Poison pills here to stay
The Vikings put clauses in the deal called poison pills that would have forced the Seahawks to guarantee all $49 million of the contract. The Seahawks and the league were furious. The union put a high price on eliminating those types of poison pills. In the end, the NFL felt so few players are affected that it wasn't worth giving more to the players in the CBA extension.
While the NFL won't be able to prevent teams from using poison pill clauses to steal restricted free agents, the league believes it won't be a big issue during the CBA extension. First, the Seahawks experience taught teams to franchise key free agents, instead of transitioning them. Second, more and more teams signed rookies to four-year contracts, eliminating many of the restricted free agents of the future. Third, the new CBA added a second-round designation that gives teams the chance to ward off offers on key special teams, and undrafted or low round draft choices, when they reach their restricted free agent years.
NFC facing conference call: This will be a key weekend for the NFC in its battles with the AFC. The AFC has dominated for several years, but better quarterback play in the NFC may be cutting the difference. The NFC leads this year's series 9-6, and there are six interconference games this weekend. The AFC is becoming the defensive conference this season, even though it boasts some of the NFL's best quarterbacks. This year, NFC teams are scoring three points a game more than AFC teams, in what has been a low scoring start to the season.