The Bills future may hinge on the latest Labor talks

I’ve been meaning to write a blog about the impending 2011 lockout that seems destined to happen. I don’t know about you, but I’m extremely worried, and I’m not talking about the prospect of no football in 2011. It’s that I’m hearing the leader of the Players Association come out and say that there’s no way the players are going back to a salary cap system. If that doesn’t scare you, how about Jerry Jones comments from last year, when he said revenue sharing was going to be a thing of the past.

Look, I’ve always stated that I felt that the Bills are destined to move once Ralph Wilson passes away. Now if any combination of the two things happen (No cap or revenue sharing), not only could the Bills be moving, but you could see the Bills become the Kansas City Royals of the NFL.

Yes, I know, the Bills could easily be considered the Royals with the way they play, but what you don’t get is that without revenue sharing, you’ll have teams like Dallas and New York blowing away the Bills in how much money they make. Without a cap, you’ll have the larger markets completely out pricing the smaller markets when it comes to signing players. Buffalo could very well become a breeding franchise for younger talent, only to leave after their rookie contracts are up.

Honestly, the revenue sharing is what scares me the most. You’ve always heard Wilson complain about new stadiums being built, selling luxury suites at half a million a pop, and bigger cities having robots made of gold (OK, I made that last one up). As of now, revenue sharing doesn’t consist of sharing luxury box sales and with the possibility of ticket revenue not being split up, the Bills are going to be the David’s in a Goliath league.

With all this uncertainty in revenue sharing, you would think that the Bills would be outspoken to get a CBA deal done. Well, we haven’t heard a peep from them. I find it a little odd because Ralph Wilson was so opposed to the original CBA signing in 2006. I don’t want to sound like Oliver Stone over here, but what’s the difference between now and then? Does Wilson know the team is moving after his passing? Does Wilson know that the salary cap isn’t coming back? Does Wilson even care anymore? I would just think that the Bills would be howling at the moon to get a deal done.

Of course, it could be that Wilson and the Bills are just staying coy throughout the whole ordeal. All I know is ever since the CBA was signed in 2006, the Bills developed that stupid “cash to the cap” philosophy, and haven’t been nearly as active in spending money on FA. Currently, they rank in the bottom tier of the NFL in spending money on players. If the new CBA doesn’t include revenue sharing, the Bills may develop “a cash in my pocket” philosophy.

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In related news, there’s been reports in St. Louis that one of the groups that has a bid on buying the Rams is from Toronto. I know most Bills fans would love the notion for someone to buy the Rams and relocate them to Canada. Not so fast. Realize that about 20,000 of the Bills seasons ticket holders are from the Southern Ontario area. I would only assume that half of those fans would change their minds and head north on the QEW to see the Toronto Rams play.

I’ve said it before and the labor problems concur it, the Bills need Toronto and Southern Ontario to thrive in the NFL. If a team moves to Toronto, it would do significant damage to the Bills regional approach with the franchise.

Joe

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The Lord of Buffalo Wins

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