From ESPN’s John Clayton:
What’s scary is the small number of players signed through 2011 and 2012. I know it’s crazy to look ahead to 2012, but slightly more than 500 players are under contract until then, with about 40 percent of those being players who just completed their rookie seasons.
The Cardinals have only 17 players signed through 2011. The Chiefs have 26. The Saints could get hit hard in this two-class free-agent crunch because they currently have 29 free agents, and seven more are set to hit the market in 2011. The Chargers have nine veterans whose contracts run out in 2010 to go with their 18 restricted and unrestricted free agents this year.
As we witnessed with Janikowski and Amano, the prices of starters and key players keep climbing no matter how owners try to contain costs. Looking ahead to 2011 free agency will only remind owners how much they need that salary cap back in place.