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Breaking down the quarterback deals

Posted by Albert Breer  July 25, 2010 10:47 AM

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As I said in the story, for the player, $20 million is $20 million. But for the teams that money looks very different against an $80 million cap than it does against a $100 million cap. And if the owners expect to win out in the CBA battle, then spending huge money in the current climate is something that could cost them later on. Particularly when that money is impossible to get back, like signing-bonus money would be.

Generally, a team might commit 10-13 percent of its salary cap (though Manning has at times played by different rules) to its franchise quarterback. It's much harder now to come up with hard figure for what that'll be in the future.

... And then, there's the owners' and players' positions in all this.

While you hear wildly varying things about how much this affects these talks (some say not at all, others say a lot), the fact remains that the Robert Kraft is among the league's leading owners and Tom Brady is one of the union's 90 player reps and one of just five quarterbacks in the group (Kyle Orton, Chad Pennington, Charlie Batch and Matt Hasselbeck are the others ... though Drew Brees holds a higher position in the PA).

No matter how you look at it, big deals for these quarterbacks undermines the argument that the current system is broken, and a franchise quarterback making contractual compromises wouldn't reflect well on the union.

So that's where we stand. Brady and the Patriots have had talks over the course of the last year. But things aren't close, and once the games get started, it's going to become that much harder to get a deal done.

Will Brady be franchised in February 2011? Will he go into the lockout without a contract?

For now, it's a real distinct possibility.
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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