Saturday, October 6, 2012

Chirping The CBA: The Amnesty Clause

One of the more interesting parts of the CBA process is that it gives us a chance to discuss some more intriguing ideas as far as regulations go. These new regulations can change the way the teams do business in interesting ways, adding wrinkles to the way teams go about building their rosters.

The "Amnesty Clause" is not one of those interesting ideas.
After the NBA lockout of 2011, a majestic clause was put into place. The clause allows each team to exterminate the burden of one albatross contract, thereby freeing the team from the immense weight of an ill-advised decision. An amnesty clause is essentially Pepto Bismol for regret.
From management's standpoint, this is the ultimate mulligan -- you can make a mistake and then avoid having to pay for it.

And this is why there shouldn't be one.

Mistakes -- and especially mistakes made by management and owners -- should hurt. Frankly, that's the only way these people learn. If you are going to do something stupid, you should deal with the consequences.

If you are going to sign Wade Redden to a six-year, thirty-six million dollar contract, then by god you should have to pay the man his money.

Look at it the other way. If Sidney Crosby and his agent get roaring drunk and sign a twelve-year, fifteen million dollar contract with the Florida Panthers, nobody is going to let them have a mulligan, are they?

Now there is an argument for a partial mulligan. If a new owner comes in, maybe he should get one or two. Maybe if a new GM is installed the argument could be made for granting one. As long as the player in question still gets paid some how. The only problem with this is that we already have a mechanism for doing this -- the buy-out. Teams can buy their way out of contracts that they don't like. It costs them both in money and cap space, but they can get out of it.

Put it all together and I think this is a dumb idea, and that it isn't really necessary.