The Boredom is Nearly Over

Can I admit it now?  Is it safe to say publically that I’ve been so bored over the last week that I honestly didn’t know how to fill to time?

I swear, if I have to play another game of online spades or spider solitaire on this computer, I’m going to need a shrink.

We’ve been fortunate here in the Carolinas to have beautiful weather the last couple of days.  We broke 70 today and it just felt like a great day to be outdoors.  The problem is that there is no more football.

The season is over and there’s nothing to write about and nothing to watch on TV.

Until now.

Starting today, teams can begin making roster changes.  You know the ones.  Fans everywhere start their annual “wow I can’t believe they let him go” routine.

So call in the bean counters and prepare to say goodbye to some familiar names.

The Carolina Panthers have until Feb. 19 to make their all-important franchise tag decisions.

Let’s hope for the sake of the ’09 season that the tag can be used on Julius Peppers who can then be traded while a long-term deal is reached with Jordan Gross.

But they can begin the remaking of the roster Monday, when they can start cutting players. The possible cuts include cornerback Ken Lucas, linebacker Landon Johnson and wide receiver D.J. Hackett.

But in two of those cases, the cuts won’t save as much salary cap room as they would have in years past.

Barring an extension of the collective bargaining agreement with the players union, the NFL will operate without a salary cap in 2010. And a set of rules put in place for that occasion are making all deals this offseason more complex than they already were. In past years, teams were able to push money into future years when they cut players by designating them a “Post June 1″ release. In the old days, they actually had to wait until the middle of the summer to realize the salary cap savings. But that rule no longer applies, as the league wanted to protect against teams using the uncapped year as a salary dump.

There will be no extension without a minor miracle since the NFLPA can’t even seem to get it right in their own ranks and choose a new leader to replace the late Gene Upshaw.

For now, he moves will have to be made with rules set as-is.  With or without big savings on the cap, the the team will likely part ways with all three of these players.

The changes are going to come and come soon.  It’s about to get interesting.

The boredom is nearly over.

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Tags: Carolina Panthers D.J. Hackett Ken Lucas Landon Johnson

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