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Discuss: Should NFL franchises be allowed to trade their cap space?

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If teams start trading cap space, competitive balance will go out the window.

Christian Petersen

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk asked a very interesting question yesterday that I was hoping to re-examine here on ROTB. He said that teams should be able to trade their cap space, given that there is a cap to how much a team can spend, to other teams in exchange for draft picks.

For example: if the Cardinals wanted to sign extra free agents this offseason and didn't have the cap space to do it, they could trade a, say, third round draft choice to the Buccaneers for a set amount of cap space that they could then use to increase their cap limit.

Now, while this sounds like a neat idea to make NFL offseasons even more interesting than they already are, it simply cannot be done. We would see teams with very wealthy owners buy that space and essentially become the New York Yankees of the NFL. Sure, they are forfeiting draft picks for a year, but they are able to go out and sign proven stars to take their place.

Not only would you get teams that just spend and spend and spend, but you would also get other franchises that would trade away cap space every year so that they don't have to spend money. We recent saw the Marlins do something similar in the MLB when they traded away all the stars on their roster for a bunch of prospects. While it's nice to get young players, we would see cheap NFL owners continuously collect them so that they wouldn't have to shell out big money to star veterans. All they would do is ride the cap floor and spend as little as they can.

So the idea can't work. In an ideal world, transactions like this would only happen every once in a while to facilitate key decisions, but that isn't what would happen. Teams would abuse it unless another provision that mandated they can only do this type of transaction every so often were installed.

What do you think? Do you like this idea of being able to trade cap space? Tell us in the comments section below.