Thoughts on the upcoming CBA discussions

Thoughts on the upcoming CBA discussions

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On November 18, 2014
  • CBA talks

I remember the last CBA discussion back in 2010. Back then the players had a lot of momentum and things that they wanted changed moving forward. Now that agreement is set to expire at the end of the year which means a new round of discussion is ahead of us here.

I struggle with figuring out what exactly the players have to debate about this time around. In 2010, it was all about getting some sort of movement system in place for players out of contract to move around the league easier. In the end the process was a Re-Entry Draft, something that I would argue that players half-won on in the end (basically I mean they didn’t get everything they wanted in that debate but they got something).

There are a couple obvious items that will likely happen with the CBA talks but here are a few items off the top of my head.

1. Raising the cap – Right now the salary cap sits just north of $3.1 million. While a lot of teams actually spend more than this amount due to allocation money and whatever other method they are allowed to use to bring down player cost against the cap, we all can agree that the league has to continue to increase this amount to get to their goal of being a top league in the world by 2022. Just how much will the cap be raise is the biggest question. Players could argue that the clubs are going to get a lot of revenue from the new TV deal that was signed this year, along with all the expansion fees that are flying in. Could the cap get closer to $4 million for 2015? I would hope so. I know some folks want to see it drastically jump to $5 million but I don’t see a way for a league like MLS do jump that far up. Though it would be damn cool to see if they can make it work.

2. Raise the minimum┬ásalary – Right now, developmental players are making decent wages, much better than the days of them making $12k. But seeing some minimum salaries at $35k or even $48k for veterans just isn’t going to cut it in most MLS markets.

3. More transparency – Good grief this should be one of the biggest items on the agenda. MLS has to become more transparent in how they release information to the public. I’m mainly talking about things like allocation money for one. I know former players want to see this happen but I would love to see active players join this as well. I would be helpful to know that a player is traded for $50k in allocation money. If it is as simple as that, tell us. I see this going into helping the league grow outward as well by cutting out some of the silly mechanisms that they have used all of these years that no one can truly explain.

4. Ditch the allocation process – While selfishly I’ve always enjoy having the allocation order on my website to share with all of you, I’d love to see that list be ditched. Yes, there does need to be systems in place to keep some parity but I would love a way to see the allocation order (the method used for returning MLS and US national team players) be a thing of yesterday. There has to be a better way to allocate where someone like a Jermaine Jones or Maurice Edu can play than through these types of order.

5. Encourage more American (and Canadian) DPs – Maybe give teams breaks on the salary cap if they go out of their way to spend money on an American returning (or even looking to leave for Europe/Mexico). I would love to see four DPs on the docket for this round of CBA discussions with one of those being set aside for domestic players. I know some have suggested that DP slots need to be tradable but I see more value in giving teams the incentive┬áto sign more American players.

6. Continue investing more in young academy players – In a way this goes into the transparency thing but I would love to know more about Homegrown contracts. Right now no one really knows when they expire or if say a guy like Gyasi Zardes will always be considered a Homegrown player in MLS. Either way I want to see more value placed on developing young talent. Teams currently get good breaks on the development roster side of things for these players not counting against the cap. Maybe give clubs the ability to have a couple additional spots on that roster if players are HGPs.

  • Adnan7631

    Here are a few things that I’d like to see.

    So teams in CCL have talked about how, roster spots 1- 11 for some teams, even through 14, have been strong enough to compete. But the spots beyond that, the spots that need to be better in order to properly take on Mexican clubs, those spots just aren’t at the level we need them to be. We that in mind, I’d like to see these the roster spots under the cap expanded from 18 to 23. So, fewer apprentice players, and hopefully, more players who can really contribute to the team. Or, at least, the players who make up the depth, those spots from 12 – 23, are a bit better.

    In addition, I would suggest that the DP threshold and the salary cap be raised significantly. It’s something around 450 k, I believe. Let’s bump it up more to around 600 k or 750 k. That would mean teams have more allocation money they can spend on trades, on transfer fees, or elsewhere in the club, and that they have more flexibility with rosters. It also means that some players who are DP’s now aren’t going to be. Hopefully, that would encourage teams to look to spend a bit more on quality. Go for more Higuain’s, players with talent that really is high and can compete in Europe. I think this would also reduce the need for more DP spots, while maintaining parity.

    Of course, there’s no point in adding more proper squad spots under the cap, or raising the salary cap if the budget doesn’t change a lot, or even if it’s merely adjusted to account for those players. So, I would suggest boosting the budget cap to $5 million. Increasing the roster under the budget cap means adding $250,000. Some current DP’s would now be included under the cap and lose their label, while the hit for the multimillion DP’s would be higher. Factor in the expected pay bump for the players, and I think this would, for many teams, skew closer to $4 million and a great deal more flexibility.

    Oh, and of course, continue encouraging the Academy, ditch the Allocation order, and CLARITY, please.