under two months away, in order for the NFL and the NFLPA to get something done, because if a new one is not in place in March at the start of the ‘new league year’, then there will be ramifications involved. Technically, some will already be in place until a deal is done.
There are specific regulations built into the CBA that stipulates how business is to be conducted in the final year of a CBA deal, pertaining to things like tags and player salaries, relative to how much they can rise and fall, with the intent of limiting the ability for teams to ‘cheat’ the cap in preparation for a potential ‘uncapped’ season.
There have been positive reports about a deal being done in time for free agency this year, but frankly, you never know until it actually gets done. Both sides have issued some tough talk internally, yet this has been a pretty civil negotiating period free of public acrimony, much in contrast to the past. Should that be taken as a sign that something will be in place in time for teams to make their usual offseason moves?