lucky: Is the Stanley Cup title window closing for the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals?

Is the Stanley Cup title window closing for the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals?

13 Jul 2017 at 07:28pm
Our ESPN Insiders have provided an expert Authentic Greg Zuerlein Youth Jersey assessment of how NFL teams are positioned to compete during the next three seasons. That will bring us to the year 2020, the dawn of a new decade and the start of a key period for owners and players as they posture for the expiration of their 10-year collective bargaining agreement. (Assuming they don't agree on an extension before the current CBA expires after the 2020 season.) What will the NFL look like at that point? What advances will it have made? What issues will it have solved, and what problems might still remain? Let's take /a> a closer look. You've heard the argument: NFL players have the shortest careers -- less than four years, on average -- while playing a game that maims some of them. Yet their contracts are never fully guaranteed, meaning teams can release them at any time without paying the full amount due. But establishing a fully guaranteed paradigm is not a matter of changing policy. (It's not Authentic De'Anthony Thomas Womens Jersey mentioned in the CBA.) It would require a fundamental change in the market. Players have long agreed to these terms during individual negotiations. What would incentivize owners to guarantee contracts fully when they don't have to? A high-profile player could hold out and force a one-off concession, but it's tough to imagine all players benefiting in the same way. And even if owners changed their approach, it's fair to wonder if they would simply reduce multiyear, partially guaranteed offers to one-year, fully guaranteed deals. In short, it's difficult to conceive a meaningful path to fully guaranteed multiyear deals across the league. As the NBA has demonstrated, you don't need to place a franchise overseas to establish an international following. Smart marketing, offseason player promotions and international participation in the game can achieve a similar outcome. The NFL's /a> international emphasis will continue and perhaps intensify as it pursues a goal of matching its domestic fan total internationally. But that is more likely to manifest in an increase of one-off games in Mexico City, London and other cities. Owners aren't interested in expanding beyond 32 teams, and there isn't a franchise with a poor-enough stadium situation to force a relocation crisis in the next three years. The only reason for pause is that, one year ago, few thought the NFL would move the Raiders from Oakland to Las Vegas. If the NFL can move to Vegas and accept the presumed problems it once avoided, it can talk itself into moving anywhere when a few powerful owners get behind it. The NFL is eager to shift the conversation on concussions. It committed $100 million last fall to research remedies for health issues of all kinds, including a reimagining of helmets. The helmet was originally designed to prevent skull fractures, not concussions. The first potential redesign is the VICIS Zero1, a helmet designed to protect against rotational injury -- the cause Authentic Jose Fernandez Youth Jersey of concussions -- rather than just linear contact. Almost three-fourths of NFL teams had at least one player test the helmet this spring. Whether or not it succeeds, you can expect additional new products to appear in the coming years. The private sector has been incentivized, and it's reasonable to believe that helmets will look and function much differently by the year 2020. There is widespread agreement among football executives, from the league and the teams, that there is a need for more offseason work for young players -- especially quarterbacks -- than the CBA currently allows. But there is no unifying solution. Some prefer a traditional domestic spring developmental league modeled after NFL Europe. But it would be costly and would probably overlap with the handful of offseason practices teams are allowed. Others would settle for a quarterback "academy" that would give practice-like reps and individualized tutoring to young prospects. Some think that expanded practice squads are the answer. And a few hope the next CBA will relax team-based /a> offseason training restrictions. This muddled situation has left it to others to create a model the NFL might eventually buy into, most recently The Spring League. Television rights fees have been the largest driver of the NFL's economic explosion in the past decade. But recent upheaval in the broadcast and cable industries, and a notable ratings dip in 2016, has prompted a fair question: Will the gravy train end? If it does, it's unlikely to come in this three-year window. Contracts with CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN all run through at least 2021. The NFL already has begun a transition to over-the-top (OTT) internet broadcasts, partnering first with Twitter and now Amazon for 2017. Rights fees are relatively small now but are growing; Amazon will pay five times ($50 million) what Twitter paid ($10 million) per season. There might be a time when the NFL is impacted by a bursting television bubble, but that moment does not appear close and new opportunities already exist

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