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Mailbag: Why No Luxury Tax In the NFL?


Sports like basketball and baseball have a luxury tax if they go over the salary cap or a certain spending limit. Now that free agency has started, why doesn't the NFL have some kind of system like that? If owners want to spend their money and pay a luxury tax, I'm all for it. – Jerald Hardin/Cibolo, TX

Nick: The NFL doesn't want that type of league. Look at the NBA and MLB. Doesn't it seem like the same teams are usually up there competing for titles? Sure, you have teams that finally get over the hump but it takes a long time. In the NFL, you can have teams jump up and down the standings from year to year and it's because the NFL wants to have parity in the league. They want everyone with the same amount of money to spend and they share the revenues the same. It's just the model they want and it's definitely working. The ratings for the NFL are not even comparable to other leagues and I think a reason for that is because it's not only become a 365-day season now, but every team seemingly has a chance to compete year to year. Sure, the Cowboys would benefit from the system you're talking about because Jerry Jones would likely pay whatever it takes. But Jones was one of the owners back in 1993 that pushed for this because he understands how to grow and develop the league into what it is today.

Mickey: I'm sure you are since it's not your money. Let's remember, the NFL operates on a shared revenue basis, where each team gets a piece of the pie. The NFL has always subscribed to creating parity, making sure no one owner could buy their way to a championship. The late Tex Schramm would always say what's best for the NFL then is best for the Cowboys, a philosophy ensuring the league remains strong. That is why there is a salary cap, and it was the owners' way to regulate free agency the best they can, causing teams to pay a high price for making mistakes paying free agent players with guaranteed money when they under-perform.

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