Would L.T. be a Viking under old rules?

Running back LaDainian Tomlinson decided on the New York Jets over the Minnesota Vikings, with the latter reportedly offering more money. If the old rules of free agency were in effect and Tomlinson wasn't available until now, would his decision have changed knowing that Brett Favre had surgery? Or would the Vikings have even been interested if they drafted Toby Gerhart?

There was a time when June 1 was a big time for teams to re-load and re-tool on the fly.

Considered the start of the business year in the NFL, veteran players with fat contracts and contract ramifications were often cut loose after June 1 because teams could spread out the salary cap hit over two years by releasing such players. As a result, teams that didn't fill their needs in free agency or the draft had one last chance to add veteran talent. Often times, June 1 would be a big time in the NFL. Those days, at least for now, are done.

Thanks to the lack of a salary cap, veterans with big contracts are no longer held onto until June 1. With no salary cap, there are no ramifications to dump them earlier in the years.

Players like LaDainian Tomlinson likely wouldn't have been available until now because the Chargers would have wanted to avoid a big one-year impact on their salary cap. But, without a cap, he was simply released in March and the Vikings lost out on a bidding war with the Jets. One has to wonder if Tomlinson's decision may have changed if he had the assurance that Brett Favre would be coming back in 2010.

There is little incentive anymore for teams to hold on to players they intend to part ways with until June 1. There is no intrinsic benefit to keeping them and allowing the players to enter belated free agency. One of the first ramifications of the lack of a salary cap was that the market got flooded with veterans in March, not June. While June 1 was a day for teams to make moves and add talent or rid themselves of it, this June 1 looks to be pretty quiet around the NFL.


  • While June 1 no longer holds the importance it did with respect to releasing people, the same can't be said for restricted free agents. There is a June 1 RFA provision for some players tendered offers by their teams. The real drop-dead date for RFAs to sign their deals isn't until mid-June, but, depending on what kind offer that was tendered, some RFAs either have to sign or could become unrestricted. Ray Edwards does not fit in that category, however, so Vikings fans don't have to panic.

  • Former Viking Randy Moss is looking for a new agent. He is expecting that this will be his last year with the Patriots and, despite preparing for his 13th season, he isn't looking at retiring any time soon.

  • An on-line auction running through June 10 includes a piece of Vikings history. One of the items being auctioned off by SCP Auctions is the Vikings jersey worn by Fran Tarkenton when he broke the touchdown record for quarterbacks.

  • It's hard to imagine that someone could claim to be Bryant McKinnie and get away with it. But, according to McKinnie's Twitter account, someone claimed to be him at a club and was not only allowed into the club, but was comped bottles of champagne for him and his table.

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