New England Patriots Prepare for NFL’s Poison Pills in 2010


Published: March 27, 2009


... cap for the 2010 season. You may also be aware of the fact that it places limitations on teams' ability to defer payments into the future, and also increase the time needed to achieve free agency from four years to six.

You may not know of the existence of the Final Eight Plan, a provision in the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement which may haunt several franchises next year.

The basic principle of the Final Eight Plan—which will go into effect if there is no salary cap—is to prevent a mass movement of free agent talent in 2010 to the top teams from 2009.

In a nutshell, it places restrictions on the eight teams that reach the Divisional round of the playoffs. In other words, the two teams with byes in each conference, and the four teams that win their Wild Card games will have a harder time pursuing free agents.

The main restrictions on th...

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