In 2010, the salary cap in the NFL, which had been in place since 1993, will be going bye-bye, allowing big time players to ask for some big time cash. The chatter with regard to this development and it's effect on the Packers chances to compete is bleak. With team owners like Jerry Jones, Daniel Snyder, Bob Kraft, each with very deep pockets, it may be a challenge for the league's only community-owned, non profit team to compete.
The Green Bay Packers current roster and contracts already have an hint of the cap elimination. For example, Aaron Rodgers will have his shot this fall to step in to Brett Favre's shoes as the Packers quarterback, if all goes well, Rodgers' current contract is through 2009, allowing for some tough negotiations ahead for the team and a potential windfall for Rodgers. I have no argument with that. Rodgers has waited patiently for his shot and if he performs, he deserves to get paid. The question is, will the Packers be signing his paycheck in 2010, or will it be for a rival team with unlimited funds?
This is not to say the Packers organization hasn't planned for this day. For years, they have stayed under the cap, storing funds for such a "rainy" day.
My real point here is to address the one thing the Green Bay Packers can offer, other teams cannot. The mystique of the team, the field they play on, the Coach Lombardi factor and the rest of the storied history of the franchise. Sure players will end up living part of the year in the NFL's smallest market, but they will literally be THE biggest fish in the pond. Green Bay treats their Packers players like gold. Green Bay supports the team year round, showing up for all of the practices, scrimmages and related events with bells on. My bet is that there will still be a number of solid players who will sacrifice some cash to experience the opportunity to wear Packers' Green and Gold each Sunday.